When to Write it Down, and When Not.
If relationships matter to you at all, never put a negative emotion into writing.
Spoken words land softly on their feet like a cat that has fallen from a tree. But written words often land with a thud, and the crack of a fractured relationship.
My son Jacob taught me an African proverb last week, “The axe forgets, but the tree remembers.” This proverb reminded me to warn you, “Never put a negative emotion in writing.”
There are few things as reckless and destructive as a text, an email, or a letter in which you “clear the air” by venting your anger, your frustration, your disappointment, or your sadness.
If you cannot speak face-to-face with the person that you feel needs to hear what you have to say, then at least find a way to speak voice-to-voice.
Never put a negative emotion in writing.
I speak recklessly, but I write carefully. Every time I have put a negative emotion in writing, I have regretted it.
Introverts prefer to communicate in writing. I share this with you only because 49.5 percent of our population is – to some degree – introverted, so it is to that 49.5 percent that I say,
“I fully understand your preference for writing instead of talking. You are good at writing. This is why it is especially important for you to understand that your negative, written words hit harder, hurt more deeply, and cause more widespread destruction than the words of your extraverted friends. So please, never put a negative emotion in writing. But the opposite of what I said is equally true: your written words of recognition, praise, and encouragement will raise the spirits, strengthen the resolve, and give new energy to every person on whom you shine your light.”
During the dark times, when the tree craves light, it will remember the light of your love.
And then the tree will smile.
Are you ready for a surprise? The same applies to advertising.
If your relationship with prospective customers matters to you at all, don’t put negative emotions in your advertising.
You ask, “But don’t I at least need to describe the pain of the problem before I tell them about the solution?”
No, because if you do, your name and your brand will unconsciously become associated with pain and problems. People will remember you when they need what you sell, but they will feel better about someone else. This “someone else” they feel better about will most likely to make the sale.
If you want to be that “someone else,” learn to write ads that make people feel good about themselves, feel good about their future, and feel good about you.
I’ve been saying it for 30 years:
“Win the heart and the mind will follow. The mind will always find logic to justify what the heart has already decided.”
Did you know that I think about you several times each week? I sit in the soft light of my computer screen at 2:30 each morning and ponder the precious price you will pay to read what I write to you. I am aware that your money can be replaced, but your time cannot, so each minute you spend with me will be gone forever. This is why I try to give you something that will last; something you can take with you and use again and again.
I cannot see your face, but I feel your presence and I want the best for you, just as you want the best for the people your life touches.
Show those trees the warm light of your affection and it will sustain them during the dark times.
The tree remembers. Oh, the tree most definitely remembers.
Roy H. Williams