Monday, December 4, 2023

Battling “the ever complaining negatives” during COVID-19 lockdown

By Sushmita Chakravarti

A healthy immune system and a strong belief in yourself can beat all odds.

The nation-wide pandemic induced lockdown has undoubtedly checked COVID-19 cases but ask about the pangs of people who got trapped at home with the nonstop complaining and the ever negatives. Movement outside the house was limited to emergencies only and there was no other positive soul around. Surely outside a war with the invisible is on, at home it’s no less a struggle to keep one’s sanity at place with such complaining negatives.

All pass through difficult phases, temporary moodiness, sadness, and need to be understood, supported, and listened to. Here, the challenge lies with those people who are always negative and who complain nonstop. Their pessimistic and critical approach, manipulative and judgemental nature, the habit of exaggeration, and their every effort to dictate others can make others’ life unliveable. They can get defensive, attack other’s self-esteem and confidence, and be unpredictable when confronted. People who care about them make innumerable efforts to make them contended, but all goes in vain. All attempts of getting a solution to their misery are of no use, as the suggestions given are never accepted, and yes, they always have a new issue, or they can make a new issue out of everything to crib on. These people need to be helped but not at the cost of losing one’s sanity.

These issues came out more vividly during the phase of lockdown 1 to 5 of the pandemic, as people were locked down at home, unable to connect and socialize with others. People felt being locked at home with no personal space, both physically and mentally. This article does not aim to criticize the complaining negatives but highlights the fact that the family members of these people are left to struggle endlessly.

The world is anticipating a vaccine or drug for COVID-19; people are tested and infected are quarantined. The thought of the nonstop complaining and the ever negative people being quarantined or a magical vaccine or drug curing them may surely ease one’s pain. But stop you cannot think like that, they are your family, your loved ones and you want to be with them. Had it been at the job front or the educational institute or with a neighbour, it would have been much more manageable. A resignation, a transfer certificate, or simple avoidance could have sufficed the issue. But when the struggle is with family members, you do not want to leave them.

The big question that comes next is how do people keep themselves sane through all these.

On interrogating people about how they dealt or are dealing with this, it was found that the first key to it, is not to doubt your “self-worth.” Respect yourself to let others respect you. Do not let others define you. Do not belittle yourself; remember the fault is with them and not with you. Be confident, have faith in yourself, and remember you do not always need others approval in your life.

Provide yourself with the required “personal space” while staying with your family, which is key to maintaining relationships.

Stay active and do things that make you feel better. Engage yourself in fitness activities. Practice yoga and meditation regularly. Stretch yourself often. Exercise does help.

Connect with good memories. Take a new or old hobby or learn new things online. Bring out the creativity in you. Give your house or garden a new look. Cook a healthy meal.

Stay connected to others through voice calls, video calls, and talking to others through balconies, terraces, windows while maintaining social distancing. However, please do not fall down from terraces or balconies while talking. Go in for group chats, talk to friends, family, teachers, counsellors, and ease your burden. But too much of everything is bad, so do not stick to the digital world for long.

Try to communicate clearly with the person about the problem being faced. Effective communication can solve many issues. However, do not address all the tantrums of these people. “Ignore” is another keyword. Remember, at times, ignorance is bliss. Do not take their words and action personally. Remember, you cannot please all always.

Help needy by getting them medicine, milk, grocery, or other needful, and seeing people in need helped will surely soothe one who is desperately looking for help.

Some precautions suggested to reduce the chances of being infected by COVID-19 can also be applied as a solution to the present issue when one is locked with the ever negative complaining ones:

1. Wash your hands frequently to flush out the germs, similarly wash away the impact of the words and actions of these people from your mind for mental wellness.

2. Wear a mask to prevent germs from entering, similarly do not let the words and actions of these people affect you; do not take the things personally.

3. Maintain social distancing to get your work done without being infected with germs, similarly provide yourself a personal space while being with the family. Do activities that make you happy, maintaining social distancing.

And yes, improved immunity does help all in numerous ways. Eat healthy, sleep well, and exercise regularly.

These are some of the ways discovered to manage the emotional crisis faced on being locked down with the ever complaining and negative people. Lockdown brought these issues forward in a vivid way, and with the Unlock 1, these issues might seem to get relaxed, as people are going out, interacting with others, and socializing. Interaction is not limited to family members, and people are getting some personal space and relaxation. However, it needs to be remembered that the issue has not been treated, it needs attention, it needs to be discussed upon, communicated, and solved.

(Sushmita Chakravarti is a Doctoral Scholar from the University Department of English, Ranchi University. The views expressed
within this article are the personal opinions of the author.)

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