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It’s a profoundly awkward moment when you realise you’ve found yourself working for asshole clients. Maybe they said something off that you didn’t think about may later – or maybe there was a field of red flags that you ignored to get that sweet cash dollar.

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Whatever the case, difficult clients are an unfortunate inevitability of many career paths. With that in mind, learning to treat even the most beastly of clients right makes you the working equivalent of a lion tamer –only, the lions don’t respect your work ethic, instead of eating you.

Your Asshole Clients Needs To Respect You

Maybe the most difficult thing in this life – both in work and out – is trying to be civil to people who you don’t really feel deserve it. We’ve all been there – and we all know it sucks.

Make sure there is a mutual respect between you and the asshole client.

But that doesn’t mean rudeness needs to be returned. Fire doesn’t put out a fire, and being an asshole to an asshole isn’t going to teach them the error of the ways – it’s just going to make you also look like an asshole.

So, respect is key, as much as it is a tricky beast. The one blessing of showing someone respect, at least, is that even some spectacularly rude people know respectful treatment, and may, in turn, lighten up when given it. Sometimes.

Worst case scenario being civil means your client can’t criticise you personally, also – even if they try to.

Creating Understanding

Sometimes, assholery is born out of genuine misunderstanding. For those who don’t work in a specific field, their perceptions of what it involves may often be wildly inaccurate. This means that, were the client to know the work you were actually having to put in, they’d be much more understanding – so there’s nothing to lose in letting them know.

Don't be too passive aggressive when dealing with asshole clients.

Now, obviously, you can’t make them go through the years you had to put in to get where you are. But keeping clients updated of your hours, effort, and thought process should give them a better idea of what you’re actually doing – and hopefully, lead to some better treatment. At absolute worst, if your client is still rude or demanding after you’ve helped them understand what you’re doing entails, then you know they are just outright rude. Which is helpful, if only to try and minimise any further contact with them entirely.

Respect…For You?

This isn’t to say you should let clients walk all over you; because if you let people, they almost definitely will. Establishing that the respect and courtesy you treat your client with should also be returned by them is difficult, but also the difference between making the best of the situation, and daydreaming about saying awful things to them for many years. 

You're an asshole client but you need to respect me

People are asshole clients for any number of reasons, but they’re only unredeemable if they refuse to show you any vague amount of respect.

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