Never the Right Word

Never the Right Word

Scripts & Templates for Life’s Uncomfortable Conversations.

Contact & find out more.

Legal Information

NTRW is supported by adverts and affiliate marketing links. This means if you click a link or buy a product, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Partnerships help fund this site. For more info, please see our Earnings Disclosure.
This site does not constitute as legal, mental, or medical health advice, please consult a competent licensed professional.

We all have been in that awkward situation where you discover an email or text goes to a totally unintended recipient. And if you haven’t been in this embarrassing situation before, we hate to break it up to you, but the risks are still there.

Sending emails or messages to the wrong recipient has nothing to do with your lack of diligence or vigilance. It is something that simply happens, and in most cases, the recipient is often the last person on whose end you would wish the message to end up.

Emails and text messages have one comical feature – once they send from your end, the recipient is bound to read them. It may take a while before they are notified of a message from you, but they will eventually open up the message and read it anyway.

Another awkward thing with unintentional emails is that the unintended recipient will often read them over and over again, each time thinking about why they had to be the object of your indiscretion.

On your end, you will probably be agonizing and asking yourself why you did not take your time. Well, since the deed is already done, your only concern should be how to smart from the ensuing embarrassment.

In this post, we shall uncover some four basic templates on how to ‘style out’ the embarrassing effects of sending emails or texts to the wrong recipients.

Illustrations courtesy of Shutterstock.

Message 1 | The Smartly Impenitent Approach   

 

Hey [Insert Name], apologies for the message. It was actually intended for [Insert Name], could you please forward it to them?

We choose to call this the smartly impenitent” approach because as a sender of the wrong message, you might feel embarrassed. However, you, just like the recipient know there is nothing that can be done and that the message is already with them. First, you begin by expressing your apologies but on the same breath, go on to remind the recipient that you actually need the message to reach the intended destination and indirectly solicits for their help in doing so.

This template is an ingenuous way of preempting a backlash from the other person. The general assumption here is that the wrong recipient of your email actually knows the person for whom the message was intended. Now, there is a catch here. The message could be deeply embarrassing that this person may turn down your request to forward it. A perfect example is if it is a message you intended to send to a colleague but ended up on the email inbox of another colleague. Of course, your primary intention was not to have the message forwarded, but to let the recipient know it was totally not intended for them. They will unlikely forward it, but you want it that way.

We also have another option. As soon as the message lands on the wrong hands, immediately ask them to forward it to someone they do not know. The recipient will immediately contact you and ask who the person you wish the message forwarded to is. Of course, this is a hypothetical person, but try to describe them in such a demeaning manner that the wrong recipient of your mail will agree that the person actually deserves all that’s written in the text. This applies if the message was laced with some profanities. Again, do not expect the wrong recipient to ask for the contact details for this person. They’ll likely empathize with your situation and delete the message on their end.

Message 2 | The Faux Prank Approach  

 

Hey [Insert Name], do you already have my message? I bet you do, and I believe I got you on this one.

Or…

I knew you would get this infuriated. Well, I just pulled a fast one on you. Gotcha!

This is a tricky approach but one that can still effectively get you out of a tight embarrassment. In this approach, you are to pretend that the message was intended as a prank. There are two possible ways to go about it. First, immediately you realize you have sent a message to the wrong person, you wait for them to respond. And the response shouldn’t take long. For instance, if you send a sexually-suggestive email to your parent, expect them to respond almost immediately they read your message. And the response will often be anything but good. Now, this is the time to play smart. They will probably call you and give you a piece of their mind. Wait till they have reprimanded you, then give them a scornful laugh as you remark how you actually intended to prank them and how flat they fell for it. Of course, you will need to have a way with words in order to get them to believe you. This will also depend on the content of the email. Some messages are so vile that you cannot purport to prank someone with them. So, check to see if the content of the message is the kind you would wish to prank someone with.

In a second scenario, you would not need the wrongful recipient to call you back. Immediately you hit the send button, wait for a few minutes and then follow through with a message. You could actually choose to call them and tell them verbally that you intended to prank them. Making a phone call has advantages over sending text messages, as text messages can be easily ignored. Now, this second option applies in situations where you notice the message was sent to someone you very formally associate with. This could be your boss, a member of your church or a person from your in-laws. In such cases, there is no use waiting for them to respond, as they might never do that. For instance, if you send an email full of obscenities to your female boss, she may choose to not reply. Perhaps to her, responding to the message, even if she clearly suspects it was sent to her by mistake, would amount to demeaning her position and status. As we have already mentioned, you do not have to wait for the response to come through. Send her a message or give her a call immediately and claim the message was sent as a prank.

