You are a gifted writer and it impresses me that you would use that gift to express this particular point of view. I have engaged in many discussions here on AN reflecting this topic and I see what you see.
As I have been integrating into the workplace after graduating from nursing school last year, I have had a few key musings of my own. Most notably, I have found that attitude really is everything. I can't control the attitudes and actions of the gruff, the disillusioned, the back-biting, self-absorbed and I don't ever hope to. But then, their behavior is not what I'm concerned with anyway. It's mine that I am concerned with. Because it is my behavior that I will ultimately be held accountable for.
I don't kill with kindness. No way. I kill with calm. I have learned from my experiences dealing with patients that most nurses dread - the irritating, the needy, the rough around the edges, gruff, accusatory, distrusting, belligerent, etc. - that when I dig my heels in and remain committed to calm, rock solid, self controlled responses, the anger, fear, and/or agitation that these patients project melts right off. Sometimes it's immediate. Sometimes, it takes most of a shift. But always, the end result is the same. They soften. They open up and become less tense. And that is the moment when a bond develops and suddenly, everyone around me is shocked that the most unruly, angry, agitated patient from their memory is polite and humble or laughing and joking. They're not on their call light every 20 minutes with some inane request. They express gratitude for the care they are receiving instead. I don't make apologies. I don't have to be a doormat. I don't hope that they like me. I don't try to be their buddy. I just maintain composure and basic human respect for them in all things said and done. I carry this same methodology over to my interactions with co-workers.
"Just be nice," might work for some who are far nicer naturally than I am. For me, "Just be calm," works well enough.
Great read. Keep fighting the good fight.