Duchess Digest: Text Appeal

text-etiquetteI am a firm believer and huge advocate of text messages. But like any of the great things in this life (my greats include gelato, champagne, chocolate, travel and handsome bearded men) what makes it wonderful is moderation.

I think we all need to agree to a code of ethics on texting. For example you should return the medium in which a message was sent. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. If I call and leave you a voicemail, you better not text me back (unless it’s to say “At work call you in an hour”). I find the text return of a call to be the cardinal sin of texting.

Also, texting is great for quick messages, directions, little notes during work, sending friends and lovers a quick “I love you” and any other casual correspondence. Texting is not for breaking up with someone, explaining any kind of feelings with any degree of complexity, a sole source of communication with a person or having difficult conversations.

When you’re at work or waiting in a public place where a phone call would be inappropriate or rude to those around you; I’m all about sending a text. However, when you need to confront a difficult situation with someone, I am of the opinion that texting is total b.s. We grow our character by facing challenging situations. Having a discussion about your feelings, the state of a relationship (whether with a man or a friend) or expressing yourself in any way that could possibly be misinterpreted
through text is ultimately disrespectful and a cheap cop-out.

So how do you know whether it’s okay to text and when you should buck up and call? Let’s go back to our childhood days and think of the sage cricket guide of Pinocchio; one Jiminy Cricket. In Jiminey’s wise words, “Always let your conscious be your guide.” One great way I’ve discovered
to tell whether I’m avoiding a difficult conversation and taking the texting cowardly lion approach when the respect and courage of a phone call is required is to do a gut check. If the thought of picking up the phone has your stomach churning and your terror level rising to orange, it probably means you need to call. In other words, it’s a tough situation, and texting is not respectful to the other person and isn’t building your character.

Part of communication is learning to engage in both the challenging and the rewarding talks. It’s learning to kindly, respectfully and effectively explain where you’re coming from to another person. If the gut check isn’t enough to motivate you, then think of the old golden rule of “do unto others.” How would you feel if the situation were reversed? Would you appreciate the courage and respect of a phone call? Would you feel less than zero being broken up with by a text? Remember to flex your growth muscles, muster the courage and do unto others as you’d have texted unto you.

–Jill Brown

Jill Brown is a Los Angeles, California-based life coach and writer. She earned her Bachelors in Humanities and Sociology from USU and is a member of the National Association for Conflict Resolution and the Ladies Who Launch Network. She is the founder of “The Duchess Guide” a website dedicated to helping women become their most fabulous and unique selves. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, traveler and health nut. When she isn’t writing or working on Duchess, Jill loves spending all her free time with her Labrador – Betty. For more on The Duchess Guide or Jill visit: www.theduchessguide.com


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