6 Reasons Why Texting Hurts Relationships and 2 Tools To Help

6 Reasons Why Texting Hurts Relationships and 2 Tools To HelpWe are constantly texting, texting, texting!  Below I offer 6 reasons why texting can hurt your various relationships. Plus I offer 2 tools to help you get your texting addiction better under control.

Reminder: Your phone has replaced your watch, camera, calendar and alarm clock! Please don’t let your phone replace your friends and family!

6 ways texting is ruining relationships

1. Texting often leads to miscommunication.

6 Reasons Why Texting Is Hurting Your Relationships and 2 Tools To HelpTexting is a brilliant way to miscommunicate how you feel and misinterpret what other people mean.

After all, there is only so much that an “eggplant emoticon” can do to offer the right nuance to your words.

In particular, edgy humor and sarcasm are often wrongly misinterpreted.

Plus, the expression of one’s deeper, more serious feelings can often be completely missed within a long text thread.

Then there’s the confusion which a vague text can bring.

2. Texting can save time  – but it can’t replace the substance and connection of meeting in person.

6 Reasons Why Texting Is Hurting Your Relationships and 2 Tools To HelpBasically, “non-verbal communication” – like your facial expression, eye contact, tone of voice and body language – are very important when it comes to truly connecting with someone in a deep, meaningful way.

Plus there are “non-verbal cues” you miss out.

For example, you cannot…

  • intuitively tell when to stop talking.
  • know if you need to push someone to talk further about something which is on their mind. 
  • tell when a conversation is totally over. If you were talking by phone or meeting up in person, there’s always a natural end to a conversation.

6 Reasons Why Texting Is Hurting Your Relationships and 2 Tools To HelpWith texting, you can ping pong back and forth for a long time. Then eventually not know if their pong requires another ping. 

Plus, if you want the conversation to continue, you might not know if it’s okay to text someone “two pings” in a row – if they have not texted a pong in a while.

All of these helpful “social cues” and  “intuitions” only happen when you hear someone’s voice on the phone. Or when you see someone face-to-face in person.

3. Texting doesn’t replace talking by phone.

6 Reasons Why Texting Is Hurting Your Relationships and 2 Tools To HelpWhen you text with someone, you miss out on hearing the inflection of each of your voices – and inflection always communicates an extra level of meaning and connection.

In fact, sometimes even hearing the words “Hey there!” from someone you love can speak volumes of meaning. You can tell from a simple “Hey there!” if the person is in a good mood – or if they are tired because they skipped breakfast.

Plus, when you’re texting, you can’t really know if someone finds your humor as funny as you do! Was their “lol,” “Haha” or “laughing emoticon” for real – or was it just a polite response?

On top of this, one of the best sounds in life (even better than what you’re listening to on Spotify right now) is the sound of someone’s laughter.

6 ways texting is ruining relationships of all kinds...4. Often texting can be a time sucking activity – which stops you from being present in the moment.

Often when texting begins, it’s hard to stop. It can thereby prevent you from being fully present with what you’re supposed to be focused on!

All too often I’ve seen people out to dinner – ignoring each other- while they text to someone else on their phone!

I’ve also seen people at their child’s talent show – missing out on their child’s awesome hip hop dancing – because they’re busy chit chatting with someone by text.

5. People Hide Behind Texts

6 Reasons Why Texting Is Hurting Your Relationships and 2 Tools To HelpUnfortunately people often use texting as a method to hide their uncomfortable feelings.

They choose to text rather than meet up in person to share about deeply important issues.

Worst yet – there is the dreaded “argument text” – when people go on a major “text attack!” rather than talk face to face.

Unfortunately, conflicts can escalate far more quickly by text than in person – because you can misinterpret words or miss out on loving nuances.

All of this can then eventually lead to the ultimate mis-use of texting: the dreaded “break up text.” (You can read more about this in an article here.)

6 Reasons Why Texting Is Hurting Your Relationships and 2 Tools To Help6. Waiting for a text can ruin your whole day.

Thanks to texting, ignoring people is easier than ever.

Granted, there are many reasons why your text might go unanswered – but more often than not, we can wind up choosing the most hurtful interpretation.

Meanwhile, back in “The Land of Face-to-Face Meet Ups,” you’d never suffer from this issue. 

When you’re having an in person conversation, the other person cannot simply ignore you.

They must respond.

