permissible passive aggressiveness

Curious about Communication | Nudging


Here’s another key to good communication.
The Nudge Email.

Nudging is a precursor to adapting.
If someone doesn’t respond to an email, say, within 3 or 4 days, then it’s time for The Nudge Email.
It goes like this:

“Hey So and So,
I was just checking in,
wondering if my email got lost in your inbox”

Alternate version:

‘Hi Special Someone,
How’s your Monday?
I was checking back with you,
wondering if my email got sucked into your spam filter.”

What’s fascinating about this is everyone does it.
Everyone I interviewed would recite –almost verbatim–one of the versions listed above.
It was like some unspoken universal socializing technique that we all have agreed to use.

We don’t want to point fingers, accusing someone of ignoring our emails (maybe they’re busy!)(but we need answers!), so we pretend, innocently, that it somehow got lost or never arrived.

When I was relating this to a friend, he thought it was brilliant.
The one time where he was in favor of passive aggressiveness.
I’m inclined to agree.
I support this previously maligned form of social manipulation.
It allows you to give someone the benefit of the doubt  and sidesteps a lot of drama.

It might take multiple nudges, but eventually you’ll get an answer to that email.

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