Please Be Kind and Respond

Please Be Kind and Respond

I wrote a Facebook status recently that may have ruffled a few feathers. It’s a topic that I believe that needs to be addressed so I’m going to share it with you today because it applies to both your personal and your professional life.

Please Be Kind and Respond.

We live in a very busy, always on culture. Our lives are more complicated than ever before. We work harder and longer. We see more tweets, status updates, and Instagram photos than we can possibly process every single day. We have more to do and not enough time to do it. And as sad as I think this has become, I get it. When I write the next few paragraphs, I want all of you to know that I understand the complexities of life.

Do you respond to people who reach out to you?

When a person sends you an email or a direct message or replies to your tweet, do you do your best to respond and acknowledge it? I know there are “rockstars” out there who guard their time or have more conversations directed at them than they could possibly deal with. But I’m not talking about the rockstars who have 50,000 followers or friends in the social media sphere (though sometimes they respond very well to fans online). I’m talking about the ordinary average guy or gal.

Lets be honest. Most of us check our Twitter feeds, emails, or other social media accounts a dozen times per day. We know when someone is talking to us because we have egos that make us want to see who cares about us. There’s nothing wrong with this. It feels great to be loved. The problem is when people don’t respond. How hard is it to acknowledge the person who reached out to you?

I believe it’s a common courtesy to make every effort to respond, even if it’s short and to the point. I dislike people who ignore my messages — especially if that person calls me a “friend” or we’ve connected in some personal way in the past. If we are friends, then you choosing not to respond tells me you don’t really care.

Do you want to be friends or not?

I prefer for people to be honest and upfront. If you no longer want to associate with me or be my friend, then tell me, but please don’t ignore me. That’s childish and immature. If I’ve done something to offend you, then let me know. I would rather know what’s wrong and try to make it right. If you’re simply too busy or not interested anymore, just say so.

Show Some Respect and Courtesy

Communication attempts can be missed at times and we may drop balls in responding to the people we know. Life happens. But when you just sent out a tweet asking for help and you respond to three other people and not me, that sucks. If I send you a message in Facebook and I can see that you’ve read the message and never respond, you’ve lost my respect. Show some respect and courtesy with a simple response. It’s that easy!

This may all sound petty to you, but to me it’s a big deal. I don’t like being ignored. Say anything but just say something. If you can’t give me that one courtesy after repeated attempts to connect with you, we can just call it done.


  1. Carel on October 18, 2013 at 4:43 am

    James, very valid. I felt like I had to leave a comment :).

    I am with you and agree 100%. Thank you for reminding me again to do my best to respond.

    How long do you think is too long to wait before you respond — we all get busy.

    • James Dalman on October 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm


      Thanks for commenting. 🙂 I think we all fail at following up or responding at times, but if it’s because of actual forgetfulness or that we’ve taken on more than we can handle, that is more understandable. I think there are instances when people don’t follow up because they don’t care. This is what bothers me.

      I try to respond within 24-48 hours when someone reaches out to me, unless it’s the weekend or I’m on vacation. Sometimes it takes a little longer depending on the circumstances. I think that even if it takes several days to respond then that is acceptable unless it’s time sensitive. There have been times when I’ve sent some form of communication that NEVER gets a response.

      Honestly I think it all depends on what the situation, but even if we are busy, I think a simple “I’m sorry I will get back with you ASAP” type of message would be better than none.

  2. Patrick Neve on October 18, 2013 at 9:03 am

    I couldn’t agree more. We all know how it feels when someone ignores us. A bit humiliating for sure. It’s liberating to hear someone else mention this. It’s a sensitive subject, but as Carel mentions; a valid one.

    Thanks for sharing James.

    • James Dalman on October 18, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      Patrick, I am glad that other people feel this way too. Thought I might be the only one! I just want people to be aware of how this could play out and what kind of message you might be sending if you never respond. Tell me anything but just tell me something. I’ve dropped balls before in getting back with people and I always apologize for it. But I do everything I can to let them know the message has been received.

      • Patrick Neve on October 18, 2013 at 2:25 pm

        Humbly speaking James, this is why I believe we will still be in business years to come—no matter what we’re doing. 🙂

        • James Dalman on October 20, 2013 at 10:48 am

          I can’t tell you how many projects I’ve won just because I’ve responded to emails and calls. I think common courtesy is a way to differentiate yourself from competitors these days. Unfortunate it’s that way but great for those who practice it.

          • Carel on October 21, 2013 at 8:06 pm

            James, cannot agree more with this one. A timely response to a new prospect makes a big impression.

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