Rant rant rant… annnnd send! OH snap, what’ve I just done???!!!!
We’ve all been there, right? We send an email in a heightened emotional state, and then instantly regret it.
Life would be a lot easier if there were a permanent unsend button, but there isn’t.
That’s why today we’re going to talk about how to not send an angry email, especially when it feels like you just have to do it in that moment.
So if professional email communication is important to you, this lesson is for you.
Before sending another email you wish you could take back, let me teach you our technique for avoiding this unpleasant situation.
Compose a new email in an account that doesn’t have the addressee’s info.
For example, if you’re planning to send an angry work email, compose a blank email in your personal account.
If it’s the reverse, i.e., it’s not a work email, you’re better off using a backup email account, such as one you use for unwanted subscriptions. Just don’t use your work email – you don’t want anything in there that doesn’t have to do with work.
Leave the recipient field blank. The last thing you want is for what you’re about to write to go out to the wrong person.
Write the angry email. And I don’t want you to hold back. Lay it all out there. Really let them have it.
But please make this one small adjustment: Don’t use the recipient’s name anywhere in the email. Instead, use your own name.
Now it’s time to put the email address into the recipient field.
Except, instead of the recipient’s email address, put your own email address. Just yours. No one else.
Wait a minimum of 12 hours before opening the email. For the best results, wait until the next morning.
When you do finally read the email, read it like it was addressed to you. And do take it personally. It has your name, after all.
Pay attention to how you feel as you read it. Note any language that feels hurtful or aggressive.
Now rewrite the email, removing or rephrasing any language that jumped out at you as inappropriate. Imagine you were cc’ing your grandmother or child. Would you be comfortable with what they read in there?
If so, you’re good to go.
Compose the email in your actual account and send it to the actual recipient.
I’ll wager the new version of the email is a heck of a lot better than the first version. And the chances that you’ll regret sending it will be drastically lower.
And that, my friend, is how you avoid sending out an email you’ll regret.
When you give the brain time to reset, and for the adrenaline to subside, you become far more clearheaded with your thinking. That’s always a good thing.
And sure, it might feel a little silly to send an angry email to yourself, but by putting yourself in their shoes, you’ll be better equipped to phrase it in a way that is appropriate for the context.
So the next time you feel your blood boiling while you’re typing, stop what you’re doing and give this a shot.
I think you’ll be impressed with the results.
So now that I've shared our thoughts, I’d love to hear your own strategies for avoiding angry emails. How do you ensure your communications stay respectful and professional?
Share that with me and the Explearning community in the comments down below.
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With that, have an awesome week, Explearners.
Thank you so much for joining me and I’ll see you next time for your next Explearning lesson.
Happy Explearning ⚡