If you’ve ever read the book “How to win friends and influence people” you probably remember Dale Carnegie mentioning the dangers of criticism and sending angry letters in the heat of the moment.
He goes on to share examples by a few famous folk such as Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Mark Twain who made it a practice of writing the letter and yet never sending it. It felt good to get it out but kept them from looking like an ass. The writing of the letter seemed to be therapeutic.
This has stuck with me over the years but and has kept me from making a complete jackass of myself many times mainly through emails, since not many of us actually write on paper these days and stick it in the ole mail box.
Let’s translate this to our new digital age.
How many times do we receive an email, Facebook message or comment that makes our blood boil and we can’t wait to speak our mind and quickly respond. I see it all the time. However, that’s not the best practice.
It’s always a good idea to take a deep breath, step away and quiet ourselves to where we start thinking rationally again. We should perhaps use our noggin, pause and wonder if it may have been a misunderstanding on our part or maybe written incorrectly. Sometimes our thoughts in writing don’t always come across the same in words as opposed to talking in person, over the phone, or in a video conversation.
These things can totally be misconstrued and blown all out of whack and if we’re not careful can ruin friendships, working relationships, business deals and more.
I came across this funny pic above, that though it doesn’t relate to angry letters or emails, made me wish sometimes that we had a prompt on our emails, social media accounts as well as texts that would prompt us to seriously stop and consider the outcome of simply responding in the heat of the moment. To think rationally and down the road of the effects this could have in our relationships.
Maybe Zuckerberg is working on that, who knows.
I just wanted to remind us all (me included) that sometimes it’s best not to respond entirely or at least to take a step back and regroup before blasting folks.
And as in the pic above, it’s never a good idea to do this if you’re intoxicated :)