CHARLOTTE Local Charlotte News — The pandemic and COVID vaccines have been divisive to say the least, but could they be destroying relationships?
A recent survey from One Poll shows 1-in-7 vaccinated people have ended a friendship with people who don’t want to get the shot.
FOX 46 is asking: Are those opposite stances worth breaking up a friendship?
Across the Queen City, you’ll find friends: eating lunch, taking a walk, and having tough conversations. Questions like, “Are you vaccinated?” If the answer is “no,” what comes next depends on the person.
“It’s not one-size-fits-all you know?” said one woman in South End.
It’s a discussion Charysse Johnson, a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Charlotte, is hearing a lot.
“At least ten times a week,” she said.
Johnson said clients are asking for help dealing with relationships where they don’t see eye to eye on the COVID vaccine.
“People are all along the spectrum; some people will take the time to have a conversation and try to agree, ‘let’s be able to talk and not do anything that would be damaging long-term,’ but other people are just overwhelmed by the topic and want to back away, and so they kind of ghost the friendship,” Johnson explained.
But why are we feeling this way?
Johnson said it often happens when we thought we knew where our friends stood on certain issues.
“If someone they love and care about answers in a way that surprises them, that could create hurt, frustration, disappointment,” she said.
So, what about people in Charlotte? Do they think it’s worth call it quits?
One woman told us, “That’s a pretty stupid reason to end a friendship.”
Another woman having lunch in Uptown said, “I do believe that if you don’t get the vaccine that you just don’t care about that person.”
“What they choose to do with her body shouldn’t in my opinion be a reason to stop hanging out with someone,” said a woman walking in South End.
However, even those people who feeling strongly about getting the shot said they still wouldn’t ditch their buddies, they just get together a little differently right now.
“Keep your boundaries, because your decision could affect me, but we can still talk on the phone and maybe see each other at a distance,” responded on person we talked to.
Another person said its about being respectful.
“We should be able to disagree and people should be able to enjoy civil debate without having to be so divisive about it,” she said.
Johnson agrees that respect is the biggest thing to remember here and taking a step back and taking time to think about how the disagreement makes you feel can keep you from making knee-jerk decisions.
She suggested asking yourself some questions.
“What was this person like and how much did you love and care for this person before you knew this one piece of information? Does this piece of information override all of the moments and years that you have had together?” she said.
If the answer is still “yes,” Johnson said you and your friend might be better off taking a ‘pause’ instead of burning the whole bridge down.
Johnson said, “Take time to really think about your decisions before you make them, so that you don’t do anything you’ll regret.”
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