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ThePrincessBride, BSN, RN 48,651 Views

Joined Jun 13, '10 - from 'Somewhere'. She has '2 RN, 3 tech' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Med-Surg, NICU'. Posts: 2,186 (61% Liked) Likes: 6,139

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  • Dec 10

    Hey PrincessBride... I don't have much to add to the conversation, just wanted
    to share my experience.

    I too have struggled my whole life with being shy and an introvert. I
    can remember in high school, sitting at a lunch table with these girls
    who were actually very nice, but I did not know them well, and I honestly
    had a hard time even raising
    my head up from my lunch tray to even LOOK at them, I was so shy. I'm
    not even sure why I sat with them, or why they sat with me. I remember
    one of the girls was very very nice and bubbly, and I think did try to
    engage me often, and I just resisted. But anyway, such is how I
    was all throughout middle and high school. It was a struggle.

    Nowadays I still very much consider myself an introvert, but I am
    not shy. If I have something to say to someone, or if I have
    something meaningful to contribute to a conversation, I definitely
    don't have a problem doing so. Many people would probably
    even consider me outgoing, especially at work.

    However, relationships outside of work are an issue for me.
    My daughter is a teenager and in marching band.. I have found
    band parents, at least in our band, to be rather cliquey. I
    feel very left out. It's like this for me in most situations in
    which, I have a CHOICE whether or not to interact with
    people. It's like this in school groups such as band parents,
    sports parents.. scout parents... and then also when I
    went to church. I have a really hard time in situations,
    in which I'm placed with a lot of people and have a CHOICE
    to interact and try to make friends, or to not. I have
    a hard time feeling like I fit in. I find it very draining to
    be around a lot of people and be expected to socialize.
    It makes me sad to know that I really don't have a lot
    of friends because of this, but then when I'm put in
    situations... it drains my energy and I just want to
    run home and sit down and watch a movie!!!

    The great thing is, MOST of the time I don't worry
    about it. I have my husband, my kids, my brother and
    his family... thankfully I still have my parents... and that
    circle is all I need.

    But... that yellow jealous streak STILL crawls up my back
    whenever I see Facebook posts from friends, about their
    "framilies", all the parties they go to... I get jealous to
    see posts from above mentioned Band moms who get
    together with each other... it's so bad I don't even hardly
    follow anyone on Facebook anymore, just very close
    friends and family mostly.

    And don't get me started on my sister in law. Everyone.
    Loves. Her. They always have. She has a social life that
    would make Taylor Swift jealous. Makes me ill.

  • Dec 10

    1. Don't let the haters stop you!

    2. From your old posts I remember that you really wanted NICU so don't let unfriendly coworkers get in your way.

    3. I am an extrovert most of the time, I suppose I probably form relationships quicker with other extroverts because they engage in conversations that I start at work. But I would never intentionally leave someone out of a conversation. I can't speak to the details of what is going on with you, but try putting yourself out there more? At least with some of the coworkers you come across who aren't necessarily purposely leaving you out.

    4. I hear you on sometimes feeling left out with people who have kids, but I have no intention of having kids so I've figured I better get used to it. I will sometimes try to relate to them with stories of my nieces/nephews or even stories of what I was like as a kid (if I'm desperate). But often I'm just not interested in how little Jimmy is so much better after they took him off the gluten, so I just stay out of the conversation until it changes to something I'm more interested in.

  • Dec 10

    I guess I would want to know how the nurses on the med surg unit treat you. If it's like that wherever you go then it could be you. But, if it isn't I would say that maybe you aren't their only victim You're just the latest. I'd probably leave and go to a different hospital, or though it might not be what you want to do you could bide your time and work in the neonatal step down unit or with the feed 'n grows or something like that.

  • Dec 9

    Quote from ThePrincessBride
    I have no problem with management, and the assistant manager is very approachable.

    I definitely won't be calling them out on their behavior as that will just cause tension. But being left out has made me want to retreat inward and just take care of patients.

    I will try to make small talk with the older (and friendlier) nurses. It just sucks because I know some of them are talking about leaving or retiring soon.
    Reach out to the ones who you think are planning on staying for a while. Even if you wind up befriending someone who leaves in a year or two, you never know how that may wind up benefiting you down the road. Nursing is a small world.

    As far as the other group, perhaps what you need to do is become interested in them. I had a similar situation years ago. I felt frustrated and frequently left out because of a group I worked with who were all "Mommies." I found that things turned around when I started asking questions about their kids.

    Sometimes for people to find you interesting you have to take an interest in them.

  • Dec 9

    Quote from ThePrincessBride
    If I go for my NNP, I will stick it out, but upon graduation, would transfer. They don't respect me now as a person...why would they respect me as a NNP?
    Why do you think they don't respect you as a person?

  • Dec 9

    Quote from ThePrincessBride
    I know there have been a thousand or more threads on this subject, but hear me out:

    I have been working on a neonatal ICU unit for almost two years now. Prior to that, I worked in adult med-surg and still work there casually.

