Reflection on Working From Home

In a moment of introspection last night, it occurred to me that working from home tends to amplify any perceived slight or sources of negativity. Most of my "human" interactions are online only, which - for this extrovert - means my energy is derived from whatever "interaction" I have online in Twitter, Facebook, email, Slack, etc.

It turns out that this can be highly problematic. Last year I turned off Facebook for months at a time because of all the negativity. I constantly felt myself slipping into depression because everything weighed me down. And don't get me wrong, I'm as much a source of negative posts as anyone else. I don't think we can help it in this political environment.

However, where this gets particularly challenging is around non-internet interactions. Whether it be having tea with a friend or just chatting with them on the phone... I've come to realize that a lot of my happiness ends up hanging on these very rare interactions, which can be highly problematic when folks are busy or when unexpected events conspire to prevent such meetings. The negative side of my brain then latches onto these as "proof" that I'm unworthy of friends or friendship and starts trying to commence the dark downward spiral.

To that end, now that I'm aware of these feelings, I can start developing mechanisms to cope with them. I think one of the big challenges for someone my age, with a family and working from home, is trying to find new opportunities for interaction. Real interactions - not phony interactions via "networking" events and BS like that. We're kind of at that point in the parenthood cycle where the kids' schedules tend to dominate our lives.

Anyway... this is my observation for the morning. I need to find new forms of positive human interactions. Preferably real human interactions. And, in the meantime, I need to stop letting negative interactions and disappointments amplify disproportionately to the degree that it triggers a major downward swing. This is not an easy thing to do, but in seeing the pattern, at least now I can tackle it.

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