Do you allow yourself to be belittled or bullied? Professional bullies will expect favors and demand that work is done unreasonably quicker, better, cheaper: I dont care; just do it.
Bullies will take precedence over all your time and may even demand exclusivitybut bewarethey dont want you to succeed on your own; they need you.
Bullies are usually good at reading people and pushing their buttons. They use techniques like leaving things to the last minute to block escape routes, and dangle carrots that wont be delivered, and often use weasel words (words like virtually, almost, and possibly) as out clauses. They rely on a network of higher authoritieslawyers, accountants, politicians, and the likebut will avoid putting anything in writing.
Bullies look for clues when recruiting their team. For example: At the end of a job well done, have you ever belittled your efforts by saying, Oh, it was nothing, really, or Anyone could have done it? Dont do thatas insignificant as those statements may seema bully will notice!
Heres another example: Youve just told your client (or boss) that the job they want done will take you two days. She responds by looking surprised and saying, But it only took Sue one day. You take two days, but only charge for onebullies like it when you do that.
The most effective way to address bullying in schools is to empower the victim. While its not the victims fault (thats got very little to do with it), in the long run the best strategy is to teach the victim how to disempower the bully. In just the same way, you need to learn techniques to enable you to restore the balance of poweror develop your bully antennae and leave these customers for someone else to deal with.