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Advice needed for coworker relationship stress management?

Stress 101   (4,251 Views 8 Comments)

UM Review RN is a ASN, RN and specializes in Utilization Management.

7 Articles; 27,454 Visitors; 5,163 Posts

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I care about other people and I don't like to think that I'm the cause of someone else's hurt.

Here's the problem:

I'm being shunned by someone and I have no idea why.

This is the third time that she has literally gone out of her way to avoid me. The last time I sat next to her, she refused to speak to me.

Here's the kicker: since I have no clue that I did anything wrong, other than her avoidance of me, I can't get to the root of whatever it was that I said or did.

Why does that bother me? Because I sincerely never meant to say or do anything to hurt anyone, let alone her, and to think that she's harboring this grudge against me kinda makes me feel sorry for her.

Like she's dragging around this dead weight of anger that I don't share, is sure not keeping me up at night worrying about it, and that probably could've been solved with an apology when it actually happened.

So to you, whoever you are, I have a message for you: You're hurting yourself at the point where forgiveness is not an option. I have tried to ask for forgiveness, find out what I did, make whatever reparations needed to be made, all without success.

If we run into each other at a meeting and you run out, you're giving what I said--pretty much a stranger in your life--way too much significance.

If only you'd let yourself know me better. Yes, I've said and done some astoundingly crass things before in my life, but I need to tell you that it was neither deliberate nor intended to cause you pain. If I'm aware that I did something like that to someone, I usually go out of my way to make amends.

I'm not having much success with making amends to you. And whatever I said or did was so ordinary that I don't even know what it was!

At this time, I feel that if you walk away or snub me again, I'm washing my hands of any responsibility I might have had for your anger.

Anyone have any advice or comments? Maybe I missed something; obviously, I've missed things before.

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2,550 Visitors; 109 Posts

Angie, it looks like you've got a pretty good outlook of the situation. Shunning is a very real and very negative thing. Try not to let her "rent space" in your head.

Bring the issue to a head by asking her if there is anything you can do to rectify the situation, if that does not work...well, you will have certainly done your part. If this affects patient care then take it to your supervisor.

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llg has 40 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

5 Followers; 57,996 Visitors; 13,047 Posts

I agree. Ask her directly -- and in front of a witness -- and she what she says. Either she will respond or she won't. If she responds, you'll have something to work with. If she doesn't, at least other people will know that you tried: that might come in handy if things get worse with her in the future.

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UM Review RN is a ASN, RN and specializes in Utilization Management.

7 Articles; 27,454 Visitors; 5,163 Posts

OK, I tried one more thing: we served on the same committee last year, so I just sent her an email apology.

Hopefully I'm not being paranoid, but even if I am, it lets her know that I do care about what she thinks, right?

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nurseaboveboard specializes in Psych/Rehab/Family practice/Oncology.

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You know, it sounds like you've done EVERYTHING possible to fix this situation, so unless you outright STINK (and I'm betting you don't) take a mental break from this problem. Some people will not like you no matter what, and you may NEVER discover why. Like you, I make an effort to figure it out, but at some point, you've got to let it go. I wrote a post recently re nasty mean spirited co-workers, and this weekend observed another incident. I cannot for the life of me understand this behavior. A young lab tech brought up a beautiful scrapbook she had made for her mother's upcoming birthday. It was an absolute work of love/art and included so many wonderful pictures/events from her mother's life/family and the life/love they have shared. She no more than got it laid on the counter to proudly show us, when "mean/nasty" said "you FREAK, why would you bring THAT to work?" I immed. said "I'd love to see it!" I sat with her and looked at it, and really enjoyed it, and it WAS wonderful and she SHOULD have been proud, and told her so. Also, she had been raised by her single mom, and never knew her father, so her mom is really special to her. My point? Sometimes there is no good explanation, so don't spend one second more trying to understand her if you can help it. Sounds like you've done all you can! GOOD THOUGHTS GOING OUT TO YOU AT THIS VERY MOMENT!!!

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Daytonite has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

2 Followers; 4 Articles; 100,717 Visitors; 14,602 Posts

i have a saying for you:

no matter how hard you try, you cannot push a string

she's going out of her way to avoid you (your words), but i didn't see anything in your post about her going out of her way to do anything to hurt or offend you. from my point of view, you sound as if you're harassing the poor woman. let her be! it's obvious that she doesn't want anything to do with you. just respect her wishes.

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UM Review RN is a ASN, RN and specializes in Utilization Management.

7 Articles; 27,454 Visitors; 5,163 Posts

i have a saying for you:

no matter how hard you try, you cannot push a string

she's going out of her way to avoid you (your words), but i didn't see anything in your post about her going out of her way to do anything to hurt or offend you. from my point of view, you sound as if you're harassing the poor woman. let her be! it's obvious that she doesn't want anything to do with you. just respect her wishes.

i have no idea where you got that idea from, but anyhow....

i emailed her and it's all straightened out. it was just a misunderstanding on my part.

thanks, everyone, for your input.

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lookingbeyond is a BSN, RN and specializes in Geriatrics.

2,208 Visitors; 45 Posts

You know, it sounds like you've done EVERYTHING possible to fix this situation, so unless you outright STINK (and I'm betting you don't) take a mental break from this problem. Some people will not like you no matter what, and you may NEVER discover why. Like you, I make an effort to figure it out, but at some point, you've got to let it go. I wrote a post recently re nasty mean spirited co-workers, and this weekend observed another incident. I cannot for the life of me understand this behavior. A young lab tech brought up a beautiful scrapbook she had made for her mother's upcoming birthday. It was an absolute work of love/art and included so many wonderful pictures/events from her mother's life/family and the life/love they have shared. She no more than got it laid on the counter to proudly show us, when "mean/nasty" said "you FREAK, why would you bring THAT to work?" I immed. said "I'd love to see it!" I sat with her and looked at it, and really enjoyed it, and it WAS wonderful and she SHOULD have been proud, and told her so. Also, she had been raised by her single mom, and never knew her father, so her mom is really special to her. My point? Sometimes there is no good explanation, so don't spend one second more trying to understand her if you can help it. Sounds like you've done all you can! GOOD THOUGHTS GOING OUT TO YOU AT THIS VERY MOMENT!!!

Thank you

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