Be your own keeper.

Late last night, I received an email from a client on some work I had submitted. I felt myself cringe as I opened up the email and in turn the document he had sent through with edits.

While he had always been notorious for providing extremely candid feedback (and at times down right harsh), this round wasn’t feedback at all. It was written abuse.

At first, I began apologizing, something I normally do when a client is unhappy with my work. But, as I began to type out my “I’m sorry”, I felt a tiny piece of myself wither away with each word that appeared from the beating cursor.

I stopped and asked myself a question: would I ever treat someone the way my client is treating me?

The answer quickly appeared in my head: absolutely not.

I opened up my PayPal and refunded him the money for the project. Then, I typed out a different email.

In my response, I explained that I gave him back his money because I didn’t feel right getting paid for something he spoke so poorly about.

I then went on to say that while I appreciate his feedback, in the future he should make an effort to communicate more effectively with his writers and that his feedback wasn’t only harsh but at times downright hurtful. Finally, I terminated the relationship.

I’m not writing this to sound like a badass nor a victim. I’m writing this to remind myself and you reading this right now that it’s imperative that we have our own back. First and foremost, we must be our own keeper.

While we can’t control how other people treat us and talk to us, we can control whether we choose to sit and listen.

Choosing to stand up for ourselves and leave the table, even when it costs us hundreds of dollars, is always a worthy investment.

By Cole Schafer.

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Cole Schafer