You would think that email is god’s gift to non-confrontational people. Turns out it’s not.
Why a gift? Because you can literally avoid speaking to someone you don’t want to speak to. You only need to write down what you want to say. Press send. And, done!
Here’s the scenario that prompted this blog:
A client had an argument with a friend and they stopped speaking. Recently she emailed her friend, asking if she wanted to talk… No answer.
At first she thought maybe she didn’t get the email (a naive moment.) Then she took it as a “thanks but no thanks.” and didn’t think more about it.
The other day she tried again and texted her to let her know she sent an email, just to make sure she got it.
Now, we know that most people have their phones surgically attached to their bodies so it’s almost impossible to miss emails/texts.
Ignoring emails is what non-confrontational people do. What could possibly be the reason to not email back a “thanks but no thanks” message?
In my work, the biggest reason I have found that people “just don’t respond” is because they are scared of what will come back at them.
“What if I get a mean email back? Then what do I do?
Why would an adult have a thought like this?
Early in their life, they learned their feelings weren’t valid. It was probably their mom, it’s always the mom’s fault. Ok…maybe Dad. Could have been Dad.
It was an unfortunate and untrue belief that stuck. This is the reason so many people are scared of saying what they mean, even in an email.
But, as an adult, ignoring anyone or anything, for that matter, feels shitty. Carrying around that energy feels bad. Even when there’s a “fuck you” involved. Like “Fuck him! I’m not fucking writing him back. He was an asshole.” But, even though that “fuck you” energy can feel empowering in the moment, it feels pretty shitty later. It’s also just a defense mechanism… and unproductive.
I promise, it always feels so much better to respond. Even “fuck you” can start a dialogue.
What reasons have you given yourself to justify ignoring an email?