Some thoughts for Labor Day on Emotional Labor

Happy Labor Day
Emotional labor is the capacity to assist others in times of emotional difficulty. It’s when somebody in your life says I am having a sh*t day. And your willingness to say, I am here.

I am here. There are three no more powerful words in this world.

Asking for consent for emotional labor, even from people with whom you have a long-standing relationship should be common practice. Just like intimate activity, it’s not OK to text, DM, call, email someone with your stuff, without their consent. I have actually worked out rules of timing with my closest circle as to when it’s OK to call, text, email, and when it’s not. This is crucial.

Ask: May I ask you something. Do you have a moment. When can we talk. Is this a good time for you.

Emotional labor applies when, say, a restaurant server is told by their manager to “put on a smile” to serve a rude customer. As you may know, I teach mental health seminars for the restaurant and bar industry. The customer is not always right. You don’t ever have to be taken advantage of.

Whether it’s a close friend, family member, employee, employer, client, or customer, emotional labor is the work that we choose to do to help someone else. It’s work. Emotionally and psychologically. It requires consent and willingness. It’s a labor of love.

Happy Labor Day y’all.

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Embolden Psychology
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