Good day! I am going to share with you the reason for my absenteeism for over a week. I’ve been depressed. Yep. I have felt sad and pretty lonely. This happens every now and then. I just feel empty inside. I feel like I do not have a friend in the world. And, sometimes I sit around and cry.
Lucky for me I usually come out of it after a lot of self talk and reflection. But, when I am in the throes of feeling down I don’t feel worth a dam. Usually I isolate from my family, feeling as though they don’t really love me or need me. My work suffers as well because I believe the same thing of my co-workers.
I will be honest. I am an introvert. I don’t like to be around a lot of people. I don’t really like social gatherings, and it is hard for me to get close to people as I judge too quickly. And, if someone has wronged me then we are done!
I’ve been told by my boss that some of my co-workers feel I am hard to approach. At first I became angry inside because ” I feel like I go over and above in being friendly to them” but that is not what they see. I could tell you many things about each of them, but I bet not one of them could tell you a lot about me. They talk on and on just to hear themselves talk, but not one of them has approached me wanting to know how my day has been. They just want an audience to their life stories and personal opinions. Harsh I know, but it is my impression.
I am not a chatter box. I don’t laugh and giggle. I don’t like to gossip. And, I am too much of a know it all. I know this. You get that way when your reach the ripe ole age of sixty five and have had many life experiences. That is why it is hard to fit in, they don’t want to hear my opinions, just their own.
I remember when I worked with four male nurses and one female. We got along great. There was very little gossip. We shared many a funny story, and we worked hard together. I enjoyed my job tremendously. And, I loved going to work with them. Now I work with all females. There is a difference, truly.
Now I dread going to work. I feel like everyone hates me. That I am the hot topic at my work place. I believe that no one wants to work with me. Everyone seems fakey nice. Do you know what I mean? Has that ever happened to you? They smile their fake smiles and turn away and talk to someone else. I feel like I have tried but it hasn’t helped.
What it all boils down to is our impressions of what has occurred. By that I mean our impressions of what just went on between two people. Their interactions and our impression of that interaction. And then our resulting behaviors to that impression. I am going to share a situation with you to make a point of how our impressions, our first impressions could be wrong and set us on a downward spiral. This was how I pulled myself out of the rabbit hole this time around.
Situation: These are my IMPRESSIONS, not fact.
I am the charge nurse on my unit. I have had go rounds with several of my co-workers. One in particular ” I feel” really dislikes me. ” I believe” it is because she likes to be the one to KNOW everything. And she usually does, but sometimes she is wrong, and if corrected, gets really pissed. I have pissed her off multiple times. Her best buddy, and one of my other co-workers is much the same way. She knows everything, and likes to share that with everyone at a mile a minute. She is not a registered nurse, but acts like she is in charge most times. This is hard for me but I often let it go.
So, the situation was this, remember it was my impression: This is important to understand as our impressions can get us into trouble:
I was acting as the med nurse and the other nurse was charge for the evening as we don’t usually do both. A patient came up to me at the nurse’s station where we were all congregated at the beginning of our shift and asked about discharging without seeing a doctor. I was explaining to the patient that we don’t do regular discharges on Sunday when I heard this LPN say to the ” acting charge nurse” (who is her best friend) “whose in charge.” and the nurse said ” I am” and the LPN said ” I thought so.” and then I heard them mumble something to each other.
Now, I ask you what would be your impression of what that conversation meant especially knowing that there have been situations between the three of us? My impression was that she was being bitchy asking the other nurse who was in charge within ear shot of me as she didn’t feel I should be talking to the patient. My impression was that she felt the “charge nurse ” her friend, should have been talking to the patient. Petty I know, but a blow to my self esteem. I thought ” here we go again.” Treating me badly when all I was doing was helping out a patient, who actually was my patient. I felt that they were targeting me again.
Need I tell you that I became very angry and HURT because I felt she was challenging me, acting as if I shouldn’t even be talking to the patient about discharging when I was not the charge nurse for the night. It affected me for the rest of our shift. I did not talk to anyone for the remainder of our shift, isolated to the med room, ignored the LPN when she left, and left without saying goodnight to anyone, hurt and distraught once again all because of my impression of what I thought she meant with her comment. I will admit that I have been feeling a little paranoid lately regarding my interactions with my peers because of what my boss revealed, rightfully so I feel.
Now I ask you could I have interpreted this any other way? Think on this!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes I could have! And I did later after I got home. But, at first I was so sure that this person was slinging arrows at me that I didn’t take the time to think what else her comment could have been about. My boss would have suggested I talk with her, but I didn’t feel that I would get the truth so I didn’t want to approach her.
After I got home and chewed on this some more I came to the realization that maybe all she really meant was “who was in charge” because there was actually another registered nurse working as well. maybe she wasn’t targeting me at all. When that thought came to me I realized that I had probably made a terrible mistake alienating myself from everyone when nothing really happened. Was that possible? Yes. I think it was.
And that is how our impressions, and then our resulting behaviors get us into trouble. I reacted to what I thought was occurring without thinking through the whole situation. I immediately came to the conclusion that I was the victim, and she was attacking me so I pushed everyone away and pouted. Not good….
I must say that this LPN is a great nurse who knows an awful lot about our field. She is a good worker, she is there for the patients, and is working very hard to get her RN degree. But, at times we have clashed and for me it has left me feeling insecure, and alienated.
So my suggestion to you, and to me, is to really look at our impressions of what has occurred before we act in a negative way. See if there could possibly be two sides to the story. Could we be misinterpreting the situation. Are we feeling a little paranoid?
There is a group we do with our patients about our impressions that goes like this:
We see a friend walking toward us, we wave and smile but he ignores us and turns the corner. Our impression could be “why that shit head, what’s wrong with him, why didn’t he wave.” Our behavior would then be to ignore him the next time and not wave or acknowledge him! Or our impression could be ” what have I done wrong, why doesn’t he like me anymore.” And our behavior could be that we become tearful, upset, don’t answer his calls anymore, reject him. But,, the truth of the matter could be as simple as the friend didn’t see you or the friend just had some bad news and was distracted.
The motto of this whole piece is to think before we react. Look at the situation in more then one way. Could there be other reasons for what has just occurred? Be open to other interpretations. When in double ask someone else’s opinion of what they witnessed. And then let it go….
Yep let it go. Life is not just about us. We need to enjoy the beauty and love that is around us. I have a great little family. I have some very close and special friends. I am loved, and I am not alone. I just imagine I am sometimes. I misinterpret situations. The challenge for me, and you, is to look at all sides of a situation before we jump to a conclusion that might be harmful to us or someone else. Remember the friend story, maybe the other person has other things going on in their life, and we are not so important in theirs. Maybe they don’t even see us in that moment. And that’s okay.
There are many kinds of depression. Some are unrelenting and need immediate medical treatment. Some are situational and can be dealt with by re-evaluating the situation or people involved. And then it is about changing our impressions. Don’t always lean toward the negative side, even if you think it is the truth. Lean toward the positive side. The other possible story. It will make your life a better place. I mean would you rather live in a dark hole or stand out in the sunshine. I choose the sunshine. Not to say I won’t go into the dark hole again but, I do know how to get out, and you do too.
So, for today, since that’s all we have let’s not misinterpret the situation. Let’s be a part of the positive part of it. You’d be surprised how contagious that side can be. Oh, and have a GREAT day today, a really great day. And HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY….