5 Ways to Prevent Email Remorse
By Cavelle Martin
Have you sent an email lately and wondered, “Why did I just send that?” If you have, you’re among the many who have suffered email remorse.
In this article I want to offer some tips on how to prevent the dreaded “should not have sent that” feeling.
Step Away From Your Inbox
Perhaps you just received a message from a colleague or a customer that stung. You’re feeling defensive and want to fire back why their judgment of you is wrong.
Before you even think about clicking the “compose” button, close out your email and open a word document. Consider this your chance to let out all the junk in your head without sending a message that might only worsen the situation and irreparably harm your relationship. It does happen and that is not a risk you want to take.
We have a tendency, even with professional emails, to feel emotions when we write in the heat of the moment. Even if you think you are covering your bases with proper verbiage, without eye contact or some form of body language to put things in context, the person receiving your email may become offended, when that was never your intention.
Read, Listen, Repeat
It may seem odd to suggest we hear ourselves as we type, but we all have a unique writing voice. We hear the words in our head a certain way, so always make a point to read your email out loud before sending it. Does it sound the same as you heard it internally? If you’re unsure and your email isn’t too sensitive or confidential in nature, get someone you trust to read it for objective feedback on how someone else interpreted your words. This will help you fine tune your writing before you hit send.
Two Drafts Are Better Than One
Proper grammar and sentence structure count for something. If you are writing a professional email, avoid slang and emoticons. Your writing should speak for itself. Be concise. Make your point and back it up. No more, no less. Make sure what you are sending has been edited at least twice. Professional emails should not look like a five-year-old wrote them.
Make Sure You’re In a Relaxed Mood
This relates back the emotional part of writing. If you are having a bad day, avoid writing back right away, unless the email needs an immediate reply.
If you’re drafting the email from home, make sure you have a quiet, private space to write. I imagine this is easier said than done if you have little ones running around at home, but if you combine loud noises with a bad mood, your brain does not need the added stress of trying to write an email.
If you’re tired, don’t hit send. If you have had a glass of wine or two, definitely don’t hit send, and if you find yourself hungover the next day…well, you get the idea.
In closing, if you stick to these guidelines, you should have no issue with email remorse. If you do, send yourself an email and cc: me with a note to self to reread this article. Cheers and happy writing!
Cavelle Martin is a former CSR in the wholesale floral industry who once helped renowned designer Kristine Kratt, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, during a design show. Cavelle is the creator of “Mental Break – In Progress,” a blog she started in 2014, after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, to help fight the stigma against mental illness.