DBT Skills: Impulsive Email

I swear I am not one to write impulsive emails, especially to acquaintances, but I just did and I am now filled with deep shame. I am holding back tears because I feel embarrassed and hoping that I did not hurt the other person and make myself look bad. I tried to come off as standing up for myself and although I did not write anything that could get me in trouble (ie: name calling or accusatory remarks), it was just a very emotional sounding email. I did include in the email that I was upset and therefore probably not saying things properly and that how upset I was, was not the person’s fault. I then followed up this email with another email apologizing and trying to be more appropriately assertive and then also sent them a text message apologizing.

I seriously want to cry. I am still emotional so now probably isn’t the right time to be reflective on the experience, but I do feel the need to write about what happened. This links to DBT because in this moment I was not skillful. I did not regulate and I did not use any distress tolerance. I tried to use some interpersonal effectiveness by expressing what I needed, what I was displeased about and tried to stand my ground but when that is mixed with being emotional I know it comes off as being very aggressive.

Try and add a little humour here.

I am reminded of an article that one of the peer facilitators at DBT Path, Debbie, wrote about sending emotionally charged emails and texts and how to cope. Debbie includes a PDF of an emotionally charged email/text prevention worksheet in her post which would have come in handy tonight (please do check it out!). This was a blip and I am glad that the person who I sent the email to is a kind person who knows that I am a good person.

So, what do I do? I will try some distress tolerance and emotionally wade through this moment tomorrow when I am more capable. Writing about this has been helpful. I am already calmer than when I first started writing. I am going to settle into bed, do some deep breathing and read. What’s done is done. I will learn from it and move on (radical acceptance?!).



7 thoughts on “DBT Skills: Impulsive Email

  1. I think we all do similar. I am more of the face to face type, no time to reflect just out with it. Then the remorse while your foot is still in your mouth. I’m sure the other person will be ok. Take care

  2. Ohhhh, I have been there so many times myself. Hence the creation of that worksheet. I think this is all too common even with people who don’t have BPD or other mental health issues. In the heat of the moment, it’s just so easy to send that message. Good reflecting, and hope the sheet helps for next time. ♥

    • I thought of the sheet when I sent an email I maybe shouldn’t have and at least wasn’t long winded. Still could have dealt with it better but instead just quickly said I want no part in the meeting if no one could see where I was coming from (can’t deal with that stress right now). I find I get little moments of skills that sort of drip a bit with unskillful moments at the same time. I do see this as progress.

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