I have a client who wants to hang out and have me over to her house all the time. She also texts me all the time, with non-related personal training stuff, and wants to take me out to eat for special occasions.
I told her that she doesn’t need to do that for me. I try to limit my texts to her now because I did go to her house 2-3 times before to be nice to her and have dinner. But it is weird because no one else is at her house and she is 45 years older than me, not friend age!
I am a straight woman, just 25 years old, but it just doesn’t seem like a good idea anymore—I was trying to be nice but I believe she thinks I am her long lost granddaughter (or worse).
I don’t want to be friends, just have a good client to trainer relationship and she seems to think I am to be her best friend. How do I tell her kindly that she needs to stop. Is there a code of ethics that specifies this, something sort of “excuse” as to not offend her—or is that not possible? I tried to be nice and kind by changing the subject when she asks me over, or say no thanks “you do not need to do that for me—etc., ” but she is taking it way too far with texts/dinner/always wanting me to come over.
Suggestions on how professionally tell her to stop or is there a code of ethics that I can use to tell her she has to stop?
Hi. I have found myself in the situation where a client has befriended me and it works, and in others where it does not. Your situation certainly sounds like it fits in the ‘it doesn’t work’ category. Your client sounds lonely and starving for attention. But, as her trainer, and more importantly as someone who is uncomfortable with the level of attention that she is heaping on you, I think that you are correct in wanting to stop this sooner rather than later.
I’m a person who tends to deal directly with a situation. My advice would be to take on this uncomfortable conversation head-on. Sure, it might mean that this particular client-trainer relationship will come to an end and that would be unfortunate, but ultimately if you or she or both of you are uncomfortable under the existing professional relationship, then this situation truly has no long-term prospects anyway.
I would, in a gentle way of course, tell her that ethically you don’t think that it’s a good idea to socialize with your clients (if that’s how you feel) and that it is not a personal decision but a professional one. If she refuses to understand or comply, then you may need to terminate this relationship.
I hope that this helps you in some way. Good luck!