You decide ahead of time. So, “OK, I’m hearing from you that you don’t want to wear a mask, because you feel X, Y and Z. That makes me feel uncomfortable, so I don’t think I’m going to be able to see you this weekend.”
It’s always good to take a moment to take a deep breath. It sounds so simple, but it really helps. Take a breather, and tell the person, “This is hard for me to hear. That upsets me.” It’s good to label that, so other people know. Then say why it’s upsetting, and quickly transition to setting that healthy boundary.
“That upsets me to hear that, because I care about your health. I have already decided this is what I need to do for me and my health.” Owning our independent thoughts and feelings is important, while still respecting people’s autonomy and their ability to make their own decisions as well.
It seems particularly hard when a partner or a roommate doesn’t share the same safety concerns.
In many areas of life, other people’s actions don’t have to affect us as much. But with a virus, that’s not really how it works. So it does become harder. I think it’s always good to take inventory of what you have control over and what you don’t have control over.
You can’t control your spouse, as much as we would like to! Don’t get me wrong, that’s not easy. We’re all learning a lesson in human autonomy.