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to expect people I email to respond to what I say?

(23 Posts)
strawberryjelly Fri 17-Jun-11 14:20:28

I mean friends.

Sometimes I email a couple of friends, who live some way away, and get the impression they read and digest but don't respond back to the points.

I am left wondering if they are really "listening" to me, or just replying with their own news without commenting on my stuff.

I have a good friend who gives brill replies- I can see that she has gone through each paragraph of my email and she responds in a logical way.

I'm left wondering whether to email back and say "yes, but what about XYZ that I mentioned/asked you"?

My emails are not long dtreams of news just a few lines so i am getting a bit peeved witht he non-feedback.

hiddenhome Fri 17-Jun-11 14:25:17

It's the same when you have a face to face conversation with people too. You're expected to listen intently to all their inane drivel news, but their eyes glaze over if you happen to break the conversation with so much as a tiny nugget of something about yourself sad

I habitually avoid everyone in my neighbourhood now as they're all like this. It's so bloody selfish and rude.


Perhaps you shouldn't bother replying to these people, or ignore their emails and just write random stuff about yourself grin That seems to be the way these days hmm

LadyClariceCannockMonty Fri 17-Jun-11 14:33:15

Crap emailers are my bugbear! Particular pet hate is when you email saying e.g. 'Do you want to see this film or that film?' and get a response 'Yes, that'd be great!'

It is also very weird if you've been having an email to-and-fro with someone and you send one, with responses and new questions/topics and they just don't respond any more. The equivalent of walking off halfway through a face-to-face chat, surely? And yet no one would do that.

It's the bane of my life. To be honest I arrange much less stuff with friends these days and my social life is suffering because I just can't be bothered chasing non-responders or those who don't read my fecking messages properly and reply with rubbish.

strawberryjelly Fri 17-Jun-11 14:49:28

But sometimes it's like, okay- this is my diary and thoughts-

they read them presumably-

then reply with theirs- and no acknowledgement of yours.

or am I just repeating myself?

LadyClariceCannockMonty Fri 17-Jun-11 14:55:01

No, I know what you mean, although with me I'd have to say that people generally do respond to my points but just not my attempts to organise stuff! I wonder if people do read them? Or do they just skim and then by the time they come to respond, they've forgotten? I re-read people's emails more than once to make sure I haven't missed anything as I respond, but suspect a lot of people skim-read fast and reply fast without paying much attention. I don't know if there's something intrinsic about electronic communication that makes people more shite careless at it. That's a big discussion and possibly a PhD!

Newmummytobe79 Fri 17-Jun-11 15:10:47

This has been winding me up ALL week! It's so damn rude! I find if you ring someone they always return a missed call but find it acceptable to ignore texts, emails (or parts of them) and direct messages on facebook - whilst happily chatting out in the open on their wall about cr*p! Seriously gets my goat.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Fri 17-Jun-11 15:31:39

Exactly! Well summed up.

beanlet Fri 17-Jun-11 15:45:38

Well, it depends... If they are working fulltime and getting literally hundreds of emails a day that they have to respond to, they may simply not have time to respond to non-work emails as fully as you would wish. Try to cut them a bit of slack if that's the case. And maybe try the telephone next time.

Groovee Fri 17-Jun-11 15:46:06

I used to spend ages replying to emails from dh's SIL and realising she never once gave it back to me and had to oneupmanship if either of the children had done something by how much better her sons were. So I just stopped.

Pandemoniaa Fri 17-Jun-11 15:53:04

I've enough work email to be dealing with so I don't really send my random thoughts to anyone. I also have a suspicion that most people have better things to do than read a stream of consciousness. So I'd rather rely on real conversations or Skype if the person is too far away to meet up with personally.

But I do get a tad irritated with one of my friends who will contact me about going somewhere but never, ever, respond to the concluding email in the series that says "OK. So shall we say 4 o'clock at mine on Saturday, then?". I'm left not knowing whether she will be at mine at 4 or whether she's got the email at all.

Basically, it's always polite to reply to emails and always polite to do so in a way that suggests you've read the original message but it can be unrealistic to expect the deepest of replies or even a line by line response to what you've said.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Fri 17-Jun-11 15:56:46

I don't send 'streams of consciousness' to people, just chatty emails. And it's not about getting people's 'random thoughts' back, but about them responding to questions and attempts to arrange things. I have some friends who don't like email and are upfront about it, so I contact them through other means. But it's more the people who use it in a half-arsed way that annoy me e.g. initiating an email conversation and then failing to keep it going. Just like initiating a face-to-face conversation and then walking off IMO.

MerylStrop Fri 17-Jun-11 15:59:02

Try ringing them up for a conversation
Email is shite for proper dialogue, except sometimes in a work context.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Fri 17-Jun-11 16:09:54

I disagree. As long as all parties are willing to use it properly, it's great for organising social things/canvassing opinion on things like where to go/what film to see, particularly for bigger groups, as everyone can see everyone else's opinion. You can also send links and things. When it works it does work very well!

