How do you politely say FYI so no one you talk to is offended by it? The answer comes down to the conversation, your relationship with the other party, and your tone when you use it. If you share information you don’t want to sound bossy or condescending to anyone.
FYI is best used for casual conversations with friends and family. It isn’t a good idea to use it with your boss or your co-workers.
There is a time and place for it, but try to avoid using it all the time. Know your audience and how they will react to it. If you are corresponding with people in other countries, they may not know what FYI stands for or they may not view it as socially acceptable.
When in doubt, leave it out and go a different route. FYI can be quick, but you want to avoid conflict and problems so use it sparingly.
FYI is informal, but it can be used politely if you briefly share your thoughts and mention why it is important. For example: “FYI; Lauren also thinks design draft 2 is the best, let’s address that at the next meeting”.
Often, friends and family use it because of their relationship with each other. It is a quick way for them to share information and not think twice about it. Others feel the information can be shared without adding the FYI and they leave that part out.
It depends on your circle and how relaxed and detailed the communication style is. If someone tells you they find the use of FYI to be rude, try to avoid using it when you interact with them.
Is it Rude to use FYI?
It isn’t rude to use FYI when you wish to share information with friends or family. It is easy to use it while sending an email or a text message. However, it can be deemed as rude if you are using it to correct someone or your tone isn’t friendly.
Make sure there is no misconception about the meaning of what you share or the tone with which you share it. You don’t want anyone to be upset about how it was used in text or email.
Not everyone accepts FYI as a way to share information, so you must know your audience. As a general rule of thumb, you should know your friends and family well enough to decide if they will be offended by the use of it.
Some people perceive FYI as a form of passive-aggressive behavior. It is best not to use it if you have any concerns when it comes to your intended audience.
In today’s society, many people accept FYI as a way to share information quickly. They aren’t going to dwell on the fact you used it. Instead, they will be thankful you took the time to share information with them. It could be in the form of an invite, help them decide about an event, or to let them know about changes.
Try to end the use of FYI with something positive to let them know your tone is coming from that direction.
For example, say thank you at the end of the message. You can also say I am excited to see you there or I hope you can make it. These are encouraging ways to end that FYI message on a positive note. It can be hard for someone to get the tone from an email or text so it can help to add something they can’t misinterpret.
Pay attention to when and how others you talk to use it. When they use it regularly, they aren’t going to find it rude if you use it when you communicate with them.
Stick to relevant information including who, what where, and when.
What to Say:
“FYI the time for the baby shower has been changed to 12:30 and lunch will be served.”
“FYI the birthday party is a surprise so let’s all do our best not to let Karen know!”
“FYI parking is limited at the event so it is best to carpool or to park at the larger lots and use the shuttle to the venue.”
Can I say FYI to my Boss?
Keep your communication with your boss and co-workers both friendly and professional. It isn’t a good idea to use FYI in a work environment. Avoid using it in your emails, reports, and discussions on the job. It can reflect poorly on you and make others feel you don’t take your job seriously.
When it comes to communication with your boss and your co-workers, be polite but get to the point. They don’t want to read through lots of words to get to the core of the information you need to share with them. You can use any of these short intros and then elaborate on the details you need to share with them.
While this is the general rule of thumb to follow, some offices are less formal and they use FYI to communicate in-house. You should only go in that direction if you have heard it used by your supervisor in communication with you.
This indicates they find it acceptable and the work environment is less formal. If they aren’t using it, don’t be tempted to do so either. There are many other ways to convey information without the FYI included.
What to say:
“I’d like to make sure you are aware of the following.”
“I want to share these updates with you about (name the specific issue or topic).”
“I want to notify you of this information.”
“I want to bring this to your attention.”
“Can you review these details and give me your feedback?”
“Just so you know”
“Just so you are aware”
“For your information”
“Please be advised”
“Passing along what was shared with me”
“It may be of interest to you”
What can I say instead of FYI?
While you can use FYI with friends and family, there are other options to consider too. Avoid getting too comfortable with using FYI all the time. If you find you use FYI with your boss or co-workers, make a conscious effort to stop doing so. Change it up so you can convey your message but in a different way.
Basically, you will be saying the same thing, so don’t let the use of FYI or not using it trip you up. Don’t second guess yourself when you need to share information. It is more important to focus on the details.
If you aren’t sure how well it will go over, leave it out and use one of these other options. It can take some practice for you to do so, but before long you will be mixing it up rather than using the same term every time.
What to Say:
“Here is some information I would like to share with you.”
“Below are the details.”
“Are you aware of the following information?”
“There are updates to what we previously talked about that I want to pass on to you.”
“Here is some information you may find interesting.”
“You may need these details to plan for (insert a given event).”
“What are your thoughts on this information?”
“Can you review the following and let me know of any changes or additions you think are necessary?”
How do you Say just to let you know Formally?
There are times when FYI just doesn’t work well. For example, if you are planning something formal, it needs to be communicated respectfully and tastefully. How to say it depends on how formal you wish to be and the event.
Make sure those you need to communicate with have all the details of what will take place, where it will take place, and when it will take place. If there are additional details about food or what to wear that should also be included.
When you talk about a formal announcement, it is best to do it in written form such as an invitation you give to those invited. Try to avoid using text or email to share such information with them unless you don’t have a mailing address or there are last-minute changes you need to share with everyone.
Formally, it can be included on a separate piece of paper inside of an invitation. For example, if a couple is registered at a given location for their wedding, share the information.
This gives guests the opportunity to see what is on that list and select a wedding gift from there. If the couple doesn’t want gifts you can include a note in the invitation so people don’t show up with gifts for them.
With an emailed invite, the use of italics can be a wonderful way to put the FYI information out there in a formal manner. It will get their attention and it looks elegant. It is a simple change to help deliver the information with a formal touch to it.
What to Say:
“Jill and John are registered for their wedding at the (insert information).”
“The couple requests no gifts at their wedding, only your presence to celebrate with them.”
“This is a black-tie event.”
“There will be a silent auction fundraiser at the event.”
“We kindly ask”
“We are happy to share”