1. body language

    have you ever felt the feeling in your gut for a lack of a better word that someone doesn't like you even if they've never said a word? guess what that feeling is dead on. having said that, body-language tends to be ignored or overlooked if you will, when others are sending us a clear message. unquestionably, our bodies constantly express what we truly feel. my question is can anyone testify to this? let give you a personal example:
    when i came to the states in '94 and i landed a position at a prestigious well known hospital in nyc, i was introduced to the icu/ccu staff as is the custom. however, right away i noticed that one team member pretended to be busy as they tried to introduce me to her. undoubtedly, her body language gave her away. in addition, to make matters worse she was assigned as my preceptor. needless to say, those few weeks were the most intense of my career, having to explain to her my every move and actions even though i was already a seasoned nurse. first of all, i went to work with the attitude of loving my new job and making and it work with the nurse in question. although, my preceptor didn't appreciate what i brought to the team, every time we would begin a task, for instance, starting an iv, she would say "tell me i don't have to baby- sit you on how to start an iv?" or in front of the pt. and their family she would ignore me and began a rapport with them and when i said "excused me i'm going to check on so and so" she would get this disgusted face and gruntingly would say as she raised her index finger "excuse me i'm having a conversation with this family, listen let me take care of this new nurse! you guys take care". needless to say, this went on for the entire time i was precepted by her. therefore, one day i came in after dealing with my children and missing my train connection to work, mind you i wasn't late, and as i entered the unit i said my good morning's to everyone as the nurse in question which i'll addressed as "miss congeniality" made a disapproval sound with her throat. i counted to ten and approached her in a professional manner and asked to have a word in private with her which she declined. therefore, i contacted the nm and ask for the three of us to meet in private. granted, not to my surprise, miss congeniality acted like she didn't know what i was talking about and became almost hurt by my accusations of her behavior. with that said, some nurses don't ever confront their "miss congeniality" for fear of retaliation, or hurting someone's feelings. furthermore, some even go to the extreme to say why bother nothing is going to change therefore, they remain silent. admittedly, not having the conversation is far worse, is like the growing gangrene the only solution left is to amputate the source. lastly, i took my faith in my own hands when the nm asked me in our meeting if i felt ready to work on my own. i replied "yes". in conclusion, after several years went by along with several promotions that yours truly earned, one of them becoming the new nm since no one else cared for the challenge. i shall leave you with the thought to ponder if any of you are going through the same situation or know of someone that is, not everyone we meet is going to like us. however, we need to learn how to work side by side and coexist with these individuals in our workforce. in the same way, be aware of the "body language", it speaks volumes.
  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   GitanoRN
    interesting, it seems like no one has experienced this phenomenon
  4. by   Pneumothorax
    Great post & it's all too common. Isn't it called lateral/horizontal violence? Either way it should never be tolerated &&&&&& you get what u give so be nice/polite to people you never know what or ewh they are even if their annoying
  5. by   champagnesupeRNova
    I think a lot of nurses have experienced this type of bx from people, myself included. In a non-work type of situation I would probably call out this person on their attitude and not tolerate it at all, but when I was a student I used the "Kill them with kindness" technique combined with "Be a team player," throw in a little "Show them you're not stupid" and I ended up gaining their respect.
  6. by   tyvin
    My response deals with the non-verbal part of communication though I have absolutely had all that before; haven't we all.

    As a nursing student I was in clinical. I was in the ICU and I was with two RNs in this room observing an 82 year old man who had just come in with a triple A. He was unconscious, I was standing at the foot of the bed, the RNs were at the head of the bed on either side of him bending in over him. One said to the other " Yep, he's circling the drain...won't be long." To say I was stunned isn't even close so I questioned them when we got out of the room. I said that he might be able to understand you and it wasn't appropriate what was said. They both huffed at me and told me it was impossible for him to understand.

