How The Covid 19 Pandemic Has Changed The Way We Relate To Each Other.

The pandemic has shaken the personal and collective life of our society and its individuals, and although the most optimistic want to think of its effects as something temporary and with an expiration date, there are undoubtedly many short and medium term effects for society, their individuals and the way of relating. An indisputable turning point, from which it will be difficult for us to detach ourselves and from which we are still at the dawn of quantifying its impact. For this reason, there are many investigations that have emerged to date, explain and / or predict changes at the interpersonal level. These are the first conclusions. Blue ridge wilderness therapy

STABLE RELATIONSHIPS Most couples have been forced to live together for 24 hours, seven days a week when before they spent a few hours together, and where most of the time routine, children or housework ate the shared time. In addition, the house has ceased to be considered a refuge to become a place of coexistence with problems, where anxiety, isolation, unemployment, financial problems, the loss of a loved one or their consequent grief have become something every day. The pandemic has brought extra pressure to many couples, who have seen how time together brought out conflicts that at another time were contained or even managed well. There is a 30% increase in consultations with matrimonial lawyers and COVID has undoubtedly been the beginning for relationships that hid their problems “under the rug” and that coexistence has forced to end. But it is not all bad news. Indeed, many couples have seen their quality and intimacy time increase, enjoying doing new or buried activities that confinement has made possible, and as a detail, also the increase in demand for mattresses, which explains a small “baby boom” in many couples where the relationship has gone well and this opportunity to increase the family has been considered ideal.

INTERACTIONS WITH OUR LOVED AND / OR NEIGHBORS. According to a study carried out throughout the pandemic, some of our relationships have intensified (the so-called “bonding”, of trust and high familiarity, which have become almost daily contact, and which are usually characteristics of relationships with family members. very close and with very close friends) while other types of relationships more marked by the rules and norms of society (the so-called “bringing”, which we could have with coworkers, extended family, some friends not too close or acquaintances) have disappeared or drastically reduced. In this way, the creation and relationship with networks with high reliability, mutual cooperation and with which we share a large number of interests and affinities (“bonding”) has been promoted, being the contact with these networks almost daily in the confinement, and that contrasts with the weekly contact before the pandemic, but although this type of relationship has been restricted to almost half and only with close relatives and very close friends, drastically reducing other relationships in the period of confinement where they have been seen estranged or lost. From which something logical follows: the period of confinement has brought a decrease in quantity of our networks, but the quality and trust in our trusted networks has intensified. All of this concluding from a non-face-to-face setting, whether by telephone or virtual, and which seems to continue once the de-escalation process has taken place and a return to normality.

WAY TO RELATE Various studies affirm how the pandemic has caused an increase in the feeling of threat, a greater concern for the future or for our health. The most immediate consequence is a turn of our ideas to more conservative conceptions, less tolerant of others (or their attitudes) and with a frequency to show distrust of others; with clear effects on our significant relationships, be they love, family or friendship. At the same time, it has made us more conformist and with a tendency to comply with the rules and punish the extravagant or behaviors considered “rebellious “. This feeling of mistrust is experienced and intensified in relation to strangers, and for this reason there is higher rate of racist or xenophobic attitudes, as we are verifying these weeks in the media.

LONELINESS IMPACT Undoubtedly, another of the clear effects of the pandemic has been the increase in loneliness, which before the pandemic was already considered one of the fundamental public health problems, constituting a true pandemic and promoting greater problems of anxiety and depression in those who experience it. Loneliness does not only refer to being “alone” in itself (and which is not necessarily negative, and may be enjoyable to do your own activities), but to the emotional reaction that awakens you when you are alone, referring to a personal feeling characterized by the thought that nobody understands you, you feel little understood and with the feeling of being unable to connect with others. It is an unpleasant emotional response to perceived isolation or a sense of lack of meaningful social relationships; a kind of social pain, and which is not exclusively a feeling referred to in older populations, but affects all strata and with dramatic effects in younger ones. In current figures and collected in times of pandemic, the figures show how the Millennial Generation (born between 1981 and 1995) claim to have felt very lonely in 34%, Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012) in 27% or 20% of generation X (born between 1961 and 1981). It follows that loneliness is seen as something threatening, something that the confinement has intensified and that this explains the desire to relate (even in large groups, being counterproductive at the moment) and the dangerous and distance less behaviors caused in the entire de-escalation process, especially in the young population.

NEW RELATIONSHIPS Paradoxically to what could be thought by the generalized “maximum of social distance” since the pandemic began, the websites and online dating sites report a significant increase in new users and use of their services. However, there is a change in the flirting behavior , lengthening the time in which the first meeting occurs and lengthening the virtual contact, an improvement in the establishment of clear priorities and goals (not just anyone at this time , but someone who is worthwhile, so there is a greater depth before the first date occurs)and with a greater tendency to personal and intimate exposure, sharing not only physical or more superficial aspects but also affinities, tastes, values or concerns, with an increase in intimacy and that would be in line with what was found in relationships of the type “ bonding ”.

SOCIALIZATION IN THE JOB The new distancing measures are going to change the so-called “informal relationships” in the organizational sphere, which arise at work when there are no formal rules that regulate them, and which have to do with rest and recreation times in every study center. and of job. For this reason, a decrease in disconnection behaviors is expected, and despite the efforts of companies to acclimatize and manage spaces, at this time the safety and reliability of the workplace is prioritized over the possibility of relating to each other. Neither crowded offices nor large team meetings will be allowed, and in some offices it will be chosen to disable common areas, a source of contagion or relaxation of the rules of social distance, with the consequent decrease in interactions with colleagues and a greater probability to focus our workday on performing tasks, something that if not managed well, and with the increased vigilance that has occurred at this stage, can formalize workers with a higher rate of exhaustion or a feeling of burn out. This, logically, will be seen supporting in environments where presence is the norm, being able to relax or facilitate these “informal networks”, if virtual ones are promoted, also from the companies themselves.

In summary, the relational panorama is complex and will have to adapt to this changing reality and with big questions, and that as a society we will have to assume. Perhaps the most important thing is that this stage of distancing does not seem to inhibit our need to relate, but the creativity to keep them and make them closer and more durable, and because of the beneficial effects for our health that we can promote from the individual and organizational level.