Reply All Faux Pas

Don’t put in writing something that others would be uncomfortable to read.

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Comments (6)

(5) Cathy Canada, August 9, 2013 1:19 PM

Very true

My grandfather used to always say that the words are only ours before they leave our mouth. Same applies for e-mails. Once they are public, they are public. Thank you Lori for sharing this!

(4) Mati, August 9, 2013 11:23 AM

Ok you're right....

....but what if Yermiayahu (Jerimiah) refused to write his book because he followed this teaching?

(3) Ann Canada, August 7, 2013 8:03 PM

Very wise advice, dear Lori. Thank you.

(2) Anonymous, August 7, 2013 7:44 PM

How apt

We can apply Lori's message to any situation and summarise this in a simple truism; "Think before you act".

(1) JBDestiny, August 7, 2013 3:32 PM

Except when necessary

I absolutely agree generally: Don't say behind someone's back what you wouldn't say to their face.

Sometimes, however, it's necessary to say something that would make a person uncomfortable hearing or reading it. Example: you are emailing several people about a project (as project leader) and one person accidentally replies to all that Jill hasn't been pulling her weight. She's missed several crucial deadlines and seems generally disorganized and resentful and you need to do something about this situation. Jill may not like reading that about herself, it may be uncomfortable, but it's a good thing for her to know that her poor performance is being brought to the attention of her project leader. Same in personal situations; your fellow carpool mom may be unhappy to hear you asking her best friend to talk with her about how early she's picking up your child in the morning, but it's something of which she really does need to be made aware.

Also, sometimes it's necessary for you to leave a paper trail of a situation in order to cover your own bottom, in which case the feelings of the person causing you problems should not hold you back.

Of course, in these situations of necessity, you need to be careful to stick to facts, and not stray into badmouthing or gossip irrelevant to the issue.

Gabriel, August 8, 2013 2:25 PM

Loshon Hora

Chofetz Chaim has a wonderful daily study book about Loshon Hora (literally "evil tongue" or gossip). I'd say in Jill's case, it would be best, and this is in the book, to talk to Jill privately about the issue, as to not publicly embarrass her. And justifying talking about someone is in the book too, only if someone's well-being is in danger (i.e. bad marriage partner, huge financial loss, death etc)


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