Just Say Something

By | December 2, 2021

Several months ago, I spent several hours crafting a long, positive, and heart-felt email to someone. I was looking forward to an engaging email thread… but they never responded. Grr.

I’m pretty good at not reading things between the lines or second-guessing people, but even I’m wondering what’s going on.

If someone in your life ever takes the time to send you an email, then you should bother to reply, even if it is only to acknowledge receipt of their message.

Otherwise, that person is going to wonder:

Are they okay?  |  Did I offend?  |  Did they get my email?  |  Did my message go in their spam box?  |  Was it a mistake for me to send this message?  |  Should I send it again? |  What’s going on?!  |  Are they mad at me?   |  Did I say something wrong?  |  Did I accidentally send that to the wrong person?

You have no control over how your silence will be interpreted, so take control and reply with at least something.

Why didn’t you respond?

Too long: Was their email too long or detailed and you intend to get to it later?
Reply! Be direct and tell them that!

  • Dear Human,
    I got your email, but I’ll have to get to it later. Sorry about that. [Optionally add a reason or fabricate an entertainingly fake excuse.]

—-

Too personal: Was their email too personal or controversial and you would rather not get into that topic with them?
Reply! Either just acknowledge receipt or, better yet, be upfront and tell them you don’t want to discuss this with them.

  • Dear Human,
    I got your email. This is something I’d rather not get into with you. I hope you understand and don’t take offense. [Optionally start an entirely different topic in a friendly way.]

—-

Too upsetting: Did their email upset you or make you mad and you don’t want to fan the flames or engage in a battle?
Reply! Just acknowledge receipt or, better yet, be upfront and tell them you don’t want to engage on that topic with them.

  • Dear Human,
    I got your email. Frankly, I found it rather upsetting. I respectfully request that we not engage on this topic. [Optionally start an entirely different topic in a friendly way, or maybe explain why this was upsetting (which might turn this into a long email).]

—-

Just No! Was the email from someone that you want or need to cut off?
Reply! Just acknowledge receipt or, better yet, be upfront and tell them that!  [Do this the first time. After that, maybe its best to just delete further emails.]

  • Dear Human,
    I got your email. I request that you do not contact me again.

Parting thoughts

Don’t forget that a message in writing may lack the finesse of in-person communication, so take care that your reply of “I don’t want to discuss that” does not unintentionally come across as “Fuck Off and Stop Emailing Me!”… unless that’s exactly what you mean to say, of course!

And, okay. This was a fun little diversion. But I guess it’s time for me to be direct: I’ll go send a brief email to the person I sent that long email to and ask them what’s up.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.