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  1. #1
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    Aug 2004
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    The appropriateness of email...

    Hey, me again, new issue....

    Just wondering how you guys felt on the subject of email and what it is appropriate for. I have recently rather badly let down a friend (we're talking backing out of moving out of home and leaving her hanging at the last minute, yeah I know, I'm a great friend...) I know this was a terrible thing to do and it was not an easy decision to make, despite what is popularly thought...

    My problem is that this friend has approached a mutual friend with her grief, and the mutual friend has chastised me for what I have done to the other friend via email... (names changed of course...)

    Sue,

    I've heard and I'm a little mad. Please try hard to realise you've affected Mary's whole life. I'm disappointed you've left it this late to decide. There aren't any excuses and you need to make this up to her. She's really upset.

    It's not like we're 5 years old and we won't be friends but I'm just really disappointed.

    Talk soon,

    Jane Smith


    I feel really sad that after 20 years of friendship, she felt the need to do this... What makes me even sadder is that I expected it from her.

    What do you guys think? Is this appropriate?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
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    Well, I actually thought the CONTENT of the email was a very polite expression of dissapointment... least she didn't call you up and bitch you out.

    I dunno... I prolly wouldn;t email someone with that sort of thing, but then I prolly wouldn't confront someone either and I'd let the anger simmer and destroy our friendship *shrug*

  4. #3
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    Not something I would send in email, but I guess some people have different opinions on appropriateness (not just email either). Especially because you can't accurately express how you're feeling through typed out words. The same email can seem polite, snotty, bitchy, depending on how you read it, which is why I avoid doing anything like that in email.

    Unless it was a chicken way out for her to tell you she was disappointed.

    It seems pointless for her to have sent you the email anyway. Kind of like a mother saying "Now, go tell her you're sorry" to a little kid. It might've been the other friend going to her to let out her frustrations, and the emailing friend interpreting that as her saying "Fix this for me" instead of just listening and staying out of it.

    I would call her (or in person, definitely no email) and tell her that you thought it was patronizing. (Well, if you did think that...I would've taken it that way). and in nicer terms - since she is your friend - that it's basically between you and the other friend, she doesn't need to be involved in fixing what happened.

  5. #4
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    No, of course it's not appropriate.

    On the positive side at least it seems she was attempting to be polite.

    It seems obvious she has only heard one side of the story before she has sent this email. I would think she would have wanted to find out your perspective before throwing around judgements like she has.

    I don't like the way she seems to think she is telling you things you don't know, like your friend is upset. And I'd be worried about Mary if you have as much effect on her life as your friend suggests. It's probably been the best decision to not move out with someone if they would be that dependent on you for happiness or a good life.

    Lastly, how can this friend say "there aren't any excuses". It doesn't matter why you've made the decision you have but imagine if for example this friend found out there had been a death in your family which prevented you from leaving or something like that?

    Is your friend this self assured and righteous all the time? She would annoy me. I get the impression this incident might just be part of a larger problem though. But only you can know that, knowing the people and dynamics involved.

    I feel a bit too much like Dr. Phil now, so I'm going to end! :-)

  6. #5
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    Thanks all,

    MlleEmily I hadn't thought of it that way... But I just think she has more chance of remaining friends with us both if she doesn't get involved. At the moment I feel that saving our friendship is not her objective. I interpreted it more as a condescending "even though you're a terrible person, I'll still be your friend..."

    Chelsea, yeah I know the other friend wouldn't have asked her to say anything, but having known each other as long as we have she could have anticipated that she would react this way. I didn't call (oops! I felt like it, but hey if she wants to email we'll email) I just emailed and said that I knew what I had done and I felt bad basically, twas very short. Don't want to feed the drama addiction too much.

    pudding yes she is always like this. She has a very "self-help-book" type approach to things (I love self-help books don't get me wrong, it's just the language and the cliches that she uses...) It does annoy me, particularly because I'm older than her, not that it makes a difference. I just don't see why she has the right to speak to me this way, I feel like calling her on it but I don't have the guts!

    Anyone else?

  7. #6
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    call her on what?

    her email was extremely polite and considerate, and even if email isn't the best way to make a point about that kind of thing, it's the main way people communicate in a lot of circles. people who do all of their communication via email probably wouldn't feel like it was an inappropriate use of email anyways.

    you screwed your friend over (sorry, but backing out of a move-in agreement is a big deal) and another friend is feeling angry about it. it certainly wasn't a dramatic email, it was actually quite pleasant given the circumstances.

  8. #7
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    Thanks stella I know that what I did is a big deal. I guess I was hurt by it because it was something I would never do to a friend. I would never tell her off or judge her, (and trust me that is not for lack of opportunity) and even though I expected that she couldn't help it, I really hoped we were past all that. As a mutual friend I expected her to respect my decision and not feel the need to state the obvious to me.


 

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