As usual, Twitter is Big Mad about yet another divisive take. This time, it’s about setting boundaries with friends.
Writer Melissa Fabello posted a thread about establishing limits when it comes to discussing difficult issues. Instead of expecting a space to vent about personal drama, Fabello says, she appreciates when friends ask for it.
“Asking for consent for emotional labor, even from people with whom you have a long-standing relationship that is welcoming to crisis-averting, should be common practice,” she tweeted on Monday.
She concluded the thread with an example template for asking friends for time and space.
But Twitter users were miffed at just how clinical and bureaucratic the reply was. It was likened to negotiating with an employer or getting an automated customer service message.
Soon enough, it became a copypasta.
hey 👋 I was wondering if I could talk to you about the big dog that is stuck biting into my ass like from a cartoon
Hey! I’m actually at my emotional capacity or mental energy to help you through this particular crisis rn. Do you have a pungent steak that the dog could smell?
— Nick Ciarelli (@nickciarelli) November 20, 2019
me as a therapist: so how are you doing this week
patient: well it’s been rough, I—
me: sorry but I’m at capacity and this is a lot of emotional labor right now
— garrett (@garrettdunc) November 19, 2019
Hi, does everybody have the mental/emotional capacity right now to read a tweet about how the olives keep rolling off of the hummus toast I made even though I thought the hummus would work as a gluing agent? I just like to ensure consent for this kind of emotional labor
— let (@coyote_time) November 19, 2019
Hey! I’m so glad you reached out. I’m actually at capacity because I’m crying over Baby Yoda right now, and I don’t think I can hold appropriate space for you. Do you have someone else you could reach out to?
— patrick (@batr1k) November 19, 2019
Adam: Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay to mould me Man, did I solicit thee from darkness to promote me?
God: Hey! I’m so glad you reached out. I’m actually at capacity/helping someone else who’s in crisis/dealing with personal issues and I don’t think I can hold appropriat
— Columbo’s Fake Wife (@SlayerofCis) November 19, 2019
Thomas Sankara: “As revolutionaries, we don’t have the right to say we are tired of explaining. We must never stop explaining. We know that when the people understand, they cannot help but follow us.”
Me: “Hey Thomas! I’m so glad you reached out. I’m actually at capacity right no
— thank god for dead pilgrims (@babadookspinoza) November 19, 2019
(replying to my boss’s email asking me to please start showering and using deodorant) – Hey! I’m so glad you reached out. I’m actually at capacity at the moment and i don’t think i can hold the appropriate space for this. Could we connect at a later date,
— no problem. (@DukeHonkin) November 20, 2019
Friend is like “hey I just finished a first mix of my new record, you wanna check it?” and I’m like “Hey! I’m so glad you reached out. I’m actually at capacity right now…”
— C. Spencer Yeh (@cspenceryeh) November 19, 2019
i think it’s a good thing for people to check with you before they rant or unload heavy stuff, but fuck can you at least be KIND and not sound like an automated email reply when someone is like “oh my god i’m having a crisis can we talk”
— wooloo warrior 🐏💕⚔️ (@moonliIIies) November 19, 2019
The bottom line: Sure, you could use this template, but you might come off as a bit of a dick. Telling your friends that you’re simply going through it and will respond when you can can work too.