We respond differently.

I think most of us are on edge right now with the uncertainty and fear of the Coronavirus. I am exhausted by a bombardment of emails and notifications (that I am contributing to myself for my businesses…oops) I am receiving. I notice I judge each one. If someone/a company doesn’t address what is happening right now, it seems insensitive. Yet, address it too much and that can get annoying. Companies and people with newsletters I haven’t heard from in ages suddenly emailing multiple times a day! (Yes, I could unsubscribe…)

An estate planning friend recently advertised a webinar on Facebook that was very direct about COVID-19, recognizing that more people are facing their mortality today than a month ago. She received criticism for being insensitive. But she was just being truthful, and other people responded very well to it.

No matter what we say now, because of the anxiety in the air, some people will not like it. We all have different comfort levels and we process things differently. It is also easy to see now how we are all affected differently: some people have kids at home, some are health care workers, others are massage therapists who cannot do their jobs, etc.

When this passes, it will be more difficult to see how each of us is going through something different. But we all are, all the time. When someone is rude in the grocery store line, you don’t know what happened to them an hour ago. When a usually kind co-worker gets snappy, perhaps it isn’t something you did but their own experience.

Maybe we can have compassion and empathy in this moment to give leeway in how people respond, and perhaps we can carry that over to a future time when life is a little more normal. When it is, we will not all be facing the same pandemic, but something just may be going on for your neighbor.

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