It can be an incredibly disturbing experience to face an irate, angry client who has insulted and offended you for no reason. In such a situation, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with emotions like rage, shame, hurt, or disappointment. However, it is possible—and desirable—to maintain a positive outlook and high mood afterwards. Here are some tips to achieve this.
First of all, take a few moments to calm down after an altercation with a client. Try to distance yourself from the situation so that you can gain perspective. This could mean taking a few deep breaths, counting to ten, or going for a walk. Distract yourself with thoughts of other things to help you relax and cool off.
Here are some other techniques to try:
1. Breathe deeply and focus on the sensation of breathing.
2. Practice mindfulness meditation.
3. Take a break from the situation and remove yourself from it.
4. Visualize yourself in a calming and serene environment.
5. Acknowledge and accept your current emotional state.
6. Reframe your thoughts to help you see the situation in a different light.
7. Reach out to a supportive friend or family member.
8. Take part in a physical activity, such as a sport or going for a walk.
9. Talk to yourself in a positive and encouraging way.
10. Write down your thoughts and feelings to help process the experience.
Next, put yourself in the client’s shoes. Consider their perspective. Why might they have acted as they did? Were they having a bad day? Do they have a history of lashing out? Were they just frustrated with the situation? Once you have done this step, it can help to respond with a more understanding and compassionate attitude. Very useful is Tonglen meditation.
Practice self-care. Take time to do something that you find calming or uplifting. It could be something as simple as taking a bath, watching a movie, or reading a book. Another approach is to express yourself in some form or another like writing or painting. When we take care of ourselves it helps us to react to difficult situations in a healthy and positive way.
Reach out to support systems—your family, friends, or colleagues. Talking about how you’re feeling and sharing your experiences can be hugely beneficial. Not only does it help with individual reflections, but it can also contribute to wider team understanding, encouraging teamwork and collaboration that strengthens and soothes. Helpful in this case is to have a kind of diary where to describe the situation. Writing helps to see the situation from another perspective.
Look for the positive—even if it’s just a small detail. It could be a kind comment from a coworker, a supportive call from a friend, or a meaningful conversation with your boss. When we focus on the things that are going well, it can help us to put things in perspective and can make it easier to move on.
Finally, remember that this situation is only temporary. It can be easy to become overwhelmed and to take an altercation with a client too personally. Remind yourself that this is only a minor setback and that it won’t define who you are or the work you do.
Standing in a high mood after a client has insulted and offended you for no reason is not easy, but it is achievable. Essential steps include practising self-care, reaching out to support systems, looking for the positive, and taking a step back to gain perspective. With mindful and self-affirmative behaviour, it’s possible to stand strong through difficult encounters and maintain a positive outlook.