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Non-medical friend avoiding me

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Smsanch2 Smsanch2 (New) New Nurse

Specializes in PCU. Has 8 years experience.

Hi, just wanted to post my thoughts on here where nurses like me could read and perhaps share advice.
I don’t really have a lot of close friends by choice. My family has moved around a lot lately, and making friends has become secondary to enriching my family’s quality of life. So when I do make friends, they’re usually of good quality. I made a new mom friend recently. Our kids have play dates often. She has no background in the medical field, but she’s not dumb. I feel as though she’s been highly avoiding me since the coronavirus outbreak - somewhat panicked by it - because I work at a hospital. I’m disappointed by this. Neither of us have reached out to each other. We live in the same neighborhood. Feeling hopeless because times like these are when medical professionals need the most support one way or another. Thanks in advance.

1 minute ago, Smsanch2 said:

Neither of us have reached out to each other.

Well, maybe that's the problem. Reach out to her.

Smsanch2

Specializes in PCU. Has 8 years experience.

11 minutes ago, Wuzzie said:

Well, maybe that's the problem. Reach out to her.

Should’ve been more clear. We haven’t talked to each other since a few weeks ago when she told me she was panicked and would rather stay in and avoid being “in public places”. I told her afterwards that she shouldn’t live in fear or be panicked and to continue protecting herself/family normally by washing hands thoroughly etc. and that she shouldn’t be limited to living like a Hermit by this. I think that triggered her. We haven’t talked since.

So...call her. Apologize, ask her to meet you at the park for a playdate with your kids. The only thing for sure is if neither of you do anything nothing is going to be resolved.

brownbook

Has 36 years experience.

If she wants to stay in and avoid public places, why not email, phone, text, facebook, etc. seems like the perfect medium to keep in touch till this blows over. Tell her you understand her fears and support her wanting to keep her and her family safe. See how, or if, she responds.

kaylee.

Specializes in Stepdown . Telemetry. Has 8 years experience.

You mentioned she is a new friend, and so I am sure there are still aspects of each other’s work personally that you havent seen yet.

She may be a little weird considering your sincere advice seemed to set her off and shun you for a bit. Maybe not...but the longevity is not there so you might just have to wait it out and see if reemerges. Send her a one line text saying ‘how are u’. If he doesn’t respond then oh well. I would say maybe she is an OCD germaphobe but she is cutting contact altogether so she may be passive aggressive which can be toxic in the long run.

CharleeFoxtrot, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

14 hours ago, brownbook said:

If she wants to stay in and avoid public places, why not email, phone, text, facebook, etc. seems like the perfect medium to keep in touch till this blows over. Tell her you understand her fears and support her wanting to keep her and her family safe. See how, or if, she responds.

^^^this. Don't try and change her mind. I'd validate her concerns because trust me on this one-you can't educate someone who is in fear-so affirming how she feels then maintaining the non physical outreach might be the best course of action.

20 hours ago, Smsanch2 said:

We haven’t talked to each other since a few weeks ago when she told me she was panicked and would rather stay in and avoid being “in public places”. I told her afterwards that she shouldn’t live in fear or be panicked and to continue protecting herself/family normally by washing hands thoroughly etc. and that she shouldn’t be limited to living like a Hermit by this. I think that triggered her. We haven’t talked since.

I don't think any of us should be taking either extreme with regard to the present/looming issues and I think we should be very conscientious in how we speak to others about it, especially lay people/general public.

The people who say we're all gonna die and the people who essentially claim it's nothing are wrong.

Believing that you have "triggered" someone is an attitude that probably has something to do with this, as "triggered" itself is becoming a loaded word when leveled at others.

She neither wants nor needs your disapproval. Period. If you don't like that, then concern yourself with how you speak to people.

From a realistic perspective yes, everyone should wash their hands and observe improved hygiene procedures to help limit (not eliminate) risk. But telling people, "Pff, yeah, don't be crazy just wash your hands" isn't the whole story. And any thinking person knows it isn't, so then you're just insulting them and pretty much mocking their concerns--in the very midst of official uncertainty, I might add.

