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.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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