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If You Really Love, Don’t Just Text, It’s Just Like Cheating

If You Really Love, Don’t Just Text, It’s Just Like Cheating

The digital information age has made staying in constant contact so effortless and commonplace. We can now share the most important moments of our lives as frequently as we like with the ease of a few simple clicks. Staying in touch takes little exertion. Sometimes we have relationships with no physical communication at all. We can now do it completely alone, scrolling social feeds in the comfort of our own homes, or cozily on the toilet at work.

However, no matter interconnected we are digitally, the ease of information sharing and instant communication can place a wedge between couples that we shouldn’t ignore.

It’s common to text someone you care about all day, and how couldn’t you? With the aforementioned ease in which we communicate, combined with the simple fact that you’re thinking about them, you’d have to be some sort of tenured Buddhist monk to have the self-restraint not to say something. In fact, I don’t think texting frequently throughout the day is a bad thing, but we should pose some questions before conclusions are reached.

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When you’re texting are you ignoring friends that you’re actually hanging out with? When you go get beers with a buddy, can you not put your phone down or ignore it for an hour without having crippling anxiety that your partner will be either angry with you or cheating on you?

In texting, do you have plans (any plans at all) to meet up with that person face-to-face some time that week or weekend? Are you going to pick her up for dinner at her favorite restaurant on Thursday so you text her Wednesday afternoon expressing your excitement for tomorrow’s plans? Are you surprising him with tickets to the season opener of his favorite basketball team and just can’t wait to tell him, so you shoot him a picture of the confirmation email?

I used to be the type of person who was against texting all day, even though I enjoyed it and it was a consistent source of laughter. Recent research and previous articles written regarding the intricacies of texting, have proven that there is in fact a dopamine release when you receive texts messages. Therefore, it only makes sense that these dopamine releases will either increase, or steadily stay at a high level, if those texts come from someone you really enjoy. I don’t think texting is a short road to disaster in relationships. That is, if you’re using it in the right way.

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A recent article by Psychology Today suggests that texting in relationships can go one of two ways. The scenario involving higher intimacy has couples texting comments of honest affection and sincere connection (i.e. “I miss you” or “I’m thinking about you and hope you’re kicking today’s butt” or “I know yesterday was rough, so I’m on my way to your office with a breakfast burrito from your favorite food cart”). The scenario in which couples are headed for trouble is when texting is done to resolve conflict, to repair damage done, or (the worst) to straight up fight and argue.

We know the dangers of cyber bullying and the horrendous outcomes that occur when someone says hurtful things while cowering behind an illuminated screen. Though we live in the dawn of emojis and GIFs, emotion is still hard to read via text message, especially when abbreviations are brought into play. If you need to argue, be the bigger partner and suggest meeting in person to talk it out. It doesn’t matter if you’re “the shyer one” or “afraid he’ll clam up”, it might end up saving your relationship in the long run.

You should also be honest with your lover about how you want to communicate digitally. If you don’t like texting all day, say so. It might be a good idea to pair this with something like what Adam Sandler’s character “Sonny” (from the movie Big Daddy) said to Joey Lauren Adam’s character “Layla” after they start dating, “When I’m not with you, I’m thinking of you.”

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Honesty like this, especially when it’s sincere and from the heart, will go a long way. If you like texting, but are going to spend some time with friends, shoot straight! Any functional, adult relationship will understand if one party says, “Hey, babe, I’m going out with the girls tonight so I might be away from my phone. But I’m excited to see you after and hope you had a good day.”

Save your jealousy and “my mind might wander” BS for a different article, because if you really love and care about the other person as much as you say, you should trust them and respect their time with friends. If they gave you reason not to trust them, ask yourself why yous are still with them?

In closing, we are all blessed by communication convenience; however, we need to be wise about it if we want to harbor relationships that mean anything, and can withstand difficult times. Don’t ignore your friends for your lover, and don’t ignore your lover for whatever’s on Instagram. Trust me, the notifications and text messages aren’t going anywhere. It’s all in the digital ether waiting for you later.

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On top of cheating others out of having quality conversations, moments, and relationships with you, you’re cheating yourself just as much.

Featured photo credit: Girl Taking Photo With Smartphone On Sunny Day / Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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