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8 Reasons You Should Never Let Text Message Arguments Happen

8 Reasons You Should Never Let Text Message Arguments Happen

There’s a saying among opponents of text messaging that if the telephone was invented after a text messaging device, everyone would call each other and never text again. There’s something to be said about that. I know, texting is convenient, and in today’s busy world we can’t be bothered to call each other for every little thing, but it’s important to question that mindset, especially when it comes to having important conversations.

We’ve all seen the detriments of text messaging in one way or another, and the ensuing arguments are not pretty. While some miscommunication can lead to a short pang of anxiety, a small misunderstanding through texting could lead to something much worse.

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Texting is meant for quick communication

Texting should really only be used when you need to transmit important information quickly. “Got milk.” “Can you pick up Bobby?” “Be home soon.” Nothing can really be misconstrued from these quick messages (although don’t hold me to that). When texting is used as a primary means of communication, however, things start to get out of hand.

Unfocused communication

Anyone who texts knows that it’s not the only thing you do when you do it. Usually, you’re reading a book, watching TV, scrolling through Facebook, or something other than watching the screen waiting for the next message to come in. So when you’re in an argument with a friend or significant other, chances are you’re not truly focused on the problem, and your mind is elsewhere. Not hitting a disagreement head on leads to…

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Long, drawn out arguments

Texting draws arguments out much longer than they need to be. You have to sit and wait for the other party to respond, which could take anywhere from seconds to hours, depending on the situation. While most serious arguments are dealt with immediately, sometimes one person is left in limbo, not knowing if the other even got the text, or cared enough to read it. Any delay leaves one party anxiously paranoid, which only serves to further the argument.

Texting avoids necessary confrontation

Known to psychologists as a form of avoidance, texting about major conflicts is simply a way to talk about the situation as if it’s not actually happening to you. On that same note, if you’re discussing a problem about yourself as if it doesn’t apply to you, then the solution you reach doesn’t apply to you either; nothing gets accomplished via “solution by text.” It may be difficult, but couples who are comfortable talking out their problems in person are much more connected than those who only communicate “big things” through a cell phone screen.

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Texts can be ignored

You wouldn’t simply stare at your friend and not say something after he confronted you, would you? But we do it all the time with texts. The ultimate defense mechanism is ignoring the problem. It might be easiest at the time to simply put the phone down and come back to it “when you’re ready,” but, since there really is no convenient time to have an argument, you’ll keep putting it off until more and more damage is done. Don’t let things pile up to a breaking point; call and get through your problems.

Texting lacks emotional attachment

Like we just said, texting detaches you from the situation you’re discussing. But more than that, texts can be misconstrued, and be the beginning of certain arguments. You’ve heard the sentiment: “Oh, that sounded harsh, better say ‘lol’ and type a smiley face!” Chances are, if you sent a message that was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, it most likely came out as derogatory. If you made the same statement in person, your friend would have heard the sarcasm in your voice, and known not to take you too seriously.

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Texts aren’t private

Text messages definitely are not private. If you and your significant other are at a party, and face a disagreement, you can leave and deal with it without others looking on. When you argue through text, you run the risk of your SO tossing his (or her) phone to a friend, commenting “Look how ridiculous this conversation is.” Of course, all that will do is reinforce your SO’s perspective, as the friend will most likely agree with the comment. Arguments should not be about “who’s right,” but rather about how both parties can reach a common ground. Making an argument public is completely counter-intuitive to this.

Texting leads to regretful statements

We’ve discussed how emotionally detached text messaging is, but let’s take it a step further. Since both parties are using texts as an emotional wall, they sometimes feel like they can say hurtful, terrible things that they never would say if they were face-to-face. In person, they’d see the love in each others’ faces, and the emotions in their voices. Being physically close to a loved one while arguing makes you realize that, in the long-run, the current argument is trivial compared to the love you share. Seriously. The next time you’re upset with someone you love, try to argue in person. Chances are, it won’t last long, and will be much more productive for your relationship.

Featured photo credit: Free File Hunt via freefilehunt.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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