Is It Difficult to Just Click 'Reply'?

Updated on May 07, 2011
M.H. asks from Madison, WI
11 answers

My brother and another very good person that I would call a friend are the worst about replying to my email messages. I love my brother and he's a wonderful guy, but he will never answer an email. He tells me that at the time he's reading the email, he thinks he'll just call me instead. Well he never gets around to calling and then I never get a response to the email I sent him. It's so funny he doesn't realize that he never gets around to calling so just reply to the email! He does have a big family with small kids so I know he's very busy which makes even more sense to just reply to an email.

This other friend, who is also a great person, is so funny with replying to emails too. I don't take it personal since I've heard their own family members complain about getting no response to their emails, so at least I'm not alone. :) What's funny though is I'll ask them a question (which would require a reply) and they don't reply at all. The latest email I sent was asking if they would be available at a specific time to meet about something they offered to meet me about. No response at all. But then there's other times I won't ask anything in my email to them, I'll just be sending an informational type email and they reply back with something funny or witty. One time I sent an email and referenced something funny from their blog - my message had the 'sent from my ipod' statement at the bottom. They reply back 'so do you really have an ipod or do you just put that to be cool.' That's an email I expected no response from, but I got a funny response. Then the email asking if they can meet, I get no reply.

Anyway, just sort of a lighthearted vent. Both of these people are wonderful and I know they feel the same about me, but maybe I need to teach them how to click 'reply'. :)

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Some people respond better to calls, texts , email, IM' kind of have to gauge which you use to suit THAT person.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Minneapolis on

i myself would just stop sending emails-why drive yourself crazy? if you need to chat or ask questions-pick up the phone an call.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I may be the non reply person ... but it's because I check my email like once a week, just never think of it b/c most people call/text me cause they know I do not really do facebook/email stuff ... really, just call or text if you must.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

I agree with a lot of the other posts. Maybe rather than trying to change your family and friends, you should adapt your communication style to their needs. Rather than sending an email that requires a response from your brother, you should just call him instead since he likes that type of interaction (you mentioned that he says that he planned to pick up the phone, but doesn't get around to it).

As far as the other friend, you may just want to ask him/her how they prefer to be contacted. Maybe they'll reply to a text or a phone call, but not to an email based on their work style or just how their life and daily habits work for them.

I rely on email quite a bit and I'm really good at responding to email at work, but when I get home, I'm horrible at responding to personal email because I'm usually busy with my family or working at night. I read every email, but usually forget to reply as well because it does take time and I think "I'll get to it later when I am less busy" but that rarely happens.

As a side note, I know that most people rely on email extensively, but it really can be a horrible way to communicate for just these types of issues. If you need a reply right away, a phone call may just be a better approach for these particular friends if they aren't in the habit of responding to emails.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

If it's important, I'd just call. I don't like emailing or texting because they seem easier to ignore or forget about. People are most likely to hear their phone ringing before knowing about a text or email.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

totally depends on what is happening when they receive the email. are they just checking in the 3 minutes they have to be sure no school event has been cancelled/changed that would affect the day's schedule? or they might not be near their calendar to check or need to check with spouse before answering which may take a while. or be overwhelmed. that's my story :)


answers from St. Louis on

If you need an answer, call the person. I cannot stand when people send very important info via email. Sometimes my internet is wack or it goes in my spam folder. Or I dont carry my laptop around with me all day. If you have something important to say, call them.


answers from Hartford on

Some people just don't respond reliably to e-mail. They say the definition of "crazy" is to repeatedly engage in the same behaviors over and over and over again and to expect a different result each time. You keep sending your brother e-mails, but you're expecting a different result that is more to your liking each and every time. :-P

If you want to have a back and forth conversation then stop e-mailing him and pick up the phone to begin with. I'm lucky that both of my brothers will call me when they think about me or my daughters or even my husband but it's not predictable and I call them more often than they call me. They never respond to e-mails even if they do read them.

Now that I think about it, I think that my husband is the only guy ever to respond to 99% of the e-mails I send him. In fact, he sends me far more e-mail than I sent him. :-)



answers from Kansas City on

I think we have the same brother! My brother went as far as to tell me to tell my husband if he would stop sending him so many emails for a while, because he doesn't have time to read all of them. My husband stopped sending him emails altogether. My brother never responds to emails to me either, so I have quit sending him emails also. This is from a guy who is so busy yet finds plenty of time to watch sensless you tube videos until 2:00 a.m.! Oh, and his wife is worse. We nevefr get emails from her unless one of their girls are selling something and then the emails are so impersonable. Hmmm, it takes an extra 5 seconds to write "Hi, so and so!" Yet she's waaaay too busy and hardly even had time to write the email. It's frustrating isn't it?!!



answers from Houston on

I had to start opening emails (work) only when I was prepared to respond immediately so as not to forget. I kept thinking, oh I'll just check real quick. But at that moment I wouldn't have time to respond, so I had to force myself to stop checking until I was actually ready to respond. Maybe you could suggest they do the same?



answers from Washington DC on

I'm one of those people you have to call and say I sent you an email, otherwise it will just sit there unitl one day I go to my inbox.

My hubby doesn't text people and when they say I sent you a text, he says, I don't read text. So people have to call him.

If you have something important the you better call them. :o)

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