    I love working with the babies and their families but socially, I feel like an outcast. Some coworkers refuse to acknowledge my presence and ignore me even when they are assigned to be my patient's secondary nurse (for when I need to use the restroom or go on break). Just today, I was happening to go the cafeteria at the same time as a group of my coworkers. They all waited for everyone else to get their food...except for me. No "see you later" or anything. They just walked away.

    They are constantly talking about stuff they do with each other outside of work and to events that I haven't been invited to. When I try to join a conversation, sometimes I am ignored or given a quick response and then they go back to talking among themselves.

    There are some coworkers who are wonderful. They are older and more experienced, but they are slowly leaving the unit, leaving me with a clique of younger nurses. I am an island of a person.

    Should I start looking elsewhere? I am planning on going back to school next year (FNP or NNP, not sure which yet). The place has good tuition reimbursement (though not astounding or anything).

    What is the rational thing for me to do? I have been bottling this in and keeping my nose down and working, but I think it might be time to leave.
    How do they get by with ignoring you when they are your secondary nurse? How do they demonstrate that they are ignoring you in this situation?

    Do they refuse to relieve you if you ask them to?

    Do they ask someone to relieve them if they need relief? (instead of asking you to relieve them)

  • Dec 9

    Quote from ThePrincessBride
    I know there have been a thousand or more threads on this subject, but hear me out:

    I have been working on a neonatal ICU unit for almost two years now. Prior to that, I worked in adult med-surg and still work there casually.

    I love working with the babies and their families but socially, I feel like an outcast. Some coworkers refuse to acknowledge my presence and ignore me even when they are assigned to be my patient's secondary nurse (for when I need to use the restroom or go on break). Just today, I was happening to go the cafeteria at the same time as a group of my coworkers. They all waited for everyone else to get their food...except for me. No "see you later" or anything. They just walked away.

    They are constantly talking about stuff they do with each other outside of work and to events that I haven't been invited to. When I try to join a conversation, sometimes I am ignored or given a quick response and then they go back to talking among themselves.

    There are some coworkers who are wonderful. They are older and more experienced, but they are slowly leaving the unit, leaving me with a clique of younger nurses. I am an island of a person.

    Should I start looking elsewhere? I am planning on going back to school next year (FNP or NNP, not sure which yet). The place has good tuition reimbursement (though not astounding or anything).

    What is the rational thing for me to do? I have been bottling this in and keeping my nose down and working, but I think it might be time to leave.
    That sucks that people aren't being nice. But I don't see how any of this actually affects the ability to do your job. Work is work, it's not a social event. Maybe if you just focused on doing your job and going home and ignore the B.S politics and cliques that spring up you might start to feel more comfortable and maybe just make more friends naturally and effortlessly. There's always going to be cliques and groups of people that you might not relate to.

  • Dec 9

    I can say categorically if I worked with you , you definitely wouldn't be ignored (by me). I passionately despise bullying and catty behavior like this. Both my children were extremely shy as kids, somewhat like their dad. I'm the opposite so I couldn't really understand it in the true sense of the definition, but I certainly had compassion for their struggles.

    Sadly, being extrovert and outgoing is highly valued in America, and the shyer types can - not always - but can get pushed to the back and forgotten/ignored. I know because I had to watch my kids go through ruthless bullying and being ostracized. They both struggled with anxiety and depression because of it. It's been a steep learning curve for me because when I was bullied at school I fought back - my kids just withered. It broke my heart, but even though I was always a compassionate person it has made me even more compassionate for the struggles of introverted people and the dreadful treatment they can receive from people. Not to say extroverts don't get crap too sometimes, but I know first hand just how "easy" a target a quieter person can be, especially those that don't have the confidence to defend themselves.

  • Dec 9

    Quote from FPNP
    Find an ally. Go out of your way to befriend someone on your shift. Find out about who they are, people love to talk about themselves. Then slowly start doing coffee or social events together. You don't need to be friends with everyone, or even most people, just start with one person.

    Yes. One at a time. Rome wasn't built in a day. And do be a great listener.

    I have been in your situation and it does hurt. But I didn't leave a job I loved just because I felt not much a part of the group. Anyway, is there really a group?

    You might be surprised to find that the ones with kids about the same age might get together once in a while. If their kids are in school or extracurricular activities together, two nurses might see each other outside of work because of that.

    Some might be related or have another friend in common, go to church together, whatever. Maybe they live near each other and are in the same Home Owners' Association.

    I wonder if you are just a naturally quiet, shy person while some of the others are more extroverted. No matter. I think you should try to just be yourself and make peace as best you can with the situation. Don't leave if you're not sure you are ready to do so. If you like the work, get along with Management and others, and have at least some peers you are comfortable with, it seems to me you should just be nice, help if someone asks for help and you are able to do so.