Basically, this means that whenever you agree to text with someone, you are simultaneously agreeing to give this person the power to ruin your entire day – because at any point in your texting, they might choose to not respond! Ouch! 

This is especially hurtful if you wind up checking their social media – and see that they’re doing something fun – without you!

Plus, if you have an iPhone, you can actually see when the other person reads your text – and know they are purposefully choosing to not answer you. 

To add insult to text injury, often when the other person eventually does text you back, they say something like, “Hey there, sorry, I didn’t see your text!” You will know this is a lie – and it will harm your relationship.

Or…conversely…you might be the person who is choosing not to text back – because you’re busy doing something else. Or you want to take your time to respond at your best. Chances are you will feel uncomfortable for delaying a response. As a result, you might respond too quickly – and in a way you wish you hadn’t.

Basically, texting commands an urgency to respond.

And this urgency can bring with it many problems.

With all this in mind, let’s take a quick moment to remember why we all want authentic, deep emotional connections in the first place!

Why We Want Authentic, Deep Emotional Connections…

One of the best feelings in the world is the feeling of being understood by someone – who you also simultaneously understand.

In many ways, the words “I love you” actually mean “I get you.”

6 Reasons Why Texting Is Hurting Your Relationships and 2 Tools To HelpIn fact, studies show that when people are on their death beds, and they look back on their lives, what matters most to them are the deep emotional connections shared with others.

An authentic and deep relationship with someone can double the good times, halve the bad times – and make your life a more fulfilling place to be.

Guess what?

Research also supports that deep emotional connection with others bring us our deepest happiness.

  • Tom Rath, a Gallup researcher, reports that if you feel close to other people, you are four times more likely to feel good about yourself and life.
  • “Friendships are among the most fundamental of human needs,” says Tom Rath. “When we asked people if they would rather have a best friend at work or a 10 percent pay raise, having a friend clearly won.”

So…with this in mind here are…

2 Tools To Help Stop Texting From Ruining Your Relationships

1. It’s not just who you know, it’s how well you know who you know! 

The deeper your emotional connections, the higher the emotional rewards. 

Take some time to honestly answer the following questions: 

  • Are you too focused on how many friends you have, rather than the quality of your friendships? 
  • What is your ratio of texting with someone vs. talking with someone vs. meeting up with someone?  Get honest with yourself! Do you need to do more face-to-face meet up time and/or more voice-to-voice phone time with the people you care about most?
  • How might you increase the joy in your various relationships? What activities might you invite people to do with you – so you can connect on a deeper level?
  • How might you increase the intimacy in your various relationships? What kind of conversations might you start to have more often with people – so you feel truly connected to one another on a deeper level?

Here’s a helpful article about how to deepen your relationships with people – by asking these important 36 questions!

Plus, here’s an article with 7 tips for creating deeper, longer lasting friendships.

Oh, and here’s an article for how to spot emotional unavailable partners – and helpful solutions.

2. Determine who your top 3 treasured people are – and schedule in-person and on-phone time with them.

6 Reasons Why Texting Is Hurting Your Relationships and 2 Tools To Help

Life can get busy. But we tend to find time for things and people when we schedule them in our calendars.

So right now get clear on your top 3 most valued relationships.  Next, schedule times in your calendar to call them and/or meet up with them. Maybe you can schedule a call twice a week at a specific time you know is good for them. And/or pre-schedule a yummy meal with a favorite friend on a consistent day/time – once a month.

In fact – schedule a time right now to connect!

Quick! Think about someone you love – and why you love them! Do it now. Next, seize the dial buttons on your phone. Then seize the day. Call them to tell them why you love them! Plus, make some fun plans  – for the future.

Oh – and 2 important reminders!

  • You do not have to take photos of your meet up with your loved one(s) – and share it all in social media! When you’re with your loved one(s), forget about your phone. Just immerse yourself in the moment.
  • If there’s something important that you’ve been avoiding talking to a loved one about, it’s time to get brave. Open up and share from your heart!

Here’s an article on how to get braver about speaking your truth – so you can enjoy more courageous and intimate conversations with people.

Here’s an article about WHY it’s hard to speak your truth about things – and/or WHY others might find it tough to share openly with you!

Here’s an article about the importance of friendships during challenging times.

Have a friend you love more than free wifi?

Give them a gift of my book: Friends Forever Whatever Wherever!

Think happier. Think calmer.

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