Luckily, there are ways to level with even the worst smartphone offenders. Below, Chappell Marsh and other therapists share what you can do to establish boundaries around phone use with people you care about.
Again, while this may feel like a direct insult to you ― “Am I that boring? Why did you even come out tonight if you were going to be on your phone all night?”― it usually has nothing to do with you. Look at it as a small personal failing on the part of your pal, not an indictment of how interesting you are.
Maybe your boundary is “no phone during dinner” or “let’s keep phone use to a minimum on our weekends.” If your S.O. violates these boundaries, make them aware of that with a gentle reminder, using “I” statements, Stoddard said.
If this issue is between you and a friend, setting a boundary might mean asking if it would be OK to agree for all parties to put their phone out of reach when you go out to dinner. Or it may mean agreeing on a time frame to check the phone, Chappell Marsh said.
Spencer Scott, a psychologist in Santa Monica, California, once worked with a couple who went to Palm Springs for the weekend and agreed to some electronic ground rules beforehand: Basically, they agreed that their phones would stay powered down and be stowed away in their suitcases during the entirety of the weekend.
At the end of weekend, the couple “raved about how they’d been able to be more mindful of the little things ― the refreshing pool, laughs with one another over dinner, and some truly connected intimacy.”
This content was originally published here.