The COVID-19 pandemic has strained many people since quarantine first started back in March. While many people follow government mandates to wear masks and other restrictions in an effort to help stop spread Coronavirus, some feel leaders are overreaching with COVID rules thereby refusing to “go along.” The resulting conflicts between “maskers” and “anti-maskers” are playing a major role in daily life for just about everyone, whether online with social media, outdoors, and even at home.
Amid a seemingly endless line of “stress-inducing” events these days, people are proving more irritable and tribalistic. With that, modern society seems to have lost the ability to have conversations without resorting to ugliness, especially when it comes to people who break COVID rules.
Whether it’s a family member or a close friend, confronting them about COVID rules can spark tension and hostility. So, what do you do when someone in your life will not wear a mask or face covering or even comply with the restrictions we are currently under due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
First, it’s valuable to keep in mind how you approach someone because you disagree, or you are uncomfortable with their behavior. Your attitude, tone, and body language are the first step to being heard. Respect and consideration can make all the difference.
Like the opening scene to a movie or TV show, you need to connect with the other person and build the groundwork for what comes next. Starting off with the attitude will help significantly. Some specific steps you can take to encourage our family member or a friend:
- Make your request politely and with respect.
- State your need with consideration. It is important to note that we cannot control others. In those situations,
- Make a boundary if that person will not agree to your request.
- Take an action that cares for you while does not harm them.
Those whom you live with often align with your values and actions already, so you may not have to confront them too often or at all. But what about the other people in our lives, like a boss or co-worker or even another customer in the supermarket?
Certainly, as long as we approach with respect. Following the Golden Rule has value in many situations. It is important to remember we don’t know everyone’s story or where they are coming from in their lives. So, your fellow shopper does not pose a threat. Take a different aisle or pause and allow them to go by. You have options.
Life is tough enough without a pandemic, riots, protests, elections, and so many other things that can cause division. The key is to treat each person in a respectful manner and never lose your cool. All you can do is talk with those who disagree with you about COVID rules. Once you do that, you’ve done your part and should not let any further disagreement or opposition linger in your mind. Grudges take away from your happiness of today.