Q. I have an amazingly compassionate nature and nurturing my clients comes easily. I occasionally get very gruff customers who come off as rude and insensitive. I don’t get it. What am I doing that would attract such confrontive behavior?
From “compassionate and nurturing”
Being a healer naturally requires you stay in the more compassionate part of your nature. Customers who are rude and insensitive, blunt or demanding are generally caused by two reasons:
1. Pain – will cause the nicest person to bark and sometimes bite.
2. Nature – this person is more direct and assertive and even aggressive and always has been.
People who are natural confronters are more direct in their approach. They often look for non-confrontive people to release their frustration on – especially when they are in pain or are not as emotionally mature in their release of pain or frustration.
Compassionate people tend to allow barking; they may see it as a release – or they may not know what to do.
• If you see this kind of behavior as a pattern in an individual, it is time to disrupt their delivery pattern through boundary setting.
• If blunt or demeaning comments seem to happen regularly to you, it is time to disrupt your receiving pattern through boundary setting.
Setting boundaries can be very challenging because your nature is to be open, caring, warm and thoughtful. The smartest and safest thing you can do for yourself is set firm boundaries that say, “take one step further and we will no longer be working together.” When you meet a bold and direct person, it is imperative that you set those boundaries as soon as you recognize it – which is usually right away.
How to set the boundaries?
For instance, you finished up with the former client just a few minutes late and your next client (who is more gruff by nature) makes a condescending comment like: “What is the sense of setting an appointments with you if you can’t keep them?” Zingggg! Here is when you must act, and act fast.
#1. Acknowledge their comment. Give No defense – No explanations – No justifications! They will only cause the person to go deeper into their accusations. “I did go over time with my last client, I apologize for making you wait.” (It doesn’t matter if this is the first time in 20 years a client had to wait in your office. nothing you say will make the other person feel better about you because of it.)
#2. Move forward as quickly as possible. “Shall we get started? We don’t want to waste one more precious moment.” Say this lightly, and with great confidence. (Fake it at first until you gain confidence in this type of assertion).
#3. Change the subject and be very confident, straightforward and self-assured. The gruffer person will settle down in no time once he or she sees there are no more opportunities for jabs.
Once you take the lead, you must keep it. If you allow the other person to lead in your business, it will take you months to get it back, if they ever come back. You see Aggressive people respect people who will not cave. It doesn’t mean you are aggressive back; that will only make things worse. Showing confidence is what they are looking for and expect.
If this is a receiving pattern for you, check out some of the excellent healers who are OWA certified that can expertly assist you with boundary setting.
May you always communicate with class!
PS. If you want to learn more about your patterns with others, I invite you to check out behavioral styles that will show you more about how you like to communicate with others and how to adapt when necessary.
To learn more about Pamela visit her site at http://www.communicatewithclass.com