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How to respond.. to someone who asks you to attend a gathering but you want to follow COVID rules – Times of India


If only we were in a different world – a world without the COVID pandemic – we’d all be preparing to celebrate the festive season coming our way. But, given the current situation, we can only pray for a speedy cure and do our part to prevent the spread of the virus. That said, there may be times when you as an individual would like to abide by the rules, but a friend or a loved one would want you to attend a gathering they’re hosting. During such circumstances, not only do you fall into a state of confusion, but feel a lot of pressure thinking about the various ways you must confront them.

What is the right thing to do?

Surely, you too want to meet up with friends and have a good time. After all we’re all burnt out by this never-ending pandemic. However, during such critical times, if your friend asks you to attend a party or a gathering, it is important that you say ‘no’ and not fall under the pressure of agreeing to the invitation. While it may offend your friend, but on the contrary, you are reducing the level of risks posed to each and everyone of you. That said, here are some tips to respond to someone who asks you to attend a gathering but you want to follow COVID rules.

Express your emotions to someone you’re close to and understands you
As and when your friend invites you to a gathering, you’ll of course experience a gush of emotions. You may feel judgmental, angry, confused and/or conflicted. Therefore, you must not react immediately. Instead give yourself some time and identify the emotions you’re feeling. Once you know how you feel, discuss it with someone you feel the most comfortable with. This will help you take control over the rollercoaster of emotions you’re feeling and will also help you think the process through.

Let them explain their side of the story

Once you decide to have a conversation with your friend, it is crucial that you let them explain their side of the story too. This pandemic has taken a toll on a lot of people and there is a high possibility that your friend is going through a difficult time too. Therefore, by listening to what they have to say, you may be able to perceive things differently.


Build a rapport
After you’ve listened to them, make sure to empathise with how they’re feeling. Try and help them believe that you understand and can relate to them. You never know, in doing so you may find a part of you that truly wants the same.

While addressing your concern, do not point fingers at them

Now, coming to the hard facts, it is important that you address your concern in the right way. While it is crucial that you keep things straight, you must avoid pointing fingers at them. Express yourself without demeaning the other and avoid words that directly accuse them of something wrong. By doing so, they’ll understand your side of the story too.

Provide them with other possibilities

After you tell them how you feel about this entire scenario, you can provide them with other alternatives. If you can’t meet them indoors, you can always offer to meet them somewhere outside, where you can maintain social distance and also enjoy the company of each other. This way you won’t pose any risks to anyone.

If it doesn’t go well, don’t sweat

It’s wonderful if everything works out. However, if it goes a little haywire, there’s no need for you to take it personally. Given the current situation, it is the best you could do and by doing so, you have stood by your responsibilities. Therefore, remember, you have done nothing wrong.



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