Our Masked Society During COVID-19 Could Mean Greater Emotional Intelligence

One of the outcomes of our masked society during COVID-19 has been a forced, nuanced way of communicating. And that has resulted in a daily abundance of misinterpretation, if not frustration. But as John Adams once said, “Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.”

In that same vein, the masked communication barriers we face on a daily basis could actually present an unprecedented chance to hone a much more sophisticated degree of emotional intelligence that will far outlast the pandemic.

I address this perspective in my recent Psychology Today blog. Here are some highlights:

Since the beginning of the pandemic, much of the data we normally have to read others has been noticeably absent. The mask and distance barrier has created a shaky communications ground — not the ideal scenario for building a trusting bond.

But by focusing on certain non-verbal cues and expressions, you can access valuable information you may have never tapped into before. You can now improve the quality of your communications in new ways that may be helpful, not just post-pandemic, but maybe forever. You could become far more perceptive to the subtleties of eye expressions, gestures and the level of engagement, for example.

Read on to see specific non-verbal and verbal actions you can take to counter the two-way miscommunications that occur daily in this environment.

We don’t know how much longer we’ll all be donning a mask. But in the meantime, we could take our emotional intelligence to a new level — in ways that could last a lifetime.