Texting is convenient, fast, easy. None of all that "Hi" and "Cheers!" stuff to deal with.
But it's destructive for our relationships, writes psychotherapist Ira Israel in this hilarious and wise blog:
Text messaging is an absolutely terrible means of communicating emotions, WITH THE POSSIBLE EXCEPTION OF TEXTING ALL IN CAPITAL LETTERS with the possible exception of texting in all capital letters (a.k.a. “shouting”)—LOL!— DUH!—sideways smiley faces and multiple exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!....
Texting is quick and easy, but it's devoid of emotion, connection, context, and closeness.
It's terrain that's ripe for misinterpretation and hurt.
I worked with a bride who told me that she and her fiance texted more than 100 times a day, often fighting with each other via text. Some minor problem between them in the morning would escalate into an all-day text argument.
"That's way too much texting," I said, bluntly. "Put the phones away while you are at work, and wait until you get home to talk the problem through."
She didn't like that suggestion much.
Despite her reaction, I've made it not exactly a rule, but a very strong suggestion to all the brides I work with:
No important conversations over text.
Pass info only.
I've seen brides be hurt by texts, have destructive fights with their fiances, families, and closest friends. All of which could be avoided by face-to-face or at least phone contact.
I'm not the only psychotherapist seeing this in their practice. Writes Israel:
I have witnessed the destruction of countless patients’ important relationships by miscommunications caused by texting and what I refer to as “subtexting.
So, decrease the drama in your texting life.
Just pass info. And dive into the complexity that is our intimate human relationships.
These brides contacted me because they felt anxious and alone in their struggles.
Anxious and alone because the world expected them to be only "brides" -- only excited, only happy, only thinking about dresses and shoes and aisle runners.
These pressures and expectations didn't match their own inner emotional experiences, which were rich, deep, and lifechanging. In our work together, each of these brides could be their complex, "unbridely" selves, as they made sense of the very real changes their impending marriages caused them to face.
I'm happy to say that, across the board, without exception, all 7 brides successfully worked through their issues. Each and every bride has reported back to me about the happiness and joy they felt on their wedding days. Most couldn't believe they had traveled such a distance, emotionally, from where we first started. At the beginning of our work, they couldn't envision a happy wedding day, they were so wrapped up in their angst and pain.
And yet, as one bride just told me during her FREE post-wedding download session:
"Our wedding was phenomenal. The whole thing. Emotionally, I was calmer than I expected to be -- nothing was going to get me down -- and I was surprised at how choked up I got saying my vows. It was amazing and so satisfying to see all the million tiny details that I worked so hard on, sweated over, and fought for, come to life. It was perfect."
If you see yourself in any of these 7 brides, or if you are feeling anxious and alone, pressured to be a "perfect bride" and not your complete, complex self, contact me for a free 15-minute Skype consultation. For these 7 brides, working with me -- having a place in their lives to be "unbridely" -- allowed them to be real, delve deep, grow, learn and come out the other side happy and ready to be married.
If you'd like that too, please, be in touch.