Social Energy

There is incredible pressure to show energy and motivation most of the time. Presenting yourself as happy and easy to engage is social currency - the more you do so, the more you connect with people.

But sometimes you need to connect when you don’t feel happy, when you don’t have that bit of currency to offer. There’s nothing strange about this, this is just the way us humans are wired; we need people. You can fake it, which works sometimes, to a point. But you have to sacrifice being real to do so. It is deeply frustrating.

Who you are around makes a big, big difference. Of course people who irritate you will drain your energy quickly, but even folks who are just fine might not alchemize with you, turning attempts at conversation into a slog. You may find someone who “gets” you in a strange context - they could be a co-worker you only spoke to a few times before, or a person you strike up a conversation with on a bus. You may find yourself clicking with someone unexpected after feeling out of touch with someone you’re very close to: you just had a fight with your S.O., or your best friend hasn’t been returning your texts.

These moments cannot be farmed, but they do thrive in a certain soil. The common way of dealing with low energy - trying to pretend - often hurts more than it helps. Doing the opposite can be very powerful: being as real as is socially allowed. What’s more, you can extend an invitation for the other person to be real with you. Oftentimes everyone is just doing what they believe everyone else expects of them, making what’s real invisible.