How to Deal With Text Message Arguments

In today’s age of the smartphone, all kinds of conversations take place over text. Needless to say, therefore, that arguments are inevitable. However, when we do not have the backing of body language or tone of voice, how can we possibly have an argument without misunderstanding or being misunderstood?!

Here are a few tips to help you use technology as a tool to overcome relationship challenges instead of making them more challenging.

Consider these tips for dealing with arguments through text messages:

  • Understand the risk of misinterpretation. When you receive a message, if it can be taken a couple of ways, clarify the correct meaning from the sender. When you’re sending 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 attention to the conversation. Text messaging can be convenient, but that doesn’t mean that you multitask while sending a text message. It requires as much, if not more, attention than a face-to-face or telephonic conversation.  
  • Wait for a bit, if the conversation is turning into a heated argument. This will help you calm down and collect your thoughts and ideas. However, let the other person know that you’ll resume the conversation in sometime, otherwise you run the risk of creating a bigger misunderstanding or conflict.
  • Be aware of your tone. Even an argument through text messages can be affected by the tone of your words. Some words carry more intense emotional connotations than others. Be aware that use of capital letters implies that you are screaming t the other person.
  • Consider the impact of emojis. 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. Be careful not to overuse them, or use them as a substitute for words.
  • Avoid personal attacks. Avoid starting your sentences with ‘You did/ you are’ statements. Stick to ‘I feel/ I think’ statements instead. It’s not possible to take back a sent text message that hurts your partner or friend. These words can destroy relationships and make it difficult to recover for both of you. Use of the ‘delete message for all’ feature on Whatsapp can still create a rift.

Try to move to a different mode, such as telephone or video call, if meeting in person is not an option. Suggest parking the conversation until then. Be responsible enough to initiate the conversation when you connect on the alternate medium, rather than sweeping it under the carpet.

Were these tips helpful? Do let us know!

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