“Are you in the right headspace” is the latest meme with an emotional labor theme. Here’s the origin story.
Way, way back last month, the “I’m At Capacity” meme spread far and wide. It all started on Nov. 18th when PhD and social justice activist Melissa A. Fabello shared her template explanation about why she couldn’t hear her friend out at that particular moment in her life.
Some applauded Fabello for directly communicating her boundaries, while others felt her response was a tad too tonally clinical. It sparked a healthy debate. And jokes. Lots. Of. Jokes.
In fact, people couldn’t get enough of it.
I want to chat briefly about this text that I received from a friend last week: pic.twitter.com/cfwYx3tJQB— Melissa A. Fabello, PhD (@fyeahmfabello) November 18, 2019
With all that background, cue a woman with an idea to get ahead of such a response: Yana. This week, she proposed a headspace preamble to avoid unloading on those who simply can’t bear to take on anything more.
This meme offers a pal an opt-out option before absorbing things that might be hard to hear.
“I just want to say, a lot of y’all dump information on your friends at the wrong time without their consent,” Yana tweeted of her sincere idea. “If you know it’s something that could hurt them, ask permission before you decide to be messy. Please.”
The line: “Are you in the right headspace to receive information that could possibly hurt you?”
This meme assures the listener that whatever perceived slights or inconvenient things you might hear, you’ll get permission to postpone the delivery of the news.
This being the internet, not everyone was convinced this was the best approach. But the phrase quickly took on a lighter tone as the internet came through with all of the rough stuff one needs to sit down to hear — from the possibility devastating news that ice cream cones could possibly be sold out to the much weirder.
The applications to this format are as endless as your bandwidth to hear potentially hurtful news on a Monday morning. It’s a little like “are you sitting down?” or “we need to talk.” But even more suspenseful.
Without further ado, here are the best “are you in the right headspace” memes so far.
I would rather someone text me that they’re coming to kill me instead of texting me this. https://t.co/7Fu4DY2DnF— Luis Paez-Pumar (@lppny) December 1, 2019
TIRED: Are you in the right headspace to receive information that could possibly hurt you?— Patrick Cosmos (@veryimportant) December 2, 2019
WIRED: Do you have the time to listen to me whine about nothing and everything all at once?
My computer crashed as I was submitting my paper so it was 6 minutes late but I just know my professor is bout to hit me with a “are you in the right headspace to receive information that could possibly hurt you?” pic.twitter.com/H8he1QAb3S— spacey (@lacy_rowe) December 2, 2019
Me: Hi can I get an ice cream cone please— Chris 🎄 (@bayoulejeune) December 2, 2019
McDonald’s worker: Are you in the right headspace to receive information that could possibly hurt you?
you: are you in the right headspace to receive information that could possibly hurt you— rachel leishman (@RachelLeishman) December 2, 2019
ellen degeneres: you never invited me to your party :(— shauntay (@shauntae_stay) December 2, 2019
dakota johnson: are you in the right headspace to receive information that could possibly hurt you?
And here, another proposal.
my take on the whole "asking consent for emotional labor" thing is you can just say "hey do you have time to talk" and not be a weirdo about it— nelward (@nelward64) December 2, 2019