What is with the advice, "Write a letter and don't send it?"
February 4, 2014 7:47 AM Subscribe
Sometimes someone does you wrong (most often in a relationship), and there is a desire to call them out, to write a scathing letter. Often it's advised to write it out but not send it. Can someone help me understand why?
posted by htid to Human Relations (51 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Something bad happened to me and I spent some time putting the vitriol into a Google Doc when it came up. Now I have a carefully worded letter that is a fairly accurate expression of what happened. What is the logic around not sending it? I hear the advice so much on here, to write out such a letter perfectly if necessary, but then burn it.
I don't entirely get it. Telling someone how loathsome they are, so long as they're not a co-worker etc., might prevent harm in the future. It might make some positive impact that simply comes from a story being told.
Suppose an extreme case, you're a rape victim and you go to all the trouble of writing a letter about how loathsome the person is, how much they tangibly hurt your life, how you would want it to be undone or corrected no matter what that took, how they are a monster to you and this is the real story of your experiences.
Why burn the letter and not send it?
Why in the less extreme, non-rape cases?
I'm interested in opinions on both sides.