Oct 20, 2021

Re: Boundaries

Screenshot of a Tweet that says: The best email signature I've ever seen: "It is normal for me to take 2 days to read my emails and 2 more days to reflect on the matter and respond calmly. The culture of immediacy and the constant fragmentation of time are not veryy compatible with the kind of life I lead." A red splatter overlays the screenshot with white text on top that says, "How 'bout no."I’ve been seeing this email signature circulate on the socials again lately, and I gotta say, it pisses me off.

Not the *sentiment*—that part’s good. Take as long as you want to read, process, and respond to your emails. The culture of immediacy sucks.

It’s the EXPLAINING.

I do this with my emails. I rarely respond in less than 24 hours, and if it’s a weekend then it’s all weekend.

Every once in a while, I’ll respond and say, “Thanks for this. I’ll get back to you early next week!” but most of the time, I JUST DO IT.

Nobody is going to die if they don’t get an immediate response—and if they are, then they should be using their phone to dial 9-1-1, not emailing your ass.

I find the best way to get people to honor your boundaries is to live within those boundaries. People will get used to it, and until they do, they’ll just have to be left hanging. That is not an emergency—or at least, it’s not YOUR emergency.

Do whatever you need to do to state your boundaries and enforce them. In my opinion, it’s too easy for email signatures and auto-responders like this to come off as pedantic and condescending, especially when you can just DO the thing vs. talking about it.

(Disclaimer: I don’t work in corporate, I’m an entrepreneur, my clients and I have a good rapport, etc. etc.)

Samantha Pollack

About Sam

Samantha Pollack writes creative copy (mostly emails) for feminist companies and/or thought leaders who are working to build a fairer, more connected culture. She’s also the founder of The Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur, a 6-week course that helps HSP business owners create healthier, more sustainable systems in their work. 

She publishes frequent essays on feminism, privilege, pop culture, entrepreneurship, the creative process, and more on her website, cultofpersonality.co. She currently lives in Asheville, NC, and while she can *technically* work from anywhere, she prefers her adventures laptop-free.

Emails for cult thought leaders.

(Personality included.)

Want to learn how to craft emails that inspire action and engagement WITHOUT the “tried and true” (cough: patriarchal) norms we’ve all been taught?

I’m doing it, and I can show you how to do it, too.

(But sometimes, I also like to write about the books I’m reading, or the creative process, or the entrepreneurial experience, or why I hate Steve Jobs, or how I met my BFF. I’ll send you emails like that, too.)

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*Just kidding. It’s only an email list.

Interested in working together?