What to do if a smartphone destroys a relationship? It is difficult to communicate with a loved one when he is not interested in you, but in the social media feed. He may say that he is listening to you, and even sometimes respond to your words. However, the nasty feeling that you are neglected does not disappear from this.
To a large extent, the fears are justified. Phubbing – the so-called neglect of a partner in favor of the phone – can really ruin communication and even lead to a break. Here’s what you need to know to keep your phone from becoming a personal bone of contention.
Phubbing hurts both
A psychologist at Stanford and Yale Universities Emma Seppala notes that initially, the partner who is on the phone does not want to show his beloved that he neglects him. As a rule, people want to keep in touch with their smartphones not only with their soul mates, but also with online friends. Most often, this leads to the fact that his relations with those who are nearby deteriorate, and the craving for the real world also disappears. So, researchers Elizabeth Dunn and Ryan Dwyer noticed in 2018 that cafe visitors who spent all their time with their phones in their hands got less pleasure from communicating with satellites and felt the taste of food worse.
A person who is forced to endure an interlocutor with a smartphone naturally felt abandoned and abandoned. In 2012, British scientists found that even the sight of a phone on the table is enough for respondents to understand that they are clearly not as interesting as a gadget. A study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior in 2016 confirms that texting during a live conversation makes the conversation less pleasant – even if all the friends are actively listening and talking.
In a word, the smartphone affects both the one who does not put off the device and his loved one. However, leaving a habit is not easy.
Phone addiction is contagious
Dunn and Dwyer compare phubbing to a domino effect. As soon as one participant in the conversation picks up a smartphone, others will soon do the same. Because of this, communication between people is lost, which increases the risk of depression. In 2015, Baylor University researchers found that when both partners prefer their phones over a live contact, they don’t feel loved. Against this background, they want to communicate less with each other.
Phubbing is common
Healthline experts note that in 2015, a third of people experienced “telephone neglect” at least 2-3 times a day. Now the number of people who are forgotten in favor of the phone is growing. For example, sexologist Elena Tretyakova cites the following statistics on her blog:
- 46% of people experience phubbing all the time;
- 22% conflict against this background;
- 36% note that phubbing makes you sad and even leads to depressive thoughts;
- only 32% are satisfied with relationships in which there are not only partners, but also a telephone.
You can and should work with phubbing
To begin with, it is worth understanding why one partner is always on the phone. Often stress is to blame. Members of the Australian organization Stop Phubbing note that this habit is characteristic of people with an anxious type of attachment. They are overly concerned about how things are going at work and what is going on in their relationships, and often seek solace in their smartphones. Doomscrolling – the incessant reading of the news – helps them take their minds off their problems. Sometimes anxious interlocutors can simply flip through and update feeds in social networks, using them as a pop-it.
Next, you should sort out your feelings: most of all, phubbing offends those whose love language consists of the time spent and quality communication with a partner. If it is important for you to stay on the same wavelength with your loved one and know that he is actively listening to you, then most likely you are one of those who do not like it when a companion is on the phone.
Pay attention to how you feel in those moments. You may be angry or feeling frustrated. It also happens that people who are fabbed withdraw into themselves and stop communicating with smartphone addicts. All these states are natural and do not need to be hidden. When you understand what exactly you do not like in communicating with a partner, tell him about it. Perhaps he really does not see anything wrong with the habit and does not understand how much it hurts. Do not forget to listen to your loved one – he may need help or advice on how to deal with his anxiety. Invite him to do breathing exercises or at least just talk out – this also helps to cope with stress.
Finally, discuss situations in which the two of you should avoid using your phones frequently. Some do not take their smartphones into the kitchen with them and declare the dining table an electronics-free zone. This helps people focus on food and communication with loved ones. If you have nothing to talk about or you feel uncomfortable – directly tell each other about it. Perhaps you will find what it is related to and deal with the general problem.
Someone puts down their phones during a walk or a joint trip, being distracted by them in case of urgent need. There are also those who put their smartphones to the other side of the room before going to bed. In a word, look for at least an hour a day for an active conversation, in which you will definitely not choose phones to the detriment of loved ones.
How to understand that you are the one who cannot live without a phone?
People may not notice their problems until it’s too late. You can understand that you are the same interlocutor who sits at any party with a phone by paying attention to the following signs.
You find it hard not to reply to messages
It seems that a terrible thing will happen without you: your boss will call you right away, changes will come at work, you will need help from online friends, or a new episode of the series that you have been waiting for so long will appear.
Do you like to have multiple conversations at once?
Fabbers prefer to talk to one person in person and chat with another along the way. He rarely manages to have a quality conversation with everyone at once, but he tries.
It’s important for you to stay up to date
To do this, you can take the phone to the bedroom, to the kitchen and even to the bathroom. Otherwise, not just anxiety arises, as in the first case, but a full-fledged fear of lost profits.
Dealing with smartphone addiction is easier than you think. The main thing is to get used to the fact that an hour or two of ignoring messages is unlikely to lead to disaster, a new series can be watched at any time, but restoring the trust of a loved one is not so easy. If giving up your smartphone is causing withdrawal symptoms, try a digital detox.
Do not forget that phubbing can indicate severe anxiety, so the main thing here is to work not only with the symptoms, but also with the root cause. Sometimes people with a lot of stress need a zone where they can calmly experience their emotions, or the opportunity to have a good rest. What to do if a smartphone destroys a relationship?