Sunday, February 20, 2011

So You Don't Get an Email Response - Big Deal!


The theme of The Love Project this week is Rejection. If you want to find love, you have to start by not taking things so personally!

One common reason people feel rejected is when they don't get an expected response... or maybe a response at all. Unresponsiveness is becoming more and more common in our society, to the point that it IS almost expected! (With this in mind, it should be easier not to feel rejected.) In my opinion, this especially is true with email. We get so bombarded with email (much of it spam) that often it becomes ignored.

People don't RSVP for parties. People don't respond when you ask for a favor. People don't respond when you invite them to lunch. You start thinking your friends don't really care about you. They'd rather play Farmville on Facebook with their 538 friends then respond to a personal invitation from you. Yeah, you see them out there updating their status with [insert random trivial Facebook status update here] so obviously it's not a question of being too busy and obviously they're on their computer. They just care more about chit-chatting about nothing on Facebook than spending time with you!

If the above is the kind of thing that goes through your head when you don't get a response, you're falling into victim mode. You're taking it personally... making their lack of response all about you. It could be they are just really bad at managing their email. Or maybe they figure you have lots of friends, and they're just one of a crowd to you. Pick up the phone. Let them know they are special to you before you get bent out of shape being upset that you are not special to them. Always start by giving the benefit of the doubt to the person you are feeling rejected by.

Now when it comes to online dating, I think it's even MORE important not to take the lack of response personally. First of all, you don't even KNOW this person. Yes, you may be opening yourself up by initiating contact -- maybe spending time with your wittiest email and then you don't get a response. But there are so many reasons why they don't respond that it's NOT about you! And it doesn't mean they are a bad person either!

I'm in a debate with Private Guy -- who gives online dating advice for men -- and he says women who don't respond are rejecting you or flaky, not worth your time, and should be blocked. I couldn't disagree more! Well... I could disagree more. The thing I think would be worse than that would be sending them an angry email for not responding. That's just downright pathetic.

I say send a second email (after waiting a week or so) -- no pressure or anger or anything at all to make them feel guilty for not responding the first time. Be witty and sweet and funny. Don't make it too long. Just let her know she stood out in the crowd for you and that you'd love to hear from her.

I tried this strategy myself just a couple of weeks ago. I'd gotten on match for a 7-day freebie and there was this adorable guy I wanted to meet. He didn't respond to my first email, so I emailed him again the day before my subscription was about to end letting him know, both that my subscription was ending, and telling him why I thought his profile was very special.

He responded immediately and invited me for a drink! It was a wonderful date, and even though he's not interested in pursuing the relationship any more than a friendship, I have his email address and maybe we will become friends.. I feel so great about having had the date with him, even if it doesn't develop. Had I not taken the chance with a second email, I would have missed out on meeting a very cool guy. And, though I'm disappointed that he doesn't want to pursue more than a friendship, I don't feel at all rejected. I feel flattered that he took the time to meet me.

Not every person will like you or have time to foster a relationship with you. That is not rejection. That is not a reflection of you. Remember that you are the same wonderful person, regardless of whether or not someone responds to you. Don't waste time wondering why they didn't "like" you. There are plenty of other people who do "like" you or will "like" you. Spend your energy giving your attention to those who do have time for you rather than worrying about the lack of attention you're getting back from those who don't.

3 comments:

shirlnutkin said...

thanks for this - these are great thoughts and perspectives.

i certainly share your perspective - "... If the above is the kind of thing that goes through your head when you don't get a response, you're falling into victim mode. You're taking it personally... making their lack of response all about you." and it's this "story in the head" thing that is it's own enemy.

on the on-line dating, gals not emailing and flaking ... it is certainly a mixed bag. men can be non-responsive, also. i'd be interested in private guy writing a post about "how men should make sure they are not flaking". that could be interesting!

this reminded me of last weekend's oopsie on my part! how about my experience from last weekend? are there tests out there that people have - where they are looking for reasons to reject someone?!

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