Thursday, August 28, 2008

What kind of person is this?



I am an email person- which means just like anybody else I thrive a lot on email for my daily interaction with colleagues at work and with friends and family too. With the latter two now being spread across the globe, this is the only way, besides phone calls, to keep in touch. It is economically not feasible to talk often to every friend you've had from school or college to keep in regular touch. So, email fulfills that need. While several of my friends who live both in the US and outside too, are prompt with responding to emails, some are not.

Life brings about changes, a new job,a hectic job, marriage, kids etc. and I have to keep reminding myself that there are people outside the US who don't check email for several times every single day. One friend of mine who lives in Chettinad, Karaikudi has internet in her chettinad home, but, with two young kids and a busy routine in a joint family household, her emails are restricted to about 4-5 every year. Initially, it was difficult for me to comprehend her life, but, with the passing years, I got used to it. I guess this is because I knew her from college, still meet her when I visit India and am able to sort of come to terms with her email tendencies.

But, what is hard for me to understand is a family member, like a cousin type, who is in the same age group, in fact younger to me, who has no great family commitments, has email access at home and work and lives in another part of the globe who hardly responds to email. When you send her an email, there will be no response from her at all for a week or more. The first few times this happened, being the persuasive type, I even sent her an email asking her if she got my earlier ones. A response with some excuse will come in her own sweet time. After venting about it to K for several times, I still couldn't get this out of my mind. A month or so passes by and I swear to myself that enough is enough, from now on, I will not be the first one to send her an email and then feel this way about it. Exactly a month and a half later, she sends me an email just to catch-up, am definitely plesantly surprised here and reply right away. It has been a few days and again there has been no response from her.

I don't know her as well as I know my friend, and have no idea as to what to make out of her behavior which according to me is definitely odd. Even a blogger from Chennai, whom I know only through the comments on my blog, responds quickly. She is even less communicative if I happen to see her on chat online and over the phone answers to the point, so you kind of get the feeling that she doesn't want to talk much to you. So, what do I assume about this family member from her delayed responses, lack of initiative to converse over the phone etc. No, she can't be that busy to not respond to an email for a week or longer, what kind of a person is she, hmmm..makes me come to all sorts of conclusions.

One more day to go before the long weekend................

22 comments:

Priya said...

Mitr,

I have friends and few family members just the way you say. But they usually prefer a phone call rather than a mail. I think its all about time and how much they like to communicate. When they don't email, I see them in GTalk or witin Gmail, I tend to chat. It depends about the person but not avoiding tho'.

Me said...

My grandfather prefers snail mail. I send him an email and ask my folks to print that out and give it to him.

Similarly Kids these days are not into email. You send them a text message and you get a response within seconds. Generation gap!

na_an said...

I think ignoring these people is th best idea. The fact that they infrequently get back to you indicate that your are not in their priority list and if the person is busy she can let you know that she will reply later, instead of not replying to emails. I think thats manners. You can forget once to not reply to someone, but when the same pattern continues, that is what you have to conclude. Good Relationships are formed through open communications and communication is a 2 way street. I have the same experience one of my friend and I am letting her come around on her own whenever she wants, but I am not sure I will available for her at the time she decides to get to me!

A-kay said...

Mitr,

I can so relate to the other person. I am like that too in a way; but I swing between the 2 extremes. There are times when I am on top of email and respond to mails prompty and there are others, when I just take my own sweet time to respond. I wouldn't say I am busy or anything, just plain laziness. I am not big into mails (or prompt response to mails) and hence the problem. I am a phone person personally. I prefer to talk than to write anyday. But that said, I understand where you come from and as you mentioned it is not financially viable to talk to every family / friend these days. Guess, your cousin has to just learn that and will come around in his or her due time. Just give her time :)

Amrutha said...

Makes me wonder what kind of a person am I...guess a l'll of email/a l'll of sms/a l'll of chatting. Sometimes I tend to think if you respond too quickly to an email, you might be branded 'jobless'..Marginal Value of your email decreases..or am I reading too much? :)

Cham said...

