Coronavirus has undoubtedly taken a toll on everyone's relationships. A lot of us sit at home and have no physical communication. Instead, we text people all day to keep communication alive. This kind of communication comes with its negatives, one of them being that it is much easier to get into an unproductive fight.
It is difficult to make proper sense of text fights, which makes them drawn-out and tiring in the end. Most of the time, text fights end up getting complicated and damaging our relationships, so it's best to avoid them no matter what. Here's how to avoid having text fights at all costs:
1. Avoid Using One-Word Responses
Don't act like you're surprised about this one. We all know how one-word responses make us feel. It makes us feel insignificant, unvalued, and humiliated, especially if you're a sensitive teenager like me. While I understand that you might be busy during the day and unable to send long, meaningful responses, it's always better to wait and send a more sincere text later than instantaneously sending one-word replies.
2. Double-Check Your Text
While I'm not saying that you should overthink every text, If you feel like the situation is getting tense, it's best not to let your nervous system take over your mind and lash out at the person over text. Remember, attacking someone over text is going to be futile for dealing with your problems. Also, the text you send will automatically be stored in the text history forever, which might cause more problems in the future. Instead, try to breathe slowly and calm your nerves. When you draft a text, make sure to double-check it. Re-read the text to edit, delete, or add more to it.
3. Don't Use Sarcasm
Sure, as a teen, it's almost impossible not to use sarcasm on a day-to-day basis. However, you have to realize that even when you intend it to be humorous, it can turn out to be more offensive and hurtful than amusing. As I mentioned before, it's difficult to tell someone's emotions via only text messages. Sarcasm is no less incomprehensible so try to avoid using it. If you're joking and you absolutely want to use sarcasm, try adding an emoji that will blatantly tell them so. Otherwise, you might seem a little passive-aggressive.
4. Pay More Attention to Your Punctuation
You may think misplacing a period or not putting a question mark at the end of a sentence is not a big deal, but you have to realize that those simple mistakes may cost you a lot.
Ending a text with a period makes it seem like you want to stop texting altogether, which can seem super harsh.
Putting too many exclamation points at the end of a sentence makes it look like you're yelling and trying to be imperative.
5. Don't Ignore Their Texts
Don't try to pretend you've never stared at your screen, waiting for your crush or your friend to respond. If you're busy, then it is OK to respond to the text later. However, if you're online and actively posting new pictures on Instagram, they will notice this. You will make them think that you do not value them, which will lead to them fighting with you.
6. Don't Text Too Often
I know you miss your friends a lot. You might not even like always being around your family and want to escape them like an average teen. Texting with a friend can help you elude your family, but you have to set a limit. Try to avoid texting someone all day long, as the process will make you both feel inundated. Stop always checking on them via texting. Try to use texting for only simple kinds of communication: catching up on some news, sending important information, sending a few sweet texts, etc.
7. Address Problems in Person
If a problem is anything but trivial, it is necessary to avoid texting about it on your phone. Using something that is supposed to be for quick and easy communication to tackle profound problems will not do you any good. If you want to tackle problems, it's always best to do so in face-to-face communication. Meet up with the person and try to discuss your feelings in-person. This way, it'll be much easier to explain your side of the situation, including your feelings and actions.
8. If You Can't Address the Problems, End Text Communication
If all else fails and you're still unable to resolve the issues, it's best to stop communicating altogether and try to move on with your life until you're able to do something about it.
You Got This
These tips will help you avoid getting into any worthless text fights with your loved ones and other acquaintances. Remember, text fights are most likely going to end up being ineffective. Also, we need to be kind, compassionate, and caring now, more than ever. Don't beat yourself if you can't sustain a relationship, though. Value the people who continue to love you and care for you no matter what. Stay optimistic for the future!