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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 individual 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. Social media has turned in to 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, comments or claims that the very same folks would not say if face-to-face. Many times not considering the human being on the receiving end.

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

Anonymity is Not an Excuse

Never use anonymity as an excuse to type things you wouldn’t normally say. 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 if the way you are communicating would be appreciated if it were directed at you.

There are so many things going on in the background that many emailers are not aware 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 though.

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 assume 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 responses to my inquiries, I don’t assume or accuse. If I don’t understand the tone or rational, I ask for more details. 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.

Jumping to conclusions many times 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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