It’s no secret that COVID-19 has altered our lives and our interactions with others. Many of us have spent uninterrupted months with family members and may be experiencing problems with our significant others. Due to these intense changes and overall strain, it’s easier than ever to be at odds with people close to us. Yet, togetherness is pivotal during this time, so we need to work together to devise ways to get over relational hurdles.
One thing that can help with conflict with family members is being aware of our own feelings and being sure to not project them onto others. “People’s upset feelings, when they are not aware of them, influence decisions and emotions and behaviors subconsciously,” wrote licensed clinical therapist Erin Wiley in an email. “We have all lost things like funerals, weddings, graduations, also income, security, the ability to solidly plan for the future. That causes people to be more on edge, more irritable and more confrontational than before.” So, it’s crucial that we are first being honest with ourselves, so we can be in a good space during interactions.
Romantic relationships have been hit especially hard, as some of us are spending all of our time in the same setting with our partners. We’re navigating working from home and making major decisions, all while keeping our love lives intact. It seems that conflict is almost inevitable. “The pandemic has certainly put people together in their homes more than ever before,” Wiley revealed. “The strain of loss of income, the isolation inherent in the inability to connect with family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors…fear of the future—these all have turned up the heat on latent relationship issues.”
When you enter a rough patch in a relationship, it may be helpful to follow one of Wiley’s tips, which include “listening and validating the other person’s point of view” and “finding common ground.”
During this time, we need to understand and support each other and we need to understand honest and proper communication.