The vast majority of people (myself included) have been socially and physically distancing from others for over 3 months now. Initially, we all reached out to each other to console each other and maintain human contact. Over time, this has become tiresome for most. Regardless of whether or not you are experiencing hardship, there are clashes between those who are experiencing hardship and those who are not. There are clashes about politics, conspiracy theories, injustices…pretty much everything that divides us all; All ranging from our close family to close friends to acquaintances to “internet friends”. Several people have adjusted to becoming more accustomed to interacting with friends and peers via social media but not everyone is capable of that or even if they are capable of that, they are not fond of it, missing human interaction.
In my recent experiences, I have slowly began to safely interact with a select few more friends and family and it wasn’t quite what I had imagined it to be. I had imagined that we would just pick up where we left off and pursue fun conversations and short local adventures and that everyone would be respectful of opinions, physical distancing etc. On the contrary. In my 3 encounters in the past week with individuals who I have not had physical contact with, the encounter was extremely draining.
In spite of having phone conversations with these people on the regular, upon meeting in person there seemed to be this desperate need to “dump” opinions on politics, conspiracy theories and rage against injustice for such an extended period of time before a “normal” conversation could commence. Even when a “normal” conversation would occur, it was constantly interjected with such comments.
I realize everyone is in a shitty situation but isn’t focusing on the moment more important? The sharing of a beautiful day together and in good company good enough? I realize the world is going to shit but can we not just focus on the NOW and be present in the moment and be happy to be together; Enjoy the sunshine, the local wildlife, what we do have and perhaps take advantage of this “pause”?
Thus far, in my experience I have felt these reunions to be quite taxing and draining emotionally as though everyone has become psychic vampires. It’s as though we have all become acquainted to hearing, feeding and draining other’s energy with despair. We can’t blame ourselves for any of this. The restrictions our government has imposed on us be it legitimate or not, costs us all mentally.
How do we regain “normal” social interaction? Is this “dump” of political divide, injustice and feelings of despair a prerequisite for re-establishing our normal interactions once again? I don’t know.
I would love to hear how your experiences with this transition have evolved. Please share.