The holiday season is a time of giving, sharing, and caring. VA’s “HolidayBoost” encourages Veterans to reach out to their Veteran friends and families, as well as those they care about, during the holidays with some suggestions for having constructive, compassionate conversations regarding getting the COVID-19 booster (and/or vaccine).
An important part of this conversation is to listen to the other person’s opinions and concerns and make sure they feel heard and understood.
Asking open-ended questions, offering your understanding, and empathizing with their concerns can help build trust and help them to consider a change. This requires us to accept, without judgment, that our loved ones may have and keep opinions that we disagree with, as well as honor their right to do so.
Follow these six steps to have a constructive, compassionate conversation
- Ask permission to talk about it.
- Explore their thinking about the booster (and/or vaccine).
- Express understanding for their concerns, acknowledge what they already do to stay safe, and respond to their concerns with empathy.
- Ask before offering new information. See if they are open to learning more information about their areas of concern.
- Keep the door open for future conversation.
- Offer help if they are open to getting a booster (and/or vaccine).
Note: If they need help with finding vaccine sites, go to Vaccine Finder (www.vaccinefinder.org) or visit the VA COVID-19 Vaccine site (www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine).
Your constructive, compassionate conversation (PDF, 1.4MB) about booster shots (PDF, 232KB) with loved ones could truly be this season’s gift of good mental and physical health.