You know how some older women, perhaps an aunt, a neighbour or even a shopkeeper say “sweetie” when talking to you and it’s not really a big deal? It’s sort of nice and they are usually showing a kind side of their personality. They’re loving. They’re friendly.
Imagine that word coming out of your psychologist’s mouth and it sounds icky and unprofessional.
I had to call Dippy, my psychologist yesterday. We’d made an appointment which happened to fall on a public holiday. I didn’t notice at the time because I’m usually too anxious to be that attentive but I noticed over the weekend so I left messages on her office phone and mobile phone. She called me back and told me that I was right, she wasn’t at work because of the holiday but apparently she had sent me a text about it. I never received it and I don’t really believe that she sent a text but whatever, that’s not the point. We arranged another appointment and she said blah blah blah sweetie. SWEETIE. I cringed.
I’m not her granddaughter, we aren’t getting together for tea and scones.
It wasn’t endearing. It felt weird. Maybe I am used to a more clinical atmosphere and relationship with therapists. I am probably overreacting. I like boundaries though. I like distance between myself and therapists. I like kindness and personality but I am not a sweetie. I am not her sweetie.
It could have been a lapse in her concentration. It was a holiday, maybe she was more relaxed and sort of forgot for a moment that she was talking to a client. She probably calls everyone sweetie, which would be fine if she wasn’t a therapist. Calling me by my name is just fine.
Am I overreacting? Has anyone else had an experience like this? Should I tell her that it made me feel uncomfortable or just hope that it never happens again?