It’s tempting to do-and sometimes empowering. But chances are high that you may not get the results you want when arguing through technology.
I love technology. Yes, it can sometimes be too much when Trump memes and recipes you’ll never use take over and dominate your Facebook feed, but on the whole, it’s a win.
You can review how long it will actually take you to drive hundreds of miles before you do it, search and buy Christmas gifts online, stay connected with family across the globe and see just how big Kim Kardashian’s rear end actually was back in 1996 and examine if it has, indeed, changed measurably over time. Important stuff!
When it comes to setting things straight in an argument though, let’s face it: technology is not up to snuff. At least when it comes to texting. Communicating with someone in person is usually the best way to go, and here’s why.
These are all simple bits of advice but it could make a big difference in terms of your well-being and your safety.
When you’re texting, it can be so easy to misread the way someone is stating their words- yours included. And when you’re pissed off, just about everything looks like it’s being written simply to push your buttons.
Jennine Estes, a marriage and family therapist in San Diego, California gives three reasons why it’s best to hold off, and have your argument in person, (or not at all).
There’s very little context around your message when you send a text. Did you send it while you were busy grocery shopping? Were you trying to cook dinner quickly, while fending off whining kids at the same time?
The person on the other end has no idea what predicament you’re in- and no sympathy to offer. To them, it could seem as though you don’t really care about their needs when you send a short reply. As Estes says, a brief message can easily be misunderstood.
Secondly, texting is so fast that sometimes it’s too fast. It can be very easy to fire off an aggressive note without much thought.
When angry, compose your message and then wait 5 minutes before deciding whether or not to send it. Read it again. Is it really worth sending? Or would it be better if you simply cooled down and let the issue ride?
Last but not least remember this: the person receiving your text could be doing just about anything when they get it. It’s something you can’t control. Yes, you may feel angry with them in the moment, but it’s likely not worth spontaneously upsetting them and possibly their safety and that of others.
They could be driving, talking with their boss or even the school principal. Your arguments are important, and you need to give them the attention and space they deserve.
When you talk in person, both you and your recipient have a chance to compose yourselves beforehand. You can also calm down afterwards, which raises your chances of having a civil interaction.
Remember, whatever it is will pass and it’s probably not worth it. Go for a walk around the block, smile and be your best self, as difficult as that may seem. You’re worth it.
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