I am email person probably like you :) I do have my brothers who have net at home and never replied it! They prefer phone! It is not laziness , they feel confortable may be hearing our voices :)
For ur cousin , send this post :) She might react soon if not is simply family politics!

Spillay said...

I too have friends like the one you mentioned, and it does annoy me a lot. But worst still, I even know people who email me only when they need something from me. (especially when they are visiting Melbourne, and need a place to stay!!) Any friendship needs nourishing - the more you put in, the more you gain out of it. (Wish that more people understood this....)

Reviewer said...

I have a cousin like that who does not reply to my mails at all but when we meet she is so friendly and nice...it definitely irritates me especially when the excuse is that they are busy...everyone can find one minute of one week or even month to at the very least acknowledge the mail we send....does not have to be a long mail ...
oh BTW I just added your blog to my link list...

Uma said...

Same situation here. I am an email person too. but just like your cousin, my cousins also don't respond to my email for a long time. Sometime later they just write an email without mentioning my previous mail! I eagerly reply to their mail as if I was waiting for them to write! Now-a-days I am getting frustation like, why should I bother and stopped writing frequent emails.

Jayashree said...

Some people just don't respond well to e-mails. They probably don't have much to say or don't know how to say it. Give your cousin the benefit of doubt - maybe she will respond better over the phone (if you still want to call her).

Krishnan said...

Mitr,

Some people are like that, can't do anything I guess. It is just that they are wired bit differently :-)

Lakshmi said...

i guess after a while people dont have anything to say..it doesnt matter whether its email or in person..i guess the wavelengths and the connect snaps

thetastetinkerer said...

Can understand exactly what you feel, Mitr... Can relate to this piece and the one about Peer pressure...

Shankar said...

Sometimes it happens even the closest of friends, the first time they avoid you tend to think they are busy, but time and again this happens...maybe because we no longer share common interests or probably because of some kind of complex arises unknowingly...both ways either inferior or superior...

Divya said...

Hey first time here, nice blog, nice musings.

I am a fairly quick email person, under normal circumstances. But I fail sometimes too, but it happens a lot more to me than I do it to others.
I dont get responses for weeks together, but then I have learned to accept people to get back at their own pace.
Some are not that good in writing emails, and would prefer another form of communication, or maybe they have other things to attend to, meaning not that they dont have time, but those other things occupy their mind full-time than just replying to emails. Or it maybe because the person is just plain ol' lazy!
One thing I have learned to accept... is not to take it personally, and I have had peace of mind ever since.
Long story... (yawn!)

AJEYA RAO said...

How was ur long weekend? Travelled?

Laavanya said...

I used to get frustrated with this too or even with phone calls when I'm the one who always has to call... but nowadays I've just learnt to ignore it and not think abt it much. It's hard to be that way but by thinking/troubling our mind about it... we are spending more time on these pple when they don't even spend a few mins to communicate with us! not worth it.

Me too said...

Most people are just lazy to respond to emails. I've had friends without internet connection at home sending mails from internet parlours and friends who sit infront of the computer all day but don't send a word.

Gopinath's "Artickles" said...

Mitr, interesting Post. Your comparison with friends from blogging circles with your other friends is interesting. In fact, emails received from friends are generally forwards and just a very few are personal messages. Email is using its utility to catch up with happenings. Probably because people are losing their ability to express things happening around. This is not so for bloggers. In fact I find that the only people who leave comments on my blog are other bloggers! My friends prefer to call me on my cell and discuss my posts.

mitr_bayarea said...

All,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and comments on the email type person.

Rajesh & Shankari said...

I dont think she is avoiding or does not want to talk to you. Some folks I know do not check their email everyday..so keep that in mind.

She may just not have anything special to share!

Mavin said...

You get all types.

The problem is our expectation of how a person should behave, react or respond.

We tend to get upset if the behaviour is not to our expectations.

I would say - communicate and do not bother about an immediate reply. Other's response or lack of it should not bother you.