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5 Tips how to respond to a negative email

Geschreven doorAnouk van Pruissen

30 September 2020

5 tips how to respond to a negative email


We all know this moment. You open up your mail and your heart drops. The content upsets you instantly. You are mad, sad, upset or furious. The first thing you want to do is to respond. 


Here are 5 tips how to respond to a negative email properly and give you better results.

Never ever respond as long you are emotional

Being emotional will color our judgement. If you are mad or upset you will put every word on a scale and it is even possible that you put the content in a wrong context.

Ask yourself why you are so emotional or upset about this email. Is it the last drop? Has emotions been building up in time? Or is there another reason why you are upset?

Share your emotions with somebody

It is important to share your emotions with somebody. This could be your co-worker, your partner or friend. By sharing your feelings you will instantly feel better, you can get it from your chest and you can verify if your feelings are justified.

Take a breath and sleep on it

Now you have shared your feelings, you need to take a step back and sleep on it. Take your dog for a walk or just go outside, clear your mind and try to make a summary of all the facts.

Call the person who wrote the email

These days picking up the phone is not the first choice of communication anymore. We are using email, chatprogramm, send GIF’s to communicate with other people.

If you receive a mail, text or app message and this has upset you, you need to pick up the phone and clarify.

Clarify in the phone call or even better in a face-2-face talk the content of the email or message and make sure you discuss how the message came across to you.

These conversations are sometimes hard to initiate, but to clarify and to be able to progress as soon as possible, this conversation is necessary.

Respond to the email

Now you may respond to the email in a calm state of mind. You have clarified the content, your emotions are under control and now you can write a short summary of your discussion and bury the issue.

Following these tips you will learn to:

  • recognise what makes you get emotional
  • better handle your emotions 
  • know how to handle in future similar situations
  •  improve your stress-handling

You recognise this scenario or you have another issue and you struggle to apply these tips?  Don’t hesitate to contact me, so I can give you some hands-on support.

For more information visit my coaching page.

Photo by Stephen Phillips – on Unsplash

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