Staying in isolation isn’t easy for almost anyone. If you are not a misanthropist, keeping your social distancing from people you love, care, or like, can be hell. You might even miss being surrounded by strangers. In a park, in a theatre hall, in a restaurant, or solely in the street.
The feeling of being part of a more significant thing than the walls of your head or your house is castrated and can’t be replaced. So, you might find yourself indulgent with your neighbors that break the rules and have a little party, or your friends visiting their families, or the youngsters finding ways to gather in the park without even wearing masks.
They are the rebels that can put the spell of fascination on us and wake the heroic spirit that calls for sacrifice. So, we end up visiting a friend or not wearing a mask, or shop something that isn’t a necessary thing but more of a reward.
And if we get away with this first attempt, we’d be creating the precedent that will edulcorate all the other ones that will follow because they will follow. We have our beautiful mind to trick us into believing we are doing the right thing. Be aware of them.
How Your Mind Might Derail You From Social Distancing
I rebelled, I’m fine, everything is fine
Our mind works in patterns. We understand things through associations with previous experience. We also have inherent logic, but logic isn’t infallible. Logics says that two true premises can lead to a false conclusion.
You’ve visited your family, so you’ve rebelled. That’s true. Truth isn’t also right, but let’s not step into details. You and your family are okay. That could be true since it will take up to 2 weeks to know for sure. But again, let’s not step into details. The conclusion you mind will get to is that everything is fine.
Since the worse fear that you or your loved ones could get sick didn’t come true, the logical conclusion would be that there is nothing there to be afraid of. And that’s a trick your mind plays against you.
The others do it, why not me?
Since others went there in the front line on the front, they send you the wrong signal that everything is fine, and you’ll be safe. Whether you know them or not, people influence you. You might see plain strangers go rebellious and walk free on the street.
They become something you yearn to be. It’s not just the people you consciously admire and love get to you. Sometimes even those you don’t agree with do so. You might have judged them a week ago for their reckless behavior, whether because they got out too often, or they had people over.
But sometimes that resent can only be overcome with a similar reward: if they do it, why should I be an excellent abiding citizen and keep on social distancing? It is the same question you end up asking yourself when it is someone you care about that is doing that: if he/she does it, why not me?
The perfect reason
The perfect reason is the one that can’t be defeated by an argument. And the only kind of ideal reason is the emotional one. No one can tell the truth about what you fell but yourself. And when what you are feeling is the entitlement that you deserve breaking the lockdown, no one can argue that Not even yourself. You’ll become the object of your own emotional manipulation.
Another perfect reason to quit social distancing is that nothing can happen to you. It’s a belief and beliefs can’t be argued – they are the supreme attachment to things that only exist because we need them to exist.