Can you have social relationships in a pandemic: yes, it’s possible! No, I’m not kidding.
Remember when we went to parties? Remember when our social relationships didn’t require masks (and fear) first? I’m still adjusting to social relationships in a pandemic.
I’m watching shows that depict people out in public mingling and touching without gloves and masks. These scenes kick up recognition in me of “that’s no longer us.” It’s a disquieting thought.
Watching stories and connections unfold on film and video, we are drawn to characters who struggle in the same ways we do. We identify with the fear of criticism, the dread of rejection and the angst around feeling suffocated by others. With each passing day, as we creep deeper into the Time of Corona, our feelings about new connections play out in real life for us.
Now… it’s hard to imagine what new connections will feel like even as we change what is required for our safety.
Social Relationship in a Pandemic Require a New Approach
My book The Five Archetypes is about relationships–deep ones, familial ones, work ones, and social ones because in the end, we’re all relating: person to person.
While I never imagined a pandemic when I wrote the book, I see now how timely it was. The Five Archetypes is a guide for social relationships in a pandemic because they teach us how to predict and understand how we relate to others – without having to get to know them well first. We need these lessons and insights now that the cocktail party and the face to face meetings are distant memories.
The Five Archetypes teach us to understand who we are and what we need in order to feel safe, seen and accepted. It helps us know exactly how we’ll think and feel about others and how they’ll think and feel about us.
A little playing around with social relationships in a pandemic
Since we can’t go out to parties at the moment, I thought I’d bring the proverbial party to your computer screen. This way you can play with me and the archetypes a bit. Get to know these traits so that when you go to your first post-corona party you are totally ready to rock your archetype!
If you don’t know your type yet, click here to take the assessment and then dive into the insights below.
Imagine you’re walking into a cocktail party. You’re seeing the people gathered there for the very first time. Find your primary element in the list below and take a look at what you’re most likely to think and feel about the other archetypes in the room.
- Fire – Attraction! She’s Fun!
- Earth – Gentle – he seems so nice. I’ll ask him about his tie.
- Metal – Wow, he’s very well put together and feels a little unapproachable. I’m not going to ask him about his tie.
- Water – She’s quiet. I bet she doesn’t like me.
- Wood – Whoa, he seems very confident. I’m a little intimidated.
- Earth – Aw! He seems so caring.
- Metal – Something about her seems a little uptight.
- Water – I wonder why he’s not talking to anybody. I should go bring him a plate of fruit and make him feel welcome.
- Wood – She seems tough. I don’t get the sense she wants to get to know me.
- Fire – Whoa, she loves all the attention she’s getting.
- Metal – Now, there’s someone with taste and poise. Nice.
- Water – Aw, that guy just spilled dip on his shirt and I wonder if he has any idea he’s wearing two slightly different color blue socks.
- Wood – Doesn’t she know we’re not allowed to take food before the hostess?
- Fire – That guy seems like he’s holding court. He isn’t letting anyone else get a word in.
- Earth – It was so sweet of her to offer to take my empty glass.
- Water – Oh good. I’m going to go stand in the back near her. She doesn’t seem like the type to bother me too much.
- Wood – Geez. That guy just cut the line for the cocktails.
- Fire – That lady is flirting with every person in the room!
- Earth – I don’t think that guy has stopped talking about his volunteer work all evening. I hope he doesn’t want ask me about my altruistic endeavors tonight.
- Metal – She keeps admiring the painting next to me. If I had to talk to one person tonight I wouldn’t mind talking to her about her opinion of the artwork here.
- Wood – Hands down he is the absolute coolest person in this room. I wonder if we could do business together.
- Fire – She’s on fire! I like her energy!
- Earth – I should totally ask that guy to join the darts game. He seems like he’ll join and I can definitely beat him.
- Metal – I think she sees something on my shirt. Is there something wrong with my shirt?
- Water – That guy’s going to miss out on these appetizers if he doesn’t get in line quickly.
A year of change: Can we see each other better?
So we’ve endured the first massive disruption to our lives. We’ve experienced a bit of social connection again, even if most of these meeting were outside in the beauty of summer. But what now as we’re headed into the flu season and a “second wave” seems likely?
How do we create social relationships in a pandemic, even if we are doing them from behind a mask? How do we be real despite our face being covered?
We may need to experiment more with virtual cocktail parties for a while.
Or we may take this opportunity to deeply learn more about ourselves and others. We can remove our emotional masks and live more authentically. Armed with knowledge of the archetype traits, we can create more fulfilling connections and spend less time trying to figure people out on the other side (even if it’s on a computer screen).
We have a lot to learn about social relationships in a pandemic, and since this thing isn’t going away any time soon, it’s time we get better about this.
Can I help? If you’re feeling isolated, stressed, or uncertain, contact me. Is work stress mounting? Economic hardship? Relationships under siege? Moms… talk to me. How’s the whole “work from home/be your child’s virtual teacher/do all the things at once” thing working out?
Contact me. I have an introductory price for a first Five Archetype session that will immediately bring you results to improve your life and help you foster the connections you need.