I was recently emailing back-and-forth on a matter with someone who does tech work for our little team of Emotional Liberation merry makers.
I was asking some questions in regard to handling a particular thing that we had to deal with. His answer was an unvarnished:

“No that’s not what I said”

(Notice no punctuation or emoticon to temper the answer.) He continued with a brusque and incomplete answer that had an energy about it suggesting that I was bothering him and to stop annoying him.
Now of course, that was my interpretation and my reading of it. I could be off-base and he may not have meant anything of the kind. But that’s the general unfriendly vibe that came across.

Unfriendly (Unprofessional) Vibes

A colleague of mine also has a subtle yet poignant example of this. She has a client who answers her emails regularly with one single word, no punctuation:

“Thanks”

My colleague says this perfunctory answer feels like the client is mad at her – or at least not particularly happy about something or other in their interaction. It’s unsettling to her even though she’s gotten used to it.

Don’t take your nasties out on someone else

As we work at our computers navigating our workflow – answering and composing emails, sending texts, it’s valuable to remember that all nuance is lost through these forms of communication.
For instance, if the guy who answered me with “No that’s not what I said” was sitting at a desk next to me in an office space and gave me that answer, his voice inflection might have been buoyant and matter of fact. And, on the other hand, if it felt unsettling, I’d have the opportunity to turn to him and say, “is everything OK between us?”
But in this age of COVID-influenced working from home and increasing numbers of people who work from their home office anyway, we don’t have the opportunity to have these face-to-face check-ins.
In other words, people are not held accountable for their email and text behavior.

Sending pissed-off toxic energy through cyber-space

As an emotions specialist, I’m fond of saying that since we drift in an ocean of emotions – we must learn to swim in them!
And, among many other things, that means cultivating self-awareness so you know when you’re pissed off and don’t go shooting that pissed-off toxic energy out into cyber space aiming at your email/text recipients.
For emotionally responsible people, if it’s been a challenging day, and we’re not feeling particularly agreeable, we need to: pause, go inward, feel into what we’re feeling, acknowledge that we’re irritated (either by the person we’re answering or something totally unrelated) and avoid communication until we’re in a better emotional space.

Keeping it friendly

When I’m emotionally aroused (a psychology term) and need to answer an email, I may compose an answer but I always wait until my emotional state has shifted before sending it. I’ll even set my phone timer for 30-minutes or an hour and then return to the email and review it. More often than not, I revise it.
Of course, let’s say that you’re the one who received, what appears to be, a rude email. If you’re aware that you’re triggered by it, STOP.
And same as above: pause, go inward, feel into what you’re feeling, acknowledge what’s coming up for you and also avoid communication until you’re in a better emotional space.

As you can tell, one badly written email can set off a chain reaction with a back-and-forth that serves no-one … and only alienates. When we’re spending inordinate amounts of time peering into a computer screen, we may not even be aware of our emotional state. That’s why it’s valuable to take frequent breaks, walk, stretch, breathe – whatever it takes to shake you from the dark cloud that might have been closing in.

Litmus test for when you compose emails and texts  

Oh! And also one last thing. Consider this as a litmus test for when you compose an email or write a text… see if you can add one smiley face : ) or emoticon 🤓🤠😜 (some of my favorites).
If you’re not an emoticon or : ) kind of person, consider starting to be one. A simple little thing like that can offer a soft nuance that heads-off any hard feelings. In most companies and organizations, culture trickles from the top down – so if you’re a boss, it’s vital to role model the respect and consideration for others that you want to inspire in your team.

What about you? Have you encountered or been the instigator of cranky emails or texts?! Hit reply and let me know.

With Love,
Becca

P.S. If you’d like to join my new master course to help you live from your authentic self, you can click this link.