In my recent essay, The Tyranny of the Single Opt-In Intro, I laid out my case for why single opt-in introductions are so harmful. TL;DR — they rob people of their agency and ability to decide for themselves how to use their time and energy. I’ve received many inquiries about the exact templates I use to deal with single opt-in intros, so I’ve decided to share them.
There are two main message templates I use:
Postponing a Connection. I use this template when I wouldn’t mind talking to someone, just at a more convenient time. It also clearly reinforces that next time, the connector should ask me first before making an intro.
It’d be great to get a heads up before being connected to anyone. My bandwidth is limited now because of XXX. I want to make sure I can get back to everyone in a respectful time frame. I can speak with XXX, but I’d really appreciate it if it could wait a couple of weeks.
Refusing a Connection. Sometimes I genuinely don’t wish to connect. That’s when I use this template.
Going forward, I’d really appreciate it if you would check with me first before connecting me to anyone. Double opt-in intros are always best. My bandwidth is limited now, so unfortunately I will need to pass. Please let XXX know.
There are times when I’ll tweak and adjust these messages for the specific situation, but having these templates at the ready is a useful starting point that significantly minimizes the energy I have to expend in these situations. And that’s what this is all about — protecting valuable energy.
As I mentioned in my essay, I’m a big believer in making the connector do the hard, awkward work of unwinding the introduction. They essentially have to go back and admit they messed up, and might even lose a bit of social capital. If they have any self awareness, it will hopefully make them think twice before doing it again.
When you respond to single opt-in intros, let these templates do most, if not all, of the work for you.
Protect your energy. Protect your boundaries. Protect your peace.