Cranky COVID-19 Neighbors! How do you get along?
Allana, my neighbor is being a complete ass. I stopped to say ‘Hi’ to him from the car, and when he started to approach it. I reminded him about social distancing and to stay back. Now he is acting as if I completely disrespected him! I refuse to apologize because I did nothing wrong. But, I don’t want a hostile environment in my neighborhood. What should I do?
I hear your frustration. This is a difficult time for all of us. We have usual habitual behaviors of shaking hands or hugging or high-fiving. And now we’re coming out of quarantine learning to negotiate connection and safety. It’s wobbly for many of us.
My initial gut response to your question is that he was offended, has taken it personally and has pulled away from you… Perhaps feeling ashamed, perhaps having his feelings hurt, perhaps truly pissed at you… ‘Set up’ to come near, then told to back off.
Love, can you hear in the tone of your communication, how much you’re justifying your behavior, by saying you did nothing wrong? How are you trying to be right, blaming him for his reaction to your reminding him of social distancing? How are you judging him calling him an ‘ass’ rather than seeing things from his point of view that maybe he got his hopes up being called over to see you, only to have his heart crushed being told to stay back?
In all transparency, I remember being at a party, a charity event actually, thousands of people, just as COVID-19 was starting when there was no lockdown yet. I approached my round table to meet the 10 other guests. Most people shook hands but one woman abruptly refused. I remember feeling shocked. It hurt my feelings. I felt offended. I felt she was being superior accusing me of being dirty and infected. I felt completely rejected and embarrassed in front of everyone else. She didn’t extend an elbow, she just turned away and pulled away from me.
Now in hindsight I don’t think she was trying to be superior and embarrass me, I think she was just scared and doing her best to decide how to navigate a global pandemic.
If you didn’t want this gentleman to come over to your car, then I would recommend not stopping to say ‘hello’. Or, I would recommend if you invite someone to come near you, that you are proactive, offering an elbow rather than telling them to stay back. It’s a mixed signal that could make him feel similar to how I felt at that party.
I would honestly approach him again and apologize if you came across as abrupt, offensive or made him feel rejected in any way. I would own it, that it’s a scary time and you might not have been terribly gracious in your request for him to stand back and respect social distancing. I would ask him to give you another try to make up for the damage done and reconnect with elbow touches and see how each other is doing through this difficult time. And I would definitely stop calling him an ‘ass’. He’s doing his best. And so are you. And lastly I would forgive your sweet self for doing your best during an uncertain time in history. Open your heart to yourself, open your heart to him and give yourself permission for a ‘do-over’.
You got this 😉
And, if I can support you in cultivating a deeper intimate relationship with yourself, with others, with a beloved…
I recommend that you take my complimentary, Intimacy Blind-spot Assessment quiz on my site www.AllanaPratt.com/quiz 🙏💝🙏
I’m all about helping people to become ‘the one to find the one’… Intimacy is an inside job.
Allana, xoox 💝❤️🧡💛💚💙💜
Written on 20 July, 2020
Intimacy Expert, Allana Pratt is a global media personality and go-to authority for those who have suffered heartbreak and are ready to live unapologetically, and attract an open-hearted, ideal relationship.
Her vulnerability and courage landed her a featured weekly column on the GoodMenProject, featured as an Icon of Influence, and as a Guest Expert on Huffington Post, People Magazine, Forbes, CBS & FOX and The Jenny McCarthy Show.
This Ivy League grad is the Author of 4 books, has interviewed Whoopi Goldberg and Alanis Morissette, and Hosts the edgy Podcast “Intimate Conversations” where listeners learn how to find the relationship they deserve. A certified coach, Allana was asked by Leeza Gibbons to coach her during Dancing with the Stars. With close to 5 million viewers on YouTube, Allana supports non profits like ‘Rise of the Butterfly’ to end human trafficking while offering private coaching and retreats so that her clients have a thriving intimate relationship with themselves first, which naturally attracts and enhances their ideal partnerships.
Contact Allana directly at: www.AllanaPratt.com