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전면 오픈을 앞두고,,,, 5 post-COVID social tips for awkward talks, unsafe situ…

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Be patient with yourself and others
Safety first
Remember etiquette basics
It’s OK to just say no
Explain sometimes — but use “I” statements 


5 post-COVID social tips for awkward talks, unsafe situations

PUBLISHED: May 23, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. | UPDATED: May 24, 2021 at 4:05 a.m.

As Bay Area residents emerge from more than a year of COVID-19 lockdown, they’re considering how to reconnect safely with family and friends. As one might expect, diverging views on vaccines and safety are already leading to fraught conversations and awkward social situations.

Experts in etiquette, mental health and interpersonal communications say there’s no need to get too stressed out or expect conflict. Rely instead on the core principles of etiquette and self-care to help navigate sensitive situations. Here’s how to apply those principles.

Be patient with yourself and others

We’ve gone through “a traumatic period,” and there is going to be residual stress and uncertainty as people readjust, given the new social norms they adopted during lockdowns, says Emiliana Simon-Thomas, science director at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. While it’s good to rediscover “the intrinsic joy of being together,” don’t jump back into pre-pandemic socializing before it’s safe or expect others to move at your pace.

“I think this time presents a wonderful opportunity for practicing patience,” Simon-Thomas says. “We are on a promising trajectory, and there is much to look forward to that will be well worth the wait.”

Safety first

Simon-Thomas and Nick Leighton, a Bay Area native and New York-based co-host of the “Were You Raised By Wolves?” podcast, emphasized that people should always prioritize their health and safety.

“Never put yourself or others in harm’s way by being quote-unquote ‘polite,’” says Leighton. “If you need to wear a mask, or you need to decline an invitation or not see a friend because it makes you feel unsafe, that’s what it is.”

Remember etiquette basics

“Etiquette is all about being mindful of people’s time, feelings and space,” Leighton says.

Certain practices may come and go, including hand-shaking, which has long been seen in Western culture as not just a greeting but a way to show trust. “But during the pandemic, hand-shaking became a no,” he said, “because it violates the principle of being mindful of other people, and making other people uncomfortable is bad etiquette.”

Being mindful of safety and other people’s comfort applies to many current situations, including the potential first gathering of your loved ones in more than a year.

“If you’re a host, you should design an event that makes your guests comfortable,” Leighton says.

As a good host, you also shouldn’t grill people if they decline your invitation. Respect the fact that everyone has experienced the pandemic in different ways: “Some people lost loved ones, and some lost jobs, and everyone has a different tolerance for risk.”

It’s OK to just say no

Just saying, “I’m sorry, I’m unable to attend,” should suffice in most cases, Leighton says. “You don’t say, ‘I’m unable to come to your barbecue, because I want to make comments about your behavior.’ Just leave it at ‘I hope you have a beautiful day.’”

Explain sometimes — but use “I” statements 

There are cases when it’s kind to say more, such as why you keep turning someone down, says Margie Ryerson, an Orinda marriage and family therapist and author of the new book, “Family Focus: A Therapist’s Tips for Happier Families.”

Close relationships often benefit from having an honest conversation, but always frame what you say around “I” statements — as in “I’d love to be with you but I don’t feel comfortable,” Ryerson said. “Use the gentle approach and make it about how you’re not ready. In that way, you’ve said your piece and been upfront.”

Above all, speak up for what’s right for you and accept that you can’t make everyone happy. “People shouldn’t feel guilty or bad for other people’s reactions, especially any irrational reactions,” Ryerson says.

작성일2021-05-24 12:33

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