For many years, I wasn’t sure how to handle a situation where I encountered one of my patients in the restroom. If it was someone who had come in to the hospital that day but had not yet seen me, it would be odd to say ‘How have you been doing?’ and suddenly being the session then and there. In the case of a patient who had just finished a meeting with me, I was even less sure what to say. In my 30’s I handled the restroom situation by pretending I hadn’t seen the patient. In my 40s, I would say ‘Hi’ but the situation still felt somehow awkward. There was even a period when I purposely used the rest room in different floor to avoid the possibility of meeting a patient. It wasn’t until my 50s that I realized I needn’t be particular about how I handle the situation, that I could keep a natural expression and just say something like, ‘It’s awful rain, isn’t it?’ or ‘It’s been hot lately, hasn’t it?’In the end, my ridiculous restroom anxiety disorder took a while 25 year to disappear.
She has an intense self-consciousness or normally people feel that way? I occasionally felt that way when I was young. But most of the cases, I just say ‘Hi’ or ‘It’s hot today, isn’t it?’ How do you manage it?