Ever notice how modern technology makes life easier?
- Now you can share your vacation pictures on Instagram instead of sending bulky prints.
- You never have to remember a phone number anymore because it’s always stored in your phone.
- Finding new restaurants and having GPS at your fingertips.
Yes, today’s technology simplifies a lot of tasks, making more room in your life to focus on the things that matter the most – your closest relationships. Texting “thinking of you..” or “have a great day” or “can’t wait to see you later,” can benefit a relationship.
But what happens when this easier communication style backfires? What happens when text messaging or email goes wrong and you argue with your significant other over a misunderstanding that could’ve been avoided if you’d talked on the phone instead?
The Number One Communication Danger in Relationships: Text Messaging
It’s easy to get caught in the trap. You’re rushing from meeting to meeting and thumb in a quick one liner to respond about dinner with your girlfriend that evening, when suddenly you’re bombarded. She’s upset. Your one liner came across as cold and uncaring. It’s misinterpretations like these that plague relationships. Although technology has made it easier to communicate, it’s also become a serious concern among couples.
Texting is often fraught with confusion. Without our non-verbal signals, messages can easily be misinterpreted and can lead to stress and anxiety.Intimacy suffers too. Evenings spent at home on the couch with each other shouldn’t mean having your nose in your Facebook newsfeed. It should mean a chance to build the connection between you and your partner. Yet many couples fall easily into the trap of plugging into their phone instead of plugging into their significant other.
How to Overcome the Communication Hurdles Caused by Texting
The bad news is, technology is everywhere. Texting isn’t going away anytime soon. The good news is, your relationship can survive this communication hurdle with a little bit of finesse. Here are a few tips to help:
Whenever possible, don’t text feelings.
Sending a quick “I love you” message during a busy workday is a nice gesture, but it shouldn’t replace telling your partner in person. Emotions in relationships run deep. Expressing these emotions in an impersonal manner, such as via text message or email, diminishes the tone and meaning. A lot of important words don’t have the emotions attached and easily can get lost in translation.
Never text when you’re angry.
Did your husband say something to upset you? Don’t go in circles and get caught up in exchanging angry text messages. Stop. Take a deep breath. And plan how you will effectively communicate your feelings to him when he calls or when you see him at home later. Angry texting escalates an already tense situation. It’s unnecessary and damaging. Avoid it at all costs.
Don’t allow texting to replace important face to face conversations.
Want to avoid an argument when you let your wife know you’re having your parents over for dinner? The easy answer is to text. That’s also the wrong answer.
Hiding behind a text message so you don’t have to come face-to-face with a difficult conversation is a recipe for trouble. Texting can often be used in relationships as a way to communicate complex subjects that may be hard to say in person. Long winded text messages can escalate arguments and usually won’t resolve relationship conflicts. A lot of things get lost in communicating this way. It might not hurt your relationship now but it could as time progresses. Try not to use a text message as a shield.
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