by Carrie Jurney DVM DACVIM (Neuro)
So, we've talked a bit about forgiving yourself. I think that was a good place to start.
But let's step it up a notch. Today, I'm going to forgive a nasty client. And I hope if you are reading this, you will do the same.
I know. Believe me I do. You didn't deserve it. And, hey, I don't even know your client, but I know you need to forgive them.
This is in no way saying you should accept future abuse. In fact, I recommend working on some key non-judgemental phrases to call people out on bad behaviors in the moment. The longer I practice, the more I realize that saying something in the moment stops this behavior in its tracks. "No one likes that money has any part of these decisions, but that's just the reality of the world. If this plan doesn't work, lets talk about a plan B that is a better fit for your family." "I realize you are understandably upset about the diagnosis, but please understand that I am trying to help and cannot do that if you yell at me." etc etc etc But.... that's not what today is about.
We're talking about that last really irksome moment. You know the one. You still think about it in the shower some days. About how you should have said X, or done Y.
I'm talking about that client that the entire clinic pretends not to hear the phone when the caller ID shows their name.
But I need you to pull a moment from "Frozen" here, and let it go.
Say the words out loud: I forgive you.
Try to empathize with the client for a minute. They were upset about money, or didn't understand, and they unfairly took it out on you. Maybe they had a justifiably annoying experience- were you late? didn't follow through on something? Give them the space to have had a bad moment. And forgive it. Whatever thing they said. Let it go.
This forgiveness is not for them. This forgiveness is for yourself. Stop letting that moment live rent free in your head. Stop letting it tarnish the profession that 20 year old you wanted more than anything.
Let. It. Go.
The Admin Team of NOMV is a group of veterinarians dedicated to improving veterinary mental health.