Message 3 | The Overly Witty Approach

 

I have always wanted to get you off my speed dial. Now, see I just sent you the wrong message

It is not easy to be witty in situations where a message ends up on the wrong end. But it is not entirely impossible either. So, you are typing a message to your girlfriend and all of a sudden, you end up erroneously sending it to your lecturer. The message does not have to be inappropriate in content, it just happens to have landed on the wrong desk and you are now at a loss how to remediate the embarrassment. This is one of those situations that calls for wittiness. And if you have never been in a situation where you had to wittily talk your way out of a problem, consider this your first experience and be good at it.

So, as usual, contact the other person if they have not contacted you within a couple of minutes of receiving the message. Apologize outright as how you never meant the message for them. As you apologize, pull a witty remark that will set them at ease. In our example here, you can tell them that you have always had them on speed dial. As you probably already know, having someone’s contacts on speed dial means you can contact them immediately you press a single digit assigned to their contacts. But most importantly, it means you hold them in very high regard. Of course, this is all but a mind game. You are only playing around with the person’s psychology so they can wrongfully believe you hold them in such high esteem. People like to be regarded highly. So instead of dwelling on the content of the message or the fact that you send them a message unintentionally, they will dwell on the fact that you value them so highly.

Illustrations courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on https://nevertherightword.com. If this article appears on any other site other than https://nevertherightword.com without clear referencing it is a violation of the copyright owned by https://nevertherightword.com.

This article may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and buy a product, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Never the Right Word is a participant in the Awin Affiliates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to participating merchants. For more information, please view our Privacy Policy and disclosure page.

Message 4 | The Comical Approach

 

Hey [Insert Name], hang on a sec. Let me break up with this dude first. I will call you back.

This is a personal favorite. It can apply in many situations such as when breaking up with someone or when telling off a person. The text or email should somewhat take the form of a response to an argument. For instance, if you were breaking up with your boyfriend over the email or phone chat, you are probably already steamed up. Not only will the anger in you make you type abominable messages, it will also cloud your eyes so much that you end up sending the texts or emails to the wrong person. Of course, ordinarily, you would be too worked up to care what the wrong recipient of your messages think about. But then again, the recipient is someone with whom you professionally relate with. Or, they are just some random person but still, you want to maintain some semblance of dignity.

Once you realize they have your message, contact them and very humorously, create a sense of urgency. Tell them that you are not done with the person for whom you intended the messages, and that you need to finish the matter at hand as it is truly urgent. You can choose to assume a serious or light tone here, as long as there is some sense of humor underlying your short apology. The wrong recipient of your message will indeed understand and appreciate the sense of urgency in your tone. They will actually assume that the situation is so tense on your end, which is why you missed the real, intended recipient of your message. And since you used some humor when responding, you will already have preempted any counter-reactions they were probably preparing against you. If you wish, you can get back to them later as you did indicate, and issue a more formal apology.

Sending a text or email to the wrong person happens to most of us from time to time. always remember you can quickly recover from the shock and possible embarrassment requires through tact and wit. The best course of action is to issue an apology and everything will be fine.

At Never the Right Word, our aim is to give you practical examples of how to handle life’s difficult conversations. If you have an awkward situation that you’d like example templates for, request a topic here.   

If you’re interested in further reading, we’ve also included links to our trusted resources and related posts below. To find out more about NTRW and our recommended tools, you can do that here.  

Lastly, if you found this content helpful or want to share your own examples, let us know in the comments. We’d also be delighted if you shared this article and joined us on social media too!

Never the Right Word

Never the Right Word

Hi there! I’m Amy, and I’m the person behind Never the Right Word. I’m a designer-by-day who’s fascinated by human psychology; you’ll find me learning about what makes others tick through all types of media and good old-fashioned conversation.

In 2019 Never the Right Word was born to fill the gap of ‘how-to’ websites with copy and paste examples showing you EXACTLY what you need to say to steer difficult conversations into positive outcomes.

Popular Articles...

Relevant Books We Recommend...

Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People (Paperback)

If you struggle with meeting new people, are shy, or generally want to improve your conversational skills we think you'll get a lot from this book. In Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People author and human behavior investigator, Vanessa Van Edwards shares a wealth of behavior hacks to help you get the most out of your interactions. You'll learn a strategy for navigating any social situation, unique tricks to break away from monotonous small talk, how to predict people's emotions through speed-reading people's expressions, and much more. Once you understand the laws of human behavior you can be confident that you'll get on well with anyone. CLICK HERE to get your copy of Captivate. Whether you're a people's person or a little more reserved we think it's a great read for everyone.

