Taking things personally

  1. 4
    Hi all,

    Does anyone have a problem separting what may be another nurse's plain bad mood to them being mad at you? I know we all have our "off" days, but when other nurses do I always think it's because something I have done. For instance a nurse seemed really annoyed at me today for something I did that wound up being no big deal. Well I've turned it into a HUGE ordeal in my head that she hates me, thinks I'm incompetent, etc!! Does anyone else get like this? How do you deal without going over everything in your head over and over again? It's starting to interfere with my own mood outside of work.

    TIA!!
    multi10, priorities2, echoRNC711, and 1 other like this.
  2. Get the Hottest Nursing Topics Straight to Your Inbox!

  3. 28 Comments so far...

  4. 9
    I've had that happen to me. When it happened, I said, "You seem upset. Is there something I've done or not done that I can change?"

    One of two things happen. 1) The nurse backpeddles like crazy because it was most likely a passive-aggressive attempt to make you feel bad or 2) You have an up-front, professional nurse who says, "Yes, would you please complete this task before you leave?" or whatever addresses the issue.

    You may run into a third type that goes off like a psycho person. I think those are few and far between though.

    It comes down to addressing the situation then and there, directly and professionally. It also helps if you feel confident that you've done the best you can during your shift. If you've made a mistake, ask the person the right way to do it and apologize for your ignorance. I've said, "Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I didn't know that blah, blah, blah."

    I've always found that people respond positively to sincerity, accountability, and honesty. Not too many people approach situations like that though, and it causes a lot of conflicts, unfortunately. Defensiveness escalates situations, and passivity doesn't solve problems.
  5. 6
    Perhaps you can consider figuring out why it's supposed to be all about you before you go acting as if it is.
    VICEDRN, Altra, joanna73, and 3 others like this.
  6. 1
    Ever since I had kids, I learned that you can't please everyone. Quickly I developed the skill to shrug and say to myself "people get mad sometimes, and they get over it". I used to be afraid of disapproval. Since you are not the one who is mad, then it isn't even your problem.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  7. 4
    I feel the exact same way sometimes. Like if someone says that a new person that I trained has forgotten to sign a MAR, I may immediately think that person thinks I'm a bad preceptor. I'm just sensitive and get hurt feelings easily. It was hard at first but now I just know that about myself and remind myself to chill out and not to be making mountains out of molehills. Or if something is really bugging me, I may bring it up and apologize and usually people are like, "oh that? No big deal!" my last suggestion is that I'll talk things out to my husband because once I explain the situation out loud I can see how silly my internal reaction is. Sorry if this long-winded, I just totally relate and hope some of this helps. You wouldn't happen to be a libra?
  8. 4
    Nope I don't get that way. Then again I'm a dude.
    anotherone, Altra, DawnJ, and 1 other like this.
  9. 6
    Quote from dudette10
    I've had that happen to me. When it happened, I said, "You seem upset. Is there something I've done or not done that I can change?"

    One of two things happen. 1) The nurse backpeddles like crazy because it was most likely a passive-aggressive attempt to make you feel bad or 2) You have an up-front, professional nurse who says, "Yes, would you please complete this task before you leave?" or whatever addresses the issue.

    You may run into a third type that goes off like a psycho person. I think those are few and far between though.

    It comes down to addressing the situation then and there, directly and professionally. It also helps if you feel confident that you've done the best you can during your shift. If you've made a mistake, ask the person the right way to do it and apologize for your ignorance. I've said, "Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I didn't know that blah, blah, blah."

    I've always found that people respond positively to sincerity, accountability, and honesty. Not too many people approach situations like that though, and it causes a lot of conflicts, unfortunately. Defensiveness escalates situations, and passivity doesn't solve problems.
    Or it might be a fourth type: the nurse that just heard from her doctor that the biopsies were malignant, or from her mother's nursing home that Mom is being asked to find new accomodations because she keeps assaulting the staff or from the dog's vet that it's time to put him to sleep or from her husband that indeed, he IS in love with someone else. Not everything is about you. Not even most everything.
  10. 5
    Quote from GrnTea
    Perhaps you can consider figuring out why it's supposed to be all about you before you go acting as if it is.
    This is EXACTLY what helped me get past the same issue. I always felt that anyone's bad mood or snarky comment must be directed at me. It took a counselor to point out that I truly wasn't the center of everyone's universe, and therefore their comments were 99.9% NOT about me.
    VivaLasViejas, DSkelton711, gonzo1, and 2 others like this.
  11. 3
    It gets better as you become more confident with your nursing abilities. (From glancing through your previous posts, you're a fairly new RN. Yes?)

    You're projecting your own insecurities onto other nurses. When you have a lot of doubts about your own practice, it's easy to read too much into others' reactions.

    Like dudette, I'm very open to constructive criticism and am always looking for ways to better my own practice. I do think that openly acknowledging that someone seems upset is too confrontational. (Although I'm not beyond a "Hey, you okay?" when giving report to someone who comes *in* looking upset or angry.) At least for me. I always end my report with a friendly and sincere -- "Is there anything that you want me to do before I leave?" If, while explaining something that I did or was done or observed, the nurse I'm giving report to seems to *become* angry or upset - and it will happen! - "How would you have handled this?" is a great way to get advice from more seasoned nurses. Although keep in mind that shift change is a busy time so said nurse may be unable or unwilling to sit & chat.

    It does get better. Promise. If you're still having issues with these thoughts impacting your non work life, I'd suggest approaching your nurse manager or educator - if this is an option - and asking to have a meeting to go over your progress on the unit. That way you have a rational, unbiased way to gauge your progress.
  12. 1
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    Or it might be a fourth type: the nurse that just heard from her doctor that the biopsies were malignant, or from her mother's nursing home that Mom is being asked to find new accomodations because she keeps assaulting the staff or from the dog's vet that it's time to put him to sleep or from her husband that indeed, he IS in love with someone else. Not everything is about you. Not even most everything.
    Quite true. The thing is, in my experience, this wasn't the case. She is just a chronic witch who no longer gives me problems.
    afjgnp likes this.


Top