Picture this: your phone incessantly buzzing with notifications from various group texts, demanding your attention throughout the day. The excitement of connecting with multiple friends, family members, or colleagues in a single platform can quickly become a source of stress, anxiety, and distraction, though.

In this fast-paced digital age, group text messaging has become an integral part of our communication landscape and undoubtedly offers the convenience of staying connected. However, if you’re like many of my clients, you might find yourself stretched thin and feeling pressure to respond to every message that comes your way.

Constantly checking your phone, feeling afraid to miss out on the latest message, or feeling obligated to respond right away, even when it disrupts your personal time or work productivity, are tell-tale signs that it is time to make some changes.

Here’s what you can do to achieve better balance between real life and group texts:

  1. Set boundaries: To avoid getting too involved with group texts, decide when and how often to engage with the group texts. Take control by responding on your terms.
  2. Time management: Group texts can be a significant source of distraction and time consumption so be aware of how much time you spend on group texts and redirect that time to more productive or meaningful activities.
  3. Address feelings of obligation: Ask yourself: Do I have to respond to group messages or do I truly want to? People may feel obligated to respond immediately to group texts, which can lead to stress and anxiety. Know that it’s okay to take breaks from group texts when needed.
  4. Prioritize in-person connections: While group texts can be convenient, real-world connections often provide more depth and meaning in relationships.
  5. Manage FOMO: The fear of missing out (FOMO) can drive individuals to constantly check group texts. Try to focus on being present in the moment rather than constantly seeking updates.
  6. Evaluate the group’s impact: Reflect on the group’s influence on your emotions. If the group texts consistently lead to negative feelings or stress, it might be time to reassess participation and possibly move on.

Here’s what to do if you want to quit the group text entirely:

  1. Reflect on your reasons: Before taking any action, it’s important to understand why you want to quit the group text. Is it causing you stress, taking up too much of your time, or simply not aligned with your interests or priorities? Clarify your motivations to ensure you’re making the right decision.
  2. Evaluate the importance: Consider the significance of your involvement in the group text. If it’s a casual conversation among friends or acquaintances, leaving might not have significant consequences. However, if it’s a professional or work-related group, leaving abruptly could have implications for your relationships or reputation, so proceed with caution.
  3. Communicate your intentions: Once you’ve made the decision to leave, it’s best to communicate your intentions with the group members. Send a polite message explaining that you no longer wish to be part of the group text. Be respectful and brief in your explanation.
  4. Adjust your settings: If the group text is causing interruptions or distractions but you don’t want to sever ties completely, explore the settings on your messaging app. Many apps allow you to mute notifications or hide the conversation so you can disengage without fully leaving the group. This way, you can still catch up on the conversation when you choose to, without it intruding on your daily life.

For more tips from Jonathan Alpert, check out his book, Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days.


  • Jonathan Alpert

    Psychotherapist, executive performance coach, and author of Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days. Twitter: @JonathanAlpert

    Jonathan Alpert is a psychotherapist, columnist, performance coach and author in Manhattan. As a psychotherapist, he has helped countless couples and individuals overcome a wide range of challenges and go on to achieve success. He discussed his results-oriented approach in his 2012 New York Times Opinion piece, “In Therapy Forever? Enough Already”, which continues to be debated and garner international attention. Alpert is frequently interviewed by major TV, print and digital media outlets and has appeared on the Today Show, CNN, FOX, and Good Morning America discussing current events, mental health, hard news stories, celebrities/politicians, as well as lifestyle and hot-button issues. He appears in the 2010 Oscar-winning documentary, Inside Job commenting on the financial crisis. With his unique insight into how people think and their motivations, Alpert helps clients develop and strengthen their brands. He has been a spokesperson for NutriBullet, Liberty Mutual insurance, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Jonathan’s 2012 book BE FEARLESS: Change Your Life in 28 Days has been translated into six languages worldwide. Alpert continues to provide advice to the masses through his Inc.com, Huffington Post, and Thrive columns. @JonathanAlpert