When Anxiety Runs Amok, How to Put Others at Ease

A few weeks ago Keith and I made the decision to sell our kayaks. Last Friday we cleaned, measured, and photographed them, then listed them on a few websites and went to bed.

We woke to a feeding frenzy of questions and offers, more than a few along the lines of, “I can come right now—with cash.”

As Keith read the various communications aloud to me, one stuck in my brain.

Why? Because the author had signed off,


“That,” I said to my husband, “is our guy.”

Why was I so entranced?

Well, selling things online always feels a little wacky to me—I find it nervous-making in the best of times—and these are not (necessarily) the best of times.

Given that, “Respectfully,” put my mind at ease.

I recognize that at this point you may be thinking,

“Well, this is all lovely, Frances but why are you telling me this story?”

I’m telling it because while I may be the only person you know who is selling kayaks right now, I am not the only person you know feeling nervous right now.

Which is why it is more important than ever—as you deal with your clients, co-workers, colleagues and (more than likely) family—to add an additional layer of respect to your communication.

I guarantee it will help to put others’ anxiety-riddled minds at ease.


P.S. For those of you who are actually invested in the kayak story, the gentleman who showed up was lovely. I’ve never enjoyed a sale more.


For more on the intricacies of signing off, take a look at, “Best is the Worst: Bloomberg Says We are Ending Our Emails Wrong. Here’s What I Think”