Do you ever get emails that really tick you off because of the rude tone? I've received some that were actually rude and some that because of my mood I read rudeness into them where it wasn't intended. I've had to learn that after writing my response email to let it sit there in the Draft Box for a few hours or days. Usually I will delete it and start over or at least do some serious editing. We are very blessed to live in such a day where communication can be so accessible and quick but there is a down side in that things often get lost in the transfer.
Justin Taylor recently posted some wise thoughts by David Mills regarding how to respond to rude (or seemingly rude) comments or emails. These were helpful to me so I thought I'd pass them on...
1. Never rebuke or confront even the most obnoxious inquirer, unless you know him well enough to judge that you can fruitfully do so.
2. Many people often write (or speak) much more rudely than they mean to because they have no idea how their words sound to others, and those who mean to be rude will not respond well to being rebuked.
3. Answer them as if they had written politely.
4. If they didn't mean to be rude, this will encourage them to keep talking.
5. If they meant to be rude, this will either convert them or annoy them. Both have their uses.