This article was first published on HuffPost US.
It’s no secret people have different approaches to health and safety as we live through the coronavirus pandemic – and, in the UK, a variety of lockdowns.
While many are heeding public health experts’ advice to stay home and avoid gathering with anyone outside their households, others are throwing dinner parties that violate pandemic safety guidelines. Some couples in the US are still throwing indoor weddings with hundreds of guests at the same time that others are making difficult decisions to postpone or tie the knot via Zoom.
With these divisions, disagreements have inevitably arisen between friends and relatives who don’t share the same pandemic safety philosophy. The situation is particularly frustrating for those who face criticism for taking extra precautions to avoid contracting and spreading the coronavirus.
Resist the urge to get defensive.
“My advice to anyone being accused of being ‘too cautious’ is to resist the impulse to go on the defensive,” said Meg Gitlin, a psychotherapist and the voice behind City Therapist, a therapy insight Instagram account. “Don’t push back when you get questioned, instead go with it.”
She advised pausing, and then saying something like, “You’re right, we are being extra cautious.” You can acknowledge that we’re all in uncharted territory.
“You may say that everyone is just doing the best they can to make decisions that make them feel safe and comfortable,” Gitlin said.
Don’t get into a debate.
“It’s not necessary to get into a debate,” said Diane Gottsman, an etiquette expert, author of Modern Etiquette for a Better Life, and founder of The Protocol School of Texas. “Your views will be different from someone else’s, and you can say something like,...