Four Ways to Deal With Rude E-mails

Ever get a nasty e-mail from an outraged client? Boss? Maybe even a peer?

You’re not alone. As for the good news, there are several ways to handle a scathing e-mail.

According to a post on Lifehacker, there are also strategies to prevent you from getting sucked into that e-mail as well and consequently becoming rude yourself.

1. Don’t respond immediately. It may be very tempting to answer that message right away but buyer beware: Refrain from responding. Sure, you can draft something with a piece of your mind but just be sure that’s as far as it goes. Let the message sink in, as pointed out in the piece, and remember the source, too. Let a few hours or even a day go by, write a very cordial e-mail and know deep down you took the high road.

2. Kill ’em with kindness. To that point, we need to remember sometimes people will be jerks no matter what and in that case, you can feel free to do the exact opposite. Be completely professional, polite and kind.   

3. Find an editor. And by this we don’t mean your managing editor, we mean a colleague or friend. Leverage their eyeballs to read your response in draft form before you hit send. More importantly, ensure this editor is removed from the situation and can think objectively about the situation as well as your response.

4. Move on. Think about the big picture: Are you really going to remember this e-mail five years from now? Does it impact your life and well-being? Take it for what it is at face value — a rude message. And remember rude messages will continue to be sent so you shouldn’t exert too much energy over it.

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