How to Talk with Loved Ones About Getting Vaccinated, According to Mom.
Moms Know When to Bring the Care.
The best way to approach a sensitive topic is with compassion. Mom’s advice? Take some time to reflect on why you want to have this conversation with your friend or family member before you speak with them. More than likely, you care for this person and want them to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others. Make this your mantra. When the time comes to talk, try to practice empathy at every step of the conversation. If things feel tense, take a step back and come back to your purpose and the common ground you share: we all want the best for our loved ones and our communities.
Moms Know When it’s Time to Listen.
Consider this initial conversation a listening tour. To help your loved one say “yes” to the vaccine, you first need to understand why they’re currently saying “maybe” or “no.” Mom’s advice? Put aside any distractions and ask your friend or family member to describe what has kept them from receiving the vaccine and pay close attention. They may share that they’ve heard conflicting information, or that they just want to wait and see. But whatever the reason, hear them out fully without interruption and do your best to understand where they’re coming from.
Moms Know Teaching Takes Time.
Now that you’ve identified the reasons for your loved one’s hesitancy, you might be tempted to use every tool in your belt to convince them to get vaccinated right then and there. Mom’s advice? Slow down. The listening tour is only the first step. Take a breather, then find a time in the future to have a follow up conversation. In the meantime, use trusted sources like ListenToGwinnettMoms.com to research information you think will resonate with your loved one.
Moms Know When it’s Time to Get on Eye Level.
At this point in the process, you had an initial conversation with your loved one, understand the reasons for their hesitancy, and are ready to share meaningful information. Mom’s advice? Meet your friend or family member where they are – provide information that speaks to their unique situation and addresses their specific concerns. For example, if your loved one believes a prior COVID-19 infection means they don’t need to get vaccinated, you might share that they can, in fact, catch the virus again, and the vaccine will add extra protection against future infection.
If your loved one is concerned about cost, transportation, or where to find a vaccine site, let them know that the vaccine is free for everyone, even if you don’t have health insurance. For transportation, share that ride-share services, like Uber and Lyft, are offering free and discounted rides to vaccine sites. Or offer to take them yourself! To schedule an appointment or locate your closet vaccine site in Gwinnett County, click here.
You might even come across news coverage of formerly hesitant individuals now choosing to get vaccinated, including prominent figures in media, entertainment, and sports. Consider sharing these stories with your loved one, especially from individuals you know they respect and admire.
Moms Know When it’s Time to Talk.
In addition to sharing information that directly speaks to their concerns, Moms also recommend sharing your own vaccine story. Often, a conversation about your personal vaccine journey can be the most powerful tool in your toolbox. Mom’s advice? Have an honest conversation about your own hesitations, if you had any, and how you overcame them. Talk about the process – how you arrived at the decision to get vaccinated, where you received your vaccine, and any side effects you might have experienced as a result. Once you’ve shared your story, open the floor to questions and further conversations.
Moms Know to Stay the Course.
You’ve approached this conversation with compassion, heard your friend or family member out, and shared helpful information and your own story, but your loved one may still be hesitant about the vaccine. Mom’s advice? Come back to your purpose and common ground. You might be feeling frustrated, but know that this process takes time. Continue to lend a listening ear to your loved one and make yourself available as a resource if and when they’d like to talk further.