Have you ever found yourself the recipient or sender of hate mail?
Let me back up,
Not exactly hate mail spewing vitriolic bullying slander, but a note that is raw
Unguarded, accusatory, blaming, needy, demanding or anything else you know will provoke a heated response .
Of course there’s a place for honest communication and despite its difficult messy form, it’s crucial to building stronger relationships, clarifying expectations and arriving at mutual agreements. Honest communication can dive a relationship into deep intimacy.
But if you’re banging out a note, fingers pounding the keyboard, heart racing and your jugular vein popping, chances are, you’re reasoning skills aren’t at their peak. Your brain’s been drained.
Your fight or flight response is on high alert, diverting blood to your limbs preparing you for action not reason.
Can a raw uncensored data dump be healthy? You bet. A great big vomiting purge of toxic thoughts and feelings allows the body to vent, spin off energy and by putting it on paper, gives you a chance to examine the hazmat.
You can look at it, question it, get curious about it, get some distance and perspective.
So go ahead, let it rip. Pound away. Say every gnarly, needy, accusatory, blaming defensive or offensive thing you want.
Let your energy spin off, accelerating to that climactic moment where you reach for the button
Yes…. hit SEND….
BUT SEND IT TO YOURSELF
Listen to the cyber space whoosh and await the pling in your inbox.
Print it. Read it and imagine you are receiving this note. Read it with unsuspecting eyes. What might you say differently or not at all?
Take a breath and be thankful for this paused moment. Harm from writing something you regret may be irrevocable.
Though we are talking about cyberspace, I am reminded of the old Jewish folktale that tells the story of a village gossip spreading rumors about her friends. Eventually everyone avoids the gossiper. Feeling guilty and alone, she seeks the counsel of the Rabbi.
“I’ll take back my words,” the woman says, but the Rabbi isn’t convinced she fully understands the impact of her actions. Finally, the Rabbi suggests she fulfill a task to reconcile with the villagers. He tells her to go to the town square with a feather pillow and a knife. Once there, he instructs her to slash the pillow open. She does so and at once the feathers scatter far and wide in the blowing wind.
“Now,”says the Rabbi, “you must retrieve every single feather and bring it back.”
“But that’s impossible,” cried the woman. “They can’t be gotten back.”
“That,” said the Rabbi “is like your words—once spoken they can never be gotten back.”
If spoken words cannot be retrieved at least they can be debated. Did I really say that? It wasn’t quite like that. It was more like blah blah, What I meant was blah blah blah.
But words in an email leave a written trail of irrefutable eternal evidence.
So where do you send Hate mail? To Yourself.
What is your part in the miscommunication? What can you take responsibility for? What is the outcome you are seeking? Know the outcome you want and reverse engineer your note focusing on the outcome you desire.
Make Believe~Make Belief Affirmation: I am able to speak the truth compassionately and respectfully and keep my focus on the outcome I desire.