A friend put up a vulnerable post about her COVID positive status.
She was curious why people post about their COVID experience after they’ve recovered, not when they’re diagnosed. Is COVID the new Scarlet Letter? Are people staying quiet because they’re feeling or have been shamed?
Worry about unknowingly infecting people & self judgement about doing something "wrong" to get the virus could all lead to feelings of shame.
And then there are the outside judgements- people who are unkind or ask assuming questions.
It got me thinking about my own reactions, judgements & why we go there.
The first question I wanted to ask her was how she got it.
But, I stopped & considered why that was my first thought…(BTW I wasn’t alone that’s everyone's first question)
What I realized was that if I knew where she picked up the virus I could feel good about how I’m NOT doing that (& feeling superior) or how to avoid what she’d done in the future (dodging a bullet-which still has a flavor of superiority)
Either way the point of the judgement was to separate myself & feel safe.
Let’s be clear, this wasn’t intentional.
It’s like when you hear someone has lung cancer & the first question is “Did they smoke”
It separates us, keeps us “safe” if we don’t engage in that behavior. Feeling a little pompous.
Except that we know there are plenty of people with lung cancer who never smoked
And there are people like my friend who were careful & still got the virus
And sitting on the mountain of superiority doesn’t make us safer & it certainly doesn’t make us feel better. It isolates us. That is something we could us a lot less of these days.
So, I invite you...think about a time when you felt judgy. Get in there & poke around. What were you trying to make yourself feel better about?
Let me know what you discover. I'd really like to hear.