Too much estrogen! Women! Ahh!

  1. Well not too long ago I posted on here that I've coped well with a class full of women, that is, until today - eight months into my program!

    Here's the deal. Last week we had a health fair which we volunteered at for community service requirements in our program. One girl had her picture taken and she made a "goofy" look on her face. I told her I'm going to have that picture put on during pinning, and she laughed about it.

    No big deal, right? Fun and games!

    Today I had my pictures from the health fair developed and she found out I showed other people the photo. I put it on the door as a joke. Hey, we're all "family," right? I've never had runins with anyone in my class, and this particular female and I have gotten along quite well in the program. But then she comes up to me, "REALLY? PUTTING IT ON THE DOOR?" I of course apologized to her - three times - saying I NEVER intended to embarrass her. Then, when it was time to "start class," she left. I later found out she was leaving, and as she walked away, was crying.

    Really? Crying? WHAT?

    She POSED for the photo. LAUGHED when it was taken. GOOFED OFF with everyone else, and let me mention, she wasn't the only one with the "goofy" nursing student pictures, myself and several others had some, too.

    Ahh, estrogen.. I understand she was embarrassed, but running off in tears? I am baffled, because her reaction to TAKING the photo and the reaction WITH the photo were completely different. Lexapro, anyone? Ugh... am I just an insensitive jerk or do women just routinely wear their feelings on their sleeves?

    Sorry, had to vent.. thanks for listening.
    Last edit by ZanatuBelmont on Apr 17, '09 : Reason: Wanted to add
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    About ZanatuBelmont

    Joined: Nov '08; Posts: 278; Likes: 135
    Licensed Vocational Nurse
    Specialty: Rehabilitation; LTC; Med-Surg

    12 Comments

  3. by   UM Review RN
    Ummm....I think the latter would be correct. You know, the insensitive jerk one?

    Friends do not make laughingstocks of friends. She had to tolerate it when the first picture came out. Ok, joke, laugh laugh, over. But putting it on the door did more than ha ha funny picture giggle. It said, "See how dorky and stupid she is?" Not just one moment's worth of silliness, but all the time.

    See the difference? You didn't get it before, but you do now. Apologise. Publicly shred the picture. Apologise again. Bow. Scrape. Tell her she's beautiful. Take her out to lunch -- call it free sensitivity training.

    And of course, don't ever do that again.
    Last edit by UM Review RN on Apr 17, '09
  4. by   Koyaanisqatsi-RN
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    See the difference? You didn't get it before, but you do now. Apologise. Publicly shred the picture. Apologise again. Bow. Scrape. Tell her she's beautiful. Take her out to lunch -- call it free sensitivity training.
    It was a JOKE. This has nothing to do with gender, rather someone who was apparently just having a bad day and freaked out for no reason. Geez. There is no reason to grovel at someone's feet. I'd just apologize and say I didn't realize you would take it so seriously.
  5. by   ParkerBC,MSN,RN
    In reading your post, I did not find any malice in your intentions. You apologized to the girl several times and she still decided to leave upset. She made the decision to leave and now those are her feelings to deal with, not yours. As for begging for forgiveness, I would never do it. People need to accept responsibility for their actions. I don’t know how many times I have said this, but don’t do anything that you later may regret or become embarrassed about. She had her picture taken…thought it was funny…and later became upset/embarrassed by it. Besides…this experience will make her skin thicker. What will she do when a patient tells her to get the hell out of his/her room while throwing a tray at her? I would leave it alone. And for the record…yes…women are much more emotional than men, at least the ones in my classes!
  6. by   llg
    I'd leave it alone. It's not worth digging at it.

    If it comes up again, say that you are sorry for misunderstanding her previous reactions -- that her previous laughter etc. led you to believe she was OK with it. If pressed, you might even say that if she had seemed to mind it at the time, you wouldn't have posted it. Some women need to learn to take responsibility for their actions and the signals they send. If you over-cater to her inconsistent behavior now, it just reinforces for her that sending such inconsistent messages is OK -- and it is not OK. She will get eaten alive in the workforce if she doesn't learn to manage her interactions with her colleagues in a consistent manner. If she was bothered by it at first, she should have let you know that politely at the time. (She shouldn't have posed for it, but once she did, she should have asked you to destroy it.)

    The sending of inconsistent "signals" is part of the reasons we have communication/relationship problems in general. People hide behind fake words and behaviors and then expect others to know what they "really meant" as if by magic. Healthy, successful professionals don't do that. They say what they mean and mean what they say. Their colleagues can rely on them to communicate honestly and effectively without playing games. She needs to learn that lesson -- but be nice about it as she may have over-reacted because something else in her life was making her upset and sending her over the edge.

    P.S. : I am a woman who has read a lot about horizontal violence among women, been the target of bullies, etc. and understands the importance of teaching nursing students how to communicate in polite, but effectively assertive ways.
  7. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from ooottafvgvah
    It was a JOKE. .
    I respectfully disagree. I was taught that jokes like that are not really jokes, and friends who pull jokes like that are not really friends.

