One of the fastest ways to escalate (or in some cases create) an issue is to use technology to communicate instead of speaking in-person or via phone whenever our feelings are hurt, we are angry or not clear on something. I have definitely been guilty of having an ENTIRE conversation in my head (unbeknownst to the other party), jumping (Olympic high jump to be exact) to conclusions and then sending a barrage of text messages which results in the recipient looking at their phone and thinking WTF just happened???!!!! *sigh*
It is so easy to misread tone, humor, etc. via technology, especially if:
- The relationship is new and both parties do not know each other’s humor or communication style,
- You are unaware of your emotional triggers and/or
- If you misread the message.
My recommendation is whenever you ‘feel some type of way’ follow these steps as a preventative damage control technique:
Immediately STEP AWAY FROM YOUR GADGET!
Ask yourself, ‘Do I think Person A is trying to intentionally hurt me?’ If No – possible misunderstanding; if Yes – why are you interacting with someone who you believe would intentionally hurt you?
Take a few moments (or an hour) to calm down
Call the person and say, ‘Hi. Are you available to chat about the most recent message you sent? I think I may have misinterpreted it.
The issue is when you respond from a wounded place, oftentimes you are in defense mode and this is where hurtful things are said and assumptions are made. Although your emotional wounds are a part of your journey, your emotional wounds cannot lead your journey for the wounded perspective is skewed and as a result your vision is obscured.
Healthy relationship consist of a space where both parties feel emotionally safe to have open honest conversations. Each exchange and experience is an opportunity to learn more about each other and self. Be extra gentle with each other in the beginning when you are co-creating a new ‘We’ space, there is so much to learn about each other. Remember this is a new space, he is not your Ex who broke your heart and she is not the woman who betrayed you. Clean slate. Beginnings. – Misha N. Granado, MPH, MS