My husband has been known to drag me out of the house telling me to go to one social event or another and to stop being anti-social. Anti-social?! How could he possibly call me that? I’m a counselor for goodness sakes. I mean, I went through my whole Master’s Degree and have a whole profession surrounded by the fact that my gift, my talent, my -dare I say- genius status is based on my ability to be social (ok, genius might be a stretch, but it sounded cool). And it finally hit me, I am an outgoing and social person who suffers from communication fatigue.
We learn a lot about compassion fatigue in school. I know I am not there at this moment. In fact, I am still at the point in my perfect job illusionment where a good emotional barrier (ok, and maybe a good story too) engages and intrigues me. But, it’s the other stuff, the in between, that drains my social brain. It’s the “got a sec?” And the “can I talk to you?” And the “a parent is here to see you” ‘s that make me tired.
As counselors, we spend all day listening, calculating responses, and making sure that each and every sentence uttered out of every student, teacher, and parent is the most important and fascinating thing we have heard all day. And when I get off? I’m not suddenly anti-social in nature, I’ve got communication fatigue!