It’s occurring more and more frequently, and it’s causing a lot of people distress. It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s popular, and it can be all consuming.
It’s texting, and people are using text messaging as a substitution for real conversation and it is causing HUGE challenges in relationships.
Texting has become such a popular way of connecting with people, venting, or expressing oneself that for some, normal verbal communication via phone or face to face has become secondary and even uncomfortable.
I’m witnessing text messaging effects every day in my practice and offering up divorce tips on this. Not only from having patients having to interrupt sessions to text a response to someone, but also bringing in their cell phones to share with me texts that have gone back and forth between themselves and others trying to decipher the code and interpret the meaning of the words in the message.
Text messages get lost in translation so to speak because the sender has one thing in mind that they are trying to express, but the receiver sees the words in the message through their own filter, and makes an interpretation of the message
Unfortunately, these two things, the senders intention, and the receivers interpretation of the text message often don’t match, and the seed of a miscommunication begins.
Beyond that, there is always the possibility that the person actually typing a text to you is not even the person you think it is. Don’t be surprised, I have seen this happen many times where someone else will grab the phone, craft a response and hit send.
When it comes to important emotional issues regarding your family going through a divorce, I strongly suggest not texting sensitive communications.
When you read a text message, it’s almost like you can hear the senders voice in your head as you read the words. Depending on how you are interpreting those words, you’ll assign a tone to them, and that tone can either lift you, upset you, or have neutral meaning based on your interpretation of the tone you think they were written in.
Words can affect your energy with your kids.
For example, let’s say you’re with your children at dinner at a restaurant and a text message comes in. Maybe it contains some words that are being expressed from the other end that you interpret negatively. Your reaction to those words can completely shift the energy and the mood of your dinner that you’re having with your children.
One of my first divorce tips to avoid reactions like that is to put the cell phones away when you are spending time with your children. For awhile, just be present with one another and enjoy the live conversation that you have together.
This is an important concept and not just for those going through divorce. Children model what we do. By you handling emotional topics face to face or over the phone with a real person and a real voice, your children will learn the value of that and do the same.
Dr. SueAnne Magyar-Hill
Founder of Empowering Children of Divorce
Ambassador of Children and Divorce HowToLiveOnPurpose.com
P.S. Speaking of communications…
What one way of communicating do you think has the most chance of staying in someones memory for a lifetime? The answer is here.