How to Kill a Relationship in One Touch of the “Send” Button

By on March 1, 2012

By Beverly Lewis –

Email can kill a relationship.

I learned an indelible lesson about written communication when I was in 7th grade Spanish class. No- we didn’t have email back in the Stone Age, but bear with me. My mother had taught me to NEVER put anything in writing that wasn’t meant to be read by many, with the exception of writing in my journal.

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But in a moment of frustration and anger, I wrote on my paper in class “Bissell is a b—-”. I failed to see Mrs. Bissell working her way around the class and reading over my shoulder. Busted! I can still feel the heat as my cheeks flamed in embarrassment. Lesson learned.

What does this have to do with email?

Email is a convenient, non-intrusive way to communicate information. But it’s a lousy way to communicate emotion-laden messages. It’s entirely too easy for people to “read between the lines” and inject hidden meaning where maybe there is none or worse, maybe you’re upset and you have some unresolved resentment or angry towards someone that you decide to address in an email. Warning- Stop the madness before it goes too far and take time to think it over before firing something off in an email.

And don’t assume that any email messages you do send will be only read by the recipient. They can forward it, print it, re-read it, stew on it… you get the picture. The inherent danger of email is that it’s fast. It’s too easy to fire off a message when you’re angry. It’s easy to kill a relationship in one touch of the “Send” button. So what’s the safeguard?

PICK UP THE PHONE or if you need to talk to someone about something they’ve done to upset you it’s best to meet with them personally if you can, when you’re in a better state of mind.

Otherwise, you might be like a 7th grader in Spanish class- writing something in a moment of anger and frustration that you’ll regret for a very long time.

CEO of  is a trainer, speaker and business consultant.  She’s been teaching on leadership and business growth for more than 25 years and has helped thousands of people implement change and refocus their lives and businesses to experience a greater measure of success and fulfillment.

About Beverly Lewis

Beverly Lewis is the CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer) of LifePoint and co-founder of Slingshot Success. She works with business leaders and entrepreneurs as an executive trainer and coach, teaching innovative strategies to take the “dys” out of dysfunctional businesses and put the “fun” back into functional productivity. You can learn more about her at and on Twitter @beverlyspeaks.

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How to Kill a Relationship in One Touch of the “Send” Button