I think the question Ivy asks here is one of the most important things we should stop and think about, for many reasons:
“Is that who you want to be? The real person this adversity reveals is the person you’ll be stuck with for the remainder of your days. Who do you want that person to be?”
I’d go one step further though, based on some of the things we have learned over the past couple of years about loss and tragedy, and what I’ve written recently about employers as well.
Ivy is totally correct that difficult times bring out our true character. During our months of back to back family losses last year, we learned a lot about the people in our lives, in terms of who we could count on, and who we couldn’t. That knowledge has changed some of our relationships in profound ways. Some for the worse, others for the better.
When we get through this time of pandemic, I suspect many of us will have similar overhauls when it comes to our relationships. We’ll know who rose to the occasion and who shrunk from it, who we can count on, and who we cannot. Who offered help and support, and who tried to take advantage of the situation.
We know that right now, none of us is at our best, so I do suggest being graceful towards each other as we struggle together, but in this case, I’m talking about people who simply don’t show any interest in the “together” part of that phrase.
And then we’ll make our choices going forward, in many cases leaving behind those people who showed themselves to not be trustworthy in times of trouble. Dropping people on social media who spent this time being divisive, and angry, in favor of people who shared hope and love, avoiding people who weren’t there for us, and even deciding who we want to work for and with on things in the future.
So go ahead and be selfish, uncaring, rude, and worse right now because things are difficult. I can certainly understand feeling anxious and acting out because of it. Just don’t expect other people to act like that didn’t happen when this is over.