How to Confront the People in Your Life Who Are Breaking All the Rules

Internet Entertainment 2020-08-01 14:58:34

@katieisdoodlingInstagram

I didn’t say anything to the unmasked guy in the grocery store. Or to the group of unmasked, socially un-distanced teens crowded around the concession stand at the beach. Or to the two unmasked people walking past me and my 3-year-old son on the sidewalk at the exact moment he asked, “Why do we have to wear a mask?”

“Because that’s what you do when you’re walking close to other people, you wear your mask,” I replied loudly enough for the two 20somethings to hear. They looked at me for a sec and then returned to their engrossing unmasked conversation.

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you get it: Not saying something when the simple act of wearing a mask could save lives during the worst deadly pandemic in a century feels downright unbearable.

But that lame attempt was the bravest I got.

This content is imported from {embed-name}. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

In my head, I walk right up to all unmasked blowhards and tell them if they don’t cover up ASAP, I’ll *cracks knuckles* make ’em feel a hell of a lot more uncomfortable than they would just wearing a goddamn piece of fabric across their nose and mouth. At this point, a small (socially distanced, of course) crowd would have gathered and they will clap for me because I said the thing they wanted to say and the dissenters would cower and never expose their orifices in public again!!!!

IRL, I don’t have the guts to call any of them out, although I feel a raging moral propensity to ask people to follow the f*cking rules. (I mean, are you okay with killing your grandma?) Instead, I usually just glare at them as I pass by. They probably think I’m squinting because of the sun, and in the end, I have done nothing to right the moral order. *sigh*

Related Story

How to Confront the People in Your Life Who Are Breaking All the Rules

Some Breathable Face Masks to Stock Up On Now

It’s scary out here, mmkay?! It doesn’t exactly feel, um, safe to confront people, especially strangers, over ignoring COVID-19 safety guidelines. Do you really want to get screamed at in the health and beauty aisle? Angry-coughed on? Spat on at Walmart?

And then there’s that thing where your ahems and excuse mes may not actually get the rule breakers to give a sh*t. So what do you do? How do you answer to that little moral voice in your head? What can you do to push COVID-19 compliance up so infection rates go down and we can all hug our families, invite friends over, enjoy boozy brunch again?

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

View this post on Instagram

Daily reminder to #wearadamnmask 😘 #rg @currentrealestate

A post shared byCosmopolitan (@cosmopolitan) on

It’s helpful to keep an open mind when approaching people, for starters.

“If there is a conversation based in common goals, integrity, and respect, then you may have some ability to persuade healthier decisions,” says New York–based therapist Damon L. Jacobs.

“People who break the rules have different reasons for their choice,” Beverly Hills–based psychiatrist Carole Lieberman, MD, explains. “Some break the rules for political reasons, some because they don’t like wearing a mask or are tired of keeping social distancing. Some people are confused or annoyed by the contradictory advice we’ve been getting, and some are simply feeling rebellious and want to take control of their life.”

Others may just straight-up forget they’re not following the rules. Jennifer A. Rojas was picking up a cake at the bakery for her mother’s birthday in Queens, New York, recently when she realized her mask was hanging around her neck—she had forgotten to pull it up. “I wish someone had said something to me or gestured for me to put the mask on, but I can completely understand why people may be hesitant to,” she says.

So maybe it is okay to say something if you see something. But releasing your pent-up quarantine rage won’t necessarily do the trick. A dose of empathy, understanding, and possibly cupcakes can help. Different strokes for different folks though. Below, instructions on how to talk to everyone in your life, from your best friend to your boss.

Related Story

How to Confront the People in Your Life Who Are Breaking All the Rules

Yes, Cute Mask Outfits Do Exist

Your BFF

Ask them to share their feelings with you so you can empathize without(!) necessarily adopting their behavior. Then leverage that empathy to work through why they might not be complying and see if you can come to a place of mutual agreement. If their reason is that they don’t think they have to worry about getting really sick, explain that you worry about their well-being and would be really upset if they got sick or if they infected someone you both care about. You know your BFF better than anyone, so you have the power to channel their interests to help them see the light.

Your S.O.

