Interacting with other human beings is the essence of my profession and career and I am certain this is true for the vast majority of employed individuals in society.
The ultimate challenge is how to do so in an environment of over ridding stress, financial concerns and emotional fragility. These factors apply A equally to you as it does the patient/customer/client you have to deal with.
I don't want to pretend to offer easy answers to this dilemma. It is all dependent upon how the person reacts to you and their situation and how you react to them. Each party brings to the interaction an entire field of issues–their personal situation, financial, emotional, health related–and how the interaction plays out.
Considering all these factors its actually quite amazing that we actually do get things accomplished in this world without killing each other.
Kabbalah may offer some insights on the matter. And, by the way, the Buddhist approach is quite similar.
Years ago I noticed the symptoms of "burnout" in my practice. I would not look forward to my busy office schedule. I groaned when a call would come in from a patient who was having problems. I found myself physically and mentally exhausted at the end of my session.
I then read about the Kabbalistic notion which introduced a spiritual dimension to life. It changed my attitude, my approach and improved my performance as a physician. I do hope that my patients would agree that, in general, I actually appreciate the opportunity to help them with their medical needs.
Kabbalistic thinking states that we are all incarnating in this physical form to evolve when we express concern and compassion for one another. Someone who offers us the opportunity to choose loving kindness and charity over disdain, who presents themselves in a vulnerable position, who needs help and assistance are offering us a gift.
With this concept in mind it might be helpful to return to work with a different attitude. We just might regard the difficult/needy patient/customer/client as offering us the opportunity to do something positive.
Karmic points might just be the reward.
Now I am not naive enough to believe that we will be invulnerable to the extremely difficult individual who seem determined to make us as miserable as they are. We are still incarnating, after all, and have not reached sainthood yet.
Still it would not hurt to prepare ourselves for work with a new awareness of possibilities and opportunities to learn and evolve.
It is definitely worth a try.