Jessie: There are 3 Types of Mean People

In Business, Human behavior, Tolerance on 10/18/2010 at 12:47 am

I reached out to Jessie, owner of Posies Cafe in Portland, OR, after I read her blog post about her experience with Groupon. Naturally, since we were going through some of the same things, I said, “Hey! Let’s be friends!” So now we are.

We were talking about how challenging it is to run a small business, and how so many consumers don’t get that it’s a personal extension of who you are, and how it’s so, so very tough to not take criticism personally. Especially when it’s on the internet and people are too wussy to show their faces with their mean-spirited comments (like so many were on Jessie’s blog post.)

And she said, “You know what? These mean people fall into one of three categories:
1 – They’re bitter and angry because you’re doing something they wanted to do, but never had the nerve to do.
2 – They’re bitter and angry because of an isolated incident, in which case, you apologize and hope they forgive you.
3 – They’re bitter and angry, period. And they hate life. And they’re complainers.”

I think she’s pretty much right. As a business owner, if you’ve done all you can to resolve an issue, come to common ground, and rationalize with someone who is just downright negative – and a customer still isn’t happy? Well, there’s only so much you can do. And putting any more effort into convincing a mean person to be nice is simply wasted.

Well said, Jessie.


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