Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Call Me Confused

If I was to discribe him, I would say he's a curious intellectual who enjoys a good conversation (or what I like to call "shooting the shit"). He's a patient of mine. And even through I choose to keep my role detached, usually opting from face-to-face interaction to keep objective when doing analysis... I sometimes break my own rules. So whenever I have a few moment to spare, I take the time to stop and chat with the fella.

Usually we talk about politics, cultures, sports, human behaviour, local events and the news. But today he threw me for a loop when asking 1) what I was sick with and 2) what my religious beliefs were. Both of these questions I politely declined to answer by responding 1) it's too personal and 2) I believe in all things possible but unsure what's right for me, call me confused. He was notably disappointed in my avoidance to answer. Which is understandable as I tend to present myself as open and honest... But apparently not as open and honest when it comes to the certain topics.

The topic of being sick is one I have been avoiding and toying with since returning to work. I wanted to be honest but hesitated the avoided. I was worried about what he would think of me, worried about if others would overhear. I'm worried that if people knew the truth, knew that I struggled with a psychological disorder, that they would see me as weak, dumb and unreliable.

Exposing myself would create an environment that I could not control or predict. I cannot know how people will react or what they will really think if I tell them the truth, instead of hiding behind my wall.

What would you do? Would you tell someone what you really thought, feel and believe? Or would you play it safe?

6 comments:

Tinfoil Tiaras said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Hmm tough call- in a worker/client relationship I'd say you did the right thing- you answered the question the best you could, without giving away too many personal details. As a Social Worker, I used to struggle with these all the time!

Shybiker said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

You don't owe anyone disclosure of something so personal. So it's rude of people to ask and rude of them to be disappointed when you decline to share.

If you feel hesitant about talking to a specific person or in a particular situation, there's a reason for your reluctance. Respect it. Your intuition is sound.

Jenarcissist @ the closet narcissist said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Totally agree with both of them. If it were a friend/friend situation, that's one thing - but with worker/patient, you probably have to be careful what you expose that is personal simply because it's personal and you don't wanna blur those lines too much. I personally relate better to someone in a counselor role if I know they have been through what I have been through and seen the other side of it, but in this situation, I think it's different and not really his place to ask you those questions. I'm sure he meant no harm whatsoever and was just curious. But I'd say keep some boundaries. And yes, if you feel a reluctance, there is probably an intuitive reason for it. If you're reluctant to talk openly with people you're close with or in your own therapy situations, that might be out of fear, but I think this situation is different.

I don't think, however, that people would consider you weak if they knew or allow it to cloud their opinion of you as a professional...I think they'd simply see you as human. One who is working hard to overcome it. And that shows so much strength and is inspiring to all who have watched you step forward so bravely.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Ya know! Sometimes it is jsut not anyone's business.)Ou should not feel bad about not disclosing your own business and beliefs. As well you have discussed your "sick leave" to others. It is not a dirty secret and just because you choose to not tell someone. Especially a patient or client do not feel confused. You acted professional. And oh did I say it is not his business! Some people have no boundaries or as I like to say no brakes! Love you and how amazing you are.

Krista said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Personally I believe there are lines between customers/clients/patients and your friends/family for a reason. Getting to know these people you interact with is a great way to make your job easier but it can get a little complicated. What you talk about with your friends and family and what you talk about with passing people are different things. I often get customers at my work who share a little too much with me when I'm working and I honestly don't know what to do with the information they've given me, even if they are regular customers I see almost every day.

I wouldn't do anything to make me uncomfortable, so I guess that's my advice. It's the best I can come up with right now, heh.

Ashelle said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks Everyone for your feedback.

Lately I've been feeling confused on how to respond to people who ask about why I was away. In a simple world, the answer "I was on sick leave, but I got treatment and now I'm healthy" would be enough. But there is a surprising amount of people pressing to know the details.

From all of your responses I feel confident that I can stand my ground on not answering people who press, especially while at work where I want to keep a more professional persona.

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