We have all been there … been so pissed that you see red. So mad that you are going to tell that S-O-B what you really think so you blurt it all out there to firstname.lastname@example.org
Today I was the recipient of just that sort of email (or text) that never, ever, I repeat NEVER should have been sent. Apparently I pissed someone off. I laugh because if you knew me, you would know that I take great pains not to offend; being very sensitive myself—or, at least, that is what I have been told. I am a people pleaser. I am the youngest of four children. I want everyone to get along, and I want the sky to rain daisies. I go to great lengths to include everyone for fear of hurt feelings. If only the crazed woman who sent me the insane email knew anything about me, I am pretty sure she would have hit DELETE instead of SEND. But I offended her and boy-oh-boy she was going to tell me about it or at least try.
I am not saying you shouldn’t address your feelings or tell people if you feel wronged or slighted in some way. Believe me, I am capable of defending myself and can make a comeback with some pretty good punch! I am saying that you should take the time to choose your words carefully for fear of repercussions that take a sharp turn, making you look like the ass.
Here are a few suggestions to keep you from being fitted for a restraint jacket:
1. Write everything you think or feel and then sit with it awhile.
Read it back to yourself as if you are the recipient and not the sender; double checking to make sure you don’t sound like a total loon. Read it at least five times over the course of an hour … get up, walk around and read it again.
2. Keep it short.
Less is more. Do tell people concisely how you feel. Don’t bog people down with the background information for why you have these feelings. No one needs to hear your lifetime story on how your family dinners go down and how you end up crying in a bowl of leftover pasta and that is why you are offended when the office always decides to order baked ravioli on Fridays. If you have rambled on for more than three short paragraphs, you have said too much … eventually all of the information you have offered to the target of your vitreous email or text becomes fodder for his or her entertainment when the dust settles.
3. Don’t Assume
Don’t assume you know exactly what is going on in your recipients’ life outside of the reason for your freak show. Don’t draw comparisons of I do this and you do that … you really have no idea unless of course you are living with that person or you are Dr. Phil.
4. Don’t include others in the CC or BCC section.
It is unnecessary to call in reinforcements ahead of time. Likely you have one person you are ticked off at; address that person, not their bosses or acquaintances. Those third parties are probably blindsided by your drama and will be caught off guard—not having a clue of what your rant is about. They too will use your crazy-talk for cocktail party chit chat.
5. Do not use vulgar language or take the Lord’s name in vain.
That can be really offensive to some. However, a well-placed cuss word sometimes just fits – but know your audience.
Rinse and Repeat. Go back to number 1 and revise, revise, revise – maybe by the time you have put it all down you can hit DELETE instead of SEND.
My “friend” today should have done these things. Oh the laughs I have already had on her behalf!!!
Photo: ©Julie Anderson All Rights Reserved