Friday, 4 March 2016

Long Beach, Tofino.

I'm reading a lovely book.  "The Art of Happiness" by the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler.  Just like the title says, it's about cultivating happiness.  It's not a how to book but it kind of is.  The book has inspired me to be more compassionate, even to those who irritate the living shit out of me.  It's making me stand back and look at how I am involved in the dynamics of dysfunctional relationships. 

I work with a nurse who is not overly competent.  Her fear of making mistakes leads to many more mistakes and what really drives me crazy is that she refuses to accept responsibility for her mistakes.  She's been off work since Christmas because she hurt her finger while scraping the ice off her windshield which has been nice, not that she hurt her finger but that she's been off.  Without her there the tension has gone way down.  There is no underlying feeling of distrust that normally permeates the place when she is there.  We are working together as a team most of the time.  I feel like I can trust my coworkers to do their bit, something lacking when she is there sadly.

But she's coming back to work at the end of the month and I want to make a concerted effort to feel compassion for her.  It must feel awful living in a world where you don't trust anybody.  To be constantly on guard, which strangely is how I feel when I am around her, constantly on guard.  I want to be able to do this, I want to be able to see her as a deeply flawed human being, just like me.  We are both human beings.  We both want the same things, to feel loved and to love.  To feel safe.

I want to find a way to transcend my old way of dealing with her which is not at all helpful and which wears me out. 



9 comments:

  1. It seems to me that you are endlessly compassionate. Part of your compassion is your constant desire to be so -- that must count for something. You're only human, though. If she is to be afforded compassion despite being a pain in the ass, I think you should lend your own self compassion for being irritated by her! I guess that's all circular reasoning, though!

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    1. I am not endlessly compassionate. I lose my shit with her on a regular basis and I dislike how I deal with her in general. I don't like having a wall up around me but with her I do. She brings out the worst in me and I want this to stop. I am the only one who can stop it.

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  2. It is hard to develop team-work and a supportive work environment when there is a negative, insecure person thinking only about themself. Unfortunately we can't change other people. Sometime the best way to be compassionate is to detach. Reward her good behavior instead. And if she ever opens up to you about how deeply unhappy she is with the job you could kindly encourage her to find a different one. This doesn't sound like the right job for her.

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    1. This is actually such an important issue - difficult co-workers and how to interact with them without losing your (whatever). I'm still thinking about this post hours after I first read it.

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    2. I spend a lot of time at work with this woman. I love my job and I dislike how she makes it a worse place to be for staff and patients alike. I can't change her, I can only change how I deal with her. My biggest problem is when she makes patients wait because of her incompetence. All of our patients have cancer. All of them have things to do besides spend time in a cancer hospital. I've said this to her and she just looks at me with a blank look on her face.

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    3. Aaack. I wonder if Madeleine Albright knows of a special place in hell for women like the one you work for. Not good. I'm writing a post inspired by yours. Would you mind if I link to this post within mine? Not a problem if you don't want me to - just thought I'd ask since my post is totally inspired by yours.

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    4. Please go ahead and ling Colette. And thank you.

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  3. You are compassionate and I applaud you for it. Perhaps a refresher course would help build her confidence, thus her trust?

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  4. I have had a similar-ish situation at work: two colleagues who have made my life a living hell because of their own insecurities and anger (and lashing out at folks) have been gone for a few months, both on leave. One is due back in the Spring, the other due back in the Fall. These past few months have been so lovely--to remember what it is to go to work and enjoy the people with whom you share your day, and the work itself is less drudgery. I know neither woman will change, and in fact the worse of the two will only keep on getting more awful (I think there's underlying disorder there) so I too feel compelled to find a way to let this work-peace I've found continue, despite their presences. Sigh. And being compassionate probably means being compassionate toward yourself (and myself) more than we think.

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