Have you ever lost a friendship over an e-mail???

@reinydawn (11651)
United States
November 13, 2007 6:18pm CST
I was just reading some posts in another forum I'm in and this one really caught my eye. The person asked if you had ever gotten a rude response to an e-mail. I'm sure we all have, it's so easy to misinterpret what someone is trying to say in an e-mail. But, it brought to mind one e-mail in particular where I actually lost a friend because of an e-mail. I had an internet friend, we'd never met in person but chatted for years. We sent jokes back and forth, talked about kids, family, jobs, you name it. One day he e-mailed me asking me and another female friend (who I didn't know) for advice. He sounded very frustrated because his wife was unhappy and he didn't know why. I made a few suggestions, trying to be dipolmatic since I'd NEVER talked to her, but being a woman I kinda know how we think. I didn't (or at least I tried not to) place blame on either of them, but attempted to give neutral solutions to finding out what the problem was and hopefully getting on the road to solving it. Now, I don't sugar-coat things, so I was pretty blunt with what I said. His tone gave me the impression that he was looking for honest opinions (he actually did tell us that he respected that he thought we'd be honest with him). Well, he e-mailed me back telling me he never thought I was such a "B--CH". He just ripped me a new one. I was totally floored by his response, and VERY hurt. I don't even remember if I e-mailed him back or not, but I deleted him from my address book and have not heard from him since. If I did e-mail him back I would have told him that he should have told me that he wanted me to profess that he was the almighty gift BEFORE he asked for my opinion. Has anyone out there had similar things happen with an e-mail?
2 people like this
4 responses
• United States
15 Nov 07
This is so sad to hear for you. I don't even know you and I am saddened by this story. I have not had such an experience. I did once almost lose a brother over an exchange of emails. I sent my brother an email expressing some of my concerns over our brotherly relationship. He got very upset and quickly typed an anger filled response. His wife read it before he sent it and begged him to not send it, including trying to hold his finger away from the 'submit' button, but he overpowered her and sent it to me. When I received his response, I was very hurt and vowed to never speak to him again. Of course, I knew I wouldn't do this. He had made such a vow in his email to me, as well. We cooled off for a couple of months, and all was well. The bad thing about emails is the danger of no cooling off period before responding.
3 people like this
@reinydawn (11651)
• United States
15 Nov 07
You have to be very careful with e-mails, not to say something in the heat of the moment because you usually realize when the initial shock is over that you really don't mean all that. I had spent a lot of time on the e-mail to my "friend" and wanted to really help him. I guess I didn't come across that way though. I'm glad you were able to overcome the difference and get back on each others good side!
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Nov 07
What makes e-mail fights worse, I think, than verbal arguements is that you have that to read and re-read and re-read until you just make yourself crazy. With a verbal arguement it fades in your mind. With the e-mail I think we tend to obsess over it. What did he mean when he said this? Know what I mean? My husband and his family have really gotten into it over e-mail, and it is definately nasty when it happens. Another bad thing about that is the person has time to sit and think about things that could really hurt the other person, where in a verbal fight there might not be that time to pull up old junk.
1 person likes this
@reinydawn (11651)
• United States
15 Nov 07
Very good observation blueunicorn. Thanks for the insght :)
@vicki2876 (5640)
• Canada
14 Nov 07
I haven't had this happen to me because I don't really e-mail anyone. But my sister had this happen to her. Her friend refused to speak to her on the phone after a tiff and she would only allow e-mails. My sister is dyslexic and also suffered a brain injury after a serious car accident. It is very difficult for her to explain things even in person but through written word almost impossible. The e-mails were getting so weird and the girl kept saying her didn't understand what my sister was saying. My sister asked several times that they should speak by phone and that might clear things up. The girl wouldn't listen and they eventually ended the friendship. I thought the girl was not a true friend because she know about my sisters challenges yet didn't care enough to work things out in a way that was better for her needs. People who are like this just aren't worth our time is what I think.
2 people like this
@reinydawn (11651)
• United States
14 Nov 07
It doesn't sound like she was a true friend if she was not willing to communicate with your sister. I use e-mail a LOT, it's just easier for me to do that and let 10 people know what's going on at one time instead of calling them all and taking 2 days...
1 person likes this
• Singapore
14 Nov 07
Yes I have and it is very sad. Friendship are so hard to find. Yet sometimes, either party gets too worked up and fire off an email he will regret. Once the damage is done, you can't even take it back and pretend nothing ever happened.
2 people like this
@reinydawn (11651)
• United States
14 Nov 07
I did have another incident once where I tried to gently suggest something to a friend and they were very hurt by it. We were able to work it out because we both realized we were just trying to help each other. It's hard though, e-mail is tough!
1 person likes this
@blueunicorn (2410)
• United States
15 Nov 07
I have never had a similar thing happen in an e-mail, but I have had it happen in person. I had a friend who would ask me to be honest with her about things. When I did, all heck would break loose. It was terrible. Mostly it was about her daughter and the behavior of her daughter. I definately don't sugar coat the behavior of kids when they are at my house. I think they should be held accountable to the same standards I hold my own kids to. This friend never did like to hear that her daughter was not perfect. After about three times of our friendship being "over" I just gave up trying. A real friend will listen to you and try to understand what you are saying and your intention before blowing up.
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@reinydawn (11651)
• United States
15 Nov 07
I can't think of an instance when it's happend in real life - for more than a month or so. I do have a friend that is very dear to me, but she's so negative all the time and when I get tired of hearing about it all she gets mad at me. Then she'll call me up a few weeks later and we're like best buds.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Nov 07
That's always tough. It would drive me crazy. That's sort of what the friend I was describing would do, except it would always be a big blow up. I would feel bad and contact her a couple of months later. This time I just let it go.
1 person likes this