Welcome to Format Free Fridays at AskDrDarcy.com, the one day a week when I break the format of answering your questions and I dispense that which we rarely welcome in life: Unsolicited Advice.
“Everyone would like to work with your clients, Darcy. There’s nothing wrong with them!”
I guess I had it coming to me. I was out with colleagues at our monthly gathering which we’ve coined Drinks With Shrinks and someone made the mistake of asking me to describe my clientele. I’ve witnessed this same question provoke an avalanche of complaints from people in my field, though, mostly from people who should have exited my field long ago. Nonetheless, my colleague wasn’t prepared to receive my answer, which is to say, my clients are fucking amazing and I absolutely love them.
I learned early in life that I have a very hard time doing something that I don’t enjoy. I’m not great at following rules. As a child I preferred toys over games, particularly since no one could ever explain things to me things such as why a pawn cannot move backwards or sideways. I digress. In essence, I decided at a young age that I need to find something likeable in everyone who I interact with – otherwise, I can’t interact with them. It’s that simple.
People who know me personally know that I’m a terrible bullshitter. So you can see how something as important as connecting to my clients can become a bit complex, particularly when much of what they share with me falls on the negative end of the spectrum. But that’s not really what I focus on. What I hear from them are universal truths. Questions that humans have been asking since the beginning of time and which hold different answers for each of us if we dare to ask them. When I listen to my clients, I’m looking for their strengths, those characteristics that we all have that make us attractive to other people. I’m addicted to humor, and I guess it’s not surprising that I spend a good part of each day LMAO.
My above-referenced colleague made the mistake of presuming that I love my clients because they are easy to work with or are somehow healthier than his are. His presupposition was that our work, when done properly and with challenging clients, drains us.
My clients do not drain me. They inspire me, each in a different way. They are all charismatic, intelligent and struggling to grow. Yet I know from the stories they tell me that not everyone in their life finds them to be as amazing as I do. So what’s the difference? How does the same person, Client A, evoke laughter from me and evoke avoidance from her co-workers.
The difference is in the audience. I’m looking for things to like, and guess what? I find what I’m looking for, without fail.