10 Phrases You Should Never Use in a Work Email

By djsheryl on August 22, 2022
(Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Emails are notorious for contributing to misunderstandings. Without verbal clues and body language, it’s really hard to accurately gauge the tone and intent behind an email. Unfortunately, whether intentional or unintentional, being passive-aggressive in the workplace could make others uncomfortable, create tension and even jeopardize your job! That’s why WordFinder by Your Dictionary did a study to find the most-used passive-aggressive work phrases, most of which seem pretty harmless at first glance.

According to their research, here are the top 10 most passive-aggressive phrases in the workplace:

1. Please advise

2. Noted

3. Friendly Reminder

4. Will do

5. Thanks in advance

6. Per our last conversation

7. Circling back

8. As per my last email

9. As promised

10. As discussed

I’m guilty of using at least a few of these, thinking I was being professional and not realizing how passive-aggressive they sounded. Guess I won’t be now. They also identified the LEAST passive-aggressive phrase, which include: “Sorry to bother you again,” “Any update on this” and “I’ll take care of it.” A rep for Wordfinder says “To communicate effectively, employees should remember not to respond to messages or emails when in a state of frustration. They should also assume good intent, show empathy and encouragement, and avoid digital ghosting. As a rule of thumb: if you feel uncomfortable reading it directed toward you, try rethinking your approach.”

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