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7 Ways to Convince Someone Who still won’t Stay Home
Mar 24, 2020
How can you convince your loved ones to take the COVID-19 threat seriously?
While millions take precautions across the world, it's proving to be a challenge keeping everyone indoors.
For every Brit leaving home only when absolutely necessary, there is another who is casually out and about like it’s still 2019.
And while we'd love to give them a good earful, here are 7 more effective ways to convince someone who refuses to stay home.
1. Remind them that it's not all about them
Social distancing is in everyone's best interest, so gently remind them of that.
When people behave in a way that hurts the common good - whether that’s continuing to meet up with friends or panic-buying stockpiles of food and supplies - they’re focusing on the risks they personally face.
However, there's a bigger picture and these small actions can cause a domino effect that affects us all...
2. Avoid numbers; Tell stories
As sad as it sounds, human beings become immune to statistics so we'll eventually start to drown out numbers on confirmed cases, fatality rates, hospital-bed capacities, and so on.
Stories, on the other hand, are harder to desensitise.
You’ll probably have better luck persuading someone if you leave out the statistics.
Try to identify a human face of someone who has experienced COVID-19. You'll probably have a better chance of swaying a listener who hasn’t yet seen the catastrophic effects of the virus firsthand.
3. Don't just ask people not to do something - ask them to do something else
Strong commands like "Don't hoard!" won't have as good of an effect as you think.
Instead, why not suggest ways people can be smarter with their shopping.
People want to maintain a sense of control at this difficult time, so give them some control.
Ask them to help donate to food banks or deliver groceries to their elderly neighbours who are unable to leave their homes.
4. Remember to be nice
We're living through uncertain times but don't forget the human touch!
Being empathetic, nonjudgmental, noncritical and affectionate in tone - all these things are going to be much more likely to motivate the other person to care about what you have to say.
The more you can assure the other person that you don't think they're crazy, stupid or overly gullible, the more receptive they’ll be.
People are generally more open to doing things they previously resisted when they feel cared about and understood.
5. Don't try to change people's worldview
Now is not the time to debate over science or religion. It's a time to come together.
People have underlying value and belief systems that are very difficult to change.
Try not to create a divide and accept everyone's valuable opinions.
We can all discuss The Big Bang Theory once all of this is over...
6. Consider your relationship with the listener
You may not always be the right person to advise someone to stay safe and stay home.
Let’s say you have a long-standing sibling rivalry...
Almost anything that comes out of your mouth, your sibling is going to hear in a defensive way.
They’re going to be far less motivated to hear what you’re saying with love and compassion.
Try and get someone else involved and encourage the listener to really listen to why you're trying to protect them.
7. Know when to give up
You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink!
There are only so many ways you can convince someone to do something.
Some people simply won't listen and you may have to accept that. Try and keep as many people safe as you can... you've done your bit!
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