THE TALE OF THE UNPLEASANT EMAIL (AND OUR IMPACT ON OTHERS)

I wasn’t going to write a post today.

I was going to have a full day off and do very little.

You see, I had some very sad news this morning.

A friend of mine, the husband of one my closest friends, passed away yesterday after a battle with cancer, and so as I’m feeling more than a little emotional right now, I decided I’d step away from the laptop and come back next week when I’m feeling a bit chirpier.

But then I received an email.

A rather unpleasant email from a stranger, which, because I’m feeling so sad at this moment in time, brought tears to my eyes and almost made me cry as I read it whilst waiting to pay for some goods in a shop earlier.

I don’t want to go into great detail about the incident nor is this post an attack on the person who sent it.

But I will say that it was hurtful, unfair and designed to wound. And definitely not something I wanted to be reading this morning, which is why I nearly sobbed all over my daughter’s new clothes. And in public too.

If I’d received it yesterday, I’d have probably ignored it or maybe even dismissed it as being troll-like.

If I’d received it tomorrow, I may have replied sternly with a few choice words of my own.

But today?

Well today, I decided to ignore the venom and reply with kindness.

I decided that life is far too short to be upset about a stranger’s unkind words or waste my time getting angry.

Why?

Because I’m starting to realise that whatever we put out into the world, we get back. Call it karma, call it law of attraction, call it whatever you like, but this is what happens.

Yes, the sender chose to send me words that were clearly designed to upset and offend. However I chose to reply with the opposite.

Today I chose to put out ‘good’.

Earlier this morning as I walked around my local town and tried to pick out the nicest sympathy card for my dear friend, I couldn’t however, help but think of this email.

I couldn’t help but wonder why someone, who does not know me, would choose to be so hurtful.

And as I walked through the throngs of people and watched as folk passed me by, I realised that the way in which we all treat each other, the way in which we treat our fellow human beings – strangers or loved ones – matters more than we often realise.

Because we have impact.

On everyone we come into contact with. Face to face, our even over a simple email.

Me.

You.

All of us, have the ability to make someone’s day better. Or, to ruin it.

Our actions and our words matter. And it’s us, who decides how to use them.

So today I decided not to send an angry reply. I didn’t tell the sender how much they’d upset me or even how unfair they were.

I chose to be kind. I chose not to retaliate. I chose to let it go.

And I did it for the person in question, but also, for me.

So that later tonight, I won’t be sat on my sofa drinking a glass of wine and feeling angry over an unpleasant email exchange with someone I’ve never met. Or regretting what I said or wishing I’d said something different.

No.

I’ll be sat with a glass of wine in one hand, and my husband’s hand in my other, as we toast our friend who has died.

And I’ll be remembering his impact on our lives. Mine, Jamie’s and Elsie’s.

I’ll be thinking about all the ancient history stuff I now know because of him.

I’ll be thinking about the delicious fry up he cooked for me one morning that helped to bring me round from a dreadful hangover.

And I’ll be thinking about how Elsie’s face lit up with wonder as he walked her around our garden, helping her to find creatures hidden under rocks and stone.

And finally.

Finally, I’ll be thinking about my dear friend, whom he has sadly had to leave behind.

And wondering how on earth I can impact her and make her pain and her grief – if at all possible – a little easier to bear.

 

With love,

Kate

Lips

 

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58 Discussions on
“THE TALE OF THE UNPLEASANT EMAIL (AND OUR IMPACT ON OTHERS)”
  • What a lovely post lady! I’m so sorry to hear of the death of your friend. Good on your for choosing not to let a random email from someone (who may be psychologically damaged or suffering as many trolls seem to be) effect you. x

  • This brought a tear to my eye. So sorry to hear about your friend’s husband. Desperately sad.
    I was on the receiving end of what I can only describe as an attack after I wrote a humorous post about my husband…It seems not everyone has a sense of humour and loads of people ganged up to call me hurtful names. I was really upset and contacted the person who did it privately. I didn’t shout or rant or call names….because what’s the point? It just made me realise that there are sadly alot of unhappy people out there and some nasty ones too. But i choose to surround myself with good people…I don’t need to give my thoughts or attention to people like these and neither do you you fabulous lady.
    Your wonderful blog makes many people feel good and makes them value themselves and I’m sure your real life friends reap the benefits of having you as a great friend.
    Well done for not attacking back. It’s so great to take the high road. I’ll join you there and we can stop off for a pint along the way!x

