All too often otherwise nice folks come off as terse or plain old rude when it comes to their email habits. Most emailers do not intentionally set out to be rude, well I guess some do, but for the most part I prefer to believe the majority do not.
How to Avoid Appearing Rude in Email
How do you know if you are viewed as rude? Your email habits smack of a lack of consideration for the person on other side.
Below are the most common oversights I see onliners make on a regular basis. Oversights that end up leaving a negative perception.
If you answer yes to any of the following questions you are most likely being viewed as rude.
Do you forward emails without comment?
Forwarding without taking take the time to write a comment about why you are forwarding that particular email to that particular person, will cause you to be viewed as rude. Actually, if you don’t want to make this effort — don’t bother forwarding at all.
Do you disregard requests from others who ask that you not forward emails to them?
The fact is that not everyone wants to receive all those “informative” emails you think are so important. Especially if you are forwarding without comment or thought by just clicking Send to your entire address book.
Just because you can doesn’t mean you do. Honor requests to not forward emails with kindness and understanding. Otherwise, you will be viewed as rude (and narcissistic).
Do you send overly large unexpected attachments?
You need to take the time to determine file size and ask first when would be the best time to send any large files. The reality is that you don’t know the other side’s data limits. Send unasked for unannounced large file and you’re probably going to be viewed as rude.
Do you send business attachments after business hours?
Send large unexpected attachments after business hours that could cause inboxes to get filled and you will definitely be viewed as rude. Only send business attachments when they are expected and during business hours.
Do you start every email with a greeting and a closing?
Always open with a “Hi” or “Hello” with the recipient’s name and close with a “Sincerely,” “Take Care,” or TTYS and your name. Not taking the time to personally address an email and sign off with courtesy, can cause you to be perceived as demanding or curt. And viewed as rude.
Do you jump for website’s contact link?
You should first search the site and read any available information before doing so. What do you think it says when you ask about information that has already been provided for your convenience?
Not searching first will reflect that you feel your time is more important than the site owners. Who will jump to answer emails from anyone that is viewed as rude?
Do you use multiple !!! or ??? in your emails?
Overuse of punctuation to make a point, will make a point. Not only will you come off as sarcastic and/or condescending — you can be viewed as rude.
Do you pack the To: or Cc: fields with email addresses?
Particularly contacts that do not know each-other? This is a serious breach of privacy. Exposing your contact’s email addresses to strangers will definitely be viewed as rude.
Do you whiltelist your contacts?
Whitelisting is the process of adding contacts to your whitelist, address book or approved senders list. This effort is so that their emails are not mistaken for spam.
When you have a new contact, stop and add their email address to your address book. You can’t complain about not receiving emails without making this effort. Don’t whitelist and complain and yep, you’ll be viewed as rude.
It’s Easy to Not be Viewed as Rude
It is very easy to avoid being viewed as rude by taking the time to reflect courtesy for the people you are communicating with. All too often folks think only of themselves and what they want to do at any given moment. Regardless of how it will be perceived or affect the person on the other side.
Good manners never go out of style and that applies to email activities as well.