Posted by: LYF | January 20, 2009

Passive agressive emails

Am I the only one that gets these?  You know when you get emails that are too professional given the context?  It would be similar to signing “Sincerely” at the end of an email to a high school friend.  Why do people do this?  It’s so frustrating.  I know what you’re doing.  You’re pissed off and instead of telling me off you’re writing me a very apathetic, amroal, profesional sounding email.  I can read through this.

I hate this.  So much time and energy gets spent dealing with it and no actual work gets done.



  1. Not too often. In fact, pretty rarely. The people I knew who did that dropped off my radar after university for the most part. 😉

    I do carefully re-read my own messages. No better way than to trigger passive-agg than to inadvertently write something that comes out wrong.

    The ability to pick up when someone’s inadvertently coming off that way – and to find a way to steer them back – however, is a good skill to pick up!

    In the meantime, treat them as UFE case practice. No wait, you already wrote and passed. Um, it’s a waste of your time then. 😉

  2. I usually get these kinds of emails from either banks or the CRA.

    And you’re definitely right about checking the tone of an email before sending it. Sometimes I try to be professional, but I know I end up sounding like a jerk robot.

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