The process of breaking up with a client can be hard and involve battling all kinds of emotions. I will be taking you through the 5 stages of the emotional roller coaster you may experience.
Stage 1 – Denial
“Nah it can’t be, we just had lunch with Demola the brand manager and we were brainstorming on how to launch their latest product. Demola would have told me if this was going to happen. I’m sure it’s a rumour or somebody is just having a bad day. Let me fix a meeting, there’s nothing a good meeting can’t solve.” At this stage, we can’t accept it especially when we never “experred it”
Stage 2 – Anger
“They will regret it, who else in this Nigeria can answer briefs in less than 2 hours. So Chinyere is telling me she couldn’t fight for us after we have saved her sorry ass time and time again. The same complexion that got her a job could not keep our own. I’m sure she was in on it, pretending she was not in support. What kind of pot of beans life is this?” This is the point where you’re angry and almost losing every sense of reason.
Stage 3 – Bargaining
“Let’s send a proposal to the client, I’m sure once they see how creative we are they will stay. Talk to their procurement guy about some discounts we have been able to bag them recently. Tell Saheed to give us a month to prove ourselves, we will also have one of our staff stationed in their office so we are constantly at their beck and call.” When you are at this point, be careful not to sell your future out of desperation.
Stage 4 – Depression
“We have to cancel the office renovation we planned, I guess we will be stuck with this sad ambience for the rest of our lives”. I don’t feel well, tell the staff I will be leaving early today. In fact, everyone can leave early today. What’s the point working so hard when they will just leave eventually” The office playlist begins to feature tracks like “When you are gone”, “How am I supposed to live without you”, “Here without you” and every other heartbreak song you can muster. This is the point where reality sets in and you have to think of your next move rather than wallow in the “what ifs?”
Stage 5 – Acceptance
“It’s going to be fine, we win some and we lose some.” You start getting ready for the next client while making sure the current ones are kept happy. You are a fighter, you have survived this long and will continue to survive.
Have you ever been new in an office? It’s like high school. You’d suddenly realize how observant you can be. In my observant phase, before I started showing my true colour, I noticed a couple. They were not married yet… but the office had married them. The administration and management team had picked their Asoebi colours: Pink and Yellow they said. Everyone was in support of the marriage. Everyone knew about the wedding date but the couple themselves. October 12 was the slated date.
You must be guessing: What’s wrong with this people? Who sent them to plan the wedding? The question that bugged me most was: Are these guys dating? Guess what? NO! so why are we so obsessed? Because they do everything together. They are often bouncing ideas off each other both smart and stupid ideas. They shared meals, beverages, information, etc. They understood each other’s jokes, laughed at the not so funny ones and traded secrets. Did they stop there? No! They laughed and touched. They got each other in a way no one else did. They shared inside jokes and they shared their UK experience. They were both returnees and had a tint of the British accent.
Perfect couples! To the best of our knowledge, they were in love but did not know it.
Things were going fine until Mike took ill. Sarah naturally never noticed when anyone was absent from the office but Mike’s absence took a toll on her. She was silent and sipped two cups of tea for the whole day. The week went by slowly and she was obviously unhappy. Mike showed up on Wednesday, even though he was obviously not strong enough to resume work, he felt the need to see her face and be with her. He couldn’t even last till 12pm. She pampered him until the HR manager permitted him to go home and not return till he was well.
While his heart drowned in loneliness, Tomi resumed as a new staff and for some reason, he and Sarah clicked. He became her new Mike. When Mike returned, it was like he wasn’t there. He struggled to be part of Sarah and Tomi’s discussion. Every time she excused herself to the boardroom, Mike followed her. He claimed he was going to make calls. Things have gone downhill since then. Our wedding plans are crashing down before our very eyes. Should we redirect the wedding plans to Sarah and Tomi? What would Mike do? Is Tomi just a rebound guy? Is Tomi the bad guy?
I can’t answer all these questions but I’m sure you must have seen couples perfect for each other, love each other but somehow, a third guy just sways in and kills our perfect happily ever after story. If you were Mike, what would
Ever known those people who are never single? Whose dating game is always in Safe Mode (so it’s constantly running)? These people won’t let go of a relationship even when they’re bored or unhappy until they find another interesting person they’re willing to date, sometimes even secretly dating the new one until they gently ease out the old.
If you’ve ever known anyone who fits this description, or if you’ve felt that your significant other seemed a bit distant and uninvolved, chances are, you’ve been Monkey Barred.
To put it plainly, Monkey Barring is when you set up a relationship before the present one is over, swinging from one to the other with little or no breaks in between. (Like a monkey swinging between branches.)
So recently, in our usual office banter, a discussion came up about women and relationships and ThinkCap Tomi was of the opinion that women are more likely to ‘Monkey- bar’ in relationships than men. To put it in ThinkCap Tomi’s words, “Women are evil and are cheats.”
The usual uproar followed with a debate on who does it more, but regardless of the answer to that controversial debate, monkey barring is practised by either gender. It can pretty much suck if you’re the victim, or be an awesome experience if you’re the Swinger. (And, to be fair, the different genders do it for different reasons.)
So why will a man or woman monkey bar you’re a**? Let’s explore.
- Trust: A person can choose to ‘monkey bar’ in a relationship simply because he/she doesn’t trust their partner. For this reason alone, they can begin casual relationships with other people and then abort ship once they feel the grass is greener on the other side.
- Loneliness/Boredom: Some people hate being single sha. They constantly need a relationship to validate their existence: someone to talk to, cuddle or just get right down with. Throw in the perception that being single means no one finds you attractive, and you have a recipe for Monkey-Barring. Others don’t want to feel the heartbreak that comes with the end of a relationship, so they jump into another to fill the void.
- Just For Fun: For some, the excitement of having a new partner at different times is just plain exciting. This set of people take the saying, ‘variety is the spice of life’ to a whole different level: they do not desire commitment but love the thrill of swinging and leaving at their own will, regardless of the hurt they leave behind.
If any of these sound familiar, here’s how you can avoid being Monkey Barred:
- Make sure your Game is tight: be smooth, confident and try not to act desperate no matter how much you like the person. People respect and are attracted to others with an independent mind and will.
- Avoid them like a plague: when you share your relationship histories (not all I hope, lest you provide ammunition for your own death in the future), be attentive to the triggers mentioned earlier so you can identify a potential ‘monkey – barrer’. Once you have, avoid them. However, if you’re in it for the fun too, then play along and keep your emotional tap switched off.