Isolation is a word we have become familiar with this year. We have had to isolate for most of 2020. We have had to isolate from friends and family, isolate from colleagues, isolate from those with whom we once spent most of our time. Isolation looked differently for each of us. Some were isolated with immediate family while others were isolated with themselves. Being isolated in 2020 deprived us of the very thing that every human needs to thrive: socialization. Now that the world has somewhat opened again, we have realized how much of an impact being disconnected has had upon our lives. This is particularly apparent as we go about our daily activities.
I recently came to this realization when I returned to work and began to slowly increase my socialization (while remaining cautious of course). While I was glad to have human interaction again, I found myself becoming easily agitated and annoyed by little things. The same little things that I had overcome through constant and consistent hard work on my social skills. After much pondering, I concluded that social skills are like every other skill in life; if you do not practice them, you can lose them. Social skills that are not “sharpened” daily through personal interactions tend to become dull and lose their usefulness. One of the more serious side effects of isolation is the loss of social skills.
Once I received this revelation, I had to reevaluate my situation and become more cognizant of my behavior and responses. I had to work toward building tolerance and becoming more flexible to people, places and things that bothered me.
I believe that at some point we all will wrestle with this, some more than others, depending on the time and circumstances of our isolation. While no one is to blame for this unfortunate calamity, each of us is responsible for our behavior.
So, while we are all still finding our way in this new normal, take time to check in with yourself. Take care of yourself. Become more self-aware and work on behaviors, that may lead to negative interactions
Peace to you and your loved ones this Holiday Season