Personality At Work vs. At Home

  1. I'm transitioning back into a clinical role after some time off and am realizing how different I am when I'm practicing as a nurse vs. in my mundane "off" time. At home, I'm cluttered, scatter-brained, meek, passive and always looking for someone to tell me that what I'm doing is right.

    At work, I use clinical judgment and critical thinking, I'm organized, I anticipate needs, and I'm more patient than I ever thought was possible. I'm also more relaxed and at ease in conversation.

    Obviously, I put on my "game face" for work and it works (and should!), but who else experiences this phenomenon? Are you a different person at work than if I were to bump into you at the grocery store?
  2. Visit pinkiepieRN profile page

    About pinkiepieRN, BSN, MSN, RN

    Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 394; Likes: 436

    45 Comments

  3. by   SwansonRN
    Yup! A lot of my friends and family would probably not even recognize me at work. When I'm not at work I am scatterbrained, messy, and shy. I think it must be all the caffeine I drink on my drive in.
  4. by   beeker
    At work I am very neat and organized, very type A . I have high expectations for myself and those I work behind. At home I am much more laid back and not nearly as neat.
  5. by   Morainey
    Most definitely... at work I would describe myself as peppy, energetic, outgoing, and talkative. At home I'm quieter and more serious and much, much less assertive.
  6. by   nurseprnRN
    In my first marriage I was a different person at home. At work-- frequent relief charge in a huge ICU, staff educator, air ambulance nurse, hotshot nurse, all the confidence and competence in the world. At home...well, not so much. My coworkers were astonished to hear I divorced him due to spousal abuse after getting some excellent counseling. Is something like that going on with you?

    (I hasten to add that husband #2, for 25 years now, is not the least bit like that, and home is an infinitely happier place. Thanks for caring, though!)
  7. by   pinkiepieRN
    Quote from GrnTea
    In my first marriage I was a different person at home. At work-- frequent relief charge in a huge ICU, staff educator, air ambulance nurse, hotshot nurse, all the confidence and competence in the world. At home...well, not so much. My coworkers were astonished to hear I divorced him due to spousal abuse after getting some excellent counseling. Is something like that going on with you?

    (I hasten to add that husband #2, for 25 years now, is not the least bit like that, and home is an infinitely happier place. Thanks for caring, though!)
    Okay, apparently I am that transparent. Seriously though, what gave me away?

    I'm separated from my husband right now and have a room-mate. There has been a lot of change in my life recently. Sometimes I wonder if I'm not practicing to be the person I'd like to be, while I'm at work.
  8. by   LadyFree28
    My personality was different at work, especially when I was going through DV...Same set of "organization" versus "flubalicious" lol

    Five years after "surviving", I'm still thinking how can I reconcile the two "people"

    I'm slowly figuring out what parts of me I want, plus getting older, it's almost like being in my teens again, sigh, ALL while going from a proficient LPN to beginner RN...talk about HUGE growing pains this year!

    But it get's better...It will!

    The thing about self-discovery, especially after a life changing event, it makes for an interesting ride in life...your perspective changes, you figure out what things you want to cross over in your personal life, vs. professional life.

    Sometimes it crosses over at the wrong time-yikes!! Well, at least for me...sigh, again...lol

    I continue to live and learn...and starting to take my strengths to make a better me

    I'll see how it goes...one day at a time!

    Full disclosure: you are not the only one!
  9. by   calivianya
    I am definitely two people. Maybe even more than two... xD

    I get told by my patients quite frequently how refreshing it is to have someone who really cares. I bend over backwards to get them anything they need and 99% of what they want. I always try to make time to talk, I'm friendly, I'm patient, I'm personable, and I'm highly organized. I am also very perky - I had a manager tell me it was refreshing to see someone around with so much positive energy, and that I was a great influence on the rest of the staff.

    When I get off work, I'm a total sarcastic people-hater. It's funny how I can sit and politely listen to a patient talk when they're upset for 20 or more minutes, but I will absolutely be rude as all get out to people in the mall, on the roads, etc. I seriously have zero tolerance for the masses outside of the job. I get told often that I am really evil and sarcastic. I think I use up all of my perky and my people skills at work, and there are absolutely none of either left for when I walk out of the hospital. I also am a very messy housekeeper.
  10. by   TheCommuter
    I'm definitely more organized at work. I guess you could say that I have two different faces: a public self and a private self. My public persona is far more industrious than my private self.

    My house is very messy and unorganized. I'm extremely lazy on my days off.
  11. by   NurseDirtyBird
    Quote from calivianya
    I am definitely two people. Maybe even more than two... xD

    I get told by my patients quite frequently how refreshing it is to have someone who really cares. I bend over backwards to get them anything they need and 99% of what they want. I always try to make time to talk, I'm friendly, I'm patient, I'm personable, and I'm highly organized. I am also very perky - I had a manager tell me it was refreshing to see someone around with so much positive energy, and that I was a great influence on the rest of the staff.

    When I get off work, I'm a total sarcastic people-hater. It's funny how I can sit and politely listen to a patient talk when they're upset for 20 or more minutes, but I will absolutely be rude as all get out to people in the mall, on the roads, etc. I seriously have zero tolerance for the masses outside of the job. I get told often that I am really evil and sarcastic. I think I use up all of my perky and my people skills at work, and there are absolutely none of either left for when I walk out of the hospital. I also am a very messy housekeeper.
    I think we might be twins...
  12. by   Vespertinas
    NurseDirtyBird, lets make us triplets.

    My husband and I practically divorced because he doesn't believe I'm a compassionate person. I wasn't... to him. He was too needy. I'm learning to transfer my work personality to my regular life. It's amazing how hard that can actually be! I found it much easier with a recent relationship but it was greatly helped by the bf's lack of self-centeredness. Suddenly I didn't cringe about complaints as if he were a patient who sits on his call bell all day.

    But yes, I am a true Jekyll and Hyde. For someone so obnoxious, it's odd how I'm bursting with daisies on the job. I think staying cheery is what gets me through the day and convinces me that I love my job. It might be a mind trick.
  13. by   THELIVINGWORST
    I am pretty much the same person IRL as I am at work but I do want to say to you SURVIVORS of domestic violence:

    After reading your responses, the pattern was clear, and I realized you all are different IRL because of your former SO's. Hurrah to you brave ladies!
  14. by   Working2beRN2014
    I am the same person with a touch of different. On my days off I am still compassionate, I still am a generally nice person. I signal when I change lanes, I thank people who let me over with a friendly wave, I resist the urge to use any waves consisting of only one finger for those who are not friendly drivers. I help random strangers if I see they need it and I can help. I will give directions if asked or say I don't know if I do not. I smile less but I still smile.

    However I am not as organized, my bedroom, at present is a mess (lost my keys a day ago and things got thrown about and I will pick them up later today.)

    I am more different in my responses though. I would NEVER yell at a patient, but sometimes I do yell at my son (after I have asked him about 10 times to do something my voice tends to go up a few octaves.)

    I am also much more laid back! I love to read and listen to music.

close