Is the Coronavirus Pandemic Making Us Mean?

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

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Show notes:

In this episode:

Is the Coronavirus Pandemic Making Us Mean?

The Dangers of Omegle

Coping With Bedwetting

Listen to the Expert Interview


Is the Coronavirus Pandemic Making Us Mean?

I’m far more easily irritated than usual ?  – I generally don’t suffer fools gladly but I’ve noticed I’m less patient with others – not my family, but in business – I’m more irritable, have a shorter fuse and I’m quicker to anger – with nonsense or PR hype or triviality.

I read an article in ‘Today’ Where Chris Cuomo admitted the coronavirus is making him meaner and others noticed being easily irritated too. But experts say something else is going on…  Read the article ? HERE

Gail Saltz, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, and host of the podcast Personology, says  ‘When you give people high anxiety or even when you give them a lot of sadness and loss, irritability is often a symptom. You’re not being inherently mean. It’s stress.’

She says that ‘when I think of somebody being mean I think the person has the intent to do something to hurt somebody. Your intention is to make that person feel bad. So, I don’t know that the pandemic is making people mean per se, but I think it’s absolutely pushing our limit.

And that makes sense to me – I just feel a bit more cynical than I usually do ….. and I have felt a bit guilty about that!

The repetitive Groundhog Day feelings just get on my nerves some days and I feel quicker to be annoyed by things and to spark to anger as a result, which is quite different than being mean.

But I was glad to read I wasn’t alone!

I’m quite self-aware, having studied NLP, Life Coaching, and Adlerian Psychology so I recognise my triggers and know how to get myself back into equilibrium quite quickly.

But I miss the variety of going up to Disney’s Headquarters in London to do my Facebook Lives in the studio, getting on a  train home after having reviewed the papers for TalkRadio, and doing all the various social things I love, like meeting my kids for dinner in a restaurant and hugging them as well as hearing their news, or visiting an Art Gallery or just chewing the fat on my friend Sara’s sofa!

I read, I paint, I write and I sing loudly in the car, I meditate and walk my 3 dogs across muddy fields in Surrey and enjoy the blue sky and the green trees, I’ve taken up Guosto to connect with the enjoyment of cooking again and I bought a Cross Trainer to let out my strong emotions but as it drags on – it gets me down some days and I know I am really blessed compared to other people worried about money, health, juggling homeschooling and worried about their business and their families.

I wrote about my Groundhog  Day feelings here ? (Click the Image)

Change your routine… Start small.

You could walk a different way with the kids or the dogs for example, stop at a takeaway and buy a coffee. Just do things differently from how you have been doing them now. It can be so easy to get caught in a cycle of habits… Grab a pen and paper right now and write down 3 ways in which you are going to start your day differently tomorrow.

Mary Fristad, a psychologist in the department of psychiatry and behavioural health at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, said relying on the things that keep people strong will be useful in preventing emotional outbursts. One way to help is by connecting with people outside of the house – through a phone call, text or Zoom.

Getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, exercising, and acknowledging my feelings helps so  I tell my husband that I’m feeling frustrated, bored, fed up with the same old, same old and that helps me release the feelings.

It’s about staying present in the moment, forgiving myself for feeling the way I do and doing something to nurture my soul and make my heart dance – even for 15 minutes.


Stranger Danger⚠️

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Parents’ please be aware Omegle is a live chat website that pairs strangers, encouraging them to ‘meet new friends’. What is it & how can you protect children against the risks? Please read ‘What parents need to know’ and visit National Online Safety for more info.

Here’s an article on its dangers from the BBC


Parents World Magazine


Sue’s new article for Parents World Magazine in India ( is all about bedwetting and how to cope with it, and help your child to cope with it.



Answer :

Her changing moods can be attributed to normal adolescent physical-emotional changes. Nevertheless, here’s my advice to encourage your teen to open up:

  • Avoid persistent direct questioning as this can make your daughter feel threatened.
  • Be honest and explain that you’re worried that she is confronted with a difficult problem
  • Don’t blame yourself for any problems she is experiencing. It won’t improve the situation.
  • Let her choose where to go for help, perhaps a family friend or school counsellor
  • Encourage her to think through the pros and cons of her behaviour and resolve problems
  • Spend time doing enjoyable activities together. This will mend the communication breakdown.


Here’s My Article

Talk to me first : Getting Teens To Open Up To You – Ditch These Classic Ways To Switch Them Off – Sue Atkins The Parenting Coach (


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