Okay, I have a thing. A thing that really pisses me off and no one else I speak to sees why it’s a thing.
This thing- let’s call it a pet hate, is email sign-off’s. You know the thing people write just before their name? And more specifically, the way my therapist signs off on an email or text.
Now, I’m typing this slightly tongue in cheek but you should know this does give me rage!
Phrases I particularly hate are
- Best Wishes – My ex therapist signed off with this after every communication, ugh.
- Kind regards – Kind fucking regards? What the fuck does that even mean?
- Regards- Regards? Regards!….. Really? My utilities company can muster more effort than that.
- Warm Wishes – This one is the least offensive but still… warm wishes still reminds me of a warmed-up just vomited fur ball my cat has deposited on the floor and that I’ve stood on in bare feet the middle of the night.
Now, just to explain, while these phrases seem perfectly fine and on the surface seem to exude care or warmth… I just don’t want to hear them from my therapist’s.
The relationship between therapist and client is a strange one. Yes, it is partly a business relationship, it’s also a professional relationship and as such there needs to be a certain level of propriety but my therapist is also likely to be my closest ally, someone I pour my heart and soul out to, someone I (am trying to) trust. This person is kind of like a mentor and a friend, a sister, a parent, a spiritual advisor and life-coach all rolled into one. I spend hours connecting on a really vulnerable, authentic and soul bearing level, and I believe on some levels my therapist is equally authentic, sometimes vulnerable and connecting to me on her side. The relationship between client and therapist is really special, actually.
So when I’ve just bared my soul, let myself connect to someone in a way I don’t allow many others in my life to do, when I get correspondence from my therapist and she signs off with any of the above, well, it just sets off my rage-o-meter.
It feels for me, jarring, unnecessarily formal, lacklustre, and just cold, man!
I am definitely reading too much into it but when I see those sign-offs, it’s like they are creating distance from me, reminding me I’m “just a client”, just a business proposition, just someone they vaguely know. None of those sign-offs hint at the relationship we are building, the tender moments created in therapy, the emotional intimacy that occurs in the therapy room.
Just imagine getting a text from your bestest friend or closest sibling or something and them saying “ hey, wanna go to the cinema on Saturday? Best wishes…. “ – *shudder* it would just be weird, right? Well that’s how I feel with those sign-off’s from my therapist.
I am not expecting them to sign off with “Love, therapist” or “hugs to you” or anything like that but honestly…. Can I please just get something less cold, something that suggests you know me a bit more than my dentist or postman or Utilities Company? Can I please have something a bit more familiar and comfortable?
May I suggest something like :
- See you soon
- Speak soon
- See you Monday
- Enjoy your week
- Take care
- Peace, Out!
- Just your name or initial
- Or no sign off at all.
So anyway, after having this really bug me for years and after several therapist and several private rants to myself later, I finally emailed Sienna and asked politely if she’d mind not using those sort of generic shitty sign-offs. And she said “ no worries, it’s just habit.”
Phew, that was way easier than I expected. And yes I know I’m being a weirdo, but surely there’s someone else out there who gets irked with those sign-offs from their therapist, that it just kind of jars with?