Life is not easy, but we are in it for the long haul. We have responsibilities to ourselves and our fellow humankind.
Do you know someone who expects your respect but doesn’t return respect to you or others? Do they believe that you owe them everything without giving back?
A Different Perspective
As a nurse, I tend to see life from a different perspective. All nurses do because of what we see every day of our working career. We face life and death every time we go to work.
Nurses do not tolerate the “Oh poor pitiful me” mindset that some people live. It is impossible to understand and put up with the mentality of the world owes them everything.
I wrote this piece and this article back in 2017. I was on my way home from work one time. I did a lot of my thinking while driving. My commute was 45 min long, at 3 in the morning. Very little to no traffic was on the road at that time.
Who Owes You?
I had taken care of one or two people that day that wanted the world to take care of them financially, emotionally, and physically. These types of people are not exclusive to the medical profession. Every profession has its share of them.
But since I am a nurse, I will write from my perspective. I am sure you can apply it to your world also.
A Nurses Duty
As nurses, we teach our patients to care for themselves. As an ER nurse, it is essential to teach home care because so many people return home with these new instructions.
We instruct on their disease or illness, medications, when to seek further medical attention, and we teach their family members also. We also do long term teaching. We instruct each patient how to stay active, what to abstain from, and what is the best diet for a healthy lifestyle.
Some do not have the financial means to pay for an ER visit. So, we help them or instruct them on how to apply for financial assistance. Many people listen and learn and are quite appreciative for the information.
The patients who care about themselves and take responsibility return home with a new plan to improve their life.
No Self Responsibility
There are a few who refuse to take responsibility for themselves. You know the type. The ones who do not want to change to improve their life. Or the ones who are diabetic and refuse to take their meds.
Some of these select few make statements like “No one wants to help me,” or I am in pain and can’t get any narcotics.”
But what they are saying is, you are not doing what I want, so I will attempt to manipulate you until I get everything.
Although we know what they are doing, we all pull together and present that rare patient with alternative methods to improve or pay their bill or help their pain.
We spend extra time with this person trying to convince them to care for themselves. But with no success. Why because they want you and I to take care of them. They want it their way, and your suggestions are not going to make it happen.
This type of person feels the world owes them more and better things that will make their life easy.
They Are Everywhere
There are people like this in all walks of life, and you will encounter them in all professions. They spend their time looking for others to blame for their circumstances.
They believe integrity is a colorful word without meaning and think money grows on trees planted by someone else. They set this example for their children and use their kiddos to gain what they want.
All of this sounds harsh, but it is true. It seems like I am complaining with no alternative option to deal with those who you want to look at and say, “Who Owes You?”
I have written a few articles on this subject. I am one who takes responsibility beyond what I need to, so when I encounter a person who does not, it irks me.
What We Want To Do
What I want to do and maybe you also is to ignore them and not put any effort into teaching the entitled person.
Also, what I want to say is “Who Owes You,” but I hold my tongue and bite my lip, so my mouth stays shut. We don’t want to waste our breath on the few who want to believe in the inherent right to have more without giving back to society.
But that will make us no different than the lazy person who wants it all done for them.
What We Will Do
So what can you do if you can’t say what you want and ignore the person? You can be a person with integrity and kindness. You can put on a smile and teach them what you need to.
Just because someone else is ungrateful and irresponsible does not make it ok for you and me to be the same. Do not lower yourself to the poor standards of others.
You can also begin by trying to understand the behavior — not an understanding of their actions but of their motives.
Do they need drugs? Are they angry with the world because life has been so hard? Are they scared or insecure?
With these possible causes in mind, it will be easier to overlook their snide angry, ungrateful remarks.
Stay positive, keep an open mind, and hold your tongue with a smile.
Helping Is What We Do
Helping is what nurses do. Our calling is to assist others, and we are to set an example as the helping profession. Yes, that includes those who do not want my help.
As you keep your head up and do what you know is right, remember that you can teach and instruct, but you can not change the inherent character of another. Let it all roll off of your back and move onto those who do want your help.
This article is for all of us nurses who have encountered the patient who hates the world, seeks drugs and believes the world is against them no matter what you do to help them.
Wake up tomorrow morning and find someone who wants what we have to offer. Find that person who wants to better themselves and work to do so. And move onto a brighter day.
As a nurse, have you encountered people like the one who feels the world owes them? Please share your story with us. Your experience can help us all grow.
Leave comments and questions in the comment section below. I will be back with you shortly.