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Angry about friends breaking the Covid rules? Take a deep breath

The coronavirus pandemic has left us nervous, lonely – and critical of others. But are our concerns about our nearest and dearest always justified? And how should we tackle them if they are?

Covid restrictions have left many of us feeling torn between seeing friends and family and staying safe this year. Meeting others in person can feel fraught, especially when not everyone is adhering to guidance and restrictions. Meanwhile, 7.4 million people in the UK say that “lockdown loneliness” has affected their wellbeing. According to psychologist and friendship expert Marisa Franco this can become a vicious cycle: “When we’re lonely, we are more critical of other people,” she says. “Evolutionarily, when we were lonely, we were separate from our tribe and in danger. Now, when we’re lonely, we’re not in the same kind of danger, but we still have that same physiological system where other people pose a threat of rejection.”

As we leave 2020, it is clear that coronavirus has made its mark on our relationships. But as the UK is no longer in lockdown, there may be more Covid-related confrontations to come – especially with friends who differ in their interpretation of or adherence to the rules imposed by the current tier system. But how do you deal with rule-breaking pals, or even just friends who have different Covid-related boundaries, without losing touch or causing offence?

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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