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When nursing students are mean to each other...

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by lovethepeople lovethepeople (Member) Member

3,545 Profile Views; 65 Posts

Hi folks,

I have a situation that has been super hard for me and wanted to know what other people think or have experienced. FIRST, know it's gonna be a long post!

I am just finishing up my first year of a BSN program in one week. This year, as you all know, as been a lot about adjusting, etc. I made friends with two people whom I also carpooled with to classes and clinicals. In the course of getting to know each other, I mentioned my girlfriend of 5 and a half years casually, just like anybody says their husband or boyfriend. One of them acted strangely at first (I guess he didn't expect a gay girl to be so feminine?) but in the end it was okay.

Me and the other girl had a slight falling out with him so things have been weird since last quarter.

So, this quarter he became friends with one of the many cliques in our program. I was happy that he found folks to connect with. It has never been the same with us though and that's sad. I tried to talk to him about it but it doesn't seem to work.

Anyhow, the people he hangs out with and me are cool. I have always had a good rapport with everybody actually. I am really dedicated to working together and looking out for each other so I think I put out positive vibes.

Suddenly, 2 or 3 weeks ago, people started acting strangely toward me. Like one girl who used to joke around with me a lot just ignores me and says hi to who i am standing with but not me. Other incidents too, like inviting everybody in clinical out but me and then slipping about it in front of me and saying things like, "Oh, I wasn't supposed to say anything". I thought I was being paranoid but my friend said she's noticed it too.

So now I feel awful. Did he tell them I am gay and they judge me? Did he tell them about our falling out and they judge me? I can't know really, it's true. But it's just a terrible feeling that people may be judging me because of who i love. And even worse since we are nursing students and should be working on our prejudices!

My question: Do I just let it bounce off me and keep being nice like I always am? Do I ask him or anyone else anything? Or do I just work it out in therapy? I try to be strong about it but it really sucks. I act like everyone else, sharing my life as it comes up in conversation and I don't want to stop because people might be mean to me. Anybody have stories to share? You can send me a message too, if you want.

Thanks for reading all this.

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ukstudent specializes in SICU.

805 Posts; 8,692 Profile Views

Sorry this happened to you. People can be mean, especially in a group dynamic. However, I want to point out that these people are fellow students and not your friends.

Keep being friendly, but do not count on them to be friends. Don't bother with what other people are saying. Concentrate on how to get through nursing school.

This is a good preview for when you are working. Keep your personal life out of work. This may or may not have anything to do with your sexual orientation. I hope that it doesn't, however, this is the same advice I would give anyone.

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

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i am always astonished that people are willing to disclose their sexual orientation or other intimate things about themselves to casual acquaintances, and that's all these people are, as if it is a badge of courage! we don't live in an accepting world. not everyone buys into the psychology and counseling business either. you are just going to have to learn this the hard way. for now, you've discovered how it's affected your relationship with peers. my feeling is that the grapevine took something that was said about you and turned it around. remember the old telephone game where someone starts a little phrase you whisper to each successive person on down the line and the last person ends up getting a totally bizarre message? i think that may be what happened here. then, a couple of immature and nasty people took what it became and is running a game with it. everyone else is looking on because everyone loves a good show. when you give people something to gossip about, they will surely make something of it.

my advice. . .don't do anything more. the people who are taunting you are expecting you to do something. it's a dysfunctional game playing thing. that's why you're seeing the nasty behavior you are experiencing, particularly when they do it to your face. they are goading you, daring you, to get involved. an ignorant redneck would just come up to you and flat out punch your lights out. catty people play this kind of game. to get involved in it puts you in their childish game and makes you no better than them. if you never say anything, eventually some are likely to start wondering if the people who talked about you were pulling their leg. one of the basics of behavior modification is to not reward bad behavior but to ignore it. this is how animal trainers get all kinds of critters to do tricks.

stop talking about your sexual life and focus on nursing. nursing school should be thought of the same as being at a job. your instructors are evaluating your performance and you need their reference for your first nursing job. you don't need an evaluation pertaining to an inability to handle conflict, or worse, create conflict on your record. it's also inappropriate to be discussing anything about your personal sexual life at work.

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danissa has 12 years experience as a LPN, LVN and specializes in midwifery, NICU.

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But the OP only said she mentioned her long term partner, didn't say she was discussing her sex life!! Other people talk about home, family and partners at work, why shouldn't she be able to do the same?

