You know when someone does something that really bugs you? And you decide to send them an angry letter or email or text? There may be a momentary rush of excitement or satisfaction where you have stuck it to the other person, but that feeling will fade quickly and leave you with just the hurt again.
Sending the angry letter may not go quite the way you hope it will. Writing that letter in the heat of the anger or frustration will probably lead to hurt feelings and misunderstanding on both sides. I have seen good relationships soured by words said in too big a hurry.
Here’s a little sage advice I picked up a few years ago. This advice comes courtesy of Dr. Roy Lawson and was passed on to me by my friend and mentor Paul Whittingstall.
Dr. Roy said you should write the letter you really want to write and don’t send it. Yet. Wait a few days and then write the letter that should be written. That means taking all the hurt out of the letter. By which I mean the hurt you may want them to feel. Tske out the acustory language any inappropriate words. Take out the
Keep it simple and clear. Try something like, “when you did that, it hurt my feelings in this way”. Seek to be reconciled with the other person.
There was a time not so long ago that you had to mail a letter and put a stamp on it and the other person didn’t get it for three days. With the advent of the fax machine, then email, texts and other instant communication the problem has only been compounded.
So next time you want to send that letter to deal with the other person; slow the whole process down. Write or type out your feelings as it will help you process. Then hit the pause button! When you’re not longer (or much less) ticked off. Rewrite the note to the way it should be. Pray for wisdom in what to say and what not to say.
Even then, you don’t have to send it. Maybe it would be best for the relationship if you just forgave them and left the letter unsent.
Whatever you decide, don’t send the angry letter!!