Uh oh! You have sent an angry email. You probably feel regretful, and anxious about the damage caused by what you wrote. Maybe you’re worried about the effect on your reputation, or worried that the recipient will forward the email to thousands of others who will know that you lost your cool.
Try not to let it keep you up at night. There are steps you can take to make it better. Almost everyone has made the same mistake at some point, so people will probably be forgiving. Besides, you can’t get the email back now, so you might as well get the sleep.
After an Angry Email: Damage Control
The first step is damage control. Once you’ve taken a few deep breaths, it’s time to speak from the heart (a calmer heart, this time) and apologize. If it helps, remember that you’re not the first person in the history of the internet to venture off the deep end. In fact, the person you’re writing to has probably done the same thing, and will probably admire you for having the maturity to admit that you pressed “send” a bit too hastily.
You could even use this template, brought to us by our friends at The Muse:
Before an Angry Email: Think Before Your Type
After you’ve done your best to backtrack, it’s time to make sure that you don’t wind up in this situation again. It’s all about controlling your temper. When it comes to thinking before you act, remember that time is your best friend.
Our friends at the High Performance Lifestyle blog have created three simple steps to help us keep our tempers under control. First, when you’re tempted to write an angry email, go ahead and type it out—but leave the “to” field blank. Second, sleep on it for a night. Third, read your email again and decide whether sending it is really such a great idea. Chances are, you’ll think differently after some shut-eye!
For Severe Cases: Anger Management
If those three simple steps don’t work for you, you could be dealing with a more serious problem. That’s okay—the first step is admitting that you have a problem. You may be able to find a solution without taking medication or attending expensive therapy sessions. For instance, the Mayo Clinic recommends a ten-step program involving exercise, taking a timeout, using humor, and making non-judgmental “I” statements.
If that doesn’t work, or if you want to jump straight to the therapy, Psychology Today offers a list of anger management therapists near you.
We hope this article has been helpful. And remember, think before you type!