In a previous post Abusive and Controlling Emails – Email Traps, I discussed the situation with my father sending me abusive emails. Over the past 8 years I have become very experienced in not responding to my ex-husband’s abusive emails. However, here was my father, doing the same thing and I was allowing myself to respond to his irrational behavior.
A few weeks ago, I blocked all emails from my father in Outlook, but they were still coming through to my phone email. My father wrote an extremely abusive email where he was attacking my mother and I did respond to that email. My Aunt pointed out that my father was trying to ‘push my buttons’ by his comments. She believes he would rather have negative attention than no attention.
So last week I figured out a solution that worked very well to block the emails from coming to computer or phone. If I had known about this option, I would have done this years ago with my ex-husband when he was sending so many abusive emails to me. This may not work with all email servers but this worked great with mine.
Email Trap Solution (see screenshots below)
- Logged into my Email Server
- Created a new folder titled ‘Dad’ (‘Ex’ or whatever fits)
- Created a filter to move anything from my father’s email to this folder
- Now the emails stay on the server in the folder assigned to him
- The emails are safely stored and I choose when/if I want to read them
- I can also read the Email Subject to determine if I should even open them
Years ago, when my ex-husband was sending so many abusive emails, I was advised my my lawyer to print out all his emails. If I had been using this method could have logged in occasionally to print them out. Some emails servers have limit on space, so if you need to keep these you might want to print them out occasionally and not rely on only the server to keep them.
*Note* If you feel you must read the emails, this way you can be prepared to read them only on a day of your choosing.
Tips to Responding to Abusive Emails
- Respond only to the facts
- Click forward or reply (remove ‘To’ emails so you do not accidentally send before ready)
- Delete every sentence that is opinions, ranting & raving, threats, etc…
- Leave only sentences that are facts or have a real question
- Reply to the questions with short factual answers
- Now, the hard part, try to delete the sentences in your head too