March 17, 2018

What your Inbox says about your Personality.

These days, most of us stay plugged into our phones.

We check our emails, keep track of social media, take pictures, text, and occasionally even talk on them. We’re rarely disconnected, unless we have to be because of other obligations or a reception problem.

This is how I end up checking email messages most of the day. It only takes a couple of minutes, sometimes less, but I noticed something today that made me realize my inbox says something quite specific about my life.

Here’s what happened.

I got a message from a newsletter I must have subscribed to at some point. I never read this one. It just doesn’t interest me, or I don’t usually have the time. I see the notification, open up the message, and hit delete. I do this almost every day of the week for several different emails.

Then I had a thought: why am I opening them and deleting them rather than taking an almost identical amount of time to unsubscribe? Why do I waste time every day opening and deleting things that I’m never going to read? It’s a waste of time and energy, and it’s a distraction from the actual real life I’m living.

Then I thought about my real life. There are things that I commit to that I have little interest in doing. There are people I deal with who waste my time or drain my energy. There are times when I go through the motions of things when I could just stop altogether. Why?

Our inboxes might just say a lot about us. If we’re slow to respond or entirely unresponsive with our email, we might be the same in person. If our inboxes are filled with junk, our lives might be overflowing with clutter and more obligations than we can handle. If we never read certain emails and yet never unsubscribe, we might have boundary or communication issues that need to be addressed. Our inboxes might just be our whole lives in summary.

So how do we make our inboxes—and our lives—look a little more like what we want?


We can start to subscribe to more of the kind of content that we want to read. This is why I subscribe to Elephant Journal’s newsletter. I see articles I might overlook otherwise. I subscribe to a handful of other sites as well. Each of them provide me with content I actually enjoy and know that I will make time to read.

In Real Life:

We can start investing our time in people and interests that are meaningful to us.


We can choose to unsubscribe to the content we don’t want. Perhaps we made a purchase at that store once and ended up on an email list, or we entered a contest that required we submit our email and ended up with a ton of junk mail as a result. We can click and unsubscribe to all the extra advertising we receive on a daily basis. Keeping it in our inbox is just a waste of time and space.

In Real Life:

We can start saying no to people and obligations that add a burden to our lives. We can free ourselves from the pressure of accepting extra responsibilities that we don’t need or interacting with people who only drain our time, energy, or resources.


We can be responsive to the messages that are priorities for us. This will be easier when we’re not weeding through all of the junk we used to get before we started unsubscribing.

In Real Life:

We can be responsive to messages of people we care about. We’ll have more time for this once we weed out those extra obligations.


We can make our boundaries clear to others. If we’re getting messages we don’t want, we need to be clear that we’re not interested in continuing the dialogue.

In Real Life:

We don’t have to give our time and attention away to anyone who demands it. We have the right to say that we’re not interested in engaging in those interactions. A simple no will do. We don’t owe anyone an explanation.


We can delete old messages that aren’t pertinent anymore. We can just keep the content that we’ll need later on rather than being weighted down by all the messages. It will certainly take the pressure off to thin out our messages!

In Real Life:

We can start to clear clutter from our lives. We can make sure that our lives are filled only with people and things that we care about and not the ones that feel like space fillers and obligations.

Our inboxes can say a lot about us as people. As we clean up one, we have the opportunity to apply those same principles to our lives. Hopefully, it will take off some of the pressure, reduce our stress, and enrich our lives.



Bonus: 5 Mindful Things to Do Each Morning.


Author: Crystal Jackson
Image: Pexels
Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Copy Editor: Callie Rushton

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