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When You Stop Texting and Start Talking, These 10 Things Will Happen

When You Stop Texting and Start Talking, These 10 Things Will Happen

Remember when people owned black and white TVs? Bought soda for a nickel? Went for Sunday drives? Who would have thought face-to-face conversations would one day share the label “old school”? Here are 10 reasons you should keep practicing this largely abandoned art.

1. You’ll avoid accidental insults.

It’s hard to communicate clearly in writing. Body language and tone are valuable pieces to the puzzle. Face-to-face conversations make it easier for the listener to tell when you’re being sincere, or sarcastic, or cracking a joke.

2. You’ll feel more validated and understood.

Minimal encouragers are one way listeners can show they’re paying attention. These shorts sounds such as “hmm” and “I see” politely interrupt the person speaking and show we’re listening. That’s basically impossible in a text.

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Facial expressions are another way we validate people’s feelings. Some of this can be accomplished with emojis, but what about feelings like sympathy or attraction? The human face can express these better than a tiny cartoon.

3. You’ll connect more deeply by being more focused.

Meaningful conversations take time, thought, and complete sentences – all of which are rarely found in texting. By taking the time to focus on an in-person conversation, you’re giving a relationship the attention it deserves. You’re also more likely to venture into complex subjects you wouldn’t try to cover in a text. These subjects are often the ones where input is valuable, and talking about them builds trust.

4. You’ll get to hear laughter.

Laughter is contagious. And laughter is healthy. A study shows that “humor, with its associated mirthful laughter, can reduce stress and cortisol, a stress hormone.” Replacing a few LOLs with an old-fashioned chuckle is good for your body and your relationships.

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5. You’ll get to keep your conversations private.

Some people like to voice harsh opinions via text, but this is a big mistake because it creates a written record of your conversation. That may sound paranoid, but successful people know that putting criticism in writing is a recipe for disaster. Forwards and screenshots snatch your thoughts from their proper context, damaging your reputation and your relationships. Avoid unnecessary drama by talking in-person or at least making a phone call.

6. You’ll engage multiple senses, making conversations more memorable.

Text is visual, but talking is audible. Face-to-face conversations use more of your senses. And a study shows multisensory input “can stimulate and activate multiple sites in the brain, thereby increasing attention, processing, and retention of information.”

7. You’ll avoid getting sucked into the bottomless phone void.

Phones are giant attention traps. Check one text and you’ll soon be checking the rest. Then your emails, your push notifications, Facebook, and Instagram. By the time you’re done, you’ll have more texts to respond to.

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A 2014 study at Baylor University found that “women college students spend an average of 10 hours a day on their cellphones and men college students spend nearly eight…”

8. You’ll experience life more fully.

Texting makes you miss out on two moments – the moment in which you’re physically present and the moment you’re having with the person you’re texting. Give each moment the attention it deserves. When you try to do too much, you miss what’s happening right in front of you.

9. You’ll get immediate responses.

Texts can go unanswered for hours, even days. Face-to-face conversations offer much quicker responses. So when you’re talking about something meaningful, where you need answers, take the time to sit down face-to-face.

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10. You’ll be treated more fairly.

We’ve all heard the classic challenge, “Say that to my face.” It’s hard to disrespect someone who’s looking you in the eye. While some people rant and rave in a thoughtless text, they’re more likely to tone it down when talking to you in person, which means you might actually work out the conflict instead of trading verbal blows.

Bonus Reason: You’ll meet new people.

You don’t have to know someone to talk to them. In fact, this article suggests “people are happier after a conversation with a stranger.” Food for thought!

Featured photo credit: Beautiful young hipster woman using smart phone via shutterstock.com

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Kyle Young

Operations Manager, GoinsWriter

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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