Jan 23, 2022

The “Client from Hell”—Myth or Reality?

It’s fun to complain about the annoying things our clients say & do. It’s necessary for any service provider to have a safe, understanding space to vent and roll their eyes and share screenshots of ridiculous emails. It helps to have a squad you can call on to help you navigate a difficult situation or craft a “you’re fired” email.

But also…

A “client from hell” is, most of the time, just a person running a business.

You’re probably not the only service provider they’re engaged with, and entrepreneurship is amplifying their strengths and weaknesses, just like it amplifies *your* strengths & weaknesses.

A good deal of the time, clients hire service providers because they tried to do the thing themselves, and they failed. And they probably feel some type of way about that.

So all of that is part of the package, whether the client is aware of it or not. And being all sensitive-like, we (HSPs and neurodiverse service providers) can often perceive these behind-the-scenes forces more easily than others.

It’s a weird paradox, right?

We have the capacity to view the “client from hell” through a more nuanced, lens, to view them with compassion and care—which *should* help us take their behavior less personally…

…and yet our sensitivity means we’re ALSO more affected by these clients’ shitty and/or careless behavior.

This feels like the definition of highly sensitive person problems. Will you tell me about the last “client from hell” experience you had, and what you did about it? (Note: no names please. This isn’t about shaming our clients.)

Samantha Pollack

About Sam

Samantha Pollack writes creative copy (mostly emails) for feminist companies and/or thought leaders who are working to build a fairer, more connected culture. She’s also the founder of The Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur, a 6-week course that helps HSP business owners create healthier, more sustainable systems in their work. 

She publishes frequent essays on feminism, privilege, pop culture, entrepreneurship, the creative process, and more on her website, cultofpersonality.co. She currently lives in Asheville, NC, and while she can *technically* work from anywhere, she prefers her adventures laptop-free.

Emails for cult thought leaders.

(Personality included.)

Want to learn how to craft emails that inspire action and engagement WITHOUT the “tried and true” (cough: patriarchal) norms we’ve all been taught?

I’m doing it, and I can show you how to do it, too.

(But sometimes, I also like to write about the books I’m reading, or the creative process, or the entrepreneurial experience, or why I hate Steve Jobs, or how I met my BFF. I’ll send you emails like that, too.)

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*Just kidding. It’s only an email list.

Interested in working together?