What is emotional labor?

Since I am doing the inner work to empower myself. At times I feel I am a bit of an emotional mess. Coming to terms with my flaws. But one other thing that has been new in my life and unusual is the sometimes *desperate* need for support. At times it feels extremely emotionally unstable. Like I am falling and no-one around me wants to help.

So when I do get some human interaction I often feel that I talk or unload on to them. It feels good and I feel better for a little while. But I have wondered if this is really me being “open” to supportive friendships or me just dumping my feelings on to others. It’s really difficult to diagnose because what is friendship if you can’t talk about things? What DO you talk about? Am I allowed to talk about myself?

Everyone is responsible for their own inner work

This is a concept that I have just stumbled across. Prior to reading about it I had not known it was a thing. I agree with it for other people, but it can be difficult to come to terms with myself. Sometimes I feel that I am the only one with “issues.” Trust issues, insecurity issues, difficultly shining. Yet everyone has issues but not everyone is actively working on them. So I give myself a pat on the back.

I am more aware of when I am talking to someone and using them to fill a hole that is in my heart. A need for momentary love and belonging. Like all people need. I want to feel whole and therefore give my expression of love. But I can’t give love that is laced with fear and insecurity. And right now that is all I can live. Desperate love tinged with the fear that one day you are going to leave me. Or that you will discover that I’m not interesting or fun or good as the next person.

Where I draw the line on emotional labor

Ok, one thing I’ve always noticed. Is that as a young person (more so when I was younger) I would reach out to women. And just want a moment of compradore. Or more than that, a moment of understanding. Of kindness. I wanted to be heard and listened to. And acknowledged as a human being. And more often than not after sending emails, I would never hear a response to heartfelt emails or I would literally feel like the person was dangling me by a thread for their love. I would have to work or even be made to feel insignificant by these female role models.

And so maybe it’s a principle I have not learned yet, but I know how important loving kindness is. A moment of it. Responding to an email. Seeing another person as a human being. Not living by “feminist” ideals for once. Making a difference.

So I think that while I will put down my the emotional labor I do. I will definitely think twice about being a dumping ground for stories that are a disguise for not digging into to another inner world. There will be moments at my discretion when I chose kindness. When I chose to respond to an email and uplift someone. Because that is the most important thing for me to do. And I will be sure to let people know the reason I don’t respond is because they need to do their own inner work. Instead of leaving them hanging making them feel like crap.