Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Different Reactions

This job that I'm in now is probably the first job I've ever had where the majority of the people I work with are not LDS. I realized this walking into work today and thought it'd be an interesting thing to talk about.

The Salt Lake valley is actually very different from Utah valley. Refreshingly so. I enjoy seeing people that look different and act differently. I enjoy making new friends with different views. And of course, I enjoy seeing the gays and actually being able to tell they're gay! Only some of my readers understand that :P

So I've noticed something working here in residential treatment. People treat me differently. Oh don't worry, it's a good thing.

I've had three close encounters with residents. None of them lead to anything too serious. Bruises yes but otherwise I'm fine. I've noticed that some staff here get beat up either verbally or physically a lot. But it's only certain staff.

Could it be because I'm LDS? People don't really ask what religion I am but it affects their behavior. Or is it because I am respectful of others? Are there some other character traits that help me at work?

When residents are mad, they yell and scream and swear. Then when I begin talking to them, they speak softer, and the swearing mostly stops. It's really interesting!

Most of the staff here are really good people. Some of them have a very tough loving approach though. But what're they like with me? They're respectful, considerate, and nice.

I have always been a firm believer in the idea that who you associate with creates who you are. I've seen people go different ways depending on who they associate with.

It's actually a phenomenon in psychology and research has proven that likes attract and that the environment has a huge impact on personality and especially behavior. The environment can be more effective in changing a persons behavior than a persons own personal beliefs and values.

The values that I cultivate influence the people around me. What I choose to show others through my actions has a huge impact. Past historical figures such as Gandhi and even Hitler have realized this and used it for better or for worse.

In my case, I've used it for the better without fully realizing it. I simply follow the rules I learned when I was a child. I respect others, I am curteous, kind, caring, and attentive. Many kids here who won't talk to staff will talk to me.

I just thought I'd put my ideas out there for you guys. Who we are and choose to act changes the way others around us act. Want to change the world? Change yourself first. Others will follow behind :)


  1. I noticed the same thing when I worked in residential treatment...being calm and respectful goes a long way. And I'm glad you like living in Salt Lake :)

  2. Really interesting. Thanks for sharing your observations and thoughts.

  3. It's very true. Over time we tend to reflect the people and influences we choose to surround ourselves with. And we in turn influence them. That's why choosing friends, activities, careers, music, books, movies, even little things over time can be really important and should be done with some care. You become what you think about and what/who you associate with.

  4. Hmm... I've always tried to be respectful and considerate of others. Do people act differently around me than they do around others?

    I think that another thing that makes a difference (certainly not all the difference, but a difference) is expectations. If I expect the best of someone, he or she will generally try to live up to those expectations--especially he he truly believes that I care about him.

    But if I expect someone to be poorly behaved, or disrespectful, or to disappoint me, they don't have much reason to act any differently.

    I enjoyed the post. And thanks for being who you are! :)

  5. That is interesting. Thanks for sharing, bud!

  6. It's great that you are doing so well there. I worked at a Residential Treatment Center for about 4 months and ended up quitting because it was so stressful.

  7. Don't they call that mirroring? IF you'r yelling then they are going to get louder. If you speak nicley and with respect they will follow and do the same in return. I am glad you are loving it up there. I think I know what it is like to feel like a fish out of water, I have found out latley that in UT county if you are not like everyone around you or acting like them They treat you totaly different.

  8. Hey, I brought that up last night! I truly believe that who you are is made up partly of who you associate with.