In defense of texting while you’re mad
5 ways it can actually make your arguments better
You may have heard the common wisdom that texting when you’re mad is like grocery shopping when you’re hungry—just not a good idea. Now, obviously, if you’re going to lose your sh*t and go on a tirade via text, that’s not going to help anything. But we actually think there are ways that texting during a fight, if it’s done right, can help get it resolved.
(Disclaimer: We’re talking about healthy arguments here. Things should never get physical, nor should your partner try to control you. Read more about healthy relationships here.)
1. You can be vulnerable more easily
Sometimes, when you’re in the heat of the moment, it can be hard to get beneath a feeling of anger to the actual feelings you’re having. Allowing yourself to feel sadness, for example, can be a really vulnerable experience, and for some people it’ll be easier to get there without being in the same space as your partner.
2. You can take breaks if you get too upset
One of the best things you can do in an argument is walk away when you need to. It’s definitely possible to take breaks during arguments IRL, and we hope that everyone does, but it’s infinitely easier when you’re communicating over text. There’s less of an expectation for the other person to respond immediately when you’re texting than when you’re having an in-person conversation, which takes some pressure off.
3. You can be in your own safe space
Never underestimate the power of a soothing environment that you’re in control of. Have you ever been in the middle of an argument and felt an overpowering need to flee the scene? That’s your flight response kicking in. If you’re arguing via text, you can be in an environment that’s more in your control. You can light a candle, you can get under the covers, you can make yourself a snack—whatever will help you feel safe and calm.
4. You can think before you talk!
Probably the best way to get through an argument (and life) with the least regret afterwards is to think before you talk. Even taking thirty seconds before responding can give you a chance to ask the question, “Is it helpful for me to say this?” Because if not, it’s probably a good idea not to say it.
5. You can keep a record of how right you were to show your therapist
We’re definitely just kidding about this one.
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