The Argument for Arguing Via Text Message

The Argument for Arguing Via Text Message

“Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.” ~~Mahatma Gandhi

I consider myself a peace-loving person, and I will avoid an argument at all costs in most cases. Still, I’m only human, and sometimes, if I feel strongly enough about a topic, I’ll argue my point. Most of the time, the only people in my life who can provoke me enough to argue on a serious level are people I love. Maybe that’s because I care enough about what they think to try to make them understand my point of view, or maybe it’s because I trust that they’ll still love me when the argument is over…or it could be a little of both.

In any case, because I don’t like to argue (it doesn’t feel good), I do whatever I can to come to an agreeable resolution as quickly as possible. And, being the kind of person I am, I am always looking for ways to make it as painless as possible for all parties involved.

I’ve read all kinds of books and articles and journals on the topic. (I have a slight research fetish, I’ll admit it.) And while I’ve learned plenty of great coping techniques along the way, it all boils down to one basic premise: Effective Communication.

The experts are ultimately in agreement on one thing: if you can effectively communicate your concerns and feelings in a safe environment, free of name calling and excessive anger, you have the best chance at a peaceful resolution–whether you manage to change the mind of your “antagonist” or simply come to an understanding that you can both live with.

So, make your point, make an effort to understand your loved one’s point, and consider each before coming to a mutually agreeable resolution.

Oh, well heck, if we all knew it was so easy–the whole world would be a better place, right?

Yeah, I realize that it’s far more complicated than that–because emotions are involved. And, when it comes to arguing with people you love, the emotions can be understandably more intense than at any other time. Even the most peaceful souls may occasionally find themselves embroiled in heated arguments–the kind that leave a rock in the pit of their stomachs and a lump in their throats.

So what if you could limit the amount of emotion involved, at least during the initial confrontation? What if you could discuss your concerns without screaming or saying things you’d regret later? If you were forced to think before you spoke?

Is that even possible?

Today’s technology offers a surprising solution. These days, almost everyone has a cell phone and the ability to send and receive text messages. So what would happen if you argued via text message?

Arguing via text message? Seriously?

According to a September 2009 tweet from Twitter user @marisberzins, “arguing via text works just about as well as listening to music with your head underwater.”

With all due respect, I strongly disagree.

This morning, my wonderful husband and I had a little argument about some trivial thing (I blame the lack of coffee on my part). And, while we’d normally have spent an hour or two discussing it and coming to a peaceful compromise, this time we decided to try something a little different.

First, we went into separate rooms to allow ourselves to calm down, and then we texted back and forth for a few minutes. Because we were forced to keep our words brief, we quickly got to the meat of the problem and then developed an understanding.

This, without saying things we’d regret or hurting one another’s feelings. Just to the point, honest communication.

When it was all said and done, we understood one another within a few minutes and ended up enjoying a peaceful day.

Don’t Get Me Wrong

I’m not saying you shouldn’t be emotional, and I’m not saying that you shouldn’t share your emotions openly with the people you love. Sometimes, those knock-down drag-out types of arguments have their place in a relationship–maybe they enhance passion, force you to see one another in new ways or help you to release anger or frustration in a safe place.

With that said, the fact is that arguing doesn’t feel good–and your feelings and emotions have a lot to do with what you draw into your life. The more negativity you allow yourself to experience in your life, the more negativity you’ll draw in. So, it would seem logical that, if we must argue, we do so as quickly and effectively as possible. Arguing via text messaging is one way to do just that.

What do you think? Would you ever argue via text message?

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Torture, Smorture: Be Happy Already

Torture, Smorture: Be Happy Already

When I was a teenager, I thought that being a “real” writer/artist type person meant that I had to be tormented, broken somehow. It seemed to me that most of my literary heroes (Plath, Hemingway, etc.) were tortured souls–people who were somehow unfit for this society–and through no fault of their own. As far as I could tell, these genius writers were simply too smart, too sensitive, too deep for the social orders to which they were subjected.

