Sending email to aggravate someone is easy. There are so many tactics at one’s disposal. Initiative is even on the side of the sender. But, if there is a person who has gotten your thong in a knot and they seem to be begging for a good pimp-slapping, there are some things that you can do when you're on the receiving end of the email. The amount is not as copious as for the sender, but they can be just as effective.
- Ignore their email – So many people assume that since email gets there faster, you’ll read it faster. Make that someone feel more special by letting their email “breathe” for awhile in your inbox. Remember, you want to be at your best when you read it. Being your best takes time. This is especially effective if the sender has marked it “Urgent”. Remember, your urgent and their urgent are different. Yours is more important. You can stay ahead of them by reading the email, but not letting them know that you have. You can do that if you…
- Configure your email client to not send receipts automatically – Obnoxious senders will request a read receipt to make sure you got their email and put you on the spot. How dare them use your tactic! Short-circuit their attempts by not sending one to them.
- Use the “Reply to all” button — Use this if the email is sent to a lot of people and the subject is sensitive or confidential. If the sender is doing some damage control on a mistake, capitalize on this now while everyone can know it.
- Ignore the topic when you reply — When you finally get around to replying to the person’s email, ignore the topic of the original email. Even better, just send the reply but don’t write anything. Later, send an email back why the person hasn’t replied to you. For more fun, mention the deadline they “missed”.
- Forward their email to someone else — This works best with sensitive and confidential material. Someone admits to spending quality time with that special someone? I’ll bet their spouse would enjoy reading about that. Go ahead, hit that forward button! A real knee-slapper!
- Misspell their name – No other word, in any language, is more important than one’s own name. Use it and misspell it often.
- All of yesterday’s suggestions about spelling, caps, punctuation, etc, still count – Use them to your heart’s content!
Short but sweet. By using these techniques, you can make anyone hate just thinking of you!
It doesn’t take being the originator of an email to make mistakes that aggravate and undercut our effectiveness with others. Avoid these to increase your credibility.
If you use these intentionally, use them at your own peril!