    If it was me, I'd be really hurt. A real friend would know better than to do something like that.
  8. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    Quote from ooottafvgvah
    It was a JOKE.
    Yep, that's what people always say... and then they add, "S/he (or you) can't take a joke" as though the one maligned is also the one at fault.

    I think posting it was out of line.
  9. by   Koyaanisqatsi-RN
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    I respectfully disagree. I was taught that jokes like that are not really jokes, and friends who pull jokes like that are not really friends.
    Right, and someone who is so upset about something silly like this wouldn't be a friend of mine, either. I would never suggest that two people who have these opposite personalities should hang out or be friends.

    My point is though that this time it was just a misunderstanding and she should get over it. If it continued to happen despite her feelings, then it gets into bullying which is a real problem, and totally separate from this.
  10. by   mochabean
    I think this is absolutely silly. You didn't intend to hurt her, you apologized once, and if she doesn't accept it, then that's her problem. If she didn't want anyone to see a picture of her making funny faces, she shouldn't have taken the picture in the first place. But it's no big deal, people make funny faces all the time. What if this girl gets her photo taken for a work badge and she thinks the photo makes her look goofy? Is she going to to cover the photo up with a bunch of stickers? I wouldn't want to be friends with someone like that either. Her insecurity is not your problem, so just drop it and move on.
  11. by   klarck
    Humor is sometimes generated at the expense of others and sometimes at the expense of the joker himself. Chose the former at your own risk.

    BTW, If you don't want some of your behavior simply dismissed as due to "too much testosterone", you'd do well to drop the "too much estrogen" crap. Treat your peers as people, not endocrine systems. (I'm a guy)
  12. by   ZanatuBelmont
    Quote from mochabean
    I think this is absolutely silly. You didn't intend to hurt her, you apologized once, and if she doesn't accept it, then that's her problem. If she didn't want anyone to see a picture of her making funny faces, she shouldn't have taken the picture in the first place. But it's no big deal, people make funny faces all the time. What if this girl gets her photo taken for a work badge and she thinks the photo makes her look goofy? Is she going to to cover the photo up with a bunch of stickers? I wouldn't want to be friends with someone like that either. Her insecurity is not your problem, so just drop it and move on.
    One week after incident:

    The general consensus among myself and other peers who witnessed her dramatic display is that she overreacted, and most responses were similar to the one's expressed here. While I do feel bad about her feelings being hurt, I just can't have too much pity - she understands my personality, but is very insecure. I figured that the first time I met her, but had no idea to the degree.

    By the way, the picture was her crossed eyed, except the camera caught her with one eye looking straight ahead and the other toward her nose. I still think it's funny and cute, but whatever! Don't pose for pictures you'll later regret.
  13. by   dnp2004
    Based on what you originally posted, I must say she is emotionally unstable, immature and can't take a joke. That drama queen is not worth apologizing to because you did nothing wrong. I can't believe anyone would side with her and say you are insensitive!

    I can tell you from decades of experience as a women, a military nurse supervisor and later as a physician, that if she does not grow up fast, she will not make it in medicine. Don't even worry about her hurt feelings at this point. If you make further apologies, bow, scrape, tell her she is beautiful, etc. You will contributing to her bad behavior. SO DON'T DO THAT!!!

    That being said, be careful with using the term "too much estrogen". It can be offensive because it is used to propagate negative stereotypes about women such as:

    • They are overly emotional.
    • Their behavior is controlled by their menstrual cycle.
    • They can't judge objectively and thus can't be leaders.
    • Procreation is what drives them.

    The above stereotypes made it harder for me and other women to be respected as physicians and military officers years ago. So as medical professionals and citizens of our society we should avoid using this term. Likewise we should never make an off-the-cuff comment about a man, or men having "too much testosterone" because it is equally offensive. Obviously it is based on negative stereotypes as well such as:

    • They are oversexed predators.
    • They are all aggressive and violent.
    • They categorically lack communications skills.
    • They aren't emotionally "in-tuned" or compassionate.

    These "testosterone" stereotypes can make it harder for male health care providers (especially male nurses) to be viewed without suspicion by their female colleagues. I imagine you guys must feel like I did when I was frequently the only women in my medically classes. Back then I had male doctors/professors who hated me for entering in their male dominated profession. The difference is that back then they would make blunt comments to my face without fear of retribution. At least I knew where they stood.

    When I did the old med school rounds to see male patients needing intimate examinations and/or treatments, my instructors would typically ask, "do you mind her working on you". It was not about patient confront, it was a ploy used to coax the male patient in to asking me to leave the the room. Yet from what I know, they never asked a male patient this question when a female nurse was in-training, only us female doctors.

    So guys don't give up, positive change is happening much faster for you then it did for me
  14. by   bigd123
    If you can't laugh at yourself, then what can you laugh at? Of course I would have been embarrased but I would have gotten even (in a fun way of course) :spin:

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