Emotional heavy lifting

After the industrial revolution has subsided, humans moved to the knowledge work era; where we are no longer using our muscles for heavy lifting to get things done but rather use our communication and thinking skills to do business.
And as we’re mostly done with phycial labor as a way to make a living, we are now engaged in some other kind of labor. It is called “emotional labor”. Building on the previous post, it’s the effort you put in to overcome your natural attraction to the status quo, to where you know you are ok. It’s initiating a phone call to request feedback. It is walking up to someone’s desk to ask them for approval on your request. It’s calling your dad when you don’t know what to talk about exactly. It’s calling versus texting to wish someone close a happy birthday. It takes courage and presence and being ok with awkwardness and needing help. It’s answering that annoying caller with the best attitude you can muster. It’s being courteous when it’s easier to be snarky. It’s rejecting an output because it does not meet your requirments. It’s starting a difficult conversation. It’s beginning and ending a relationship. It’s speaking in a meeting and asking about the last point because you didn’t get it.

The easy way is to avoid any kind of confrontation because it’s dangerous. Remember how your brain translates your discomfort? But easy does not mean best. It takes emotional labor to succeed in today’s world. Recognize your discomfort and ask: what’s the worst that can happen? Why does this scare me?

But after all that, you do what you have to do. You act. You don’t let the questioning be another form of running away because your brain can outsmart you, it’s what got humans here, but survival mode is not a way to live.

Emotional heavy lifting

2 thoughts on “Emotional heavy lifting

  1. Haitham Al-Sheeshany says:

    This is really, REALLY, nice Bardees. Well-put.
    Do you mind if Ii share it with my students? It fits neatly with a course entitled (Organisational Theory)


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