Never write an email when you’re mad or upset

The Internet – specifically, e-mail—has done wonders to increase our capacity to communicate. With lightening speed, we can now write letters, share ideas and even close deals. The benefits are astonishing.

There's a downside to e-mail, however, that's important to be aware of. The problem is, it's tempting, when you're mad or upset; to fire off an e-mail that you might very well live to regret.

In a reactive or upset state of mind, or when you're lacking judgment or perspective, it's easy to act impulsively rather than with composure and wisdom. In the blink of an eye, you can confuse someone, hurt their feelings, enrage them, or even destroy a relationship.

The good news is, the flip side of this issue is also true. If you're mad at someone and are tempted to share your feelings via e-mail – but you manage to resist – your restraint can pay enormous dividends.

Who knows how many relationships are ruined, or at least adversely affected, every day, by someone clicking "send" instead of simply walking away?

Some practical advice is this: Whenever possible, when you're upset, refrain from sending e-mails. It's dangerous territory. Instead, wait until you cool off. In the long run, you'll maintain good relationships, and avoid unnecessary conflict.