Are people getting too close for comfort? What can you do when genuinely friendly, well-meaning folks don't share your social distancing boundaries? Read on for some ideas of how to draw the line:
1️⃣ Take the lead. If you are outdoors, walk into the street before you cross paths with your neighbor. At the grocery store, take the time to let people pass.
2️⃣ Use non-verbal cues. Wear a mask, so others know you care. Back away to your desired distance and hold up your hand 🤚🏼 in the universal "stop" sign to define your “bubble”.
3️⃣ Keep a catch phrase on the tip of your tongue. We all communicate differently, so develop a short, clear statement in your own words to let people know where you stand. Ex: "I'm keeping 6 feet." "Please keep distance." "I need more space."
4️⃣ Worried about a negative reaction? Load a catchphrase for that, too! Examples: "I distance because I care." "I respect your boundaries. Thank you for respecting mine." Or simply, "Be well." and walk away.
5️⃣ What about loved ones whose feelings may be hurt by your boundaries? This is a hard one. Try not to get into a debate. Communicate empathy and understand that they still may not like it. Ex: "I understand this doesn't make sense to you, but this is what I need to do so I feel okay. I love you and it hurts me, too, to keep this distance. This is a hard time for everyone. It's important to me to maintain our relationship safely so we can be close again when this is all over." Say it in your own words and keep it loving, even if things get heated. And give it time. Everyone is processing a lot right now.
What has worked for you? What situations have you found to be difficult? Let us know in the comments!