Pause and think before you send out that angry email


Anger is something that comes naturally to us as humans – be it at the workplace or at home. Dealing with colleagues, employees or clients, impossible deadlines, and technical delays are just some of the situations at work that can leave us fuming. But when it comes to expressing our anger, it is important to maintain a professional demeanour at all times.

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Since most office communications are via emails, there is the possibility of saying things that you might not blurt out during a personal confrontation. Besides, an email once sent can be preserved for eternity! Put your point across effectively while expressing your displeasure without leaving any scope for regrets later. Try these tips:

Type it out

Pour out all your rage into a Word document while you are at your angriest. Type out all your resentment, frustration, and issues without pausing till you have completely vented. Give it some time and read it over – you are likely to find harshness you didn’t mean in a lot of places. Rewording it might help you maintain your professionalism while conveying your anger.

Leave the send box blank

Do not enter any email addresses in the ‘to’ field. If you are replying to an email sent to you, clear out all names. This way, you will not end up sending the email before you are fully convinced it is worded exactly how you want it to be. Also, when you are finally ready to send it out, you will have to enter each recipient, and this will force you to consider the contents of your communiqué once more.

Be the bigger person

Anger is a two-way road; if you are furious with someone, it is likely that the feeling is mutual. So, admit your faults in the email and then put across your views. This will diffuse an explosive situation to some extent. It will also avoid the need for a barrage of fault-finding emails.

Do not make it personal

Focus on the process and position rather than the person whom you are angry at. This helps keep the situation professional and avoid bringing in personal relationships or loyalties. Pointing fingers has never helped resolve conflicts but only made matters worse.

Use apt references

Look at previous emails or other communication regarding that particular matter. Quoting from these helps consolidate your stand as it is difficult to refute a direct quote. This also sends the message that you are not simply speaking out of anger or are biased, but have thought about what you are going to say. However, make sure you do not end up ‘over-quoting’ and appear like a person who finds joy in throwing back words in people’s faces.

After the email has been sent, call or speak to the person face-to-face after some time has elapsed. This way, you can make sure there are no long-lasting ill feelings or any bridges burnt permanently.


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