you need to educate yourself on the psychology employed by people who want to, knowingly or unknowingly, hurt your feelings or create a sense of superiority over you. person(s) who make comments such as "she felt sorry for me because i was too nice to be a nurse" and "i was too nice to my patients and also too nice to the nurses that we were following" are playing a psychological game. they're hoping to manipulate and make you feel there is something wrong about yourself while getting their own jollies. they actually get some glee out of making other people feel bad. they are trying to compensate for their own feelings of inadequacy. in this particular case the girl was initially insulting you, but then got the unexpected angry response from you that went against your nice nature, which she probably hadn't expected. even so, she succeeded in rattling your cage, which was her original intent. do you see it? the reason you feel so bad is because you lost your temper and said something in anger to her. that's not something that "nice" people do. and, she tricked you into exposing yourself! that's what you're really bummed about. she may have been stunned for the moment, but i can almost guarantee that she's now off somewhere gloating because "miss nice lost it with me, so she's not so nice as you would think!" she achieved some personal satisfaction that she broke you down, although it is a rather bizarre and dysfunctional way to do it. i'm not sure that you totally understand what happened here.
now, the trick is that once you catch on to this game of theirs it takes all the fun out of it for them. her doing this was probably motivated by some jealousy she harbors toward you and that was her best "game playing" way to express it to you. emotions are funny things. sometimes they are so strong in people that they just have to shout them out. it's inappropriate to say, "i hate you", or "i'm jealous of you because you are so damn nice!" the way our society will accept it is to do it in a subversive and deceptive way. viola! catty remarks, game playing and manipulation. and, don't some of us do it real well? problem is, that even though you called her bluff, she still got you right in the ego. the one thing you did do wrong was that in calling her a *****, you let your temper show. it would have been far more effective if you had been able to say it in a calm, pleasant voice. better yet, you could have just smiled in sympathetic understanding of her ignorance said in the sweetest tone you could muster up, "there's no reason for you to feel sorry for me" or "i'm sorry you feel that way" and moved on. you must learn this or your temper will get you into trouble over the years.
let me reassure you here, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you! there is no such thing as being too nice to be a nurse. and you just keep on being that way as well as keeping your soft touch with patients. you will be loved by your patients. we are there to be of service to the patients. however, you will occasionally run across other nurses who will be envious of how you practice. pity them because when they act like this girl in your class, they are sad excuses of people who don't know how to better themselves other than to strike out at those who they should take on as mentors and role models. that's sad, isn't it? yet, you will encounter them throughout your life. don't allow their misery to also become yours. they need kindness too.
in one of the first classes i was required to take in my bsn completion program we had to read a book called games people play: the basic handbook of transactional analysis
by eric berne. i know the title sounds very scholarly and some of this little 200-page book is, but when dr. berne starts listing and describing some of the behavior (he calls them games) people will engage in to manipulate and gain the upper hand in situations it is absolutely genius. so genius that this little book has been required basic studying for just about everyone going into clinical counseling for many, many years. it's a classic work. you might want to consider looking at a copy of it. i can pretty much guarantee that if you ever find yourself in the position of supervising subordinates who want to act like children, books like this help you to understand and identify what the underlying motivation and behavior is so you know how to put it in perspective in order to deal with it more efficiently. however, i'm not being mean here, but you have got to learn to bridle your temper. once manipulators and game players discover you have a temper, they know you have a weakness that can get you into trouble and they will use it to their advantage in every way they can think of against you. please take my advice on this. i know what i'm talking about. you might want to review information on therapeutic communication skills. although it's taught for speaking with patient's, it very handy for speaking with others in any kind of situation that requires tact and sensitivity.
- a really nice slide show on therapeutic communication. includes techniques, scenarios and blocks to communication.