In our current work environment, it has become more important than ever for employees to assert themselves in the workplace and advocate for their own needs. One foolproof way to do so is to change the way you write your emails. Instead of the overly apologetic, endlessly enthusiastic manner many of us default to when writing work emails – try being more assertive by emailing your coworkers in the same aggressive, borderline sociopathic way your text your siblings. Here’s how:
Be Short, Blunt, And Brutally Honest
The key to asserting yourself in the workplace is emailing your boss, coworkers, and clients in the same clipped tone you use when texting your siblings. If your sibling texted and asked you for something in the middle of the day, your default response might be an irritated, “I’m at work what do you want” – try this the next time your boss wants something! Additionally, instead of sending one long, well-written email – keep your emails short and blunt by firing off several short, impulsive ones right in a row. The persistent spelling and grammar errors in these emails say, “I don’t care what you think” – and people will like that!
In order to establish a rapport with your coworkers, it’s important to develop personal connections – so speak to them with the same unexpected vulnerability followed by immediate hostility as you do your siblings. Inject random updates about your day into your emails. Follow up on a group email chain with an unexplained “I love you guys” at 3am, then never mention it again. Ask them what you should eat for dinner. Accuse them of stealing your clothing.
Respond On Your Own Terms
Take control of the conversation by responding to emails in the sporadic and aimless way you respond to your sibling group chat. You can do this by: not responding to your coworker’s emails for weeks and then calling them 18 times in a row one day and acting like they’re the annoying one for not answering you; ignoring the subject matter of a client’s email and responding with an unrelated thing you wanted to talk about; or sending irrelevant and unprompted TikToks that no one will acknowledge, in the midst of a serious conversation with several of your superiors. This will show everyone that you’re calling the shots, and lead many to wonder if you’re a middle child!
Any one of these methods will be sure to get you labeled as the “assertive” one in the office – as well as maybe the “unhinged”, “hostile”, or “needlessly rude” one. But it doesn’t matter because, just like your siblings, your coworkers have to love you unconditionally, we think.