21 August 2013

Handling Unprofessional Interactions With Others

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I have had two really bizarre experiences this summer that have totally left me bothered for days wondering what was really going on. In both situations I was dealing with people in their professional capacity, so it seems even more odd that they bungled the situations in a capacity they have been acting in for decades so badly. Actions were odd, communications weren't clear and I could feel that there was a lot of stuff going on that had nothing to do with me but was totally affecting our ability to communicate.

I have studied communications since college and usually have a pretty decent grasp of the process. In these two situations I was so thrown for a loop that I found myself just standing there stunned rather than feeling like I had been given any information to go forward with. I've thought about these two situations a lot, probably because I have never had such weird communications events ever.

I think they hurt me a bit too because I didn't feel like I was given a chance to walk away from the experience with a feeling of conclusion or success. Despite what may or may not have been going on, being spoken to clearly and professionally would've been better than having nothing to work with and left wondering what I could have done better, what was really happening, etc.

I can't do much about what was coming or going on from the other side, but I did think about some things I could do to at least help myself walk away not feeling frustrated and in the dark. It's possible too that these things might have helped the communications over all.

I think we all have the instinct to cut and run when we find ourselves in really strange and uncomfortable experiences. In both these situations, when things got a little weird, and I was left hanging with no information, it wasn't hard to turn and go. I think part of me definitely just wanted to get out of there because I did not get what was going on AT ALL.

Instead of doing that, I wish I would have been a little more calm and assertive. I wish I would have taken a slow, deep breath and not felt rushed to conclude the conversation and bolt out the door. I wish I hadn't just gone along with the weird directions they were steering me into and instead stood back and stayed grounded on my own two feet. I wish I would've thought to keep digging and ask the questions I needed answered. I needed to make sure that I had the information necessary to go forward in my own decision making processes and my own life rather than just standing there in surprise and feeling insulted. I wish I would've had the backbone to expect and demand the professional treatment I deserved. I would not have been rude, but I had every right to ask for and expect professional behavior and treatment.

It bugs me that these two situations bothered me as much as they did. I'm not sure if I'm more bothered by my "shrinking back" behavior or the other parties. Maybe what bothers me is that I am so self-critical wondering what I should have done differently when in reality I was put in really weird situations by these other people. I talked to a friend about these two experiences and she pretty much assured me that my nature is not to create situations like that and more likely to be flustered by them because they are so weird.

I am sure we all find ourselves in these weird situations at times. Do you find yourself, like me wondering if it's you or them or are you able to just put your foot down and say that was a really nutty experience, I'm not going to waste my time worrying about it? I'd love to hear how you've handled situations like this. It clear I have some things to learn on how to handle these weird moments.



I don't like the feeling of being put on the spot. I am sorry you were treated with less than respect.


highest shelf said...

I had a situation with a woman who had cheerfully offered her help. She simply became impossible to get hold of and I had to make decisions to keep my project moving forward. She took my decision as a personal insult, refused any and all offers to change it, and hasn't spoken to me since. I know I did the best I could with the options available, I know I carried myself with respect through that strange conversation, I know I have nothing to be ashamed of, but I still feel like I've done something wrong. I'm not her psychotherapist, so forgive and carry on is all anyone can do.

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