Fighting in person is definitely easier to deal with than arguing during a video chat or via text because technology only makes things more complicated. If you’re not self-isolating with your partner but you find yourself arguing from afar, here’s how to cope.
Don’t shut it down.
If you’re in the middle of a stressful argument, it might be tempting to want to switch off your WiFi/data so that the video chat, or fight, dies. Don’t do this. It’s the equivalent of walking out of the room. It’s rude.
Suggest a moment to breathe.
Sometimes the best thing to do in a real-life fight is to stop and take a breather. This could be taking five minutes away from each other to collect your thoughts and prevent saying something you’ll later regret. You should do the same thing if you’re having a heated moment via text or video. In fact, you don’t even have to suggest it to your partner if you’re texting each other. Just leave your phone on read for a few minutes so you can return in a more cool-headed way.
The problem with not being in the same room as your partner is that you could have distractions in the room you’re in when you’re talking to your partner via video. Make sure you turn off the TV and put your phone on silent so your phone’s not crashing your conversation and choose a private area in the room or apartment so you can’t be disturbed. Nothing worse than something interrupting you when you’re in the middle of a fight.
Pick up the phone.
Sometimes having an argument over the phone is much better than via text. You can hear each other’s tone and it makes it easier to get your thoughts across than if you have to type everything.
Don’t forget about eye contact.
You might think that just because you’re seeing each other on video chat that you’re arguing in a more productive way than via text, but are you making eye contact? Make sure you are by setting your camera so that it’s as close to where you’d be looking at your screen. This will ensure you and your partner will be more connected.
Avoid late-night chats.
If something’s on your mind, you might want to settle it right away. This can be a healthy thing to do, but it’s not a good idea if it’s late at night, you’re exhausted, or you’re angry. The convenience of having a text or video chat can lead to complications. Rather wait until you feel calmer and more alert.
If all else fails, put it on hold.
While it sucks to go to bed with the fight unresolved, sometimes the best thing you can do for your relationship is to put the argument on pause and decide to continue it when you see each other. Unless, of course, you won’t be able to see each other for a while, in which case you’ll have to try to power through it. This is when a five-minute break can come in handy!
Tell them how you feel.
To prevent misunderstandings when arguing via text, make sure that you focus on how you feel, such as by starting a message by saying, “When you do X, I feel Y.” This can help to get your message across and prevent explosive situations.
Skip the emojis.
Following from the above point, now’s not the time to send an angry-faced emoji to express how you feel. That’s lazy and can lead to nothing getting resolved.
Stick to what the problem is.
Whether you’re fighting IRL or in the virtual realm, it’s always important to focus on what’s bugging you – instead of bringing up issues from the past. When you focus on what’s going on in the present time, you can work better on resolving things and prevent the argument from getting blown out of proportion.
Have a good connection.
You want to avoid technology issues when you’re having a heated chat, so make sure you’re in a place where the WiFi signal is strong and you have enough data to get you through. You don’t need the drama of screwed-up connections!
Just because you might feel more in control when arguing over text, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to what your partner is saying. Same goes for video chats. Yes, you might feel more confident to tell it to them straight because you’re chatting to them via a screen, but that doesn’t mean you can interrupt them or talk over them. Fight fair!
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