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4 Reasons Why You Should Not Look Through Your Partner’s Phone

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4 Reasons Why You Should Not Look Through Your Partner’s Phone

Your partner gets up and off the couch and tells you “I’m going to take a shower. I’ll be out in a bit.”

You say “Okay.”

Then a minute later you hear the bathroom door lock, the shower turn on, and finally, the pleasant sound of water crashing on the tub. And then it hits you! Your partner left their phone right next to you, and you have a sudden and profound urge to look through it!

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You know the password and you know you can easily search through it while they’re in the shower. You know you have at least 10, if not 15 minutes to go to town on their text messages and even email, and you have a burning desire to do just that! You justify your actions in your head and ready yourself to scour through it.

But here are 4 reasons why that is a terrible idea!

1. You’re Violating Their Trust In You

Your partner has put trust in you by leaving their phone out in the open. They have shown respect and faith in you, so at the very least, you should offer them the same in return. By secretly searching through their phone, you’re breaking this trust and respect.

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2. You’re Setting Your Relationship Back

By violating the trust you seemingly had with your partner, you set your relationship back. Whether you find anything suspicious doesn’t matter. The fact that you don’t trust your companion shows that you’re not heading in the right direction with them. The insecurity of believing that they are not committed to you speaks volumes about where you really are with them. By hiding something, you only traverse further in the wrong direction!

3. Many Different Negative Scenarios Can Play Out

If you do decide to look through their phone, all sorts of unintended consequences can play out. For one, your partner can catch you—which would not only be incredibly awkward, but potentially relationship-ending! Nobody wants someone who secretively and connivingly goes through their stuff when they’re not around. If your partner catches you doing this, there is a decent chance they will end things with you.

You could also see something you weren’t meant to see. There are certain personal things that your partner does not need to be sharing, and you might happen to stumble upon one of these things. From awkward pictures of themselves that were intended only for them to see, to really personal messages between them and their family or friends, to weird searches they’ve made on Google. “Some stones are better left unturned,” as the saying goes, and this cannot be better emphasized than in looking through someone’s phone. You may not like what you see.

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4. You Wouldn’t Want Them To Do It

If it were you going into that shower, you know for sure that you would not want your partner going through your stuff! Who would? Some people obviously wouldn’t care as much as others about this, especially those who have nothing to hide, but even still, nobody would enjoy somebody else secretly invading their privacy.

Treat others as you would like to be treated.

This is typically the most effective expression for interacting with other people. If you wouldn’t want someone doing something to you, you should probably not do it to them either.

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Instead of trying to look through their phone when they are not around, try being more upfront and honest with them about things. If you suspect they may be hiding something, ask them. Talk to them before secretly breaking their trust. This upfront honesty is far better than secretively going through their personal information when they are not around. If you truly have trust with your partner, however, you won’t even have to consider this option.

If you still feel an urge to do this, then you should seriously question your relationship. Perhaps you are with someone who doesn’t really want to be with you. Or perhaps you are with someone whom you really don’t want to be with! Either way, there is definitely a deeper, underlying issue at hand.

Featured photo credit: Japanexperterna.se via flickr.com

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Justin Stenstrom

Nationally-Acclaimed Life Coach

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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