    Maybe they are at somewhat of a loss about how to relate to someone who is going to go to NP school.

    Might they envy your childless freedom? As much as people love their kids, kids do sort of clip our wings for a few years.

    Best wishes.

  • Dec 9

    I think the real question here should be "why do I care about what this yippy pack of dogs think"? Nursing is many things to many nurses but what it is for all of us is a paycheck. If you have a direction to go in your life then get there. If this place will help pay for you to become an NP let them (I'm working on my DNP now and it gets expensive but as important as financial support can you work around your clinical hours). Anyway, this isn't high school and I see no reason to leave a good job because you don't fit into a cliché of rude hags.

  • Dec 9

    Quote from ThePrincessBride
    I know there have been a thousand or more threads on this subject, but hear me out:

    I have been working on a neonatal ICU unit for almost two years now. Prior to that, I worked in adult med-surg and still work there casually.

    I love working with the babies and their families but socially, I feel like an outcast. Some coworkers refuse to acknowledge my presence and ignore me even when they are assigned to be my patient's secondary nurse (for when I need to use the restroom or go on break). Just today, I was happening to go the cafeteria at the same time as a group of my coworkers. They all waited for everyone else to get their food...except for me. No "see you later" or anything. They just walked away.

    They are constantly talking about stuff they do with each other outside of work and to events that I haven't been invited to. When I try to join a conversation, sometimes I am ignored or given a quick response and then they go back to talking among themselves.

    There are some coworkers who are wonderful. They are older and more experienced, but they are slowly leaving the unit, leaving me with a clique of younger nurses. I am an island of a person.

    Should I start looking elsewhere? I am planning on going back to school next year (FNP or NNP, not sure which yet). The place has good tuition reimbursement (though not astounding or anything).

    What is the rational thing for me to do? I have been bottling this in and keeping my nose down and working, but I think it might be time to leave.
    The rational thing to do is probably to stay where you are -- you enjoy the patient population and some of your coworkers are wonderful. You're going to be going back to school next year, and if there is tuition reimbursement involved, that may be a factor. (Where I work, you aren't eligible for tuition reimbursement until you've worked there for two years -- moving jobs may set you back a year in your plan to go back to school.)

    I've been in your situation (only in my case, management was the issue and my colleagues were fine) and I made up my mind that I wasn't going to let a few people for whom I had very little respect drive me out of a job where I enjoyed the patient population and the physicians, ancillary services and colleagues.

    You probably aren't going to make any inroads with the cliques as long as they're together. Your best bet is, when you find one of them alone, make a big effort to chat with them. Convince them that you like them or admire them. Be consistent with this. Make sure you're the first person to say hello, and act as if you're DELIGHTED to see them.

    Workplace relationships are important, and I wish I'd realized that far earlier in my career and made the effort to develop them. I'm rather introverted and never had that much in common with my colleagues, but I made the effort to find ONE THING in common with everyone I met at work on a regular basis. Sometimes I even faked an interest (fly fishing springs to mind) to chat with someone. I had nothing to contribute to the conversation, but I listened well and I was interested in some of the remote locations discussed. It only takes about 60 seconds to have a brief chat with someone, and I found myself looking forward to seeing some of those folks in spite of myself. There was one guy I worked with who was really into Game of Thrones, and he and I could discuss it for hours on the night shift . . . no one else seemed interested. With consistent pretending that they liked me and I liked them, I was able to turn things around.

    If the older nurses are leaving, newer nurses are being hired, no? Make an effort to befriend the newer nurses as they join your unit. Having a few work friends will help make the situation more tolerable even as you're making inroads with the members of the clique.

    Just my two cents, for what that is worth. I'm sure you'll figure out what will work for you. Good luck.

  • Dec 9

    As a quiet, reserved person myself, I've definitely experienced the same thing. And it's hurtful. What I found works better for me is figuring out who I can have a conversation with in a smaller group, as I tend to quiet up when the group gets larger. I'm sure there are probably a couple of people who you may enjoy chatting with outside the clique. If that fails, I would just remind myself I'm there to do a good job, not necessarily to become buddies with everyone. If you enjoy your job and you're good at it, it seems silly to leave because a few people are rude or fail to recognize you are a good person to chat with. However if they ignore you to the point that patient safety is affected, that is different.

  • Dec 9

    All I can say is, although there are thankfully plenty of exceptions (i.e. people who are not #*$&#$&'s), the older I get, the less I understand human behavior.

  • Dec 9

    You have 2 choices. 1) Detach yourself emotionally and get your emotional/social gratification at work interacting with patient's families, doctors, friendly nurses, lab, respiratory, housekeeping etc...

    Or, 2) leave for a healthier, friendlier pasture.

  • Dec 9

    Find an ally. Go out of your way to befriend someone on your shift. Find out about who they are, people love to talk about themselves. Then slowly start doing coffee or social events together. You don't need to be friends with everyone, or even most people, just start with one person.


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