Five Rules to Have an Effective E-Fight

By Tolani Osan for

I think we can agree that sometimes electronic fights are worth having. The perks? You don't have to deal with emotions or the oh-so frustrating lack there of; things are less likely to get physical; and you can think about you want to say before you, well, type it. We can also agree that E-fights can be damaging if, of course, you don't know the rules of having an effective electronic fight. So next time you get another angry/accusatory/jealous email from your significant other, consider these 5 rules to make it a fight worth fighting.

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1. No CAPS!

Not even Kanye West can get away with giving the caps key a little extra attention. According to unspoken internettiquette rules, an all caps message is equivalent to yelling, whether angry or not. In an e-fight, you have an opportunity to really be heard. So there's no need for yelling. If you want to emphasize something, underline it , put it in bold, or consider italicizing; it is a gentler, softer way of saying "Hey, listen."

2. Consider every word and punctuation

This sounds like a lot of work, but if you really want to make this an effective fight make sure you say your piece effectively. Say what you want to say with no name-calling, take it easy with the exclamation points and please, no essays. Be concise, respectful and straightforward. Sometimes when things get too intense for you, you may want to lighten things up with humor. Be careful, it may get misunderstood. So stick to a clear and cool-headed way of expression.

3. Don't Type What You Wouldn't Say in Person

You may think because your partner is miles away, banging their fists on a computer, you have the freedom to say whatever you want. Sometimes when an argument is going the way you want it to, you'll feel so obliged to touch on other things that have been bothering you. Not a good idea. Stick to the issue at hand. Or maybe you might think that a few jabs here and there about your significant other's mother via email will vindicate you from the immediate backlash you would've otherwise received in person. No, that's evidence against you! Remember, stay cool even if you're staring at the computer screen pulling your hair out in clumps.

Related: My Ex Mail Box: Say What You Need to Say, Without the Consequences

4. Don't E-Fight with an Unwilling Party

E-fighting is not for everyone. Sometimes what's best for your significant other is for them to physically see your emotions and relate to it. Sometimes the dangers of saying something and then having the evidence in an e-mail is daunting. So, if the other party says "lets talk in person," then drop it there and continue when you see each other. Sometimes just saying this can give you both a chance to cool down before meeting in person.

5. No One-Word Responses

Only ladies seem to understand that one-word answers after pouring your heart out into novel are infuriating. An "okay" response is never okay. So, if you don't have anything to say, what do you say? A number of things: "I don't know what to say," "I understand," even "let's talk about this later." If all fails an "I'm sorry" or an "I love you" seriously won't kill you. You may not even be sorry and just agree to disagree. Fighting, e-fighting, or whatever it is, is exhausting. Bury the hatchet if you must, but never say "K."

Related: The Rules of Text Messaging in Relationships

Don't immediately dismiss an electronic fight unless its in a pubic arena. Abide by these rules and it can be the best fight you'll ever have. Make sure to pepper your emails or texts with babys, remind your partner that you love them and they mean a lot to you. When you get together, they'll be no need for a round two...just a skip to the make-up session.

Tolani Osan is a Publishing student and freelance writer from NY. She's a fashion blogger with and founder of her fashion and lifestyle blog . helps people find happiness in the right relationship. If you've been through a breakup, divorce, or just haven't been able to find happiness in your love life,BounceBack is a place to tell your story, get community support and advice from experts, and find the confidence and strength you need to move forward. Check out our Facebook page.

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