These People Sharing Their Favorite Clapbacks At Work Remind Us How Important Clear Communication Is

"I'm also a fan of laying out all the facts of where they have me confused. And ending with 'please advise.'"

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a job they can say gives them gratification, but most people have moments at work that are pretty damn satisfying. One of these moments is serving up a professional clapback. 

You know, like when someone you work with tries to undermine you but you've got the perfect response to show them that they're completely wrong. These responses are work appropriate, but let the other person know that you won't be unfairly put down. 


Too often, these conversations are the result of the other person making a mistake while pointing the finger at another. However, these responses help to maintain politeness while still showing the other person the importance of being self-aware and, hopefully, can help to improve communication in the workplace. Perhaps, after being on the receiving end of one of these comebacks, people won't be so quick to jump to conclusions or point fingers. 

Recently, Danielle René, a writer and marketing consultant based in Washington, D.C., asked Twitter users to reveal their favorite professional clapbacks. She started by sharing a few of her own, which include phrases such as "per my last email" and "please advise."

"A friend shared that a coworker sent her a scathing emailing saying she was out of compliance. She responded by forwarding the original submission which was sent on time and meant she was indeed IN compliance. It reminded me of all the times people tried to confront me over email about something, and in the end, they had done wrong," René told Refinery29. "I write fiction in my spare time and when I saw the opportunity to tell a funny hypothetical story using workplace scenarios, I ran with it — and it went way more viral than I expected." 

Her first tweet has been liked more than 42,000 times and has been retweeted nearly 10,000 since René first posted it last week. Many people are happily sharing their own favorite comebacks at work — and many others are filing their responses for the next time they need one.

An overwhelming number of women shared their professional clapbacks in response to René's tweet, which is unsurprising given how often women still experience sexism at work. Despite how much progress we've made, women are still often subjected to inappropriate comments, "mansplaining," treated as inferior to men, and unfairly stereotyped at work. Because of this, many women feel that they need to be extra careful to be seen as polite as possible for fear of being thought of as "bitchy," "bossy," or "aggressive." 

Back in March, a man named Martin Schneider conducted a gender bias experiment at work where he "switched places" with a female colleague by signing his emails with her name instead of his own. "I was in hell," Schneider wrote about the experience. "Everything I asked or suggested was questioned. Clients I could do in my sleep were condescending. One asked if I was single."

Men are certainly put in positions where they need to fire off a professional clapback, but women often feel like they need to be overly polite about it. Need further proof? Check out some of the responses from women on René's Twitter thread below. 

Perhaps we should look at professional clapbacks as a way to remind people that women deserve a seat at the table and should not be underestimated or treated as inferior. But, sometimes, we need to do more than send an email. René has one idea for improving communication and relationships at work. 

"In traditional work environments, pick up the phone!" she told Refinery29. "I know that sounds like something out of a history movie, but really: Talk to someone. Hear their voice and you may soften up your per my usual email replies — and they might actually take the time to search for the answer instead of bothering you."

Cover image via Shutterstock


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.