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If you escalate (cut off in traffic, angry at the gate agent, frustrated at your boss), you’ve just added (negative) energy to a conversation.
If you escalate (high-pitched enthusiasm, a hug, encouraging words), you’ve just added (positive) energy to a conversation.
Once the energy is added, it has to go somewhere. Often, the person you’re engaging with throws it right back, or even increases it. A talented, mature person might take your negative energy and de-escalate it, or even swallow it and permit the conversation to calm down or end. But don’t count on it.
Sure, you can ‘win’ a conversation by overwhelming your opponent with energy they can’t handle. But of course, they’re not your opponent and you don’t really win. Being aware of the energy you add or take from interactions is a sophisticated technique that radically changes the outcomes of the conversations that fill your day. Add the good stuff, absorb the bad stuff and focus on the outcomes, not the bravado.
I just read a post over on Lee Harrington’s blog, talking about compensation for leaders in the Kink world, and I wanted to direct people to it. He raises some really good points about how compensation isn’t always financial, and his address (for the Kink LYNCS Conference), particularly the first half of it, hit a lot of buttons for me in terms of where my own burn-out has come from.
Fair Energetic Exchange: Destigmatizing the Needs of Community Leaders, Presenters and Volunteers
Kali has mentioned, in at least one of the video lessons, that “money” (or at least “payment”) is often treated like a “dirty word” within various alt communities. Maybe that’s why I’ve felt so much guilt over being “greedy” and wanting to “get something out of” the events I organize and the work I do. This article gave me some language to talk about what that actually means, and why it’s not a bad thing.
I hope you’ll give it a read.