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Trust Your Instinct: Setting Boundaries for a Safer Clientele

by Teryn Darling June 02, 2023

That Unmistakable Gut Feeling: A Masterfully Designed Alarm System

We've all experienced it—the sensation in our belly that speaks volumes. This innate feeling is not a mere coincidence; it exists by masterful design. It serves as an internal alarm system, guiding, warning, and protecting us. Ignoring it often leads to regret, stress, and worry. It's crucial to heed its advice and allow it to fulfill its intended purpose. As professionals in the field of permanent makeup, tattooing, and microblading, vetting potential clients becomes paramount for our safety and the safety of our team. At Girlz Ink, we have established strict boundaries to ensure our safety and well-being.

Overcoming the Fear: Exercising Your Right to Refuse Service

We understand the trepidation that arises when considering turning away a client, especially when they're present at your studio. However, it's important to recognize that we possess the right to refuse service to anyone at any time. While we aim to provide our services to everyone—after all, it's how we earn our income—occasionally, a client enters who we know will pose problems. Our gut instinct never fails us. While some may choose to dismiss it, a select few, like myself, understand the significance of listening to that inner voice. My most valuable advice to fellow artists is simple: follow your gut. It will protect you, spare you from stress, worry, and even potentially threatening situations. Those clients who trigger our gut feeling often end up causing trouble, threatening us with bad reviews, demanding refunds, or resorting to harassment. I speak from personal experience, having encountered such situations multiple times. Trust your instincts and politely decline working with such individuals. And remember: you don't have to offer a reason for declining to perform services.

Vetting Clients: Prioritizing Your Comfort and Safety

Before booking an appointment, pay attention to how potential clients correspond with you via email, text, or phone. Do they exhibit signs of impatience, rudeness, or entitlement? How do they respond to your answers and questions? Are there any red flags in their communication? If anything about their correspondence makes you uncomfortable or triggers that gut feeling, take note.

At this point, you have two options: either decide not to accept them as a client or schedule a consultation before confirming the booking. During the consultation, trust your instincts. If that gut feeling persists, it's best not to proceed with the service. If verbal communication feels daunting, consider sending a professionally written statement via email, like how doctors sometimes handle similar situations.

Navigating the Moment: Asserting Your Boundaries

If the client is already in your studio, and that gut feeling intensifies, pause for a moment. Excuse yourself, take a breather, and gather your thoughts. Return to the client with a kind and professional tone, stating, "I'm sorry, but I don't think I'm the right artist for you." Simple and direct. If they inquire about the reasons, reiterate your statement calmly: "I apologize, but it won't work out. I am not the right artist for you." Repeat it if necessary.

Remember, you're not obliged to provide further explanations. They may be taken aback, possibly upset, and may attempt to engage in further conversation to understand your decision. However, reiterating your statement maintains a professional tone and prevents the situation from escalating. You've made a safe and healthy decision for yourself in a considerate and professional manner. Be proud of your empowerment!

Addressing Negative Reviews: Staying Resilient and Professional

Should the client proceed to write a negative review due to your decision, don't worry. You may be able to have it removed. Yelp and Google typically do not allow negative reviews to remain if the service was not performed. I've successfully had four such reviews removed in the past three years. If removal isn't possible, respond professionally. Keep it brief, kind, and composed. Remember, potential clients will read your response alongside the negative review. Avoid name-calling or unkind words. Simply state that you made a professional decision not to offer your services to that individual and wish them well in finding an artist in the future.

Taking Control: Empowering Yourself for a Safer Future

It's possible to encounter temporary backlash or anger. You may even face challenging situations. However, by setting boundaries and listening to your gut, you've saved yourself from potential long-term stress, worry, torment, or harassment. Prioritizing your well-being, both mentally and physically, is invaluable. While new artists may feel pressured by financial needs, it's essential to understand that the cost of stress, worry, and fear far outweighs any immediate financial gain.

Some individuals out there may be intimidating or possess anger issues, but their power over you only exists if you allow it. I found my voice and courage through similar experiences, enabling me to establish boundaries that no one can cross—an immensely liberating achievement. I hope this empowers you to find your voice, take care of yourself, set boundaries, and above all, trust your gut—it will never steer you wrong.

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