Focus first on getting a real understanding of what they don’t want to do and why. You are possibly already arguing with your boo thanks to all the pandemic- and quarantine-induced stress, so try to be sensitive and start from a place of meeting them where they are. (In other words, save the yelling for those unwashed dishes in the sink.) If they tell you it was too hard to wear a mask at the gym because they were heavy-breathing on the treadmill, tell them how their behavior could impact you, how sad and concerned you would be if they got sick, and how they are also putting you at risk by not wearing a mask.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

View this post on Instagram

No. Seriously. All the cool kids are doing it. 😎 via Cosmo’s @katieisdoodling

A post shared byCosmopolitan (@cosmopolitan) on

Your parents

If your parents are like mine and have decided that the “high risk” categorization is a mere suggestion rather than a gargantuan red flag and they’re off flitting around with friends nonstop, then you probably feel the need to scream at them. But the thing is, treating them like they’re toddlers (yes, the irony is *so* real) may cause them to lie and simply continue their bad behavior behind your back. Better to approach them with openness and explain your concerns. It also can’t hurt to diplomatically lob some facts their way, like how A/C in restaurants can spread COVID-19 through the air and that, yes, they should definitely cancel that cruise they were hoping to take later this year.

Related Story

How to Confront the People in Your Life Who Are Breaking All the Rules

“I’m Being Forced to Quarantine on a Cruise Ship”

Your boss

If someone in a position of power, like your boss, is being irresponsible, try to separate what they choose to do themselves from what they insist that you do or don’t do. If they’re not imposing anything on you directly, your best option might just be to keep your physical distance. If you do confront them, a lighter touch—given the power dynamics at play—is probably the right move. For instance, you might ask your boss if they want to borrow the extra mask you happened to have just washed…you know, on the off chance they “left” “theirs” “at” “home.”

Your coworkers

For coworkers, try to let them decide what they want to do, as long as it doesn’t infringe on your choices and allows you to still work together. Recognize what actions, if any, you need to take to keep yourself safe. You might, for instance, tell your coworker that you don’t feel comfortable spending time near them when they’re not taking public health recommendations seriously. Or you could propose an alternative scenario, like having the team meet via Zoom rather than in person or eating lunch together outside several feet apart rather than in the break room.If you have a close working relationship with a colleague and feel comfortable saying something, approach with kindness and let them know how you feel and why you think they should consider changing their behaviors.

Your customers

If you see someone with a mask around their chin, you can politely ask them to pull it up. Otherwise, it’s not worth the risk to confront someone—better to focus on keeping your 6 feet of distance. If you can’t physically distance because you’re, say, serving them drinks or filing their nails, assess the situation and consider asking them politely to comply if you feel safe doing so. If you’re concerned that confronting a customer could lead to an even more unsafe situation, then focus on limiting the time you have to interact with them. If you think your boss is better positioned to enforce the rules of your workplace on patrons, then discreetly alert them of the current scenario.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

View this post on Instagram

If it’s good enough for Elle Woods, it’s good enough for me/you/everyone 😷💕 #rg @y2klewks

A post shared byCosmopolitan (@cosmopolitan) on

Random strangers

Confronting the stranger in the supermarket? Avoid! Just walk away from them if they’re not practicing safe behavior. “Shaming strangers who don’t know you? Doesn’t work. You have no authority, no impact, no effect,” says Jacobs. Most of the time, shaming will stimulate the fight-or-flight instinct, warns Jacobs, so either they will ignore you or they’ll “fight you” and defend their position. A lose-lose either way.


Bottom line: We’re all going through this apocalyptic moment together and trying to make heads and tails of the propaganda bots and inconsistent messages from our weak leaders. And although we absolutely need to prioritize both our personal and collective safety, sometimes that means avoiding a potentially dangerous confrontation. For our friends and coworkers and those we know personally who mysteriously decline to follow basic protective measures, you have the option to approach them with understanding and compassion, not judgment and shame. From 6 feet away, that is.

Related Story

How to Confront the People in Your Life Who Are Breaking All the Rules

What It’s Like to Be a Contact Tracer

Allison HopeAllison Hope is a writer and native New Yorker who favors humor over sadness, travel over television, and coffee over sleep.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

This commenting section is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page. You may be able to find more information on their web site.

Tips

If the information we provide is valuable, please share it wonderfully with your friends. Thank you!

精彩分享:

扫一扫在手机阅读、精彩分享本文