This blog post was inspired by a very long thread on the Beatiful Beasties Network wherein a photographer encountered a difficult client who expected, then demanded (with a threat of a lawsuit) a CD of images of his dog, which resulted in a protracted ‘issue’ that was unpleasant for all parties involved. The photographer involved reiterated, explained, reminded, communicated in every way possible, but it fell on deaf ears.
Many of the rest of us have also been there with our businesses. And if we haven’t been there yet, we probably will be at some point, either in our professional lives, or our personal lives (or both).
Situations where we feel we are right, and the other party wrong (or just confused), and no matter how hard we try, or how much justifying or explaining we do, they just can’t see our point of view.
Whether it’s trying to talk a store owner into the value of your work being displayed on their walls, or trying to get a client to respect your pricing and understand WHY you charge what you do, or trying to educate a competitor acting badly how what they are doing is wrong.
Sometimes, no matter what you do, some people just won’t ‘get it’.
They won’t get you, they won’t get your pricing, they won’t get your policies, they won’t get your decisions, they won’t respect how you run your business and the things you say. And that’s ok.
Their reactions and responses may have to do with:
- their previous experiences with other photographers and their previous experiences in general
- the way they were raised by their parents and the morals they learned (or didn’t learn)
- their intelligence or education level and how capable they are of understanding complex concepts
- what they value and what they don’t
- whether they have a MO or agenda that involves you that you unwittingly aren’t meeting- that they aren’t communicating to you
- what their level of self-confidence and self-esteem is
- their perception of you, which may be influenced by many things and not necessarily seated in reality
In other words, sometimes, it’s not you- it’s them.
It’s hard not to take these things personally, but I’ve learned, that if someone has a problem with you, and you have done everything you can to remedy the situation and have exhausted yourself trying to explain your point of view, it’s best to move on in whatever way you can. Let it go, decide it’s no longer important, turn your focus elsewhere, and find something else that IS worth your time.
You should always expect someone to respect you, but you can’t always expect them to understand you.
For every difficult situation that you bang your head on a wall over, there are three more good situations waiting for you to stop the head banging so you can get on with it.