One of our favorite TikTok accounts to follow is TherapyJeff.
Jeff Guenther is based in Portland, Oregon. Besides running a successful private practice, he’s been posting snappy, one-minute videos offering guidance on everything from managing anxiety to why some people cheat on those they love.
Jeff posts a huge amount of content. We were drawn to this one because besides applying to DMs, many of the points could also apply to Grindr and other dating apps.
The short video is entitled “6 tips when sliding into someone’s DMs for the first time.” Here are Jeff’s recommendations.
1. Don’t just be like ‘Hey’. Write a full-on message. Make sure you keep it light and use humor if it comes naturally. But put some actual effort into the first message. It goes a long way.
2. Please make sure your profile is public. It’s only fair to allow them to get a glimpse of who you are. It can be super frustrating if all they can see is your tiny little profile picture. If your profile remains private, you’re more likely to be left on read.
3. Make sure you’ve engaged with their posts first. Liking or commenting on their content not only shows your interest but it also makes your message feel less creepy and out of the blue.
4. Remember, you’re essentially a stranger to them despite the perceived parasocial relationship you have. They might need time to warm up and gradually get to know you. Simultaneously, you might need to let go of any fantasies you have projected onto them and be open to discovering who they truly are.
5. Remember there’s an actual human on the other end so don’t say anything you wouldn’t say in person. This includes inappropriate or disrespectful comments that might seem insignificant online but can have a substantial impact. The person you’re messaging has feelings, emotions and experiences, just like you. And they don’t owe you anything.
6. Understand that they are well within their rights to ignore you and not respond. Don’t take it personally. Yes, there’s a chance they didn’t see it, especially if they have a huge account. If you feel really compelled, maybe write one more very nice and cute note a few weeks later but leave it at that.
Some will argue that messaging someone on a hookup app like Grindr is different from sliding into someone’s DMs on Instagram, and that a simple ‘hey’ is more than enough to gauge interest. However, consistently messaging someone with ‘hey’ is often quite annoying, whether they’ve responded in the past or not. Adding something extra will do you no harm.
Also, restraining yourself from saying something you wouldn’t say in person is always wise advice for online communication.
What do you make of Jeff’s tips? Are there any more you would add? Or has anyone sent you a message that creeped you out?