The ’happy new year’ texts from estranged family and friends

By Zaninka Umutesi
On 31 December 2022 at 09:46

When the clock strikes midnight on new year’s eve, we hurry to send each other happy new year texts. Most of these messages consist of a generic "Happy New Year!" followed by occasional emojis and maybe a few words of encouragement.

Reaching out to people and keeping in touch, even after a long period of silence, shows that you still care about them and are interested in their wellbeing.

Some people will understand, while others may feel uncomfortable receiving a happy new year text from someone they haven’t spoken to in a year.

Recently I have noticed people post memes and jokes about new year greetings from estranged family and friends.

I was struck by how vocal we have become in saying how much we dislike receiving new year greetings from people we don’t normally interact.

People have realized that receiving messages from people they don’t usually speak with is emotionally draining, especially when they wish them a happy new year.

For some, reaching out to someone they haven’t spoken to in a while can be overwhelming.

After all, there is no etiquette to responding to someone who has not contacted you in over a year.

But if we turn the table and ask, have you reached out? Or are you the one who only wants to talk once a year?

Ask yourself, "Am I shy, or am I protecting my mental health by texting that one person in my life once a year."

It’s important to take the time to think about why you want to reach out to someone and wish them a happy new year but neglect contacting them any other time in the year.

If you are shy or awkward about it, it could be that maybe this person is a much older family member or a friend living abroad. These can be restored through communication from both parties.

Another possibility is that your relationship with the recipient lacks boundaries or love, so you don’t reach out to them more than once.

If you text someone and they immediately have a snorty comment about you, your lifestyle, or your family, then it is comprehensible why you would limit your communication.

But now as we enter the new year, we can make it a year we work on our communication and relationship skills.

Ultimately you need to ask yourself, is it okay to reach out to someone and wish them a happy new year after a year of silence?

And before answering, be mindful of your mental health and the other person’s feelings.