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How Do I Ask Them to Stop Forwarding All Those Silly Emails?

How to handle obsessive email forwarders.

The obsessive forwarding of emails is a source of contention. I receive inquiries from mothers, daughters, fathers, and sons, friends, and associates. Each wants to know how to “nicely” ask someone they know, like, or love (possibly you) to please stop forwarding emails they didn’t ask for or are not interested in.

Unfortunately, no matter how nice, how kind, how thoughtful you may be in asking someone to stop forwarding these “forward to everyone you know” emails, the forwarder many times feigns hurt feelings. Worse case they’ll get downright belligerent in the belief that they can do what they want. Why don’t you appreciate that they are including you in these important mailings?

Hence, this article.

If you are an onliner who finds yourself in this dilemma you can share this article with those habitual forwarders in your life. This article will address them directly.

Just click any of the icons at the bottom of this post to share or send a link to this article. You can send it to someone you know who forwards everything under the sun and/or refuses to stop.

The problem isn’t really the forwards. Many times it is how they chose to forward it to you. Although the forwarders think they are being thoughtful, in fact, they are being proportionality the opposite because they are not forwarding properly. See my article 5 Rules for Forwarding Emails for further details.

If you want to be truly thoughtful, all you have to do is stop and think of the person on the other side. Not just forward any emails that you want or what will make you feel important at that moment in time.

The three critical email forwarding issues are…

  1. Forwarding to everyone in your address book. You can bet that everyone will not have an interest in the topic of that email. So you need to take the time to choose who you forward to because you know they will be interested.
  2. Not including a personal comment to the person you plan to forward to Now, that certainly isn’t very thoughtful, is it? If you cannot type a brief comment to the specific person you are forwarding to about why you are forwarding them that specific email, then don’t forward it.
  3. To forward jokes and non-business-related emails to another person’s business email address is not appropriate. This type of email should only be forwarded to personal addresses still taking into consideration numbers one and two above.

A Special Note to Habitual Forwarders

To all the thoughtless or naive uncontrollable forwarders out there… When you receive a request to not forward emails, kindly respect that request. Do not choose to have hurt feelings. Certainly don’t act like you have a right to disregard someone’s legitimate desire to not get emails they have no interest in receiving. And didn’t ask for.

Know that those who make these requests still want to hear from you. They just may not have the time or interest in forwards about silly, political, “informational” or humorous topics. Isn’t that their choice to make?

Here’s a good rule of thumb. When you see “forward to everyone you know”, all your friends, or everyone in your address book, just hit Delete.

Do you send unasked for forwards to everyone on your list, without comment? Maybe you should consider a more genuinely thoughtful approach. Why not be more selective about what you forward and to whom?

Think about if that person would really appreciate the information and include a little note to that effect in the forward. If it’s not worth your time to make these little efforts, have the humility to not get upset when you receive a request to stop.

Get the word out...