Hitting the send button immediately after writing a scathing message is like yelling at the mayor to go shove his big fat mouth down his own throat and choke on it, while having lunch with him at the local Chamber of Commerce. The effects of your decision will be with you for a long time. You can’t erase them and no matter how good it may have felt at the moment, chances are you would be feeling a lot better weeks, months and even years down the road had you only held back a few more seconds. Just long enough to let your coolness set in.
Angry emotions can get the best of us in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately reacting on raging impulses creates results with consequences far outliving the anger. However the same email which spreads horrid consequences upon sending may also hold the key to safely venting upset feelings. So long as you take care of what you do more than what you say you could stand to reap huge benefits from nasty messages by following the quick steps below.
Profiling Keyboard Terror
Do you or someone you know use explosive email messages filled with venom, verbal vomit and ego? Do you or they respond aggressively with toxic emails to entire groups of people, especially at the office or home? The degree of separation electronic mail gives us comes with the drawback of creating a habit for unconsciously firing across cyber space into the laps of friends, relatives and co-workers hideous hate mail.
If you want to use the benefits of communicating what you feel when you feel it but don’t want to cause the negative effects sending angry messages creates, step one is to make sure you have the (to) field deleted. No matter how much you wish the email go out “accidentally” take time to erase the (to) field before you begin typing, this is an important step.
Ready, Aim, Fire!
Let it rip! Throw out every freaking thing you want to say to the person or group of people who just don’t understand you, won’t cooperate and have worked you up into this frenzied state of frustration. Bust some cyber-butt and take no prisoners but don’t send that message just yet.
Once you have let it all hang out save the draft. Now go away for a day, an entire 24-hours.
Beat Anger to the Punch
Step three, when you come back read your email but not as the sender read it as the receiver. Don’t justify your position as you go along. Don’t explain to yourself why it is OK to say what you are saying, just let yourself sit in the place of the person or group getting the email. After you are done reading, ask your self, “how do I feel?” If you honestly read it as the receiver and you feel disrespected, degraded, depressed or in anyway negative then hold off another 24-hours. Come back and re-read it, if you still feel low after reading it a second time, ask yourself if you want to pass along those feelings by sending the message. If you feel better by not sending it, then delete the message on the spot.
It has been advised; you should never say something you would not want published on the front page of the New York Times. Take it one step further and speak as if your worst and best quotes for the day, everyday, are published on the front page of the New York Times and those closest to you get a special daily copy delivered to them. Ambrose Bierce, author of The Devil’s Dictionary once commented, “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret”. This goes for your emails and text messages as well.