Healthy Re­la­tion­ship

Phub­bing is the new vice that is prov­ing to be dis­as­trous to re­la­tion­ships. Here’s all you need to know about it…

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS -

Don’t phub your part­ner

Could you just put down your phone for a while? While this may sound like the cry of an ex­as­per­ated mother to her teen who is con­stantly glued to their cell phone, it may also be heard on a din­ner date when one adult seems more in­ter­ested in his or her phone than their sig­nif­i­cant other.

Phub­bing Can Ruin Re­la­tion­ships

Phub­bing, a con­trac­tion of the words ‘phone snub­bing’, is the act of ig­nor­ing a com­pan­ion in favour of us­ing a smart­phone. Phub­bers may be us­ing their phones to check so­cial me­dia, text oth­ers who are not present or for any other on­line ac­tiv­i­ties,

while spend­ing time with their part­ner. Stud­ies have shown that phub­bing be­tween friends and ro­man­tic part­ners con­trib­utes to un­hap­pi­ness in re­la­tion­ships and de­pres­sion. In a study poignantly ti­tled ‘My life has be­come a ma­jor dis­trac­tion from my cell phone’, Mered­ith David and James Roberts sug­gest that overuse of our phones in the pres­ence of oth­ers can lead to a de­cline in one of the most im­por­tant re­la­tion­ships we can have as an adult: The one with our life part­ner. Ac­cord­ing to their study, phub­bing de­creases mar­i­tal sat­is­fac­tion, in part be­cause it leads to con­flict over phone use. A fol­low-up study by Chi­nese sci­en­tists as­sessed mar­ried adults with sim­i­lar re­sults: Part­ner phub­bing, be­cause it was as­so­ci­ated with lower mar­i­tal sat­is­fac­tion, con­trib­uted to greater like­li­hood of de­pres­sion. This be­hav­iour also af­fects ca­sual friend­ships. When some­one’s eyes wan­der, we in­tu­itively know what brain stud­ies also show: The mind is wan­der­ing. We feel un­heard, dis­re­spected, dis­re­garded. Es­pe­cially dur­ing mean­ing­ful con­ver­sa­tions, you lose the op­por­tu­nity for true and au­then­tic con­nec­tion to an­other per­son, the core tenet of any friend­ship or re­la­tion­ship. These find­ings hold true re­gard­less of peo­ple’s age, eth­nic­ity, gen­der, or mood.

So Why Do Peo­ple Phub?

Fear of miss­ing out and lack of self-con­trol are the main rea­sons for phub­bing. How­ever, the most im­por­tant pre­dic­tor is ad­dic­tion — to so­cial me­dia, to the phone and to the Internet. Internet ad­dic­tion has sim­i­lar ef­fects to phys­i­o­log­i­cal forms like ad­dic­tion to heroin and other recre­ational drugs. Ex­perts also feel that some­times the urge to check so­cial me­dia is stronger than the urge to have sex.

How Do The Phubbed Re­act?

Sim­ply put, the de­vice is a source of con­flict and leads to fight­ing. And fights can only serve to un­der­mine your

sat­is­fac­tion with your part­ner and the re­la­tion­ship. Some­times, the phubbed may turn to their cell­phone to dis­tract them­selves from the very painful feel­ings of be­ing so­cially ne­glected. When we phub those we love, not only do we ne­glect their feel­ings in the present mo­ment, but we com­pound the prob­lem by jump­start­ing the rip­ple ef­fect of caus­ing our sig­nif­i­cant other to con­vert from phubbee to se­rial phub­bers them­selves.

