Relationships have never been easy for human beings. We are creatures of improperly timed laughter, misunderstandings, misconstrued words, and a horrendous dependence on technology.
Back before the time of text messaging, people had to fight face-to-face; but now, we can pretty much duke it out with anyone, anywhere. Because of that, learning how to productively fight over text is becoming a necessary skill.
No, this does not mean slamming someone with a million emojis, either. Expressing anger via pictures is childish and will doubtlessly make the issue worse. With that in mind, here are some ways to have a productive fight over text that does not read like an IM message from 2002:
1. Make sure this is not a technical difficulty
When you are explaining things via text, is not it kind of funny how things can go south really quick when technology is misbehaving? Suddenly, your mind goes into hyperdrive with questions like, “Why haven’t they texted me back yet?” “What’s taking so long?” “What are they doing?” “Did I say something wrong?”
And then you go and find out you got miffed for nothing when they respond with, “Sorry, battery died!” or something similar. It is not really worth it, is it?
When you find yourself getting huffy over long periods of silence or short, clipped responses, refrain from igniting a fire. Wait until you are face-to-face to discuss the incident.
If it seems like things are getting a little tense, it is okay to ask for your texting partner to clarify what is actually making them upset. See, people are hardwired to want input from body language, voice volume, and facial expressions. When all you are getting is the passive aggressive “k,” it is really difficult to pinpoint what is happening.
When you find yourself growing angry, it is okay to repeat this to the receiver. “I am upset” several times in a row is going to get the message across more than a disappointed looking emoji. This will also slow down the back and forth, allowing both of you to chill out.
Read also – 5 Immature Habits That Can Tank Any Relationship
3. Time your responses
When you have a productive fight IRL, what happens? You do not just launch a bunch of anger faces at the person you are talking to or rage on without letting them speak. No, a real argument means the two of you are taking turns discussing why you are upset then listening to the response.
You need to make sure you are understanding precisely what is wrong before validating that you also comprehend why the other party is angry. Keep yourself cool long enough to at least hear a response.
Also, when you do not have the time at present to handle the problem, it is okay to say, “I will be back soon, I have to go to a meeting,” or “I hear you. Give me a sec to leave the office/classroom/etc”. After all, nothing is worse for a text-based fight then dropping off the edge of the world for several hours.
4. Use emojis – tastefully
Now, about emojis. You can use them, but they have to be well-timed. Sometimes, an emoticon can be used to punctuate your statements to show the face you would be making while speaking.
This helps set the tone of the statement and gives the recipient something visual to process. However, you need to draw the line at eggplants, rainbows, and poop. You are not in kindergarten anymore.
5. “Can we talk about this later?”
Once you have established that this is indeed a fight that cannot be resolved over text, you need to ask the all-important question: “Can we talk about this later?” There are, after all, just some things that cannot be handled over text, no matter how busy you are.
If you want to show you care about this individual, you need to take the time out of your day to meet with them face-to-face and come to mutual understanding.
Read also – 5 Lovely Texts to Send Him in the Morning
Minor squabbles are fine over text, but the serious stuff has to be discussed in person. There is no way around it. Productive text-based fights will eventually bring you to this scenario.
What makes the text argument productive is being able to control the situation long enough to establish the time and place where you meet to hash out the misunderstanding IRL.