How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age (Paperback)

Celebrating the 75 anniversary of the renowned self-improvement bestseller How to Win Friends and Influence People, comes a refreshed adaptation of Carnegie’s timeless prescriptions for the digital age. We love this classic because it teaches the reader how to shift their mindset to make life more engaging and rewarding which increasing being more and relevant in today's society. How to win friends and influence people in the digital age is one of the best books to help you learn how to be influential. Anyone who is willing to read in-between the lines can see that there is power in Carnegie's insights. You can get your copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age by Dale Carnegie & Associates by CLICKING HERE.  

The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism (Hardback)

Did you think that Charisma was just something you were either born with or without? A powerful trait possessed only by the chosen few? Think again. The Charisma Myth: Master the Art of Personal Magnetism by frequent keynote speaker and executive coach Olivia Fox Cabane; we are shown how charismatic behavior can be learned and mastered by anyone. Cabane breaks charisma down into its essential components, revealing the truth to how it really works. This book is a great read for anyone who wants to become more influential, persuasive, and inspiring. Great for aspiring leaders and budding socialites alike. You can get your copy of The Charisma Myth by CLICKING HERE.

The Science of Happily Ever After

In The Science of Happily Ever After: What Really Matters in the Quest for Enduring Love by acclaimed relationship psychologist Dr. Ty Tashiro the science behind how to choose a great mate to find enduring love is explored. Dr. Ty Tashiro's research pinpoints why our decision-making abilities seem to fail when it comes to choosing the right partner and how we can improve our decision-making skills. Dr. Tashiro has discovered that if you want a lifetime of happiness it all comes down to how you choose a partner in the first place- an insightful read for many. Get your copy of The Science of Happily Ever After by CLICKING HERE.

Pin Never the Right Word on Pinterest!

Like Our Site? These Are the Resources We Recommend.

To build this site we used these highly recommended tried-and-tested tools:

We Trust Elegant Themes

The Elegant Themes membership gives you complete access to 87 amazing themes and 3 awesome plugins, including Divi, the ultimate WordPress Theme and Visual Page builder. Elegant Themes have been building the world's most popular WordPress themes for the past 10 years, and rest assured their products will always be improved and maintained. 

Divi WordPress Theme

We Build With Divi Theme

One of the most popular WordPress themes in the world. Building layouts is easy and fast, making it ideal to create mockups and wireframes, prototyping a design, and creating the website itself. Build from the frontend or backend. The builder is intuitive. It's easy to learn and can be used by non-developers to create amazing websites. Check out the official Divi Theme here.

Divi Cake is a community driven marketplace for Divi Child Themes, Builder Layouts, and Plugins - Shop Now!

We Customize With Divi Cake Plugins

Divi Cake’s main goal is to help the members of the Divi community find the perfect premium Divi themes, layouts, and plugins created by leading Divi developers and designers. Shop hundreds of premium Divi products like Divi child themes, Divi layouts, and Divi plugins on Divi Cake, the community driven Divi Marketplace. Find out more about Divi Cake here.

We ❤️Shutterstock Media

We get our images from the OG leader in stock assets. Boost your business with the right images. They're royalty-free and ready to use. Footage & Music Libraries. 4k Images Added per Hour. No Daily Download Limit. Speedy Search & Discovery. With flexible plans and countless amounts of premium content uploaded weekly, we couldn't leave Shutterstock off our list.

Skill-Up With LinkedIn Learning

When you want to enhance your professional skills with expert-led, online video tutorials, the only place to go is LinkedIn Learning (Lynda). With a subscription you get 24/7, unlimited access to over 13,000 business, design & tech online courses and with a free month. We like them because we get expert-led courses that we can access anytime, anywhere. What's not to love?

Web Hosting

We're Hosted With SiteGround

SiteGround boasts a whole list of fantastic features at amazingly affordable prices. Along with multiple growth options, free site transfers and domains, built in Content Delivery Network integrations, WordPress support AND human support we wouldn't go to anyone else. They're basically faster, safer and more supportive- you can check them out here.

We Trust Grammarly Premium

Even seasoned writers need a helping hand at times, that’s why we trust Grammarly Premium. As the World's Most Accurate Online Grammar Checker, Grammarly Premium goes beyond grammar to help you ensure that everything you write is clear, engaging, and professional. Learn more about Grammarly Premium’s AI-powered assistant here.

Find Graphics With Creative Market

Creative Market is the world’s marketplace for design. Bring your creative projects to life with ready-to-use design assets from independent creators around the world. We love the unique finds, social media templates, vectors you name it they have it. I also doesn't hurt that our founder has a little store on there...

Powered by Creative Market

Powered by Creative Market

Contact Us

Email Us

Never the Right Word
Building 19475
PO Box 6945
London
W1A 6US
United Kingdom

Follow NTRW

Support NTRW

Become a Patron!
Donate to Never the Right Word and keep us accessible to all. Thank you!

Stay in the Loop

error: Content is protected !!

Pin It on Pinterest