Mar­i­tal Ef­fects Of Phub­bing

Psy­chi­a­trists, psy­chol­o­gists and mar­riage coun­sel­lors know that ad­dic­tions fre­quently con­trib­ute to mar­i­tal stress and to the ter­mi­na­tion of re­la­tion­ships. This new ad­dic­tion to tech­nol­ogy dis­tracts cou­ples from com­mu­ni­cat­ing with one an­other and cre­ates emo­tional dis­tance be­tween spouses in the same way that an ad­dic­tion to drugs, al­co­hol, gam­bling or shop­ping can help to ruin a mar­riage. To make mat­ters worse, some peo­ple are ad­dicted to their phones as well as al­co­hol, gam­bling or drugs. Fur­ther­more, when a spouse is on his or her phone con­stantly, it can cre­ate sus­pi­cion and harm the kind of trust that is a foun­da­tion of a healthy mar­riage.

Break Out Of Phub­bing

The first step in over­com­ing phub­bing in a re­la­tion­ship is to raise the fact that it has be­come an is­sue for you. You need to talk about how you feel and, the emo­tions you ex­pe­ri­ence when you per­ceive you are be­ing phubbed. Ex­plain gen­tly that you feel upset, an­gry or re­jected when your part­ner is con­stantly fo­cused on their phone. It could be that they are gen­uinely un­aware of what they are do­ing and, once aware of the is­sue will make an ef­fort to break out of this be­hav­iour cy­cle. If your part­ner is not re­cep­tive to what you have to say and de­nies that they are guilty of this be­hav­iour, then en­sure that you, in turn, lis­ten to them. It could be that they them­selves are dis­sat­is­fied in the re­la­tion­ship, and this has man­i­fested it­self in their phub­bing be­hav­iour. It could be that they have an is­sue to raise with you, but have not been com­mu­ni­cat­ing and have in­stead been avoid­ing this by us­ing their phone as an escape. If this is the rea­son, then lis­ten to them and take on-board what they have to say. Work to­gether to reach a so­lu­tion. For ex­am­ple, you could sug­gest that they can

Sci­en­tists found that what they de­scribe as this ’– tech­nofer­ence ‘ even if in­fre­quent – sets off a chain of neg­a­tive events: about More con­flict tech­nol­ogy, lower re­la­tion­ship qual­ity, lower life sat­is­fac­tion of and higher risk de­pres­sion.

Keep your pil­low-talk time sa­cred — no use of phone be­fore you go to sleep. Pro­tect your meal­time — no tech­nol­ogy at the din­ner ta­ble or in the restau­rant.

make an ef­fort to leave their phone out of hand/ out of sight when you are spend­ing time to­gether, while you will work on what­ever may have been caus­ing an is­sue for them. You can re­view this agree­ment again in two weeks or a month and talk about whether you are both feel­ing hap­pier and more se­cure in the re­la­tion­ship. Make mu­tu­ally agreed-upon lim­its for smart­phones dur­ing your shared sa­cred mo­ments. In hopes of giv­ing 100% of your at­ten­tion to each other, here are some tips to help you set bound­aries to pro­tect your com­mu­ni­ca­tion spaces: l Keep your pil­low-talk time sa­cred — no use of phone be­fore you go to sleep. l Pro­tect your meal­time — no tech­nol­ogy at the din­ner ta­ble or in the restau­rant. l Guard your leisure time — no check­ing smart­phones or re­ceiv­ing calls (ex­cept from the fam­ily/ baby sit­ter). l If dur­ing your time to­gether, you need to check our phones for a le­git­i­mate pur­pose, you will first pro­vide an ex­pla­na­tion. l Dis­con­nect to con­nect. Reg­u­larly sched­ule date nights, and ap­point­ments just to talk to each other. Don’t let ‘How was your day?’ or ‘How was work?’ go as far as many of us get these days. l Have a phone-free evening. Sim­ply snug­gle and watch tele­vi­sion. It’s time for cou­ples to stop phub­bing each other, and start in­ter­act­ing in­stead. And though it’s a hard ad­dic­tion to break, that sweet qual­ity time with your loved one is way more ex­cit­ing than any tweet/ up­date that will ever be.

When a spouse is on his or her phone con­stantly, it can cre­ate sus­pi­cion and harm the kind of trust that is a foun­da­tion of a healthy mar­riage.

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