Negative Messages Case Study

Length: 2 pages Subject: Family and Marriage Type: Case Study Paper: #62406796 Related Topics: Family Planning, Growing Up

Excerpt from Case Study :

¶ … Negative Letter A few years ago, one of my cousins became engaged to be married and sent me an invitation to come to her wedding. Unfortunately, the wedding was to take place during an extremely busy season for me, in terms of my work. She also lived several states away. Traveling to the wedding and taking time off of work would have been a great financial sacrifice for me. Additionally, I was never very close to her, emotionally, when we were growing up. In other words, I had no desire to go. Doing so would be inconvenient and expensive and more of a hassle than a pleasure. Also, there was no one attending whom I particularly wished to see: I was not friends with any of her friends and the family members attending I could easily see at other family functions during other times of the year. Many of the principles I applied in writing the letter to my cousin would be relevant in other contexts in business, such as being forthright, personal, polite, and timely.

I had to write a letter politely declining the invitation to my cousin. This was still difficult because technically we are close family relations by


I tried to make the letter effective by first thanking her profusely for offering me an invitation. I then explained to her that due to the demands of my work schedule it would be impossible for me to attend. I wished the happy couple a wonderful wedding and a great future together. In retrospect, I think I could and should have made the letter more formal, perhaps touching upon some of the positive memories I had about my cousin when the two of us did see one another as children. I think she may have been offended by the idea that I gave work a higher priority than her wedding. Also, I assume that she wanted me to meet her husband (whom I did not know at the time). She may have felt that my well wishes were not personal enough because I could only talk about her, not about him.

My letter achieved the goal of conveying the news I needed to convey in a polite manner. Even if my cousin was mildly offended, she was not extremely offended enough to make it an issue the next time she saw me at a family gathering. I was lucky that planning for a wedding is daunting enough for most people that they do not have time to remember every single person who did or did not attend.

The fact that the letter was written to a family member made it easier in some ways to compose because I knew that even if she was hurt, she would not make it a longstanding issue. Also, the two of us knew one another well enough so that there was minimal miscommunication. However, that was also a…

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