Over the years, I've found myself going to that dark side. I get very worked up about things and find myself escalating from 0 to 100 on the crazy scale very quickly. When I calm down, I think to myself what the hell just happened?
What bothers me about this, is that I like to take pride in knowing I have balls. That I am capable of standing up for myself. In my work, I have to remind myself daily that I've been a paralegal for 15 years and that I do, in fact, know what I'm doing. Both of these topics (finding my balls and giving myself credit for my knowledge) I have blogged about before.
Today, I found myself going to that dark side. I was in an unexpected meeting with a client. A client that I don't feel comfortable meeting with because of how I am treated. But, my boss was unable to do it. Within two to three minutes, I was being attacked. I was told that I showed up for the meeting unprepared and that among other things, I was back tracking. I immediately shut down. I decided right then that I was not going to argue with this client and that I was walking out. I stacked the files up and told this client that I would be back. I walked out, let the door slam, and went into my boss's office. I told him what happened and that I was not dealing with it. I followed my boss back to the conference room and let him go in while I stood outside. I looked down and my hands were shaking. In those three minutes of stacking up those files, walking out, and down the hallway to my boss's office, I went to the dark side.
I went back to my desk and sat down and thought what the fuck just happened? Why do I let this client speak to me that way? All it is is pure ignorance and the way this person treats me is never going to change. My boss came out of the meeting and I said, "I'm sorry. I just can't handle that. I immediately shut down." He said, there was no need for me to apologize and that I don't deserve to be treated like that.
I know it's not unusual for someone to shut down if they're being attacked. I just want for myself to learn how to deal with it better. However, I do not adhere to the theory that the customer is always right. Never have. Therefore, I think for me to stand up for myself would be to prove them wrong. Ha! Although, I know that's technically not true.
And, I thought I was running out of things to talk to my therapist about. I'm just getting started.