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Anger and Lashing Out

angerA client who is responsible for a too-large percentage of my income shared with me an email she had sent to someone in which she blew up at the recipient with the most vile all-upper-case yelling I’ve ever seen.

She forwarded me the email because she wanted me to “see all the crap she puts up with,” but all I saw was how truly horrible and ugly she could be. I was shocked and even scared. I can be a pretty irreverent potty-mouth myself, but this email was so very below and beyond anything I would ever even think of saying that it was shocking. It was so vile and venomous and repugnant and hurtful that it made me feel awful about it all day, and it still does to this day.

I’d like to think that I would say something to her about it: it is NEVER okay to behave this way, and in a situation like this I feel like it is the duty of good people to speak up and teach those who need teaching. Silence implies support, or even that you condone the behavior. But (A) I do not want to provoke that venom to be spit in my direction, and (B) to be frank, I need the income I earn from this client. I would be in trouble if I lost this account; and after what I’ve seen, the thought of having this person be mad at me shakes me to the core. (I’ve said this many times: I have no idea how to deal with anger: I’d rather be hit than yelled at.)

So I said nothing.

And so, as over-dramatic as this sounds, on top of the psychic bruise from seeing what I can never un-see; I feel like I’ve been put in a position in which I have dishonored myself. When my income is put on the line, apparently I do not actually follow up with my principles. Well, dang!

I’m still soaking in the things I’ve learned about this person, and about myself…