Quote from Runnergirl84
I am talkative to patients and most coworkers and will ask questions of both to get to know them but it's just so exhausting for me. I don't think it shows at all but inside I am so drained after work. Just think about how many people nurses interact with in a given day. So many! I always kind of keep a wall up around me but I wish I didn't. Then at times I'm so relieved that I don't mix work with pleasure and am not socially connected with other nurses on Facebook etc. when I'm off I'm open to talk to really no one but family. I just think it's one aspect of my job that I find extremely difficult. Even after I ask a question to a patient and they answer there's somewhat of an awkward silence after. Sometimes there's nothing worse than awkwardness though some of it just might be me being hard on myself and it wasn't awkward for the patient. I usually am my own worst enemy.
Heheh, this is my life, too
It sucks. I've always been insanely introverted, like I can go an entire work shift without talking to any of my co-workers or with just giving basic answers to customers (well, when I was working in retail, I'm not working at the moment). I hate
talking for the most part. It wears me out, and so does listening. I have a problem with awkward silences, too, and it's mostly because I just don't get how to chit-chat. I have a serious personality, too, so a lot of times people mistake me as snobby or mean, which is the opposite of who I am. I always try to be kind and open towards people, and make sure I have a pleasant tone, but my serious personality and calmness give me "resting b*tch face" and I've been told I look mean and to smile on multiple occasions.
On top of it all, by "normal" standards, I'm also weird and get called strange a lot. I guess you could say my communication is functionality-based, meaning that most of the time when I talk, it's to answer questions or to ask questions to help me do my work or because something truly sparked my curiosity.
I try to overcompensate in other areas by being really polite and smiling when I make eye contact, and of course trying to make sure my voice sounds pleasant. I put in extra energy into doing that. I'm nearing the end of my CNA course, and I think I've come a long way, socially. Small talk is still my downfall, but I've gotten better at the "ping-ponging" of chit-chatting (asking questions about people's lives and quickly reacting with either another question or with emotion. As a kid, a friend yelled at me because I never reacted to her gossip and another person called me Spock lol). I've also gotten a lot better at approaching small conversations casually. I think what's helped me the most is the great environment that I'm in- all of the students in my class are hardworking, kind, and positive, so it's a good place for me to grow.
So, I still have a long ways to go, but I'm always active in trying to work on my social skills. I don't expect to be someone's "favorite" nurse or have a personality that just makes someone glow
but like you, I still want to be the best nurse I can be by also having my patients feel comfortable in my presence, and by having a good relationship with my co-workers.