And, as life piled up on me, I was afflicted too. As I focused on being a “tortured artist,” I attracted all sorts of dysfunctional situations into my life. No matter what I did, it seemed like I could never get ahead. I filled notebooks with the story of my self-induced pathetic life and drew more and more negativity into my world.

Of course, at that time, it never occurred to me that I was bringing it all on myself. Nope, I thought, I just can’t handle this world and this world can’t handle me. I really thought that somehow I was so different than every other person walking down the street. No one could possibly understand ME, I thought.

And then, one day, I realized the truth. I’ll be honest–it took a few years. But one day I woke up and recognized that, in my quest to become what I thought was a “real” writer/artist type person–I was basically begging for negativity. Every time I turned around, I EXPECTED the other shoe to fall–and it always did.

Post-impressionist painter Paul Gauguin once lamented, “I am a great artist and I know it. The reason I am great is because of all the suffering I have done.”

I call bullshit on that one. Yep, bullshit. Seems to me that he was great because he was talented and because he wanted to be great. Yeah, he suffered too–but I don’t believe that he picked up his paintbrush and painted several masterpieces as a direct result of it. In fact, I believe that he was a great artist BECAUSE he KNEW that he was.

As for me, I learned the hard way that life doesn’t have to suck. These days, I expect only the best. It works for me. I have learned something since my “tortured artist” days–you don’t have to be miserable to be creative–and quite honestly, misery and success aren’t actually friends. The fact is, while misery loves company, it has no interest in success.

Many creative souls have this misconception–that they must be miserable to be effectively inspired. And, hey, if that works for ya, go for it. But here’s what I know: being miserable sucks. Being happy, on the other hand, feels great. And, I don’t know about you, but I’ll take feelings of elation over feelings of dread any day.

But really, my tortured artist friends…how is that working for you? Does being unhappy really serve a purpose in your endeavors, or do you just think you must be tortured to be legit?

Personally, I think The Collective Inkwell’s Sean Platt had it right.

“I never understood the image of the pained and tortured writer, tearing clumps from their hairline as they face the impossible foe of filling the page, pulling sentences from their minds like ore from the deepest corners of a mineshaft,” he wrote.”Creativity is a garden that only grows with nutrients in the soil and sunlight in the sky. Ideas are seeds, eager to spread and germinate deep within a fertile mind. The best method to finding your best writer is to practice your craft. Complaints not included.”

So often, we feel that we need to fit into a certain mold–ironically, of course, considering that most tortured artists consider themselves outsiders–when in reality, they’re just conforming to the expectations they think society has for them.

Of course, by now you recognize that today’s post isn’t just for my fellow writers. Nope, it’s for each and every one of you. From the harried mom who never gets a minute to herself to the overworked executive who isn’t even sure what his wife looks like anymore, and all the way to the rebellious teenager who is sure his parents are dumb as a box of rocks–it’s all the same. In our efforts to exist as individuals, most of us have, at one time or another, fallen into some society-driven pattern or another. Yeah, these are stereotypes–but think on it a minute. Don’t you know someone who falls in to at least one of those categories?

Let me get to the bottom line here.

I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again.  YOU GET WHAT YOU EXPECT. As you think, so you become. Your perception becomes your reality. And hey, you don’t have to believe little old me–just remember what author William James said: “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”

Good stuff, no?

Today, I ask you to challenge any stereotypes that society places on you. Change your mind. Begin to see (and be) the person you want to be, the life you want to have–and then believe it’s all yours. Watch as your life changes along with your mind–and be amazed. Be happy, my friends. It really is all in your perception.

What do you think?

Inspired Action: How to Get Everything You Want

Updated: Oct. 11, 2020. Originally Written Jan. 8, 2010*

You must act as if it is impossible to fail. ~Ashanti Proverb

As we pursue our fulfillment, some of us find ourselves so focused on the long-term goals that we decide we’ll be happy when we meet them. In fact, many of us are willing to suffer in order to achieve our ultimate desires–but I’m here to tell you a little secret.

You suffer because you want to suffer.

