Charm or Courtesy

You know, I get it. You want to be seen as a competent professional. You are young and you feel a sense of obligation to be good at what you do. I have been there. 

Stop acting like you know when you don’t know. One of the best qualities a healthcare provider can exhibit is healthy curiosity. A fundamental knowledge of one’s own limits. You should be painfully aware of your limitations. This is the best way for you to grow. Healthy humility. 

I was raised in Texas. I cannot believe how many people up here are rude! When you walk into a room and see me sitting there, say “hello” or “good morning.” Don’t ignore me! It is rude. It also limits the amount of loyalty I feel for you. 

Don’t attempt to set others up to fail in order to build yourself up. Seriously? Most adults see right through this. You are not gaining other’s respect. They just humor you because they see the shroud of insecurity. 

No one expects you to be perfect. Please be a team player. This is not a competition. My only goal is to take care of patients. It seems to me you are fixated on the wrong issues. You are not fooling anyone. 

Working with women is tough. Working with people who are younger and less experienced is even tougher. I can handle both of those things, until you throw in a person who is caddy and ridiculous. Then, I am annoyed. Grow up and be a professional. We don’t have to become lifelong friends, however would it hurt to be a little more polite? I miss Texas manners. 

Oh, honey! Bless your little heart. You are too precious for words. Now, grow the hell up. 

It is all judgement.

I love it when people claim they are not judgmental. They love to effusively explain how they feel that the downtrodden are just needing a chance to change their lives. They preach about how they do not judge people based on their race, financial situation, or occupation.

I have found the opposite to be true. As a society, we seem to ostracize and attack the outliers on both ends of the spectrum. We don’t like the smartest, richest, handsomest people. We also don’t like the people who are ignorant, poor, or ugly. So, we pretty much act like jerks all the way around. 

Let me use this meme as an example:

Hmmm. This was probably supposed to be funny. I found it sad. We have to tear down everyone who is doing well in life. How is that fair? Why can’t we just be nice?
First of all, how do you define someone as rich just by looking at them? Snotty? WTF? Maybe they are just shy. Furthermore, acting as if asking someone who is well-dressed if they work at the grocery store implies people who are employed there are not well-dressed. This whole thing is just disturbing. I completely understand this is supposed to be a clever joke, but I just can’t help but notice it is still judging someone based on how they look.

Treating someone badly for any reason is not okay. To single someone out based on your preconceived notion of their situation is really pretty shitty. Why are we such bullies?

One of the things I have noticed about people is how so many people feel the need to tear down other people. I do not understand this. Why would you punish someone for being successful? How is this behavior okay? Why do we condone marginalizing anyone?

I have noticed judgmental attitudes in myself. I can be an absolute asshole at times. It is rather disappointing. I do not want to be so shallow that I judge people without any information. I have to keep an open mind and give people a chance.

This whole “us” versus “them” mentality we have is terrible. Why can’t we just be people? It seems like we walk around trying to categorize people into these neat little packages. Personally, I have never met a person who actually fits into their stereotype. Didn’t we learn about all this in our after-school television marathons?

We are spending too much time figuring out why we should not like someone, or why they have not earned their position in life. Both ways!!! Successful people did not earn it, and the unsuccessful people are victims.

I sincerely doubt these situations are quite so black or white. I am beginning to understand how complex our societies are. We should really consider being a little more careful, and stop perpetuating these cycles of abusive behavior. You do not get to ostracize people for not being poor, just like you are not supposed to mistreat poor people.

We need to get a grip and learn to treat all people with respect. I am pretty sure we all learned this in kindergarden. Be nice. Even to the rich people.

Contrition and Evolution: Actually, sometimes I am just a jerk.

IMG_9249It is not particularly unusual for me to make an ass of myself. I do it all the time. I laugh, you laugh, we all laugh. Unless, I accidentally really hurt your feelings.

Contrition does not matter if I do not have compunction and change the way I respond to others.  

In a lot of ways, ADHD does not negatively affect my life. That is, until I speak before I have time to think through the consequences of my words. It is not only my words, my face is unusually expressive, and my voice tends to be more forceful than I probably intended (sorry, I don’t hear very well.)

Obviously, if I think back on my actions later, I might feel a pang of regret. If I am lucky, I realize I was rude, sincerely apologize, and make an effort to make amends.

The real issue is when I justify my impulsive initial reaction. I find it interesting how easy it is to condone my own thoughtless behaviors by simply saying I did not mean for it to be interpreted however it was received. I did not want to hurt their feelings. Therefore, I am absolved of all guilt. After all, it’s not my fault they were upset. They should have known my intentions.

This is simply not acceptable. I should hold myself to a higher standard, and act with purpose instead of coasting through life, and anticipating most will disregard my spontaneous outbursts.

As I get older, I am more cognizant of the negative consequences of unintentional churlish interactions.

Sometimes, I pick on people. Not meaning to be cruel, it is just a way for me to show affection. If I have paid enough attention to you for me to observe your idiosyncrasies, then I must like you! I thought it was forgivable if I just laughed and insisted it was a joke. Well, jokes should bring joy, not pain.

So, perhaps the best lesson I have learned, is to act instead of react. I am going to take a moment to evaluate whether my thoughts on the subject add anything to the conversation, if my words are appropriate for the situation, and ensure the tone of my voice conveys my intent.

It can’t be that difficult to just not be a jerk. It is not fair to insist everyone forgive my self-centeredness.

*I am not always so careless, I just forget that other people can hear my thoughts if I say them out loud. How cool would it be if we had soliloquies, and complete control over whether or not other people actually heard the ideas that managed to escape our mouths? Perhaps we could be on a 10 second delay, and there would be a magic censor who could beep out inappropriate comments.

– Or, we can just act like grownups and be polite.

One more thing: I firmly believe people never hear what is actually said. They hear a few words get distracted, and fill in the rest based on their personal frame of mind at that moment.

It’s no wonder people get their feelings hurt, they don’t listen! See what I did there? I shifted the blame, to assuage my remorse. 

I rarely mean to offend, sometimes I just forget that words have a real impact on people. The children’s rhyme is wrong: Sticks and stones may break bones, but words can wound indefinitely.

It is difficult to admit I have asshole tendencies. It is embarrassing. So, perhaps the best thing… is to just be quiet.