The Polarizing, Social Distancing Spectrum

Just follow social media for a few hours and you will see how polarizing every issue around COVID 19 can be. Social distancing, which appears to exist on a spectrum for many, is one of those issues. However, in this time, when we may already feel isolated, lonely and alone, fighting with our friends, families and neighbours about appropriate levels of physical distancing, may only make things worse. It’s important to remember during these times, that a refusal to spend time together, is not likely personal rejection. It might be helpful to listen to the person’s fear and understanding about the risks they perceive. A compassion based approach asks us to be curious in conversation; to better understand the views, conditions and fears of others that may not align with our own (this does not mean condoning behaviour we feel is dangerous). We don’t have to agree with them and we don’t have to spend time near them. That said, in conversation, curiosity could help us bring walls down instead of building them up, which we all need right now. This article may help us navigate difficult conversations about social or physical distancing.