How To Survive Coronavirus Quarantine With The Most Difficult People

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How To Survive Coronavirus Quarantine With The Most Difficult People
Family

This morning I was contacted by a friend who's quarantined in a home with a stable of relatives: Two married couples, two children, step kids, and a couple of infants.

While this type of situation could spell fun for some families, it could also bring disharmony for others as they learn how to deal with difficult people.

It also means there are enough differences to turn this into a breeding ground for judgment and frustration while undergoing quarantine during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

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Infants have special needs. Adults want harmony and the ability to do what they have to do. Kids want to play and are learning moment-to-moment what they can and cannot do. Bottom line, fights and arguments ensue.

For all families, this is a time for parents to be leaders. Now more than ever.

There is literally not a single person on this planet not impacted by this virus, so it's important to make the best use of the time you're under quarantine. Nothing is normal about what's happening now.

This situation is new for all of us, and discovering communication issues and dealing with difficult people is going to be hard.

As much as you might want to gag someone and lock them in a closet, hide in your room, or escape, running and hiding is not the answer.

Emotional health is your number-one best immunity booster. Now that we're all navigating how to live in close quarters for prolonged periods, your emotional health is getting challenged day-in and day-out.

So, here are 2 simple but effective ways to deal with difficult people and keep the peace while preserving your sanity under quarantine.

1. Communicate clearly.

There are two different communication styles: Structural and figurative.

Each has their unique way of listening and vocalizing, even though they both are speaking the same language.

The structural person is direct, may speak with little to no emotion, and simply vocalize what they desire and want to be understood. If someone speaks to them, they are going to take them literally.

“I am through with you!” sounds to a structural person like, “The relationship is over, get out!” When it really might mean, “Can we just not argue right now?”

The figurative person is emotive. Their words are not near as important as the conveyance of emotion. If they don’t hear the emotion in communication, they don’t sense there is anything important to listen for.

Hence, the figurative person may appear not to be listening and the structural person feels disrespected or ignored.

Now, imagine navigating multiple people, food, sleeping areas, activities, etc. and wanting to be able to clearly communicate needs and desires. How do they keep things safe and sane when they are not the same?

For one, slow down and listen. Get clarity, even if it means repeating to each other what you think the other is trying to say. Be curious and think about how to protect rather than project.

Judgment of any kind is a disaster. What a great opportunity to exercise being a compassionate human!

There are a few other important potential challenges with differing communication styles.

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The two communication styles are literally two different vibrations that are discordant. This means they are pushing each other away, the result which is a drain of energy for those that want to be close.

You've likely experienced this when you spent time with someone that drains your energy. In the normal world, you would simply leave the scene and your energy will return and stabilize.

In the current situation, you don’t get to completely leave the scene. This means you need to create healthy space to recharge your batteries and get back to the most resourceful you, both emotionally and physically.

A few suggestions: Find a cozy place and sit down to read a book or watch a funny movie. Laughter is always a good source of renewal. Go for a walk, meditate, do yoga, or exercise.

You will want to recharge, so be prepared to find your own time and space to do this. It will be good for everyone. This is the most important message that makes the difference between love conveyed and love lost.

It's highly likely that both communication styles care deeply for their partners, friends, and family. None of us want upsets or to have a negative impact on another.

But you do thrive on ease and comfort, and during these challenging times, you must be aware of your differences and embrace them rather than fighting or ignoring them.

2. Stay active.

There are two variations of activity level: Super active and moderately active.

The super-active person is healthiest and happiest with structure and a non-stop plan of activities, even if the activity is to take a nap or just relax.

When this person is sequestered to a contained space without a plan of things to do, they may feel like they have no meaningful options. This is the recipe for depression.

Observers, especially moderately active ones, may be quick to say, “Relax, you need to just chill and enjoy the time off.” This is the last thing the super-active person wants to hear.

They chill, only when it is part of their plan and activity. Doing nothing without a plan is their kryptonite.

Your super-active friends and relatives do not have ADHD. Their genetic make-up is to be active and to thrive on structure. You must honor that.

The moderately active person is much more chill and methodical. They usually don’t make super-quick decisions, because they like to comfortably consider their options before taking action.

This can drive a super-active person a bit wonky, mostly because they have the answers often times before the question is even asked.

The moderately active person is a sprinter, so when they have a task they’re on, they can easily move into high gear and start and finish something faster than lightning. But when done, they can follow the task without a plan to do anything else and easily go into a relaxed state.

Now, imagine the two living with each other in close quarters for an extended time. Wait, you don’t have to imagine, you are likely in it already. And if you have children that have different activity levels, then this is even more pronounced.

Mastering quantities of differences can be more challenging than finding toilet paper in your local grocery store.

Bottom line, you want others to connect with you, go for a walk with you, sit down, and chill on the sofa with you, help make breakfast, lunch, or dinner, put together a puzzle… any number of activities. They may be less interested or responsive.

This can leave you feeling alone or abandoned, but you aren't. You're just different and have different ways of approaching activities and processing information.

Embrace the differences. Each of your attributes are enormous gifts, and there is nothing wrong with the other person.

And in close quarters over extended periods of time, it can feel like you want to pull your hair out. You have emotions and the desire to connect deeply with others as well as be happy within, so just take things in stride.

Take these few tips to heart, rise up to be your best, find compassion, understanding, and appreciation for your similarities as well as differences while we're under quarantine.

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Larry Michel is the founder of the Institute of Genetic Energetics, relationship coach, and speaker. For more information about how he can help you, visit his website here.

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