Navigating conflicts by email

For a long time, I would advise people never to hold emotionally charged conversations by email, because the lack of nonverbal or even vocal cues in a typed message remove too much crucial information from the communication.

My thinking is a little more nuanced now, and it’s useful to consider both the benefits and the shortcomings of email, especially when you’re trying to work through an interpersonal conflict. If you’re feeling angry, anxious or overly negative about a problem with another person, you should consider some of the unique aspects of email and decide whether this method of communication is right for your situation.

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Two Tin Cans, and the string that connects them.

I’ve been interested in the nature of online interactions since long before I became a therapist.

In the mid-90’s, I found myself working in technical support for a media company near San Francisco. Increasingly, I had been called upon to acquaint various employees with this new communication fad called The Internet. On one occasion, I was teaching a mid-level manager about online discussion groups around common interests, and we found a relevant chat room.

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