People who ignore messages are my pet peeve.

I think there is no greater insult to someone than to pretend they don’t exist. When you ignore a message someone sent you, especially if it’s personally directed just to you, you are saying that your time is worth more than my interest in you. There is nothing wrong with saying, “No, thanks I’m not interested in whatever you’re asking” — in fact, that is healthy and respectful to both yourself and the other person (because it’s equally depressing when someone says, “Yes…” halfheartedly to an idea, gets everyone’s hopes up, and then drops the ball or falls to follow through).

But just pretending some message doesn’t exist and that the sender doesn’t hope you will get back to him or her? It’s depressing. It takes so little to just respond. It means so much.

I don’t think I have ever not replied to an email directed specifically to me in my entire life. I imagine myself in the receiver’s shoes and their mindset — waiting, worrying, perhaps wondering if they overstepped their bounds, just wanting for any sort of response.

I want to be clear I’m not referencing unsolicited requests from absolute strangers, or stalker, or trolls, or someone potentially not on a sane wavelength. In those scenarios, I get it: Don’t feed the beast by replying! I know from running a theatre that I had no choice sometimes but to parse out emails that seemed to be from creeps or whose contents were out-of-line inappropriate.

Basically, if you would not ignore the person asking the same question face-face, then you don’t have the right to ignore them just because they contacted you through other means.

Do the world a favor and reply. It will make someone feel like a human being, just to know they are heard.

Written by

Performer, storyteller, teacher - living in NYC and traveling worldwide (www.philipmarkle.com). Artistic Director of The Brooklyn Comedy Collective.

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