In the past two weeks, I’ve received two letters.

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In the past two weeks, I’ve received two letters…

My reaction has been completely different with each one.  The first email was a long message from a young friend who I NEVER get to see, who lives in a different state, who I even hardly talk to during the year, but he/she remembered something I’ve done for him/her, things I’ve said, and how I’ve affected him/her at that phase in his/her life which wasn’t always the easiest.  To make the long letter short, despite life’s circumstances, he never blamed me for telling him/her the truth.  Instead, the letter was just full of thanks, and it made me so humbled wondering what triggered him/her to remember me and write a letter. 

The second letter was somewhat an explanation letter from another young person, just as long as the first letter mentioned, but I felt so turned off by it, not because of its content but because I’ve always felt that people should be braver and earn someone’s respect if someone’s wronged you byapproaching them directly instead of hiding behind an email, afraid of the consequences or dialogue shared.  It was like a safety letter to soften you, but instead of softening me, it only strengthened my thoughts of cowardice and failure to step up to responsibility.  My advice to people- if you’re going to defriend someone publicly, don’t just expect a refriend out of the blue (even though that too was HIGHLY predictable the day I got defriended).  If you want to make amends and the conversation means that much to you, do not hide behind an email.

This is what I don’t understand; when you say something, own up to it and tell the truth about what you said.  People will respect you more.  Credibility IS important for what reason would people have to believe you?!  Don’t say credibility ISN’T important.  It’s like saying you don’t care if people can trust you and your honesty is worth not even a penny.  If these intellectual giants that you claim to respect didn’t have the size of credibility they earned, what’s the point of respecting them?! 

Lastly, it’s not that I’m angry, but for future reference, and even for future circumstances with other people in your life, if the dialogue is important, if you want respect, if you want closure, do not hide behind an email.  Approach the person.  Along the years, I’ve grown to respect the people who will talk to you face to face, even if it’s a difficult dialogue. 

Some help to the email etiquette impaired:
Tips to Improve Your Email Etiquette

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