I’m disappointed in you….started the fearful email

Recently my friend forwarded me an email, which she had received from a colleague. It started with the words…

Dear xxx

I am disappointed in you ….

The email continued in a caustic, abusive authoritarian tone – it was like a punch coming out of a screen. The sender was ‘telling’ the recipient how she was going to behave in the future concerning a particular incident. 

It reminded me of the time many years ago when  I received a similar email which started with the exact same words. When I received the email, it sucked all my power from me. I was left shaking, shocked and wondering how someone could type such harsh words. It emotionally affected me for hours.

Some years later as I reconnected with my power I realised to send an email like that is a form of bullying. It is only now that I realise the person sending it does not have courage, confidence, wisdom or respect – on the contrary they are fearful. It is with compassion that if we choose, we can educate them on resolving the issue in a loving way.

In a similar vein I was once left a scathing message on my voicemail by another female. She had totally misunderstood a situation between her boyfriend and I. She screamed disrespectful comments about my looks, my behaviour and even mentioned my son.

The first thing I did was realise she had lost control and felt compassion for her for not having the ability to regulate her emotions. Her child brain had took over her. The second thing I did was to ring to see if she was all right as she had been driving when she had left me the message and I was seriously concerned for her safety! I left a message calmly asking her to call me back to discuss the situation like calm rational adults. That was five years ago, I am still waiting!

So if like my friend and I, you receive a voicemail or email which is rude and disrespectful, please dig deep and find the courage and compassion to pick the telephone up to try and resolve the situation in an adult way.

Yes you may be scared. Yes you may stutter but handling this situation with courage will show you your power which has been inside you all along. You will also set an example of how to resolve a challenging issue in a positive courageous way.

Interestingly when my friend tried to have an open and honest conversation with the terrorist email sender, they were ‘far too busy’ to speak to her. Again, this is their fear and not for you to take off the person.

Of course there may be times when the situation isn’t worth resolving, in which case you press delete and hope that one day the other person learns they do not have to use power, manipulation and control to handle a situation.

Remember the most arrogant person can be the most fearful person. Confident people do not shout, bully, harass or intimidate whether it’s in person on the phone or via email.

So the next time you are about to send an email starting “I’m disappointed”, just check in whether you would have the courage to say this to their face.  Ask yourself, how could you reframe it so you get to a more positive outcome instead of alienating the recipient? Ask how would fear handle this situation and how would courage handle the same situation – I recommend going for the latter.

Let me know your thoughts @couragequeen.com

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