How to Deal With Text Message Arguments
Advances in digital communications technology have been a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it's easier to keep in touch in most situations. But the flip side (the negative side) is that some people seem to have lost their ability to communicate pleasantly and thus it's very possible to be misunderstood (or to misunderstand) when communicating via text on such platforms as What'sApp, Skype, and others.
Learning how to handle, or avoid such situations is to your advantage so here are some ideas on how to do that and thereby allow you to use all this new technology to make your life more pleasant rather than more cantankerous.
Consider these tips for dealing with arguments through text messages:
Understand there's a risk of misinterpretation.
The lack of face-to-face communication makes it easier to misinterpret each other. When you completely lose the visual element of body language, you're losing a lot of communication effectiveness. The non-verbal cues of body language are a big part of communication. In fact, most of what others think they “hear” is actually something they saw.
When you receive a message, if it could be taken in the wrong way, be sure to clarify the correct meaning from the sender. So, when you send someone a message, before you hit that “send” button, take a moment to reread your message to see if your words could be interpreted differently than what you mean.
Pay close attention to the conversation. Although text messaging prevents you from interrupting each other, it's also important to keep the pace of the conversation going. Pay attention to each message and respond appropriately to it.
Take a break if there is an argument. You may need to step away from the conversation and let tempers cool. Text messaging makes this simple because you can simply stop sending more messages. A break from the argument can also help you collect your thoughts and ideas. But before you take a break, let the other person know that you’ll be gone for a few minutes. You don’t want them to think you’ve abandoned the conversation.
Stay aware of your tone. Even an argument through text messaging can be affected by the implied or apparent tone of your words. Words have meaning and some people are very sensitive to the different nuances of vocabulary.
In case nobody's told you yet, always be very cautious about using CAPITAL LETTERS. It's usually considered as SHOUTING or screaming at the recipient.
Emojis have become 'in vogue' as text messaging has become more popular. You won't find them very much in business texting but it is very common in social communications. Be sure you know the basic set of common emojis and consider their emojis. A picture is worth a thousand words so you want to be sure to use the right one. The little face you add to your messages can help explain your meaning, but even their intention can be mistaken if your recipient thinks you’re using them sarcastically.
Don't overdue emojis even in social situations. People will think you're younger than maybe you want them to. You can use them to convey emotions but you don’t want the entire conversation to be filled with these childish little characters. Use words as well as pictures.
Lighten your conversations with some self-deprecating humor when possible. A joke or other humorous statement can help alleviate some of the anger and other issues during the argument.
Always be sensitive to statements that might sound like a personal attack of some sort. Because there’s no face-to-face connection, text messaging can easily be misinterpreted. Thus, pay close attention to your language. It’s not possible to take back a sent text message that hurts your partner or friend. The wrong words can destroy relationships or business deals and make it difficult to recover for both parties.
Stay aware of the pre-existing relationship. Text messages are, by their technical nature, very impersonal and can be rather clumsy. So always keep in mind the nature of your relationship with the person you're communicating with and use words appropriate for that relationship. The use of text messaging can, if one isn't careful, create emotional distances rather than narrow them. So try to limit them as much as you can. Digital relationships are never as strong as real personal ones.
If any kind of argument does develop, try to move the argument away from text messages. A face-to-face conversation is usually the best 'damage control' and is still the best ways to handle delicate issues in a relationship or friendship. Even a video Skype call is better that pure text.
In fact, if you can move the argument away from texting, it’s likely that you’ll be able to resolve it faster and easier. You may want to try to save the conversation for later. You may also want to try other methods to communicate such as video calls.
If you’re having an argument through text messages, follow these strategies to help you navigate the treacherous waters and have a text message conversation