As a business owner, I once had responsibility for sales. Not only did I have to perform emotional labor when calling and pitching customers, acting cheerful and optimistic even when I wasn’t, I had to do the same thing with my employees.
I had to project warmth and caring even when I was in a bad mood. With my business partners I had even more emotional labor to perform, projecting the right amount of confidence to be an inspirational leader, even if all I really wanted to do was go home and take a nap.
So when I did go home? How much energy did I have for emotion in relationships? I’m sure nobody would be shocked if I said not very much.
I don’t know if there are always good answers to problems stemming from emotional labor, but recognizing what’s going on has to help.