1. Take it to voice. If there’s a conflict brewing – if you find yourself upset at an e-mail or a text, or it even starts to seem like the other person is getting upset at an e-mail or text or IM – both parties have the right to unilaterally declare that the conversation must be taken to voice. Whether that be over the phone or face to face (the latter is marginally better) doesn’t matter. This does not mean you get to duck the conversation – it must occur – but it does mean that it becomes postponed until you can actually hear the other person’s tone of voice.
2. Assume cluelessness instead of malice. Sure, maybe there is malice… but if you’re actually interested in preserving the relationship, assume cluelessness first. (And yes, serial cluelessness can be justification for ending a relationship, but both give them a chance and tell them exactly how they’re being clueless.)
I think these two rules will improve 90% of all relationships.
What do you think?