Zia Hassan

An Angry Email

Have you ever written an angry email? Have you ever received one?

To be on either end of the exchange is stressful. On the receiving end, you read someone else’s scathing words with no opportunity to immediately respond. Like having your mouth stuffed with a cloth while someone circles you and berates you.

And when you’re writing an angry email, you’re processing your feelings. There’s a reason you chose email as a form of communication over a phone call or an in-person meeting, which is that it’s easier to call someone out when they can’t respond easily.

I once wrote an angry email to my doctor. He had falsely diagnosed with me a pretty serious disease, and it had affected my life and given me a fear of doctors and medicine. His misdiagnosis was so incredibly irresponsible (it was based on a single blood test, that ended up being erroneous) and I had nightmares about him, and the situation, for weeks. I was so angry.

So I decided, one day at work, to tell him how his actions had affected me. I wrote a very lengthy email, telling him how irresponsible his diagnosis was, how I’d never come to his practice again, and how he needs to think about his practice critically when he works with other patients.

I wrote the entire 5 paragraph email on my lunch break and read it back to myself. As I read through it, I realized that through the process of simply writing this email, I had healed myself (or started to heal myself). It wasn’t that I needed him to know anything at all, because it wouldn’t make a difference probably. I needed to let myself know how I felt. That was all.

I never sent the email, but I did save it as a draft.

It’s a strategy I recommend for anyone who has anger toward another person. Write them a letter, but don’t send it. The process of writing is self-healing, much more than the other person experiencing your anger.