  • I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend and that you had to deal with an unpleasant email on the same day.
    I’m totally with you on this – I truly believe that what you give out in life you get back. It is really hard to treat people who have been unkind with kindness, but if we don’t we’re only hurting ourselves.
    The person who sent the email probably hasn’t given it as much thought as you have and your anger will not affect them. It will only harm you. But your kindness and forgiveness will make you feel peaceful and show that you choose to react with grace.
    Easier said than done I know, but I try to live my life this way for my own sake as much as other people’s! x

  • It really is upsetting when you get a nasty email and when you are already feeling vulnerable that must magnify it all the more. I am sorry for your loss and that of your friend, but I am so glad for you that you have responded with grace. You are so right that what we put out is what we receive back, you deserve good and I’m sure you will get it. Xx

  • I’m so sorry about your friend, darling. He sounds like he was a very special email. I’m sorry too someone felt the need to expend the effort of sending you an email to be mean. What’s the point? A good response from you – don’t let the bastards grind you down. Put them out to the universe. Life is too short. Much love xxx

  • oh Katie, I am so sorry to hear about your friend’s husband that’s so sad. These things certainly have a way of putting things into perspective. As for the horrid email darling, well, you did absolute right. As you know I’ve been on the receiving end of similar and reply with my head held high so to speak, I think you are spot on when you say what you put out you (mostly) get back but some will always still try to hurt us. That is their problem though, and not a reflection on you. Just to let you know you brighten my days and I’m proud to call you my friend. Xxx

  • I’m so sorry to hear about your loss Katie, but do hold onto those good memories your friend has left you with, that’s the positive impact he has had on your family’s lives. It sounds like you did the right thing with the way you handled that unkind email, and it can’t have been easy to rise above it in the way that you did when you are feeling upset and emotional. Sending hugs xxxxx

  • You are just the most beautiful person inside and out. I am so sorry to hear of your friend. Big hugs to you my lovely xxx

  • So sorry to hear about the lose of your friend. I hope you find comfort in your family and friends. I’m sure you will be a wonderful shoulder for your friend in her time of need.
    As for the ‘unpleasant email’, I think you have handled the situation brilliantly. It is a shame that people can be so hurtful to others.

    Hope you are able to relax and have a good weekend. :-)

  • Beautiful words as always Katie, he made a impact on our lives that we’ll never forget (including Mike learning how to load his Winchester :p) There’s books I would never of read if it wasn’t for him, he always had time for Rufus and played football with him outside for ages whenever we went round. We’ll raising a glass to him tonight, and thinking of those he left behind. Much love, as always xxx

    • That made me chuckle – the Winchester thing! Ha,ha! He was a very giving man, always had time for us all and made us all feel so welcome. We had a couple of glasses for him on Friday night, I’m sure you guys did too. Much love my darling. xxxx

  • Oh darling your poor friend, I cannot even imagine starting to deal with the loss of a husband at this age.

    You did the right thing in not retaliating, it’s always the best move, as hard as it can be some times.

    Sending love & hugs to you on this sad day. Enjoy that glass of vino xxx

  • Oh, Katie. Your grace and wisdom never fail to move me. This is a beautiful post and one that I hope that I will remember the next time that in a moment of hurt I am tempted to lash out.

    I’m so sorry about your friend. Big, big hugs.

  • You are amazing my dear. I am so sorry to hear about your friend and that you have received such an email. There is no explaining some people but what grace and strength you have to react as you have. Lots of love xxx

  • Oh kate, just like you were feeling today, I feel such a mixed bag of emotions after reading your beautiful post. Anger and so sad for you and your friend who lost her husband. Life can be so cruel. Such disappointment that someone who doesn’t know you can get you so completely wrong. I don’t know you, yet I read your blog and you’ve inspired me to go freelance. I reckon Im a much better judge of character that that lousey person who bothered to write that email. Get a life!! And such joy that there are beautiful human beings out there who rather than bite back, can hold their head high for they are a decent person who inspires others. And that my lovely lady, is you xx