[I think this is a big deal whether we're talking about COVID 19 or immunizations or lot of other things where fear is in the mix, especially when there is a shred of rational thought to the fear. We never do anyone favors by 1:1 counseling or advice that leaves room for lay people to know they are being mocked and disregarded. If you do that, it's over.]

JM $0.99

Edited by JKL33

NightNerd, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-surg/tele. Has 7 years experience.

3 hours ago, JKL33 said:

I don't think any of us should be taking either extreme with regard to the present/looming issues and I think we should be very conscientious in how we speak to others about it, especially lay people/general public.

The people who say we're all gonna die and the people who essentially claim it's nothing are wrong.

Believing that you have "triggered" someone is an attitude that probably has something to do with this, as "triggered" itself is becoming a loaded word when leveled at others.

She neither wants nor needs your disapproval. Period. If you don't like that, then concern yourself with how you speak to people.

From a realistic perspective yes, everyone should wash their hands and observe improved hygiene procedures to help limit (not eliminate) risk. But telling people, "Pff, yeah, don't be crazy just wash your hands" isn't the whole story. And any thinking person knows it isn't, so then you're just insulting them and pretty much mocking their concerns--in the very midst of official uncertainty, I might add.

[I think this is a big deal whether we're talking about COVID 19 or immunizations or lot of other things where fear is in the mix, especially when there is a shred of rational thought to the fear. We never do anyone favors by 1:1 counseling or advice that leaves room for lay people to know they are being mocked and disregarded. If you do that, it's over.]

JM $0.99

All of this, 100%. Especially when many communities and parts of the world are encouraging or even mandating temporary bans on big crowds, etc., it makes sense that people are being more cautious. It's fine to educate and remind each other of hand hygiene and whatnot, just in general and especially now, but it's not productive to just tell people not to worry and expect them to ignore this big thing happening in the world.

Have you reached out to your friend at all? I can totally understand wanting to hang on to what sounds like a really promising friendship. Maybe tell her that you totally understand her caution and concerns, and see if maybe she'd like to visit at one of your homes instead of going out. Another poster's suggestion about keeping up more via text and social media for a bit is also good. She probably could use some reassurance that you don't think she's crazy for being a little worried during all of this.

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

I know of this happening to HC folk when AIDS/HIV began to seriously emerge early 1980s.

babatee, MSN, RN

Specializes in Geriatric, Acute, Rehab, Psychiatry. Has 13 years experience.

Dont take it personal. My friends and family have been avoiding me lately as well.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

I don't understand.

Why chase after someone who obviously doesn't want to have a relationship?

"I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member."-Groucho Marx

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 40 years experience.

10 hours ago, amoLucia said:

I know of this happening to HC folk when AIDS/HIV began to seriously emerge early 1980s.

Yeah, when HIV/AIDs came out, I had family members who didn't feel that I was taking it seriously enough. They thought actually touching a person infested with AIDs would likely result in me being infected!

When asked, I explained it to them, but they didn't believe me.

Closed Account 12345

Has 14 years experience.

I think right now we all need to show each other a lot of grace because everyone is walking through unknown territory. She may be avoiding you out of concern that you'll pressure her to get together for a playdate since you kind of downplayed her concerns last time.

Factually, you are at a high risk for COVID-19 exposure as a hospital employee. We're being told to practice social distancing to a pretty extreme degree, and this is being reinforced by mandatory closures of restaurants, stores, schools, and churches. We all have differing ideas on how seriously social distancing should be taken, and we need to respect people who choose more conservative approaches - and who understandably want to avoid exposure with high risk contacts. I've read that play dates and social outings are discouraged because they defeat the purpose of closing public places. People are still germ sharing. Makes sense...

But as someone else mentioned, if this is a friendship that you're both interested in maintaining, take advantage of technology! Shoot your friend a message. "Hey, I haven't seen you for a couple of weeks, so I wanted to check in and see how you're doing. How've you been in the midst of this chaos? Life here has been busy between work and home! Insert funny kid story here. Hope all is well!"