One of ways used to approach these folks was to remind them that bein adam l'chaveiro has superiority because in addition to its main element there is also a part that is bein adam l'makom. After all, God commanded it so by fulfilling it we're getting a twofer.
Interestingly, those who see it that way might be causing more problems that they realize, as this article eloquently points out:
I have Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements and noises called “tics.” My Tourette’s is relatively mild at this point, but I went through a turbulent adolescence when Tourette’s was the most defining thing about me. Between the constant movements and the loud, uncontrollable noises, it was incredibly disruptive.
I now work in the Jewish community as an inclusion advocate, as well as in youth engagement. So I have this cool opportunity to see the Jewish community both as someone with a disability and as one who is supporting congregations and communities in creating more inclusive spaces for all people.
Sometimes I hear people talking about how much of a “mitzvah” they are doing by opening their doors to people with special needs in their community. Maybe they allowed a child with autism in their youth group or religious school, or hosted an “inclusion” service.
But here is the thing: It is not a mitzvah to let me in the door. It’s not. Opening your door to those with disabilities is not enough. Because there is a critical difference between tolerance and full inclusion. If we are practicing full inclusion, our communities should be celebrating each person and what they bring to the community, not just what they demand of it.
Many times throughout my life, I have felt like I was the mitzvah project of the week, like the community didn’t really want me there, but knew including me was what they were supposed to do. I always felt like we were one step away from my face being on the community bulletin with a story reading something like “We did it! We included somebody with special needs! Be proud everyone. Be real proud.” OK, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But feeling like my presence was another’s mitzvah made me feel even more like an outsider.
One of the hardest things to do, it seems, is to balance performing a mitzvah which involves another persons with the need to do it with a kindness that conceals that motivation. Imagine returning a lost object but making it absolutely clear to the owner that you're only doing it because the Torah says you have to. Imagine visiting a lonely person in hospital and opening the visit with the line, "Henini muchan u'mezuman la'asos mitzvas bikkur cholim". How do you think the other person is going to feel? Have you really fulfilled the chaveiro portion of the mitzvah?
Interestingly, this is something that the non-observant Jewish movements also stumble on, as the article makes clear. It is just as easy to turn a person into an object used to satisfy your need for observance if you are or aren't religious.
This is perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of Judaism, isn't it. It's easy to sit and shteig a Talmud all day long. Putting on tefillin, throwing a few coins in the pushka, no sweat at all. But interacting with your fellow Jew without making it seem like you're doing your duty, not being a decent human concerned with his well-being? That's a lot trickier.
For example, there's an essential decency in visiting the sick, for example but it does gain extra value when it's done with the kavannah that a mitzvah is being performed. How does one balance the performance with the decency of human interaction so that the person does not become an object but a partner?