Just Checking In

Telephone booths lined up on a city street.

We are now in the third week of social distancing, and for most of us, this is the new norm.  It’s a very isolating time for everyone, so every day I call two friends.  Speaking is important.  It is a better form of communication because, unlike written communication, it can convey empathy, emotion, and makes us feel heard.  In times like these, a telephone conversation can be an instrument for healing. 

The Ties That Bind. . .

A blog about the importance of relationships in life, health and business.

To get new installments of “The Ties That Bind” delivered to your inbox, give us your email address and click the subscribe button.

Make the Call

In the past week, I’ve reconnected with friends who run the emotional gamut.  Some are angry over the damage the virus has caused.  They rant to me about the death rate, the economic hardship, and the slimy news media that sow the seeds of fear and anxiety.  Other friends are resigned to the situation.  They dutifully obey the calls for social distancing and with grim determination look forward to the time when all this is over.   

One friend was distraught.  The past year has been very challenging for her emotionally and financially.  She is the primary caregiver to her elderly mother, and the coronavirus has brought a lot of raw emotion to the surface.  While she cried, I tried to offer words of encouragement.  I also added in some self-effacing humor to lighten things up.  Later that day, she sent me a text thanking me for being there.  I made her laugh for the first time in months.

Emotions can surge

You never know what to expect these days.  People may be reacting to all sorts of repressed fears and bottled up emotions.  These fears and emotions can bubble to the surface, triggered feelings of isolation and anxiety over a death toll that rises daily.  Daily White House briefings and government stimulus can’t help the emotional impact the coronavirus is taking.  But you can.

Check-in with your family and reconnect with friends.  Don’t text.  Pick up the phone and call them.  Commiserate over the impact felt around the world.  Share stories of neighbors helping neighbors.  Make plans to get together for drinks when the virus is conquered.  Most of all, listen.  Listen to the emotion that resonates in their voice.  If necessary, assure them that the best and brightest from around the world are working hard to stop this pandemic.  Yes, they have probably heard this already.  But sometimes a little reassurance from a trusted friend is what is needed to sleep a little easier.  And if you can help someone sleep better, you should.