Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
A relative of mine has been sending me near-constant emails and text messages containing pictures of her two young kids. Is there a polite way to let her know I am not interested in daily updates on her children’s various facial expressions without hurting her feelings?
Dear Inbox Full,
There are a couple of ways to handle this situation without hurting your friend’s feelings. One way would be to tell your friend that your email is used for business only. Another is to send a general email, ccing yourself, and bccing her, (this way she will assume you are sending a mass email to all of your contacts), stating that this email is being overloaded with messages, so please only use it for business purposes, or important personal messages.
As for her texting you pictures, tell her you have been overloaded with texts as well, as you are in the habit of checking them to the point that it is a distraction at work and/or your everyday tasks. Give her an alternative to let you view the pictures, such as Facebook, or suggest she set up a place where her friends and family can view them online anytime. Her other friends will probably be grateful to you for giving her this idea.