Life Advice



Ask Amy: Texting tussles arise from interruptions

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

If you are in the middle of sanding the floor, kneading bread dough, or talking to your mother on the phone, the person arriving onto the scene should wait patiently until you have reached a stopping point.

You, in turn, should arrive at that point and acknowledge the other person’s presence.

Your husband may not believe that your choice to finish a thought when you are typing on your phone — is the same as finishing a thought or a conversation when you are speaking on the phone, and yet interrupting a person is just that – an interruption.

The person doing the interrupting should respectfully wait, and the other person should then thank them for their patience.

Because I do most of my work via typing (versus talking), I have reminded members of my household that if I am typing when they enter the room, it would be best if they gave my typing the same consideration they would if I happened to be talking on the phone when they entered.

That having been said – you should also use this habit of his (and yours) to examine just how often you might let whatever is happening on your phone interrupt others. When you are engaged in a conversation with your husband, do you automatically let a text message interrupt you?


Obviously, having a regular “workspace” in your home might help to draw some distinctions between you completing some desired correspondence, and the homelife you two share.

Dear Amy: Please help to settle a debate I am having with my wife.

With the holidays fast approaching and large family meals on the horizon, I say it is "OK" to arrive at these meals with our own containers for leftovers.

I feel it is helpful to the host, who would like to send food home with the guests.


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