How Relationships Have Shifted Post-COVID, and What You Can Do About It

Before the pandemic, most of us did not spend a whole lot of time evaluating our social interactions. Meeting up with friends and family was sometimes fraught for other reasons, but certainly, nothing like the health-related existential worry about getting together COVID brought into our lives.

Now as reentry into something that looks more like our “former” lives begins, it seems genuinely harder to establish good relationships.

Here is what I am hearing from my clients right now:

  • It is hard to develop positive connections at work after so much time remotely. I am not sure how I stand with my colleagues.
  • Emotions are contagious, and my boss is a real downer.
  • I feel I’ve outgrown my friend group. We have nothing in common anymore.
  • I want to be authentic and make my associations more meaningful. But how?

Even my own coaching colleagues report feeling unsettled. In the midst of the very real urge to connect, the past year has left us feeling out of practice and navigating new territories of awkwardness and anxiety.

The way we approach strangers and acquaintances has changed. Many of us have let go of the need to shake hands in social situations, or even to make eye contact with the people we pass on the street. Warm and spontaneous hugs have become problematic.

At work, we are noticing more than ever before how negative energy can drag us down. Is this reason enough to leave a job we love?

The amount of personal space we require has changed too. In the past when someone asked to sit near you, you might have quickly answered, “sure.” Now, you’re not so sure. Will the person get angry if you say, “sorry, I’m still not vaccinated. I’d rather keep my distance.” If you have been vaccinated, you might be worried whether the person will think your concerns about personal space are valid.

All of this feeds social anxiety, even among those of us who didn’t think twice about interpersonal interactions in pre-COVID times.

Routines have changed, work situations are different, and many friends and acquaintances have moved. Close quarters have made the past year-plus make-or-break time for some marriages, and differences in opinion have fractured many extended families. Even if our closest relationships are “all good,” all the change can make us feel off-balance. Research has shown that people with so-called “ambivalent relationships,” or on-again, off-again relationships, have more stress in their lives and are more reactive than people with relationships that are mostly positive. Now is the time to really evaluate the support system you have around you, and how it is impacting you emotionally and mentally.

Life Coaching to Navigate Your Post-COVID Relationships

Life coaching with me, Catharine Ecton, is about noticing, identifying, and focusing on assumptions, beliefs, and self-limiting thoughts that might keep you from moving forward to reach your goals in life. This includes relationship goals in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe that by working collaboratively, we can change our lives one day at a time through life coaching. When you don’t know what your goals are, or should be, we’ll work to discover the ones that ring true to you. With the right tools, a few powerful questions, and the intention to create a life and relationships that are authentically yours, you too can find the answers you seek and get to where you want to be.

As with any big change, it is so much better when you have an ally to help you in this work. To enlist my help, call Catharine Ecton Life Coaching or schedule your free Life Coaching consultation today. In my blog about Life Coaching vs. Therapy, I discussed the differences and reasons why you might want to hire me as your life coach.

Not sure if Life Coaching is for you? Read Life Coaching testimonials from several of my happy clients here.

Contact me for a complimentary, no-obligations life coaching consultation and we can work on making your life a more powerful, positive one together. Or use the Appointment Scheduler and pick a time that works for you for a phone consultation. You don’t necessarily need to find a life coach near you! As a Washington DC based life coach, I can relate to anyone working in a high-pressure, high-stakes environment or feeling they want more out of their life. I coach 100% of my clients over the phone and can accommodate most schedules. I look forward to hearing from you.


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