Communication During COVID
Summer is a time, especially in New England, where most of us spent more time outdoors, travel on vacations and spend time with friends and family. This summer is different as many of us cannot spend time in person with our family and loved ones and if we do it 6 feet apart. It is so important to communicate effectively especially during this time when we need our connections now more than ever before. And some of those connections are challenging to deal with.
Through my work and my own experience, these are my five ways to deal with people who are challenging.
Understand the behavior
– It is not easy to be kind and understanding when
people close to you, hurt, annoy and anger you. This is where you can use your
objective view and see them from a distance, from an unemotional lense. This
helps you to depersonalize the behavior even though it affects you.
State your truth
– State in a kind way how this behavior and words affects you.
Use I statements without blaming the person. Let them know how you feel but do
this for you to stay in your truth.
Accept that the behavior may not change
– This is a tough one but when you
accept the behavior, you avoid being triggered and taking it personally. (However,
this does not apply to abusive behaviors that negatively affect you- which is
where professional help may be needed.)
Change your perception or attitude or situation
. When the behavior is not
abusive or destructive as described above, change how you view it. Become an
observer. Ask yourself, if this affecting me long term? Is this annoying to me but
not hurtful? Can I learn to accept that this behavior is the way that person copes
with anger and fear or this is part of their personality? And lastly, can I change
my view so that I can be with this person without triggering them or being
triggered? Ask yourself what you can learn from them to help you deal with other
See the person in the best light
. Remember times when that person has been at
their best and try to create those types of situations when you are with them. That means
avoiding statements and actions that you know will trigger the behavior you want to
This is a challenging time for us all and emotions can run high. These steps have helped me tremendously in dealing difficult moments with those special people in my life and has allowed me to appreciate the good side.