The topic I get contacted about most is lack of replies. (More tips on that later.) But first, let’s look at the situation at hand.
I get asked for my opinion on why they don’t reply. What should I do? Should I follow up? When should I follow up? What do I say?
The answer to those questions is pretty much unique to each situation and relationship. The dynamics are different between each individual involved.
I think not replying is because it is easy to ignore an email, and some folks think that’s okay. Not realizing, or in some cases not caring about, the impact ignoring the other side may have.
It’s Easy to be Hurtful via Email
I also get emails from those who let me know it is their choice to ignore and possibly hurt others’ feelings. To quote:
Wow… or how about…
That’s true. Your time is so much more important! And then there’s…
Good to know.
Maybe you should be more transparent with those you communicate with. How about including a disclaimer, something like this, at the end of every email:
DISCLAIMER: Emails from me in no way indicate I care to continue communicating with you or that I want to form any sort of meaningful relationship. This could be my one and only response. Deal with it.
Yeah, I know — that’s a bit over the top. But is it sad to read the emails I receive from those that appear to communicate with feeling and sincerity who don’t know why they are being “blown off.” Instead, they are truly upset and hurt.
I then explain that the person is busy, or maybe the email got caught in spam filters. I then suggest they can send a kind follow-up asking if everything is okay and hope for a response.
Next step? Cut your losses.
If you still don’t get a reply after multiple attempts, maybe the writing is on the wall. My advice to those who contact me and pour their hearts out over being ignored? Move. On.
Don’t fret about those who don’t treat you with respect and kindness. They aren’t worth your time. Instead, choose to spend your time communicating with those who do reply.
There will always be onliners who have no problem ignoring those trying to communicate with them. That tells me there are two things.
- If both sides were clear communicators, we would have less incorrect expectations.
- Technology seems to bring out the worst in people when they don’t have to be face-to-face or care how their actions or lack there of impact others.
Of course, I am discussing personal emails between friends, family, and acquaintances regarding Business Email Replies. That’s an entirely different ballgame.
Here are some of my other articles on the lack of replies for those struggling with this issue.