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5 Rules for Forwarding E-mmails
Forwarding of e-mails is one of the topics I get contacted about the most. And, one which also causes hurt feelings and misunderstandings more than any other topic. Daily, e-mails flow in from onliners asking about a "nice way" of telling someone they care about, relative, friend or associate to not forward attachments, chain e-mails, political commentary or the jokes that are so prevalent online.
Netizens are afraid to ask others to stop and those who are asked to stop, no matter how nicely, get offended and feel as though their thoughtfulness is not appreciated. But let's think about this a moment. How really thoughtful is it to click the forward arrow, then a bunch of e-mail addresses and hit send? Well, your brain had to "think" about those steps but does that make the effort truly "thoughtful." I don't think so...
Here are the 5 Rules of Forwarding E-mails that those who are being truly thoughtful follow. If everyone followed them all the problems associated with forwarded e-mails could be avoided. Sticking to these guidelines will assist both those thinking they are thoughtful and those who don't want to appear otherwise:
The above 5 rules will help qualify if an e-mail is worth forwarding and the right way to do so if it is. If one cannot make these extra efforts, then they really have no excuse to get mad or have hurt feelings when asked to stop. And if asked to stop forwarding, don't get mad; just realize the person on the other side certainly has the right to make that request.
On an aside, also keep in mind that if you are forwarding a private e-mail that was sent to you, you must get the sender's permission to forward it on to others (or post it publicly). E-mails are copyright protected by their authors. Not only that, common courtesy dictates that you should ask the author first if the e-mail sent for your eyes only can be forwarded to strangers or others for which it was not originally intended
At the end of the day, when it comes to receiving unwanted forwarded e-mails, if you fear hurting someone's feelings by asking them to stop forwarding you e-mail, know they probably meant well, were really thinking of you, were trying to make a point - ahhh, just hit delete!
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