You will be able to socialize soon, but do you want to?
During the Covid-19 pandemic, a topic that has not been mentioned much is the number of people who have felt more comfortable not having to socialize in-person. For many, the pandemic was a time of relief — they could work from home, and social contact was minimal.
You may have read stories of people longing for social contact during quarantine and thought to yourself, I am definitely not one of those people.
However, vaccines are more prevalent, and some workplaces request that employees return to the office by mid-summer. The bubble of contentment many felt by being able to work from home is about to burst.
What can you do when you have to do in-person socializing again but are really dreading it?
Talk About the Awkwardness
You may be working on-site with coworkers that you have only seen on a screen up to this point. Discuss it on video before seeing each other in person. Preface the conversation with, “This is awkward, but…” It’s important to talk about personal space if the two of you will be sharing close quarters at work. All workspaces would still be maintaining social distancing in a perfect world. However, many may ignore those guidelines.
Go At Your Own Pace
You don’t have to socialize. Do it when you want to, and on your own terms. If you are socializing, you may want to consider only attending gatherings where social distancing is observed. Not only is it safer, but it limits the number of events you attend. Telling the host that you can’t attend due to a lack of safety protocols is a perfectly acceptable reason not to attend a social gathering. A simple “no thank you” also works well when declining social events.