Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I like to think of myself as a likable person. A nice, friendly, easy to get along with person.

(I'm sure if you cornered Hubster, he could tell all sorts of tales about my strong opinions and meltdowns and other things that can make me not-so-nice of a person. But I'm talking about generalities here.)

I'm pretty easy going, non-confrontational, and like I said before, nice. At least that's what I want to think.

Several months ago, I had a very difficult time during residency. I vaguely mentioned it here. Most of that difficulty was because of one person. A single person that did all they could to make my life miserable. At first, I thought this person was just a rude, unhappy person. After all, I had seen them belittle nursing staff, condescend pharmacists, humiliate medical students. But as the month progressed, the meanness, while still generalized, was more vindictive when directed towards me. And it hurt. Initially, I tried apologizing for whatever I may have done to frustrate them...not work hard enough, not study enough, whatever. But no matter how hard I worked, this person only became more difficult to work with. It got to the point they were sabotaging not only my professional appearance, but my ability to safely take care of patients. I talked to senior members of the team, without any success. By the time it came to attention of administration, I had gone off service.

Here's the point where I have to be honest. I've talked about my horrid experience with this person to my colleagues. I've mentioned their name. I did nothing to repair any of the damage that was done.

For months, I've known that someone in the hospital hated me. Luckily, being in different specialties, we haven't seen each other.

Until now. We ended up on the same service for (thankfully) a brief time. I had been dreading this for weeks. And the first day, it was every bit as awkward and painful as I thought it was going to be. This person didn't even acknowledge that I was part of the team, or even in the room.

Every instinct I had wanted to go and apologize for the terrible interaction we had so many months ago.

But I didn't. Although I may have been wrong in sharing the treatment I received with so many people, I know for a fact I did not deserve that treatment. But it is obvious that this person still can not stand me.

And this is what makes me wonder.

I've had some unpleasant interactions throughout residency. Where people just don't like me.

So, I like to think that I'm nice, likable, and friendly. But maybe I'm not as likable as I think I am. Maybe I'm not as sweet as I try to be.

I just can't stand the thought there is someone out there who doesn't like me. I know that person will never like me. I doubt there is anything I can do to change their opinion. And maybe, in this case, I'll be okay with being unlikable. Because here, the alternative doesn't feel good either.


  1. I am not sure what to say here. But I guess we are not required to like anybody but I think we are required to be nice to them. I don't think it is right to treat someone badly because you don't like them. It seems to me that this other person is more the one with the problem. I am not sure what to tell you to do but just don't be like that to anyone, even them.

  2. I have not been mean to this person. But apologizing would be like taking responsibility for their behavior toward me, which I don't want to do. I feel that me trying to right their behavior, just in order to be "likable" would be selling myself a little bit.

  3. Oh I didn't mean to imply that you were mean to them. Just never ever stoop to their level.
    I am not sure you need to apologize to them you have really done nothing wrong. I think you are right, it would be selling yourself short.

  4. Oh my goodness...I went through the exact same situation at the end of the year. I even posted about it. I put my foot down and said I refused to work with her!! That is so not me, nor is not getting along with someone. It hurts. Just keep being you!

  5. I ask my that question to myself a lot. Not about you being likeable, but me. Maybe I think too highly of myself because I have very few people that want to hang out with me in their free time. I can't figure out where I'm going where I'm going wrong. My conclusion's their loss

  6. You are likable. It is hard to know when someone has something against you. People can be so weird. Someone had it in for my hubby back home and he is the most likable guy there is. Sad, but true...some people are just can't please all of the people all of the time

  7. Not being liked when you know you have been kind is one of the hardest things. Some people are only happy if they can one up others. If you don't let that happen, they will like you less as time goes on. Most certainly, however, they have even less respect for you if you sell yourself short. Not playing power games means not being liked by some people. Sad but true. You can be peaceful inside knowing your conscience is clear.

  8. This person's name doesn't happen to be Doctor Cox, does it? :-)

    We have a Senate for the Classified Staff at the college where I work. Basically it's how all the support staff get a voice in decisions made on campus. I was just elected President of the Senate for the next two years. The ballots are Yes/No, and out of 25 votes, THREE people actually voted NO. I wasn't particularly hurt by it, but I really want to know who those people are so that I can find out if I did something to them or if they're just disagreeable.

    The point is, I know it's hard when we try our hardest to be friendly, nice people and there are still folks out there that don't see us that way.