Have you ever sent someone an email and they did not respond to it? Did you feel slighted or offended? I can remember several occasions when my email did not meet with a response. I sure did experience negative emotions – I remember being upset, angry, hurt, offended, slighted (not all on the same occasion thankfully). In recent times, I have reflected on this, and have come to a conclusion that I should be completely unperturbed if my email is not responded to.
Here are some reasons why:
1) This is the age of information overload
We receive unprecedented amount of electronic communication. Tons of emails. Even more WhatsApp/Hangouts/Text Messages. Social Media Notifications. When we are inundated with incessant messages from other people, other people certainly are as well. When someone gets 100 messages a day, they may not be able to respond to all 100. Some out of the 100 may get missed, and it very well might be ours. Given this argument, a few people have told me “But my message is important”. Guess what, all 100 people would think this!
2) They may simply have wanted to get to this later but ended up forgetting about it
I can attest to this from personal experience. Yes, I should ideally not procrastinate, and respond immediately. But we don’t do ideal things all the time. And I am not alone in this – “I read your email, I wanted to reply to it but somehow ended up not doing so”, is a response I’ve received in-person and over the phone repeatedly. And that is okay. Re-read #1 – each person’s situation is different, but the fact is that this is a more complicated world than ever today.
3) They may have more important situations to attend to
One of my good buddies and I used to email each other frequently a decade ago. He then became an early employee of a startup, which today is one of the big tech companies. He was heading the software division of this company, and was working close to 15 hours a day. When I would send him an email, the frequency of responses came down, he would reply after a week or two, and eventually stopped replying at all.
Was I offended? Absolutely not. When deciding whether to respond to my social email, or work on an engineering decision that benefits the company, in my opinion the choice is a no brainer. When we met in person a couple of years ago, it was as if nothing had changed, and we had the same rapport that we always had, whether we were in email contact or not.
I could easily understand my friend’s situation given that he was working for a big tech company. But why should I not give anyone else the benefit of the doubt that they may have more important things to do than responding to my email?
4) They simply may not want to give you the time of the day
This is a tough pill to swallow. They might simply not want to respond to you at all. This depends on who you are emailing, and the exact situation, it is but natural for the ego to get hurt (especially if this is someone you know, and not a celebrity who is inundated with messages), but once again, we have a choice of choosing graceful acceptance over resentment.
5) Any other reason
This was not meant to be an exhaustive list, just the reasons that I could think of. If you can think of any other reasons, please mention them in the comments section.
Oh, if you don’t leave a comment on this article:
1) These are the days of article overload in os.me – you might skip a few, and this might well be one.
2) You may have read this, but may decide to comment later. (I thank you for taking the time to read this.)
3) You may have something more important you may be doing. Awesome – go for it, and my sincere best wishes to you!
4) You simply may not want to give me your time of the day. That’s totally alright!
5) Any other reason
Image Credit : Torsten Dettlaff from Pexels.com