Day 125: The intensity of written words

Say kinder and softer words to people when interacting through email.

Note to self: a written word is stronger than a spoken word. You write something, it sounds harsher than if you use your voice. Do not forget.

Do not send e-mails to people to vent your irritation. It won’t help. Yes, yes, I know you have many times, and I know you find it so much easier to write things than to say them, you have time to find the right words and no-one can interrupt you. I know. But it almost never makes anything better. You can’t smile in an e-mail. (Smileys don’t count.) You can’t have a dialog in an e-mail, or get instant feedback, or change your words if you see they are being misunderstood. A en-mail is just a monologue.

Do not send letters to show how angry you are.  You will sound angrier than you are no matter what you do. You will make up stories about how innocent you are, how annoying everyone else is, how stupid they are, how mean, how little they understand. You will just be tilting at windmills.

Think about it: how many times have you regretted writing angry letters? How many time have you said sorry and promised not to do it again? How many words have you been forced to use afterwards to mend and repair? “I am sorry, I didn’t mean it that way. I am sorry, it came out a bit harsher than I expected. Sorry, sorry.”

Think about it: when you receive angry e-mails, how does it feel? How does written anger affect you?

Doesn’t written praise make you even happier than heard praise? So why shouldn’t it be the same with anger and irritation?

Alors. Think about it. Do not forget. All words are more intense written.

Even boring words. Like this blogpost.


2 thoughts on “Day 125: The intensity of written words

  1. I find that I used exclamation points a lot when I am writing emails or texts. !!!! While I would never ‘exclaim’ in real life (though I would shout), they seem to soften the words somehow or imbue them with a silliness, which is used to make sure the reader knows you are not just being an asshole. And just think, texting is EVEN WORSE than email as a means of communicating. They’ve even taken way whole words in texting.

    • It works only up to a point! If you really are just an asshole, then an exclamation point will only make sure they get it! (“I don’t like they way you treat me! Or my kids! You are not behaving like you should! Stop it! Now!!!!!!”) No, sometimes an exclamation point doesn’t help at all!!!

      With texting or chatting, you can at least have something resembling a conversation… With or without !!!!!!!’s

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