DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert in anger management, but I was a victim of anger. This thread is my view on the matter as it relates to my Fiverr career, with tips based on my own Fiverr experience over the course of seven years dealing with tenths of thousand of buyers, and how I managed to handle the issue. This is not one of those general anger management tips everyone can find online. These are honest life- & career-helping tips from one of the older sellers of Fiverr.
I never had to deal with the notion of “client” before Fiverr, and nobody could ever annoy me. After being welcomed to this wonderful community, I soon started to learn how it is to have a client. And soon, hundreds and later thousands of clients.
Almost all of them were great clients. Many of them were wonderful clients. With some of them, mostly regulars, I became friends (in a professional way). But like any marketplace out there, one cannot avoid the trouble-making clients as years go by.
I’ve been through a lot of situations where clients tried extorting me, threatening me or my wellbeing, use bad language that would make me really uncomfortable, throwing false accusations and name-calling me. This had an unforeseen impact on my emotions, soon finding myself in situations where anger took over me when those clients made it personal.
– rest assured, the anger was only mine to see and feel. I’ve been polite and respectful to these particular clients, and you should must be, too - left uncontrolled, your anger will indirectly project itself on your business
After seeing others in the forum, as well as outside, going through similar anger management issues, I started experimenting with my own emotions, with the anger I felt. For I don’t like invisible things controlling me. So here are my tips for you, you who are or have become short-tempered when dealing with troublesome clients:
Don’t keep the anger inside you, but don’t throw it at others (or at things) either. Keeping it inside you will make it worse, to the point of turning you into your own worst enemy (been there, not a nice view)
Don’t yell, hit or throw things thinking it is your buyer in front of you. That will have ugly consequences in the long run when being confronted with an actual human being. And your keyboard and mouse have no fault. Your table/desk takes a hit without any reason – put yourself in their places: would you enjoy being hit like that for no valid reason?
Instead of building the anger inside you, try talking through your frustrations with someone around you, who you know and won’t have the power to yell at or get mad at. Even if they don’t understand much of your buyer-problems or what you’re saying, they will comfort you, they’ll give you some new perspectives you wouldn’t have thought of while raging inside yourself (I do that with my mother, and she’s the best help I could ever get!)
Try focusing on observing your body’s reaction to anger. Instead of immediately yelling or hitting things, try focusing on what happens in your body while you’re angry: feel your heart pumping hard and try to cool it down; hear your fast/irregular breathing and try to slow it down; look at your shaking hands and try forcing them to stop shaking. Next thing you know, you’ll be calmer and you will definitely not want to observe such reactions again on yourself!
If you don’t have anyone around you to talk to, then change your environment/surroundings and forget about your buyer for now. Take a walk outside, watch other people being happy, watch that dog at the corner taking a wee on that bike without the biker noticing, look at the small things you’ve never noticed around you before. Fill yourself with the positivity around you – you earned it; if, however, you don’t want to get out or break away for a few, try looking back at your older positive reviews, remind yourself of the great words other buyers have left on your gig page, that should do the trick and raise your self-confidence to fight your anger
When your buyer is abusive, use that to your advantage. Make use of Fiverr’s Terms of Service, maybe quote the terms to your client, eventually reporting their behavior. It will feel good knowing that there’s a chance others will not go through what you went with that client if Fiverr decides to penalize them for their behavior;
When in doubt or out of working solutions, the Forum can actually help you see the bright side of your problems. I’ve found a lot of help while reading & even while contributing to the forum, and it’s been working great as an extra solution to calm down, relax and get away from buyer-related stress. In case you didn’t know, there’s even a “Ranting Pot” forum category where you can discharge your feelings in writing, just make sure to use proper language, be polite & respectful, and avoid name-calling and all that bad stuff that you wouldn’t want to see at your own door
If you’re one of the lucky ones who’ve found their own way of dealing with anger issues, please share your methods with us.