It’s harsh, right? I know.

But here’s the thing. If you truly believe that you must suffer, or that you will suffer, in order to make your goals a reality…then you will. It’s as simple as that. And, unfortunately, you may never meet those goals–because focusing on suffering will only beget more of it.

Try being grateful and happy for those things you already have instead. Decide what you want, and decide it’s yours. Own it, claim it–feel the feelings of having it. Be grateful for it–because it belongs to you, even if you can’t see it yet. Remember, you are what you think. Think happy thoughts, literally, and be grateful for the good things in your life–by doing so, you draw more happiness and more reasons to be grateful into your life.

So am I telling you that you don’t need to work to make your dreams come to fruition? Nope. Just that you need to take inspired action–and inspired action, though it may technically be work sometimes, never feels like work.

For example, a couple of months ago, I realized my freelance writing business had outgrown the tiny corner of the living room it had resided in for the past five years. I needed walls, shelves and a door.

So, I put it out there to the Universe. I wanted it. I asked for it, and I knew it would be mine. And, inspired action led me to speak to and coordinate all the right people for the job–and while this might have felt like an overwhelming task for any other project, it felt exciting and fun for this one. Inspired action doesn’t feel overwhelming–it feels good and right.

And when certain people questioned my intentions and the ability I had to get the job done–I didn’t falter. I knew I wanted it and I kept my eye on the prize. I didn’t even know all the details and how they would get taken care of–but I didn’t care. I knew that everything would work out and that I would in fact have my office. The Universe would take care of the details.

The day the guys came over to build the room, I stood with them. I did anything I could to make things easier for them, and I did it joyfully. I refilled staple guns, held drywall, carried wood and supplies. I was their Girl Friday, really, and I didn’t mind one single bit. I was just so happy and grateful that they were there, doing something to help me achieve one of my ultimate goals: a dedicated office. I told them so all day.

Even though I was freezing most of the day and even though I broke a couple of well-manicured nails, I didn’t complain. (And neither did the wonderful men who helped me.) I was just so happy to be getting my office that none of the little things mattered.

So why am I telling you about my office?

You Can’t Just Wish and Wait.

Inspired action is necessary if you’re going to get what you want. It was something I wanted, something I needed. I had to work for it, and how–but it didn’t feel like work. Every step I took in making it happen was an inspired action.

And, I was happy the entire time. From the moment I decided I would have it, I kept my focus on what I wanted, and I got it. By keeping my positive attitude, I was able to manifest one of my true divine desires–my office.

What was my alternative? Well, I could have complained that no one would help me, that it would cost too much, that it was too much work to prepare the space–too much work to actually build the room–and then where would I be?

I would still be sitting in that tiny corner of my living room, wishing I had an office.

When you’re ready to move toward getting what you want, imagine climbing a mountain. Your goal waits for you at the top–and you can struggle and fight to get there if you want to. But as for me, I like to look up the mountain, and I keep smiling, feeling the feelings of already having climbed it.

Fact is, happiness isn’t just something you find at the top of the mountain (when your goal has been met.) As you climb, notice and be grateful for the flowers and the trees, the sky and the ground below your feet. Find it along the way, in the details, in the beauty of it all–and you’ll soon realize that you’re already at the top. You’ll find that, though you made the climb, it didn’t hurt–you’re not out of breath, and you feel empowered.

That, my friends, is inspired action.

So how about you? Do you have a goal or desire bouncing around in your head today? My challenge to you today is to claim it and know it’s yours. The rest will come. What do you think?

*Oct. 11, 2020 Update: I didn’t always know that I was writing for narcissistic abuse survivors. I would begin to understand within a year of writing this post that this is what I was dealing with – but this is how I worked through my stuff before fully understanding what I had experienced. Even though I understood what narcissistic personality disorder was at this time and was beginning to figure out how it had affected my life, I was still in contact with one narcissist in my life. This was sort of my work-around to dealing with the issues that I didn’t understand I had at that time – if that makes any sense. I had not yet really even begun to heal from narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships

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