Thursday, January 20, 2011

#35 Brick in the face

I received an email last week and it was not with joy and warm fuzzies. As soon as I saw who it was from my heart sped up, reluctantly clicking on the message I began to read an email that I didn't want to read. 

I had a counseling session with a guy end of last year, and we didn't click. I said to him that I wasn't committing to seeing him I just wanted to see what the session would be like and get a feel for the type of counseling I would be getting. I wasn't into it to be honest and I explained to him how I felt. He suggested I book another appointment as it is hard to make a judgment on one meeting - I wasn't keen. I don't really enjoy paying $100 to listen to my own voice and watch a man nod now and then asking me cliche questions I am quite capable of asking myself. It was like talking to a blanket. I didn't book another session and I said to him I will think about it more and if you don't hear from me I am not interested in taking it any further. I never emailed him as I thought it was the end of it - time to move on. But for him it wasn't... 

I was a little creeped out by the email. It's hard to explain. I guess I felt like the email crossed the line in some way? He said my lack of communication reflected an issue I struggle with - which for me is where he crossed the line. I find this specific situation really difficult to work out. Why did it creep me out? All I will say is I'm not the one who is going to fulfill his Good Will Hunting fantasy. Anyway, this post isn't about the counsellor - it's about the email. 

Is communicating through technology always appropriate? Are emails and texts a cowards way of speaking their mind? 

I got a text the other week from a friend (who lives in another city) saying they had a problem with my behaviour and treatment towards them. I felt sick when I read it. The annoying thing is, I wasn't aware of it at the time. I'm not trying to defend my behaviour but why not say something at the time? I haven't replied. I don't see the point. Trying to have a conversation like that over texts or even on the phone is never a good idea, in fact it's a terrible idea. I remember a few years ago a got a message in my Facebook inbox from another friend who was overseas saying I was immature and she didn't appreciate my comments "put it away" on a photo of her in a bikini - she even questioned our friendship. Rediculous. 

When we have a problem with someone take a day or several weeks to work through it and figure out why you are irritated. If you find you are still irritated after a week talk to them (if they are in the same city as you). And if they aren't... try your hardest to work through it so you are free from the burden. Because it isn't worth bringing up if you can't talk to them face to face, and they might be having a shocker of a day and to get hit in the face by a brick from their inbox is slightly unfair - especially if they never saw it coming. It is the worst way to try and solve a problem and the sting of it takes a lot longer to heal.

We have all experienced it haven't we?


  1. Hell! Yes, we have all experienced it. Not fun. But, sometimes things can't get worked out face to face either. Crazy, huh!?
    Re the e-mail - two points (both that cancel each other out, I might add) - firstly, if you are concerned, make a formal complaint. Secondly, the sender is a person too (albeit in a professional role) and perhaps they too are struggling to get some 'closure' on your experience. So, perhaps some 'understanding' (for want of a better word) might make it seem less offensive.
    Totally agree tho that modern media makes communication odd; but then I think back the the 'olden' days....imagine having a fight with someone back in England when you emigrated here - 3 months or so to get a letter back....let that disagreement fester!!!
    Sorry you've been hit with a brick today; hopefully tomorrow's better. E xx

  2. Good point Esther... I will mull over it.
    And you're right, sometimes even face to face is worse! Depends how serious it is I suppose :) Flip imagine waiting for a telegram... but I guess they weren't the microwave generation... patience was their virtue!
    The bruise from the brick is slowly wearing off :)
    Sometimes I wish we didn't have cell phones and we could go back to talking on the phone.