I frequently say (and write, and tweet) “there is honor in the email not sent.”
The corollary, of course, which is both obvious and perhaps people don’t think about, is that I often write those emails.
Several times a week I write an email, to work through my frustration, anger, whatever, and then delete it, because I recognize that sending it will do more damage.
Today I accidentally pressed send on one of those emails. I’m ashamed, and also not sorry. Because I meant every word of it. But I’m not sure that it will do more good than harm.
Writing these emails is very cathartic. It helps me understand why I’m angry. And more often than not it help me understand that there’s more than one side to the issue, and maybe I’m not all in the right after all. Thus, there’s honor in not sending it.
And, often, it’s just feeding the troll – giving the angry, irritating, poisonous person on the receiving end justification for their vitriol. In which case, it’s just making things worse.
But, sometimes, it’s important to stand up for yourself, too. Even when it doesn’t actually solve anything.