Don't take anything personally. This is something I learned from a book called "The Four Agreements" This little book really condensed down all of life's most complicated issues.
Every day I encounter a lot of different people in my work. Some with grand ideas and no budget others with unlimited budgets but expectations that something must be done right this minute. I call it a design emergency.
On Friday I had a call from a guy who said he talked to me months ago about replacing his flooded kitchen but went with someone else and they did a terrible job he wanted to know if we could come out and fix it. On Friday I said "today" he said yes and he said he would pay any amount.
I imagined what one might have going on in there mind that they thought they could call up at on a Friday and get someone to come out to there house the same day. I was polite and explained that getting materials to match his cabinets would take 3 weeks. I did say back to him that he did hire someone else to do the job and he should contact them if he wasn't happy with the work.
We all bring our own baggage to the table every experience we have had that created the person we are today. I like to think of this as veil that we see life through. Some have thicker veils or even iron mask that they look through. It is only their own reality and can be so far off from what is actually going on. I use to try to penetrate that veil when I could see how much it was hurting them. Not realizing that I too had my own veil.
I thought it was my gift to state the obvious (my obvious). I do believe that it is gift or a curse that I have owned since I was a child mainly because I am a watcher and I don't easily get caught up in the drama of others.
My dad called it the spirit of decrement. I don't use my gift anymore unless someone ask me specifically and even then I say what needs to be said in kindness and not self righteousness. No one is my responsibility and it is not my place to interfere with their life lessons. I can encourage but that is all.
In my work I just speak my truth in the most diplomatic way and let the other person receive it. I leave the outcome to a higher power and I now know it isn't my responsibility to change or convince the other person to do anything. I am successful most time because I can sense what concerns they might have and address those without pushing and without expecting a specific outcome.
In my business I don't do well when someone feels they are having a design emergency and need someone right now. Even if the money is good the toll it takes on me is no longer worth it.
I am past feeling like I need to rescue anyone. Since we must sell to survive the lure of money is always there just under the surface or the need to please can be even stronger. Now days I just accept that not everyone is a good fit for me.
I am in the business of rejection. Before I healed so many wounds from the past every time a customer didn't pick me it felt personal. My self worth and livelihood was tied up in getting a yes from everyone. It felt personal every time if they said yes it proved I was worthy and accepted if they said no I felt like something was wrong with me and my abilities. Just like my personal life.
Today I trust that all is well and that everyone has to work things out for themselves just like I did. If I spend time with them even it they don't pick me. I trust that there is an ultimate purpose for our meeting. A piece of the puzzle of the universe that I am not suppose to know the reason for. Accepting this has helped me to relax and do my best and not take it personally.