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Now is Not the Time to Accuse and Assume

Compassion in Email and on Social Media

Everyone is stressed out. Many have different priorities based on their situation or circumstance. More than ever, it’s time to get the benefit of the doubt and take a deep breath before reacting.

Email makes it so much easier to make accusations or assumptions. As a result, social media has turned into a shouting match between friends and strangers alike.

It is common to receive emails or see posts that contain comments based on the sender’s perspective. In some cases, remarks or claims that the very same folks would not say if face-to-face. However, they often do not consider the human being on the receiving end.

Being behind these screens makes it easier to type what is not genuine or friendly. Because you don’t have that eye contact or person sitting in front of you to have then to deal with their reaction.

Anonymity is Not an Excuse

Never use anonymity as an excuse to type things you wouldn’t usually say. But, unfortunately, there’s a lot of that happening on social media. And it isn’t productive. In particular now when most of us are more sensitive than usual.

If you would not communicate in that same way if face-to-face — just don’t do it. Also, consider how you are communicating would be appreciated if it were directed at you.

Many things are going on in the background that emailers are unaware of that can cause delayed emails, bounces, or lack of response. You also don’t know their schedule, connectivity, and what they may be going through.

Emotions are Running High

With email, in particular, it is so easy to vent your frustrations about a situation, point unnecessary fingers, and demand a reply or result. Many look at email and social media as a way to vent without considering how the other side may feel or be going through.

When faced with a potential emotional misunderstanding, unless you are an expert at the issue at hand and experienced enough to know all the variables that are backing up your point of view — don’t accuse or assume. Instead, ask kindly for clarification.

While you are assuming, why not also believe that you do not know all the details. You may not have a window into what is impacting the situation. How about asking for an explanation in a kind and courteous way?

Don’t Accuse or Assume

If I do not receive a response to an inquiry, I don’t assume or accuse. Instead, I ask for more details if I don’t understand the tone or rationale. Then, I send a kind follow-up confirming if the party received my original request? To that, I also include a comment asking if everything is okay.

Many times, jumping to conclusions only serves to expose your lack of knowledge, understanding, or compassion to extend courtesy in any given situation.

Type to unto others as you would have them type unto you.

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