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Good communicating via text = not easy.
Old 02-11-2019, 11:12 AM   #1
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Good communicating via text = not easy.

I somehow ended up having an unplanned discussion with a long time friend's wife via text last weekend. I very seldom communicate with her, and when I do, it is always a very light conversation.

They are struggling with some financial issues, and I was attempting to encourage her, and (this is bad) I also gave her my damn unsolicited advice.

I think I can confirm, she did not want to hear any advice from me on this topic. She totally went off on me. Wow.

I tend to not like conflict, and I value my long time friendships. All I could do is apologize, and tell her my intentions were not bad. She kind of mellowed out on her reply back.

Note: My friend has mentioned several times in the last year that his wife has been getting mad at him, so it isn't just me.

My comments and conclusions from this interaction:
- Stay out of other people's business, don't give out unrequested advice, especially if you consider them a friend that you want to keep.
- Texting doesn't show emotion or concern, so it is easy for your comments to be interpreted differently from your intentions.
- I reread my comments, and concluded that they were very mild, so I think she just took the open opportunity to chew me out. I can safely say that I think less of her now, and it will be a long time before I have any extensive communication with her on any topic. So damage was done both ways. Not good.
- I do suspect this would not have happened in person. Even if she didn't like what I said, I suspect she would have been less nasty stating her objections.

Thanks for listening to my rambling. JP
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:19 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by JP.mpls View Post
My comments and conclusions from this interaction:
- Stay out of other people's business, don't give out unrequested advice, especially if you consider them a friend that you want to keep.
- Texting doesn't show emotion or concern, so it is easy for your comments to be interpreted differently from your intentions.
- I reread my comments, and concluded that they were very mild, so I think she just took the open opportunity to chew me out. I can safely say that I think less of her now, and it will be a long time before I have any extensive communication with her on any topic. So damage was done both ways. Not good.
- I do suspect this would not have happened in person. Even if she didn't like what I said, I suspect she would have been less nasty stating her objections.

Thanks for listening to my rambling. JP
Not necessarily. The medium may not be the issue as much as the message, or how the message is interpreted.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:33 AM   #3
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:36 AM   #4
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It's not so much text but any non-face-to-face communication (including posting in forum!) - it becomes very subjective and difficult to convey tone. It's very easy to read sarcasm that doesn't exist, for example. Or to miss it completely.

I don't think your topic was a good idea to discuss with anyone, via any medium, unless they were a very close well known friend. And if they were, and you felt they'd be receptive, this would be one of those "hey, I'll call you this is a better topic for a real conversation" moment, IMO. Unsolicited financial advice to an acquaintance, via text, and the next day you still think she's to blame...hmmm

While your outcome may have been slightly different in person, perhaps that would only have been because you'd have seen her face, her horror, and backtracked quickly?
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:55 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by JP.mpls View Post
I somehow ended up having an unplanned discussion with a long time friend's wife via text last weekend. I very seldom communicate with her, and when I do, it is always a very light conversation.
Another clue as to why this wasn't a great idea, even if she instigated the conversation. Sometimes people are just looking for an ear to bend, to vent, if you will. They don't really want solutions, even if you think you have them to offer. This can apply even when you are close friends.

I have friends I used to see quite frequently, until they moved several hours away. At one point, the wife started calling me to talk about a problem with her recently-acquired part-time job. To me, the solution was obvious, but she would have none of it. She kept calling to talk about it, but there was no other solution based on what she told me. The conversation was just a repeat each time.

After awhile, I got it. She didn't want a solution. She just wanted to vent to me over and over again. That's something I find difficult. I tend to look for a solution.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JP.mpls View Post
I somehow ended up having an unplanned discussion with a long time friend's wife via text last weekend. I very seldom communicate with her, and when I do, it is always a very light conversation.

They are struggling with some financial issues, and I was attempting to encourage her, and (this is bad) I also gave her my damn unsolicited advice.

I think I can confirm, she did not want to hear any advice from me on this topic. She totally went off on me. Wow.

I tend to not like conflict, and I value my long time friendships. All I could do is apologize, and tell her my intentions were not bad. She kind of mellowed out on her reply back.

Note: My friend has mentioned several times in the last year that his wife has been getting mad at him, so it isn't just me.

My comments and conclusions from this interaction:
- Stay out of other people's business, don't give out unrequested advice, especially if you consider them a friend that you want to keep.
- Texting doesn't show emotion or concern, so it is easy for your comments to be interpreted differently from your intentions.
- I reread my comments, and concluded that they were very mild, so I think she just took the open opportunity to chew me out. I can safely say that I think less of her now, and it will be a long time before I have any extensive communication with her on any topic. So damage was done both ways. Not good.
- I do suspect this would not have happened in person. Even if she didn't like what I said, I suspect she would have been less nasty stating her objections.

Thanks for listening to my rambling. JP

Even when asked for "advice" I always mention that food tastes different in my mouth than theirs.



Some things just need to be discussed in person. I agree financial conversations are definitely not an exception. Whenever someone reaches out to me for specifically any financial advice or investing advice...it usually starts with a text or a facebook message...so I invite them to come over for a drink of their choice and a 30minute conversation. It's during that initial conversation that all I want to establish is where there risk level and comfort are.


BUT... there are 2 kinds of people in life...1 those who care who has more money than them, and 2. Those who do not. If you are giving advice to the first group, do it in person.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:05 PM   #7
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Good stuff
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:39 PM   #8
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I find it strange that you are having text conversation with your friends wife to start with but that could be a different topic altogether.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:52 PM   #9
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Aerides,
I actually didn't give financial advice. I gave her a suggestion to try using a specific on line application as a potential way of getting more customer exposure for their business.
I still think it is a no brainer, but I suspect some of the problem is their inexperience with that technology.
I'm used to figuring out solutions to existing problems, and I started brainstorming. She didn't want a solution, especially from me, she just wanted to vent. Where it got ugly was my arrogance to think I knew what I was talking about. She is correct. It was just what I would have tried.
I should have been sympathetic and encouraging, without offering solutions. Easy in hindsight. I stepped right into it, and got what I deserved.


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Old 02-11-2019, 01:54 PM   #10
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I sent a short text on something I knew she would be interested in.
Like I said, it was unusual that she communicated more than a short comment back. I think she is stressing out about the situation, so she probably wanted to have someone just listen, not offer opinions.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:58 PM   #11
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Gwraigty,
You have this whole silly situation figured out:
"Sometimes people are just looking for an ear to bend, to vent, if you will. They don't really want solutions."


I will keep my big mouth shut in the future.


Note: Her husband, my long time friend, would have been just fine with our conversation. Know who you are talking to also.
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:51 PM   #12
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Gwraigty,
You have this whole silly situation figured out:
"Sometimes people are just looking for an ear to bend, to vent, if you will. They don't really want solutions."


I will keep my big mouth shut in the future.


Note: Her husband, my long time friend, would have been just fine with our conversation. Know who you are talking to also.
It's almost never about the nail.
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:59 PM   #13
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I agree communicating in texts may have different consequences as in person. The meaning of a not so carefully written text is easily to be misunderstood. I had several occasions that I made some friends feel different from what I intended.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:05 PM   #14
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It's almost never about the nail.
That was the first thing I thought, too.
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