It occurs to me that some of the stress I feel at work arises because I want to be liked. I start feeling uncomfortable if the patient seems indifferent or, worse, unhappy. I think I would do better if I aimed for cordial but efficient consultations, and wasn't scared of saying “no”. So I have a go at this today.
When I get home I am amused to find an article in The Times suggesting that psychopathic personality traits (“ruthlessness, fearlessness, coolness, charisma, charm and, of course, a lack of empathy”) may help you in life if you are intelligent and not violent. “In everyday life psychopaths tend to be assertive, don’t procrastinate, don’t take things personally, are cool under pressure, and don’t beat themselves up when things go wrong.” I am exactly the opposite.
I can't develop psychopathic personality traits of course, but I could perhaps change my behaviour a little. Things seemed to go alright today, and the world didn't collapse when I told a couple of people that what they wanted wasn't the right thing for them.