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2,195 Posts; 12,668 Profile Views

She should and would be able to with a mature group. This group sounds like a bunch of middle schoolers masquerading as BSN students. I too would ignore them and get my work done, continue to be your normal pleasant self and don't let them change who you are. Once they fail to get a reaction out of you, their game will cease to be fun and they will move on like a pack of bloodhounds to the next target.

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Thedreamer has 4 years experience and specializes in PCU/Hospice/Oncology.

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Im sorry daytonite, this is one topics I cant agree with you on. I too have a partner of 4+ years now, and even though I am very careful whom i talk to, I also know that if someone doesn't like me simply because I am a committed same sex partner, that is their problem.

She wasn't throwing her sexuality or sex life in anyones face. People talk about their other halves all the time, we deserve the SAME right to talk about out ours. She didn't announce it to the entire program with a gay parade marching band, she simply told people she was trying to bond with.

Unfortunately for her the people in her program aren't as mature as one would hope.

@ Lovethepeople, I hope this passes and that you get to at least coincide with your classmates again.

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1,714 Posts; 8,569 Profile Views

I casually throw out the words "My husband" to classmates all the time, and the only weird reaction I got was in freshman English last semester when one of my classmates hadn't realized I was 10 years older than her. I don't see why "my girlfriend" should get any different reaction whether it's a man or a woman saying it. If this is the real reason they're being cold to you, then they don't deserve to have you as a friend (or acquaintance, or study partner). Continue to be pleasant, because I'm sure you're above petty junior high games, but these kind of people really are not worth worrying about. I know there are a lot of small-minded people in this world, but you'd have to at least hope that most of them aren't going into nursing...

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Thedreamer has 4 years experience and specializes in PCU/Hospice/Oncology.

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People have bad attitudes over the most childish things. Today on the shuttle back from the hospital I was sitting in the back of the bus with some friends of mine and the girls that are so mean to everyone were also in the back. We were all put into our clinical groups today. They were talking about this very sweet and loving girl in our class. The meanest of these girls said, "Yea she bumped into me and said "sorry" so i just looked at her and was like, " aww hell no."" and they all just laughed and proceeded to talk horribly about this student. They were calling her names and ugly and such, and she happens to be breathtakingly beautiful.

My point is, you cant let people like that get to you. They are trash and you should never stoop down to their level. Just be pleasant and polite to them no matter how rude they are to you. You're the bigger person :)

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tutored specializes in MICU/SICU.

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I, too, agree with Daytonit's response about "talking about your sex life" (you weren't, just as if a straight woman referring to her husband wouldn't be talking about her sex life), as well as her "don't ask - don't tell" policy which smacks of homophobia and lack of acceptance.

Thanks to people like yourself who keep naturally, casually, and consistently referring to their gay partners in the same way that straight people have enjoyed referring to their partners, are slowly and surely paving the way for future generations to become accepted, fully, as the people they are. Soon, people won't even define each other by their sexuality, at least not in everyday carpool conversation. In the meantime, people like yourself get ostracized by scared, puny people who can't accept another's differences. Why people still care about what goes on in another's bedroom is beyone me. My advice: continue to refer to your partner the same as people in a commited relationship of the straight variety refer to theirs. No more, and no less. People worth knowing on a long-term basis won't care, and the rest,....sorry they're doing that to you. That stinks. Let me know how you're doing with this...I care!

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66 Posts; 1,766 Profile Views

My advise is to let it roll off your back. You have to grow tough skin because you live a life that is still not accepted within some culture or society. Prejudice will be around long after you are gone. Don't let others make you question yourself and your choices. Worry about this is just going to make you even more upset. Just get thru nursing school because everything else at this point doesn't matter. The less a person know about oneself the better it would be for the both of you. Don't be so trusting, this would be the same in the work place, it would lead to gossiping. Just say HI and keep moving. I hope this advise helps

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I had a similar incident with a girl in my class. I ignored her when I could and only discussed pertinent tpics with her when necessary. She had told a group of LPN tranfer students that I was a "mole" and to not trust me amongst other things. By the end of the year when she realized she was being ridiculous she asked if she could sit at my table. As a professional I welcomed her but never did talk to her again. By graduation everyone had figured out the kind of person she is and came and apologozed to me for judging me before getting to know me. I hope this helps.

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