A List of Phrases to Delete from Your Email When Networking


The art of mustering up the courage to reach out to someone and ask them for help can be daunting, exhausting, and way more complicated than you think. After meeting someone who catches your career attention, you may wonder what the best way to approach them is if you'd like advice, an in-person chat, or just access to their brilliant contacts.

Should you send them a LinkedIn request? Tweet directly at them? How about a detailed email, pouring out your own personal life story, with an ask buried in at the end?

A LinkedIn request is always a good idea, since it allows you to stay connected to this person, at a friendly distance. A Tweet may come off too brash, especially if the Tweet just contains what it is you want them to help you with. An email may be the best way to go, as long as you make the email less about you and more about them.

Here's why.

People want to help people. Successful people do enjoy mentoring others who are just starting out in the game. CEO's are known to spend time leading workshops, writing down lessons learned, and helping those around them reach their own personal goals.

But it's all about how you ask. Below are the five most popular phrases we use in emails to people we want to network with that drive them crazy and make them hesitate to say yes to helping you, let alone hit the reply button and give you a response.

A LinkedIn request is always a good idea, since it allows you to stay connected to this person, at a friendly distance. A Tweet may come off too brash, especially if the Tweet just contains what it is you want them to help you with. An email may be the best way to go, as long as you make the email less about you and more about them.

1. Can I Pick Your Brain?

One of the main things you might want to do when networking with someone, is run a gigantic list of questions by them, in hopes of learning the best responses to them. Sometimes, the advice they’d give you when they answered those questions would cost a couple hundred bucks if you were one of their consulting clients. If you know they do consulting, perhaps pay their fee. That way, you are respecting their time and their knowledge. If not, offer to barter services with them. Offer to do something for them and their business (like social media, digital marketing, branding, etc.) in exchange for an hour of their time answering your most pressing questions.

2. I'd Love to Know How You Did It?

An allure of reaching out to a person who is a couple steps above you in their career path is that you wish you get a play-by-play summary of their entire career, and life story, to see exactly how they got to where they are now.

The problem with writing this in an email is that it can seem daunting for the person reading it. You’re asking them to tell you how they did it? That’s a conversation that would likely fill a book, take plenty of hours, and may even be TMI and not what they are willing to share.

3. Can You Help Me Get to the Next Level?

Working is great because when you network with the right person, you learn things from them and build a relationship that both of you can potentially benefit from. But, when you reach out to someone you’d like to network with and ask them to help hold your hand and drag you to the next level, you can come off as a needy, not willing to put in the dirty work yourself, or just plain old selfish. Instead of asking for that person to help you, write to them asking them how you can help them first.

4. Can I Put Some Time on Your Calendar?

Let’s face it; everyone is busier than they should be. Most people find that the majority of their day is booked with back-to-back meetings and if they find a few minutes for lunch, that day was a success. Asking to put some time on a person’s calendar may just not be something that’s feasible for them. Instead, asking to stop by for just 15 minutes to say hello or to take them out to dinner, post-work hours, might be a friendlier way to ask to meet them IRL.

5. Can I Send You Something to Look At?

Think about how many emails you get everyday. It’s a lot right? For most of the emails you read, you hope to read them and respond ASAP so you can toss that email out of your inbox. When emailing someone you’re networking with and requesting they take a look at something, whether it be your resume, a paper you wrote, or your business plan, it will give them a headache. Instead of pushing that on them in the first email, build a relationship and connection with them first before asking that. Once you’ve built that rapport with them, they will be more likely to help you out.

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Patriarchy Stress Disorder is A Real Thing and this Psychologist Is Helping Women Overcome It

For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.

As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.

Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.

What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein

This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.

Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.

While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.

"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.

Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.

In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.

"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."