Body language can say it all
Have you ever had one of those lengthy text fights that go nowhere? You are not alone. I work with many couples in relationship counseling that get caught in text fighting. Cell phones provide quick and convenient communication through text messaging, yet couples fall into a downward spiral of text fighting.
Dr. Albert Mehrabian reports in his book Silent Messages that the majority of communication is through body language and tone of voice, not what is said. He calls it the “7%-38%-55% Rule.” Fifty-five percent of other people’s reactions to you are based on your facial expression, 38% based on your tone of voice, and only 7% of their reaction are from the words you are actually saying. Communication is more than words. Addressing relationship problems through text messaging relies only on the 7% of what is being said, which requires the other 93% to be guessed. Text fighting is usually a road to disaster and doesn’t help resolve conflict.
Next time you catch yourself picking up your phone to text fight, write down your thoughts on the convenient notepad in your cell phone. Address the issue in person to avoid guessing the tone of voice and body language.
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653