Don’t Fall Prey to Holiday e-Stress Syndrome
The last couple of years has been one heck of a ride. And we all know that the Holidays can be stressful during a “normal” year. But, unfortunately, we have all kinds of added stress points to deal with.
This year it seems the Holidays started gearing up even earlier. You can feel it in the air and experience it firsthand when you go out, even if you just run an errand or make a quick stop at the grocery store—holiday stuff out before Halloween — and empty shelves for things we really need.
Yeah, no stress there. Things seem fragile.
Some you’ll run into are not happy campers and seem less patient. I feel bad for them and give them the benefit of the doubt. None of us know what anyone else is going through.
Your Annual Take a Deep Breath Reminder
With the Holidays comes the pressure and stress of all the holiday-related issues that creep up on us every year. Visiting in-laws and outlaws, entertaining details, gift buying, business and personal responsibilities colliding, holiday cards, and so on.
But this year, there are budget concerns with added uncertainty. Probably due to not knowing what lies ahead, as things seem to be changing and building at a dizzying rate.
Stress Filled Emails
Every year, when folks get stressed, it shows in their emails. Some type their emails more abruptly, which relays a blunt tone. It’s nothing personal; they’re just rushed, stressed, and running low on time or patience.
This intonation often comes from not taking the time to include all those little details we talk about here (greeting, closing, TIA!, proper sentence structure, and grammar, for starters ). But with tensions running high this year — it is even more critical to make sure to add those details.
Busy folks, with deadlines and responsibilities and new ways of doing many things. I get it; heck, even I can feel overwhelmed, depending on the day.
They’re whipping off emails with their thought or emotion of the moment and neglecting to include just the basic common courtesies. No thought for the human on the other side.
Contacts sending emails that may be a little condescending, a tad dictatorial, and some even downright rude in tone. All because they have too much on their plate.
For example, yesterday, I had a site visitor email within moments of ordering one of my eBooks asking if I was a fraud.
I just ordered, where’s my eBook — are you a fraud?
A fraud? Wow… I think my sites being live for decades would indicate otherwise.
They hadn’t whitelisted me (as asked to do on my confirmation page), and their download link was in their spam (promotions) folder.
Make the Time for the Little Email Details
These little details contribute to the persona of who we are. When we don’t make that effort, we increase the chance of negative perception. This applies to the Subject field as well — one of the first things the recipient will see and what may determine if your email even gets opened.
SUBJECT: Where’s my download!?!?
It turns out she did not look in her junk/trash folder. If she had taken the time to read the notes throughout the order process, she would have known how to prevent that and checked there first before jumping to scold me.
And you don’t know, by taking the time to be kind instead of reacting in kind, how you can make a difference in someone’s day. So I responded courteously and asked if she checked her junk/spam/trash folders.
Also, I commented that if the email with the required link wasn’t there, let me know, and I will send another copy pronto.
Not a peep after that. No apology, no thank you. Crickets.
This happens every year. As things get crazier, people have less patience and type before thinking things through. 2022 has been like that, times 10.
With that in mind, also remember that stressed-out recipients are more inclined to read between the lines what isn’t there. You know what happens when we assume?
That’s why it is wise to refrain from emotional formatting, as you risk it being amplified even more at this sentimental time of year.
Being Thoughtful and Considerate Only Takes a Moment
Don’t fall prey to the annual Holiday e-Stress Syndrome. You are better, wiser, and more considerate than that.
Now is not the time of the year to let your evil twin take over your email communications because you feel rushed, stressed, or overburdened. Take a moment, take a deep breath and clear your head before tapping out any emotionally sensitive emails.
And when you are unsure of others’ intentions, be kind and give the benefit of the doubt. Ask for clarification before jumping the gun.
Get in the spirit!
Don’t use the fact you are not face-to-face with the person on the other side of this screen to indulge in selfish emotions. Instead, be an example of happiness and good cheer — even if you feel otherwise.
More importantly, this year, it’s all about each of us helping to lift each other up. That’s genuinely part of what the Holiday Spirit should include, don’t you agree?