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Thursday, May 18, 2017

On Incendiary Emails from a Friend, Colleague, or Loved One…

Take a second. Breathe. You don’t know how they actually meant what they said (unless it’s a pretty clear f^&k you… then that’s a topic for another time :) ). Respond with no emotion and be very matter-of-fact. After you’ve cooled down, then it would be the time to schedule a phone call or a face-to-face. When you finally do get to hear their voice, be straight up, direct, firm, kind, and without frustration or expectation—so you don’t put them on the defensive, making it more difficult to have a conversation with the best possible outcome.
Afterward, you’ll have your answer: “I ain’t NEVER emailing this person again.” “We can work on this together.” “I’m cutting this person off.” “I need to __.” “I need to ___, but I’m also not taking crap from them either.” This list goes on and on.

Communication in theory is simple but it’s pretty damn difficult. You’re talking two different: frames of reference, upbringing, learned habits—good and bad, communication styles, and kinds of wants and needs.

Communication takes practice and sometimes it’s painful, but that’s no reason to bury our head in the sand or to play the avoidance game. That island called Loneliness is suffocating and no place for a human being.