  • Oh I am so sorry about your friend.
    This post is one we should all heed. I guilty of saying things in the heat of the moment but sometimes, like you said, saying nothing can make it better for everyone involved.
    Grab your husband’s hand a little tighter tonight. Life is too short xx

  • Oh darling I am so sorry for your loss. I’m so sorry someone felt the need to inflict thier negativity onto you. I’m so pleased you replied with nothing but positivity and strength. People will forget what you said, forget what you did but always remember how they made you feel. Will always be one of my favourite quotes. Sending you lots of love and hugs beautiful lady. Xxxx

  • So sorry to hear of your friend Katie, so sad to be gone so young.
    In your sadness it would have been easy to react in anger to the sender of the horrible email but you did the right thing in rising above it. You proved the sender wrong by your showing such grace.
    I have to say I do feel a bit sorry for such a person…what have they experienced to make them so bitter to want to act in such a way? Your beautiful character and love has shone through and perhaps this person will think twice before repeating his/her actions. I hope so.
    Take care xx

  • What a lovely post & well done to you on your response to someone who quite clearly was out to upset you. Your energy is better spent on caring for and supporting those around you xx

  • I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I understand your response to the email as well. I’ve had my head down all week so that nobody speaks to me, I know that if somebody has a go at me I’ll just be walking away, there is no space for any more bad stuff this week. Another time maybe but not this week.x

  • I’m so sorry to hear your sad news but wanted to say well done for being the bigger person and ignoring.
    It is 100% harder to push aside that to bite back so well done x

  • sorry about your news and sending virtual hugs. also, i admire how you turned someones trolling into a positive. words are powerful things and should be used with care. you showed grace under pressure.

  • what a positive and thought provoking post. I suffer with some mild anxiety and the amount of times someone’s words or actions towards me, however small, have led to me feeling terrible for much longer than they probably even realised. I am sorry that you had to experience this, and I am very sorry for the loss of your friend. Your positive attitude though is admirable and something I need to keep in mind x

  • Oh hun I’m so sorry about your friend. Your post brought tears to my eyes, not because of the hurtful person but because you wrote beautifully about your friend. My thoughts are with you, your family, and your friend’s family. You are one strong lady to be able to rise above the negativity. Xxx

  • I’m so sorry about your friend’s husband, and that awful email. I do worry about others and what motivates them. The internet is an amazing place yet it empowers the ridiculous and the nasty as they hide behind their screen. Please don’t let it get to you. You are so strong to feed back with kindness but not sure they deserved that. I would ignore and in future would do the same (just me). My husband Peter is the most chilled, wise chap (I call him Buddha)-and he always advises me that it’s actually a good thing when people show their true colours (not talking one offs bad days, we all have them, but consistent ill-treatment etc) so you know where you are and can act accordingly/ remove them from your life. Surround yourself and focus on those who matter only. Thinking of you all at this sad time x

  • Wise words and something for us all to remember.
    I’m sorry to hear of your friends passing, I hope the memories you have help to ease the feeling of loss. We all hope to be remembered with a smile when we’re gone.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. And I am so sorry that you had to read something like that email especially when you were already feeling upset. It never fails to shock me how awful people can be to each other – even strangers! You did the right thing, you were the bigger, better person. I know I would have struggled to not get angry, reply and then spend the next few days annoyed/angry.

  • I am so sorry for your loss, your friend sounds like a great man and you have some wonderful memories there to cherish.

    I am also sorry that you received such a nasty email. I can’t imagine why someone would want to target you – you are so nurturing of other people, so generous with your time and such a positive person.

    My motto for dealing with meanies is to kill them with kindness. We can’t control how other people behave, only how we react. Well done lovely x

  • I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope your friend is surrounded by amazing people like you to support her through what must be an epically rubbish time.

    This post made me proud to ‘know’ you – the internet seems to bring out the worst in some people but you responded with dignity and grace.

    Sending hugs xx

  • Oh Kate!! Sending lots of hugs to you, your friend and their family.
    I love your response to the e-mail and your wise and empowering words yet again.
    Last night I was at my part time job and a couple of snide comments from one single person resorted me to coming home and breaking down in tears because he really knocked what little confidence I have even more.

