Networking Tips: How to React When Someone Offends You

How to React When Someone Offends You

– I was negotiating a deal with a door to door sales company.  I thought we were close on terms and was looking forward to getting the deal done.  This company had wanted Lance Conrad and I to consult for them.  When the offer came in, it was offensive from our perspective.  It wasn’t even in the ballpark of what we discussed.  At first, I felt undervalued by the offer and wanted to write a belittling email back.   As I thought about it rationally, I came to the conclusion that if I were to respond in such a way, nothing good would come out of it.  I have learned to always try to take the emotion out of it and ask myself how can I turn this into a win-win situation?

I decided to respond back bluntly, but very respectfully.  I clearly communicated what I felt but in a way that wasn’t offensive.  I gave my perspective, but also let them know that if things didn’t work out, maybe we could help each other down the road.  You should ALWAYS leave the door open and think long term when you are networking. Do NOT burn your bridges!


Had I sent the initial reactive and negative email I wanted to send, a future partnership would have never been formed.  Instead, we worked out our differences and provided value for each other, a positive outcome to something that easily could have ended differently.  It is hard to send an email that isn’t based on emotion but here are 4 tips that will help you.


  1. Take the emotion out of it as much as possible and clearly communicate your INTENTIONS.
  2. When you are upset, the best thing to do is to wait a day to respond.
  3. Have a trusted friend look over your email before you send it.
  4. If you can, I would always have a conversation rather than an email.  When you do have this conversation, watch your tone and always make sure you see things from the other party’s perspective.  Letting them know you understand where they are coming from goes a long way.  You can still disagree with them while understanding where they are coming from.

Another insight that I have learned is that those who are weak where you are strong will offend you the most!  If you are a people person who is very thoughtful and the other person is not, then they will typically offend you more often than someone who is a people person.  We see the world through our perspective.  We expect others to be strong where we are strong because from our perspective it is just plain common sense. Learn to notice and appreciate the differences in others, and it will become much easier to network and build strong and valuable relationships that can last for years to come.

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