Mar 21, 2022

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3 Tips For Dealing With Angry & Pushy Clients


A client sits in a salon wearing a grey cape, holding out a piece of their reddish hair, with a concerned face. Behind her in the reflection of the mirror the stylist looks confused. Text overlay reads "how to deal with angry or pushy clients"

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upsetting someone doesn’t mean that you need to be upset.

If you’ve ever spiraled into anxiety when a client gets upset or angry, or you’ve avoided situations out of fear that a client might possibly get angry or push back then this post is for you!

In this post, I’ll be going over how to confidently deal with angry or pushy clients. Because I know you’re a people-pleaser and you’ll go out of your way to avoid people being angry or upset with you. 

We’re going to deep dive into that so buckle up and keep reading as I guide you through the

3 Tips For Dealing With Angry & Pushy Clients

The Inciting Incident

My first experience dealing with an angry customer was when I was in 11th grade. I was working at a grocery/superstore and had a client fly off the handle when I told them I needed my manager to double-check their tobacco purchase. 

As this middle-aged man was screaming profanities at teenage me, I swear I dissociated completely. I couldn’t even tell you what I did for the rest of my shift. 

It wasn’t until I got home and my dad asked me how work went that I completely broke down crying on his shoulder. 

It was at that moment that I made a vow to avoid anything like that situation ever again. 

It only takes having one situation that makes you feel uncomfortable that will make you avoid anything that slightly resembles that scenario forever. 

Playing Small in Business

And that’s how I ran my business. 

For the first 4 to 5 years of my business, I played small and I stopped pursuing my dreams because it was too uncomfortable to have the conversations. 

From raising my prices, to eliminating services, to firing clients. I avoided it all. 

It wasn’t until I realized that I was going to piss people off, no matter what, when I go after my dreams. But the people who leave were never meant to stay on my journey the whole way anyway. 

Part of the responsibility that you take as you grow in business and you take on more responsibility the better you can deal with these things. Whether you’re in business for yourself or you’re an employee. 

When you avoid difficult situations you’re not only disrespecting yourself and your business, you’re also not allowing yourself to grow in the ways that you want to. 

#1: Not-So-Uncomfortable Silence

When someone is absolutely losing it on you or they’re being rude, I want you to not respond until they make eye contact with you. 

This is an absolute game-changer. People will often distance themselves and avoid making eye contact when they’re being assholes. Because they don’t want to see the pain on your face. They don’t want to acknowledge what they’re doing to you. 

Now, we’re in a society where not every conversation takes place face-to-face. So if it’s over the phone, I want you to wait until they’ve exhausted themselves. If it’s via DM or text and they’re still typing, wait for them to get it all out before you respond. 

Don’t respond until they’ve completely exhausted themselves and they stop. You want to have a long, awkward pause. Simply stay quiet and if you’re in person, wait until they make eye contact with you. 

#2: The Magic Words

These are the two magic words when people are having an adverse reaction to a conversation. All you need to say is: “I understand”. 

Empathizing with them will make a huge difference. And letting them know you understand is a great place to start. 

Although you can, I’d suggest not going into huge detail. 

#3: A Fair Solution

After you’ve waited for them to get everything off their chest and you’ve empathized, you can now ask them: 

“Knowing what you know about the situation, what would be a fair solution to you?”

This is important to ask because oftentimes as business owners and anxious creatives, we will overcompensate and give too much. And more often than not, we give too much of the wrong thing. By finding out what they want the solution to be, it will help you make the final decision. 

And you can then decide whether you think that’s a suitable solution or not. 

Instead of fighting with them or saying “that’s not fair”, you can let them know that you can honor what they feel is fair, but moving forward that’s where your professional relationship will end. You don’t have to continue to tolerate the behavior. 

Feel Your Feels

More often than not, us empaths are the way we are out of trauma, or learned behaviors, and we don’t know how to feel our own emotions until after the fact. 

I want to remind you that upsetting someone doesn’t mean that you need to be upset. 

You’ll be uncomfortable in that situation because you’re so used to smoothing things over and making the other person happy, which in turn, makes you feel good. But then you walk away feeling frustrated that you bent over backwards. 

This time, you’ll feel their frustration with you, and it’s going to be uncomfortable, but you’re going to walk away and feel happy and proud of how you dealt with it. 

Instead of having the frustration that shows up later and you end up mad at yourself, just for a fleeting moment of feeling good that you made someone smile, you’re going to deal with the feeling of discomfort from making them unhappy (although they could be totally fine with it) and in the long run, you’ll feel the satisfaction and happiness that you did something to honor yourself and your business. The anxiety of dealing with it will completely disappear. 

And remember, the more you do it, the easier it gets. 

It will never be TOTALLY easy. I’ll admit there are still moments in my business where I get nervous, but I grow each and every time I do it. 

But every time, it gets a little less scary and I get stronger and I gain tools to deal with it better each time. 

So if the thought of standing up to yourself and your business still gives you the nervous sweats, I want to make sure you know that you’re invited to my FREE 2-day workshop that’s starting March 27th. 

We’ll be going in depth into how you can create and implement policies so that you can avoid these situations as much as possible, but also be prepared for when they do come up. 

It’s going to be so much fun. I know how uncomfortable these situations can make us and that’s why I put together this short and sweet 2-day workshop!

How do you feel when dealing with angry and pushy clients? I always love to hear from you. Shoot me a DM over on Instagram @dawnbradleyhair. 

Until next time, friend.

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I am just a small-town, Canadian gal from the prairies who teaches thousands of creatives around the globe how to earn 6-figures stress-free!

Hey, I’m Dawn!

“Rock Your Business” Course Creator, Host of “The Anxious Creative” Podcast. Named by Salon Magazine as Canada’s #1 women of influence.

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