    It is amazing how one person really can bring down your whole day. It’s reading this that has made me realise, I did actually have a pretty great day yesterday. I saw some family I hadn’t seen in a while, got to cuddle my sisters newborn again, spent the day exploring new places with my daughter.

    Yet my brain chose to focus on a few comments from one person and let them determine my feelings on the whole day. I pretended to brush off the comments at the time and it looked like I took them in my stride, but in my head I was trying so hard not to crumble until I was out of sight and in my own home, where I did.

    We do have an impact on others and I do believe in the law of attraction and what we give out we get back. I think you did an amazing thing responding so positively. I think I need to start responding in a contrasting way next time something like that happens to me too. The next time someone makes unnecessary remarks towards me, I will try and meet them with unfaltering and genuine kindness.

    I am so sorry for your loss Kate. I’m glad you have some beautiful memories of your friend that you can look back on with fondess. Sending lots of love to you all through this difficult time. xxx #sundaystars

  • How vile of that stranger. Regardless of unknown timing it is unnecessary to intentionally hurt another person. Well done on dealing with it so calmly. I am so very sorry for yours and everyone’s loss.
    #SundayStars

  • Gosh sounds like this email was received at such a bad time for you :( So sorry to hear about your loss. I honestly think that people spit out venom when they are hurting themselves. I know it’s so hard to receive sometimes but I’ve chosen to believe that everyone has a story and theirs must be a very sad and lonely one, for them to behave in this way. I think you responded in just the right way. There really is no point in retaliating with the same unkind behaviour. Hard to shake off though isn’t it?

  • Darling Katie I’m coming back to comment as I read but didn’t have a chance to write. I’m so so sorry that you received such an awful email – why do people feel they need to attack others? – and for the dreadfully sad loss of your friend’s husband. Your reaction is SO inspiring – as always you inspire us all with your ‘wisdom in heels’ and put a stake in the ground for maturity and kindness both to ourselves and others. Sending you much love and a hewge hug xx

  • I’m so sorry to hear about your friends loss. Words are just never enough at times like this. I am also sorry to hear about the horrible email – I never understand people who use the internet/emails to say things they wouldn’t dream of saying face to face. Just seems so cowardly to me. But I love your reaction – choosing kindness. I am not sure I could have done the same. Big hugs xx

    • Thank you so much to everyone who has commented on this post. For all the kind words, encouragement and just absolute loveliness. I’m overwhelmed by all the comments but you’ve all helped to make a sad lady a lot happier, so thank you. Days on I’m still so glad i chose not to respond in anger. It meant that I could concentrate on what was important, honouring my friend and enjoying my weekend as best as I could. I’m glad I chose to respond with kindness. Thanks everyone xxx

  • Good on you for replying with so much dignity. It astounds me really that anyone would want to send a hurtful email like that and it is of no surprise that is upset you so much on such a sad day. I am so, sorry sorry to hear of your loss and as you know I am always here if I can help in any way at all! Much love x

    • Thanks so much Julia. Really appreciate that. I ordered that book you recommended for my friend. Much love x

  • Good on you for not rising to the bait. I’m sorry for your loss and also sorry you had to deal with this on such a sad day. Thanks for sharing this with #sundaystars xxx

  • Lemme attam :( I don’t understand why people write cruel things, I chose a while ago that mean words spoken to others comes from a place of pain, so I think you definitely did the right thing. Not least for your own piece of mind xxx I am so so sorry to hear about your friend’s death. Much love to you and your close friend as you come to terms with this. So cruel. xxxx

    • Thanks my darling. I definitely did. It actually made me forget the nastiness too and concentrate on what was important. Thanks for your kind words too. Funeral today so it’s going to be emotional but we’ll give him a good send off:) xxx

  • Kate, I am really sorry to hear the sad news and angry on your behalf about the email. I am really glad you didn’t reply. That makes you the better person. Chin up. X

  • Oh Kate, what a beautiful post. I welled up at the end. Keyboard warriors…I’ll never get it. So so sorry about your friend. It’s almost a year since my hubby lost a friend to the awful C. I just don’t think you ever get over it. But your memories…they’re precious. Lots of love xxx

    • Thanks so much lovely lady. The behaviour of some people never fails to astonish does it? Really appreciate your kind words, thank you xxx

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