Friday, February 25, 2011

I learned something today

To be fair, I've learned this particular lesson several times during my life, but I had a refresher today. Fact: Not everyone likes me. Or perhaps, more accurately, I'm not a breath of fresh air to everyone I come into contact with. (It's okay, Mom. You can take your hand down from your mouth. This is actually true.)

I mentioned earlier that I started visiting a person of advanced age (just felt like being p.c. there for some reason). The visits have been of mixed review. I developed hope after last week's visit because conversation was easier and more frequent. Of course, it ended as every visit does. I woke her up to say goodbye.

Today she was perky, so I hoped that it would be a lively discussion. On the contrary, she focused intently on her small television during the entirety of my visit - even during commercials. Each effort I made at conversation was politely, but firmly, rebuffed. It was excruciatingly awkward. My open-ended questions were answered by one or two word responses. Eye contact was rare and challenging when received.

I am not going to dive into hypotheses about why and how this happened. At least not here. I have my ideas. I am neither offended nor belittled by today's interaction. No fear - I am still confident in my winning personality. However, I am not confident in my effectiveness or aid in this particular situation.

All that to say that my role at the care facility may be changing soon. Now, I'm not just going to give up on her because it's difficult. I would actually love another crack at it. However, I think it would be selfish of me to continue just to prove that I can stick it out or to "win" her trust. So, I'll talk it over with the people who know her. Judging from a few inferences, they may not be surprised.

I'll let you know how it turns out. I may be working on my craft skills after all...


  1. I know one thing it is not because she doesn't like you!

  2. Thanks, Mom. Knew I could count on you.

  3. she may not like the idea "of" you!

    Forever your Mom!

  4. I'm sorry it's not going quite like you hoped. I love your willingness to try and engage in such an awkward space and your sensitivity to her needs as you navigate how this should all play out.

    Also, I am of fan of you and your winning personality.

  5. I'll never forget the day an elderly man tried to jump out of his wheel chair to punch me in the face when I was preaching at a nursing home. For some reason one of the nurses wheeled him in though he did not want to be there. He was very hostile and asking hostile questions. As I tried to answer his questions politely, I made the mistake of getting too close as I was speaking to him. Fortunately, I was able to pull back in time before he made contact. This gave the senior women there quite the fright. They were definitely all in my corner and concerned. Sometimes it might be the other person who lacks the winning personality!

  6. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to assess the situation with her best interest in mind. She sounds like a very complex lady, I'm interested to hear what will happen next week. Yup, thats right, I plan to tune in just like I would to a daytime soap.

  7. I ditto Niki & Janelle. Can't wit to hear what happens next & I love who you are!

  8. Thanks, all! And, Ben, wow. I'll do my best to stay out of reach...