5 Ways to Avoid the Unintentional Tort of Keyboard Rage

A Certified Legal Nurse Consultant shared an email that should never have traveled across the information superhighway. To say it was unprofessional is an understatement. Mean-spirited, nasty and snarky also spring to mind. It was a classic example of the tort of keyboard rage and I’m happy to report that it didn’t come from another CLNC® consultant.

If you’ve never heard of the tort of keyboard rage, I’m not surprised. It’s an intentional or unintentional tort that doesn’t get addressed much in legal textbooks or in the Theories of Liability Module of the CLNC Certification Program. But it’s one of the most damaging torts a professional can ever commit.

If you are angry or hurt, the last place you want to be is sitting at your computer typing out an email. If you do type out that missive containing all the rage that you’ve built up for whatever reason, pause and take a moment before you hit the “Send” button. Instead take one of these 5 steps:

  1. Get up.
  2. Walk away.
  3. Breathe.
  4. Have a cup of calming healthy green tea (or shot of Don Julio tequila).
  5. Do something, do anything but DO NOT hit “Send.”

Go back when you’re sane again after the keyboard rage has dissipated. Then delete the draft and start over. Repeat the process as necessary until you’re certain no bridges will be burned by the correspondence. Your reputation, and dare I say, your future CLNC success, may depend on it.

I’m Just Sayin’

P.S. Comment and share how you avoid committing the tort of keyboard rage.

3 thoughts on “5 Ways to Avoid the Unintentional Tort of Keyboard Rage

  1. Wow, who would commit such an act when building a CLNC® business?
    Anger can be controlled by making choices of what one would say to another person via mail, email or conversation.
    If I felt that angry, I would be scared to even type it up and erase it; I might accidently hit send.
    I remember teaching Anger Management classes and telling the audience to write it on paper, wad it up and try hitting the trash can. Then re-write the script on paper to get what they want off their chest in an assertive conversation.
    Rage is horrible to anyone on the receiving end.

  2. Thanks Vickie for this reminder to use not only in CLNC® business, but also in our everyday lives. Remember the old saying ‘bite your tongue’, or as Jamaicans would say ‘teeth and tongue must meet sometimes’. We should all learn a lesson from this not only in our professional lives, but also in our personal lives.
    We should all be circumspect to what comes out of our mouths, think before talking or in this case think before typing.

  3. Completely agree with above comments. I have three young children and if I catch myself quickly I am reminded what messages I am sending to them. Controlling anger is something everyone needs to learn and become efficient at.

    I just learned this at a mandatory safety meeting at work. I am using it with myself and teaching it to my children. It’s called self-check using STAR. S=stop (pause for 1-2 seconds to focus) T=think (consider the action you are about to take) A=act (concentrate and carry out the task) R=review (check to make sure that the task was done correctly and that you got the right results). It is simple and brings focus to the moment. Good Day all!!!

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*The opinions and statements made by Vickie Milazzo, the founder of Medical-Legal Consulting Institute, Inc. are based on her experiences and expertise, should not be applied beyond the specific context provided, and do not guaranty or project actual results. Vickie Milazzo is no longer involved in the operations or management of the business, but is involved as an independent education consultant.

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