Emails are such an essential communication tool in the work space. It’s the formal choice of communication as compared to Whatsapp texts. But sometimes… the emails can get a little bit passive aggressive. I’m sure we’ve all been there *side-eyeing you*.
Recently I’ve quit my previous job and embraced the lovely Sevenvault. Hence, here you are, reading my article because it’s part of my job. Trust me when I say this doesn’t come from a personal place. So, who am I specifically, that doesn’t really matter.
What I’ll be talking about though, it’s all the types of passive aggressive emails that I’ve received or even I’ve sent out, oops. Hey, don’t judge, we all have our bad days (sorry, Christina for that passive aggressive email, I wasn’t angry, really.) So, let’s see how many of them we are guilty of!
1. “As per my last email…”
I’ll confess, I’ve done this before. Sometimes you wonder if it’s your fault that the other party didn’t get you, or if it’s them. Most of the time, we’ll blame the other party and then that’s how we’ll start our email. “As per my last email…” For whatever reason, it works wonders all the time even though you’re just rephrasing your previous email. Then you continue in that loop of thought throughout your work day: “is it them or is it me.”
2. “As clearly stated in the previous email…”
It’s different from the first one because this email straight up screams ANGRY. Whoever sent you this, they’re furious. The key word here is “clearly.” For them, they have already CLEARLY explained it to you, so basically they’re asking you indirectly “what is it that you don’t get?” I’ve never sent this, but I know for sure I wouldn’t want to receive an email with this opener because I know whoever’s on the other side of the computer, she/he is pissed.
3. “Reattached for your convenience.”
Textbook passive aggressive. “REattached for YOUR convenience.” Basically, they don’t understand why they need to send the same file to you again. The thing is though, you don’t want the same file. That’s when you’ll be sending a reply email with the opener from the first point. Maybe the second point, if you’re really annoyed.
4. “Going forward, I would prefer…”
Assuming you’ve resolved your beef with Aaron, if you receive this email from him, yes, he’s still angry with you. He’s TELLING you his way of moving forward, rather than DISCUSSING how to move forward with you. So, you’d think you’ve resolved it, sorry to break it to you, you haven’t.
5. “Just looping in (manager’s name) for visibility.”
If you see this, I guess Aaron has won the battle on how to move forward. He just wants the manager to know that HIS WAY is THE WAY to move forward. So, if you guys are going to have the same argument again, trust that he’ll have the manager or/and this email to back him up. It’s a lost cause for you.
6. “Just a gentle reminder…”
Don’t be fooled, it’s NOT a gentle reminder. You’re either an hour away from the deadline or you’ve completely missed the deadline. So, drop whatever you’re doing and better attend to this email or finish up whatever you’re supposed to do IMMEDIATELY! Next reminder would definitely not be a “gentle” one anymore.
This could be a personal thing – I’ve never liked this smiley face. It screams passive aggressive through the roof. For me, it’s a fake smile. It’s not a happy smile. It’s a “I’m angry at you but I can’t show” smile. No matter how nice the email is written, if I see this at the end of it, I’ll assume you’re unhappy with something. It’ll bug me throughout the day. Please don’t do this to my soft heart.
So, out of 7, how many of them are you guilty of?
Jokes aside, Sevenvault and Sevenpie always believe in good effective communication with our colleagues and clients. If you’re working with us, we promise we’ll never send passive aggressive emails like this. If you wanna test this theory out, drop us an email and come work with us then you’ll know how friendly we are 😉