Home » Living Up to Friend’s Email Expectations

Living Up to Friend’s Email Expectations

Email and Your Friend's Expectations

Do your friends expect you to respond to their emails in seconds? Or how about those friends who want you to be always available for texts or chats? Do they think you have nothing better to do?

Then, when you explain why you didn’t respond or were unavailable to chat — hurt feelings come into play. They think you don’t care or that they are not important enough.

Underlying Emotions

I don’t understand why someone would have hurt feelings simply because the other side was busy. When that happens, there tends to be more history and emotions under the surface than a lack of a speedy reply.

What do we do about those contacts that impose expectations on their communications with us? I don’t think there is a one-off answer for that.

So much has to do with the dynamics of the relationship. Is there a history? Is one person assuming more about the relationship than the other? Even the answers to these questions can be subjective.

What Both Sides Don’t Know

No one knows the other side’s situation—those who demand speedy replies and those who are busy.

So what we can do is be clear about our schedules and time constraints. With those you see commenting on your availability, time to be clear to set expectations.

For those that choose to be hurt by delayed responses, maybe clarify that’s not your intent. That’s what friends do. If you care, time to set the record straight to avoid future misunderstandings.

Then let them know your availability and what your general response time is. Layout it out clearly and concisely.

Yes, sometimes, you are sometimes setting unwanted guide posts for a relationship by doing so. And that cannot be easy.

However, if you have a contact intimating your lack of response is upsetting to them, time to set things straight. Better to do this sooner than later.

Courtesy = Prompt Replies

Regarding response time, basic Email Etiquette dictates that you respond promptly to incoming emails. However, in the real world, that isn’t always possible.

Nor does having an email address mean you are responsible for replying promptly to anyone who emails you. There are those you don’t want to communicate with — and that is your choice.

Your basic choices are to ignore them or be clear and honest about the relationship status. If the other side feels the relationship warrants more attention than you will give, time for a talk.

With that said, there are times and situations in relationships where we may unintentionally make others feel ignored or put off. What we are talking about here are the day-to-day communications that, in general, are not urgent or time-sensitive.

In that case, a quick apology and explanation will do—there is no need to go into further details than you are comfortable with.

Relationships Are About Understanding

Email and texting may be virtually instantaneous, but people are not. After all, this entire offline world is filled with responsibilities and activities that take folks away from their devices.

All too often, folks only think of themselves and not the other person on the other side of the screen. So let them know in a kind and gentle tone that they are essential but that you simply cannot always be available.

And if you are one of those who get hurt or upset whenever someone doesn’t respond as fast as you like, it’s nothing to be mad or upset about. Understanding what our friends’ lives entail, not just what we need at any moment, is also part of being a good friend, right?

Get the word out...

Similar Posts