How to deal with critical, demanding, unreasonable customers?

Honey Panda noticed that I appeared sad and disappointed about a comment from an unreasonable customer whom I had spent time and energy to help, especially when I was not well in Spring 2016.

Honey Panda shared his view that based on the comment, she has condemned me, with no respect. People judge others, so am I. While I have grown to be less judgmental and try to see goodness in others, I must not expect others doing the same things. They judge us based on our appearances, body languages, voices, (cultural-social-economical) backgrounds, achievements, belongings (where we stay, the car we drive), connections, lifestyles (how we commute/travel, where we eat) etc. Perhaps, this is the dark side of human nature (人心本恶).

I love working with people [1] as I am motivated to see and unleash human potentials in everyone, but perhaps I must be more practical (and less idealistic [2]) when dealing with people. Some people are best avoided at all cost. While all people are equal, not all customers or friends or acquaintances are equal, some (hopefully only few) can be hazardous [3]! What if you can’t avoid them?

Don’t take non-constructive criticisms personally because the criticisms often reflect more on the critical people themselves, i.e. their inner thoughts and frameworks. Then, I also reflect why these customers disappoint me. While we strive to embrace gratitude, we should not expect gratitude from others, instead accept that ingratitude of others is a part of human condition. If others are appreciative of us, then it’s a bonus.

Don’t be so naive and innocent. In the real-world, it is not always people are inherently good (人性本善), though perhaps most people are in general kind.

Constantly practice how to win friends and influence people. Learn how to (i) persuade so that others think that the ideas (to be nice to us) are theirs, (ii) transform enemies into friends, or at least friendly acquaintances.

Practice the art of detachment. When we feel and reflect, detach our efforts from our results. When we think and rationalize, we must strategically analyze what can we do to avoid the same mistakes. Adjust the input to obtain different output. Be adaptable. Simultaneously, we need to be more independent of the opinions and approvals of other people, although job security and career progression depends on performance review that should be objective, but often can be subjective.

Finally, may Summer 2016 and upcoming seasons bring more goodness, creativity and productivity to us, as well as wisdom to deal with difficult people.

[1] I spent many hours of my formative years working by myself to hone my technical skills in a hope that I can apply them to serve people and make (even tiny) differences in their lives. The good thing about working independently is perhaps one suffers less hurt when people take you for granted or (worse) trash your efforts. Even Honey Panda, whose BMTI personality is more suitable than me to deal with people, prefers working on his own stuff to managing people. He just needs some intellectual co-workers to discuss and joke with him.

[2] In a time of sadness and despair, I found a consolation in the Do It Anyway prayer popularized through Mother Teresa and Dr. Kent M. Keith. “People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.”

[3] Instead of taking full responsibility for their lives or things that they should do, they play blaming games. I intend to teach Little Prince and Little Princess to be aware of these games, so that they can decide wisely on how to interact with people.

See also:

Asia2016/reflect_evaluation*20160615.txt for more strategies

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