Social allergies are behaviors that are repetitive and difficult to avoid, such as seasonal allergies. This is exactly what happens when you swap your favorite friends with people whose behavior you don’t like. So where are these people? For example, your aunt constantly complaining about pointless things, your cousin smacking his mouth while eating (imagine), and wiping his mouth on his armholes after eating. What are you feeling now? Discomfort. This discomfort occurs within minutes of exposure to the emotional and physical symptoms produced by social allergens. An action may be bearable if done once, but when it happens regularly, it can disturb us like the buzzing of a fly.
So what can you do about social allergens?
The places where we have the most difficulty and feel social allergy are our family and colleagues, so we should not forget to review this situation. You can only control what you do and feel, not the other person.
Even if sometimes the behaviors seem intentional, consider that they are not intentionally meant to offend you and there could possibly be another reason.
We often see these behaviors in the people we spend the most time with, and as these behaviors continue, our allergies may get worse.
An effective way to prevent a social allergic reaction is to reduce your exposure time. Just as a person allergic to cats should avoid prolonged exposure to cats, a person with a social allergy should avoid staying in an environment filled with social allergens. Minimizing the time you are in contact with allergens reduces your risk of allergies.
You can strategize, such as limiting the time you spend in an environment surrounded by your social allergens. Be strategic in family gatherings or social situations you enter. Don’t sit right in front of your cousin who smacks his mouth when he finds a seat at the dinner table. We have some control over many social allergens. In fact, the social allergens around us seek some form of support and validation. For example; You may want to shut up your aunt, who can’t be quiet, but that won’t help calm your allergic reaction. If you spend some time first seeking the validation he seeks, you can quench the behavior you find repulsive by giving him the satisfaction he seeks. You could try talking to your slurping cousin about his eating habits. However, remember that conversations are not only informative, they also have consequences within your relationship. Make sure you talk openly with him about this because you love him.
If you think they won’t work, you can try to be in the moment. Being in the moment involves paying attention to what is happening in the present moment and accepting them without judgment. When social allergens start to bother you, pay attention to your own internal discomfort before evaluating these thoughts. Let’s see what’s going on inside you. Just follow where it goes. This will not prevent the allergen from bothering you, but it will help you realize how irritating it is and control how quickly you recover from its effects. Social allergies can wear you down and turn your relationships into a stress test. A few simple steps can set you up for a happy, healthy relationship instead of dealing with social allergens in your relationships.