Anyway, my main bugbear really, although I am aware I'm repeating myself, is not people who don't use it full stop. It's people who use it a bit – specifically who START an email exchange with me and then in the middle of a to-and-fro just suddenly drop it and stop emailing. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect someone to finish a conversation that they started, fgs.

GabbyLoggon Fri 17-Jun-11 16:18:02

I like the BBC, but they seldom respond to emails and ask for them all the time

strawberryjelly Fri 17-Jun-11 16:58:23

ladyclarice we seem to be on the same wave length so we can email each other grin

I just wonder why if for example, I said, my cat's died (don't have one but you get my drift) the person replying doesn't make reference to it.

Or if i ask them a direct question they get all shifty and avoid aswering.

I simply don't know if they are avoiding answering or they don't care.

But the MAIN bugbear is when they start a new email rather than reply to mine ( and these are not people who have loads of incoming mail, I know) so then they can't possibly see what i wrote and can't respond.

Finallyspring Fri 17-Jun-11 17:09:36

Classic Gabby

LadyClariceCannockMonty Fri 17-Jun-11 17:16:51

jelly, absolutely, I just KNOW you'd address all my points, and not walk off, electronically speaking, partway through an exchange!

I tend not to think that people are being shifty or don't care. I think some people just don't see email as 'proper' communication and don't pay attention to it. Which would be fine if they would say as much or stop using it.

The new email thing doesn't really happen to me (although I did used to have a boss who did it – infuriating as then I couldn't remember what she was referring to about what I'd been referring to confused and would have to go through my old emails to pick up the thread.

My personal biggest buggiest bear is: (shortening a bit)
Friend: 'Hello! It's been ages. Shall we have lunch?'
Me: 'Absolutely. XXX Food Establishment? Next Mon 1pm? Or Weds 12.30pm?'
Friend: utter silence.

<week or two elapses>

Friend: 'Sorry, was a bit shit of me. Can we try again? Next Tues? Or
next Thur? Or Saturday?'
Me: 'Great. Can do Tues or Thur.'
Friend: utter silence.


I mean, what the actual fuck?

strawberryjelly Fri 17-Jun-11 17:59:53

Okay they are not shifty.

the new email thing happens with 1 friend a lot and suspect as they don't use email much in work place that they do not know email etiquette- I didn't until pain of a son told me.

Ihaven't had the same experience as you with people avoiding committing.

What I do have is "I have had a terrible cold..........."
and no reference to it in their reply.

Or a direct "Why did you do, say that...etc" to something they said in a previous email- and then get no reply to it.

it's like a disjointed play/conversation where the previous speaker's words are scrubbed and you are starting afresh each time.

and yes,

bubblecoral Fri 17-Jun-11 18:07:04

If you are so desparate to have your words validated by these people, why don't you just phone them?

I find this a bit wierd tbh. It's an email, not a face to face conversation.

I would expect a 'sorry to hear you've been feeling poorly' if you wrote that you had a cold, but at the same time, it's only a cold ffs! I really can't see what you would reasonably want from an email response.

You honestly think they should make comment on everything you say? What if they have nothing to say in response? If it's just the sort of thing you would resond to in person with 'did you?' and then listen to the rest of the story.

I think you sound a bit desparate.

MerylStrop Fri 17-Jun-11 18:19:39

Yep but the thing about communication is that, as you say everyone has to be signed up to the same method.

So its not working. Possibly your friend is thinking that it would be great if we could have a chat about it as there are some permutations that are possible and lenthy, elaborate caveats that I cannot be arsed to type and do not want to share with the broader circulation list.

And I have to say that the specific instances you cite are quite odd, I think it is also odd to expect the normal conventions of face to face conversation to apply.

strawberryjelly Fri 17-Jun-11 18:22:17

Please yourself bubble!

Why should I be desperate for wanting a thoughtful response?
in the old days of etter writing, it was quite normal behaviour to refer to what people had said to you, THEN carry on with your own news.

I think it's just courtesy to acknowledge what anyone writes.

You wouldn't ignore what people say to you and immediately move on to another topic- would you?

or maybe you would.

Omigawd Fri 17-Jun-11 18:24:52

Given the sheer volume of email people get these days, I try and be very concise - one paragraph, one decision, simple yes/no. More than that and people glaze oover.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Sat 18-Jun-11 12:36:57

Still with you here, strawberry. I don't think emails are (or should be anyway) different from face-to-face conversation or letters.

bubble, the example of having a cold is just one example. And I think a quick 'Oh, hope you feel better soon' is simple courtesy whether you're emailing, on the phone, face to face or corresponding by letter. I don't see how mentioning something like a cold, and expecting a response, makes someone 'desperate'. confused If people weren't allowed to talk about anything below a certain level of profundity or importance then conversation, and friendships, wouldn't last very long.

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