Always the bridesmaid, never the bride


How to deal with favoritism in the dental practice.

Are you frustrated that you’re always No. 2 and never No. 1 at your dental practice? Let’s face it, the boss has favorites. (I know, it sounds so juvenile like we’re in elementary school, but it’s reality.) Doctors and office managers are human. They like certain employees better than others. But, this is a cancer that can destroy a practice.

What can be done about favoritism in the office? Not much. I know, that paints me as a cynic, but we’re talking about human nature. The scary part is that bosses usually don’t even realize when they pick favorites. It’s the people in the trenches who acutely feel it. There must be something that can be done about it. Have you ever tried to address this glaring issue with your boss? How did that go? My guess is you got nowhere. They may be in denial and let’s face it, you can’t convince some people that they have favorites. They become deaf to reason. Why? Because most people don’t like negative feedback. We all see ourselves in a certain light. Heaven help whomever says something negative about that image we have.

If you’re insecure about yourself, you may question if you’re good at your job. You could think you’re going to be fired for making a stupid mistake. Even when the boss tells you that everything is fine, you still don’t believe him or her. It feels like a cloud of gloom follows you wherever you go. That, my friend, is called insecurity. It prevents you from hearing the “all clear” signal. Instead, you just cycle over and over with the same negative self-talk in your head.

More from the author: What is your superpower?

What does this have to do with being a bridesmaid? You never get to be the star, or the bride, or the favorite. You probably complain bitterly to your co-workers and family. But, that doesn’t do anything to address the problem.
So, I’m identifying the elephant in the room. What’s the solution here? Venting isn’t fulfilling. Finding ways to make change and getting those desired results will make this so much better.

What can you do?

  • Give up on trying to compete with the favorite employees. Accept that this isn’t a competition. You have the same objectives. Pay attention to the big picture.

  • Do your job the best you can. Don’t waste time venting to your co-workers. It’s time-consuming and it can go against you. Just do your job.

  • Find ways to be a team player. Work together and see how important that is for the practice.

  • Find ways to be a leader. Step up. Show the boss what you’re made of.

  • Be friendly and positive. Negative attitudes do come across no matter how good of an actress you think you are.

  • Realize that the job is only a part of your life. Your identity shouldn’t come from what you do for a living. Look at your whole life.

  • Be who you are. Being authentic is so much more important than changing to make others happy.

  • Laugh at the situation. Sometimes, that’s all you can really do.

Life is very short. Don’t let anger and frustration rule your life. Live it. Be the bride. You can reign in other aspects of your life, not just in the workplace.

If you’ve dealt with favoritism in your dental practice, email me at and share your story.

Recent Videos
2024 Dental Products Report Spring Selection Bracket Reveal Video
2024 Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting – Interview with Peter Maroon, business development and sales lead at Spectrum Solutions® on the new salivary diagnostic test, SimplyPERIO.
CDS 2024: What's New at TAG University? with Andrew De la Rosa, DMD
CDS 2024: Breaking Down Barriers to Care with Eric Kukucka, DD
GNYDM23 Product Focus: Henry Schein Maxima Turbo Class B Sterilizer with Dyan Jayjack
GNYDM23 Product Focus: Henry Schein Maxima PowerClean 210 with Dyan Jayjack
GNYDM23 Product Focus: CandidPro with Kristin Lange, VP of Sales at Candid
The Connected Future of Dental CAD/CAM with Max Milz
Related Content
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.