Bárbara Abadi: “We live in a state of permanent suspicion”

Barbara Abadi She is a psychologist and, together with Jose Eduardo Abadi Y Patricia faur, just published the book “And the world stopped” (Ed. Grijalbo). In a talk with NOTICIAS, the specialist reflected on the issues facing the era of the pandemic: fear, uncertainty and mistrust.

News: Are we in an extremely contradictory and chaotic moment?

Barbara Abadi: Yes. There is a lot of satiety and physical, mental and mental fatigue. Also, there is a lot of bewilderment and confusion. People don’t know what to think. In the last two years there have been many experiences of anguish and uncertainty and, above all, a lot of mistrust. A permanent state of suspicion is observed.
It seems to me that this is linked to a political question about the general handling of the pandemic. But, beyond that, there is mistrust between people. There is something very human that is the search for a culprit: the fault lies with the Chinese, the bat, the runner, the boys in schools, the teenagers who go out. You are looking for who to point to.

It is about the psychological mechanism of projection, that is, I project guilt on the outside, I place the evil in others whom I consider evil while one considers himself innocent and surrounded by goodness. This puts a lot of strain on the ties. We see it all the time when someone says that the other that does not use the chinstrap, that he does not use it well, that he had symptoms and did not warn. The other became a threat. And this generates a lot of anxiety and discomfort among people.

News: Would this explain why we are more irascible?

Abadi: Yes, because frustration and exhaustion generate a state of irritability and anger. Many people refer to being all the time at the limit of the overflow, not holding on anymore. Anger appears with any situation, with another person, with having to cancel projects or plans.
There is something that must be said: we are in a state of mourning. The pandemic meant loss of life, material loss, loss of projects, illusions and certainties. Suddenly, nobody knows anything or where the truth is. Before we could find it in science. Some even found it in religion. But now everything has been questioned and new information appears all the time that is difficult to understand.

News: What does the pandemic leave us in terms of learning?

Abadi: It is leaving us with the certainty that the contingent exists, that there are things that we cannot plan. The unforeseen is the newest.

News: The pandemic showed how trust can be broken, are you thinking about how to rebuild it?

Abadi: It is essential that we begin to think about it and each one, from their position, contributes to the reconstitution of the trust of the ties and of the community in general. We need not to have a stronger fracture than the one that already exists. The first thing we can do is identify that there is this projection mechanism, which although it is a human mechanism, is very limiting and does not help to improve the situation. Projection may be relieving in the moment but it is not constructive.

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