    Long story short, even though it wasn't required I took a communications course called intro to non-verbal language. If anyone gets the chance a class like that can change your whole perspective on communication. There are many theories abounding but the one I agree with says that over 78% of our communication with each other is non-verbal. Other theories go higher and some lower but it is clear that we communicate with our non-verbal side more then with our verbal side.
  7. by   Hygiene Queen
    Years as a dorky social misfit did me a favor: I was always on the "outside" observing, so I read people very well.
    I have coworkers who, to me, it is obvious that they don't care for me. There is a coldness and, yes, I perceive it in body language and subtle facial expressions. It is almost like an actual gut-twinge of negative energy.
    Fortunately, having been a social misfit also makes me much thicker-skinned about it.

    Then you sense the "I-like-you" body language...
    The "I-am-a-pervert" body language...
    And the worst: "I-am-sending-off major-energy-like-Ted Bundy" body language... oh my.

    I always listen to my gut.
    Last edit by Hygiene Queen on Jun 17, '12 : Reason: Format
  8. by   madwife2002
    Yes Yes and Yes

    I actually came to the conclusion that if I have a problem with somebody then most people do
    It still is the most awful position to be in
    Can I ask which country you came from?

    I know I discovered when coming from England that I struggled with reading body language and non verbal communication because for all my life I had been reading people from my home country, so when I came to the US I continued to read into things like I would have back home.
    It took a long time to realize that I was basing my opinions on what I had learned from being a child and it was no longer valid!
    So I had to change, I still struggle with it.

    A funny story I will share, when I first went to AZ everybody would be so friendly to me and greet me, I would say to my husband 'Everybody wants to be my friend' then I came to understand that everybody was just being polite and they didnt want to be my friend.
    In my home town Manchester people are only nice to you if they want to be friends otherwise they just ignore you, so I thought everybody I met wanted to know me in AZ lol
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    Oh yeah . . . . but fortunately not that often. I'm dealing with it now and have been for about 2 years. Unfortunately I have a manager with a heart of gold but a weak spine. Initially I ignored the co-worker but it got so bad that a patient told me to "watch my back".

    We've gone round and round this last year - now I'm back to ignoring or avoiding her at all costs.

    It isn't just her body language - she's very verbal.
  10. by   GitanoRN
    Quote from madwife2002
    yes yes and yes

    i actually came to the conclusion that if i have a problem with somebody then most people do
    it still is the most awful position to be in
    can i ask which country you came from?
    in answer to your question yes you may...i came from madrid, spain. the reason i posted this was to bring awareness to those that aren't aware of this phenomenon, that takes a whole new meaning to "body language". needless to say, being in upper management i have come to known via my staff as they dealt with their struggles of the other gangrene known as "lateral violence" which i have zero tolerance. in addition, i felt that my early experiences dealing with this when i came to the states would inform those that are going through a similar situation that it gets better as you get more adept at reading "body language" ....wishing you all of you the very best always....aloha~
  11. by   TopazLover
    Sometimes I get very frustrated when I realize the body language is not positive but I can't figure out what is wrong. Case in point is my honey's son and DIL. They hate me. It was obvious in their body language but I could not figure out why. We babysat and the child loves us. We drove 13 hours to do this babysitting so they would not have to pay a babysitter. His dad cannot do the babysitting alone. His DS told him why I was hated. Little of it makes sense. It was taking odd comments and putting sinister meanings to them. Bottom line is that he hates me because 1. I am not his mother. 2. His grandfather lost his wife at an early age and never looked at another woman. Therefore his father should do the same. His wife is submissive so if he says he hates something then so does she.

    The creation of scenarios based on odd words is just a cover. I think often this is the case. If you confront the individual you won't always get a straight answer. You will get what they have pieced together to support their vision. In other words you could walk on water, feed the starving, heal the sick and all they would see is you wore the wrong shoes while doing it. Those who are of this kind of mind set have to live in their own minds. That by itself gave me solice when I knew I was not crazy, they hated me. I now feel sorry for them being stuck in a world where happiness of his father is the last thing he wants. And sorry for her that she has too little self esteem to decide for herself.