When misunderstandings are not tolerated

I’ve been struggling with gaining clarity on the idea of being misunderstood for a really long time, and just recently it has been screaming at me at my pre-frontal cortex…

I was having a chat with my band mate just yesterday and it led to the discussion on the topic about my upcoming internship. To me, it wasn’t easy getting it, especially having to deal with interviews which triggers a heck ton of anxiety and stress, and preparing for all those tough questions were equally challenging. But I got it, and am going to be paid $600-$800/ mth and have to work 5.5days, which I’m fine with.

But after hearing his perspective, it just crushed me internally. He told me that that’s just exploitation, because I’m supposed to be paid $1000/mth (which is the recommended amount as an intern), and since I have to even work on saturday mornings, that makes me even more exploited at that kind of pay. Hearing that just made me feel awful, and I started to doubt myself for my decision. But he went on further to probe me on and I tried to “soften” my own decision and justify my low pay since the interviewer explained to me that the company invested more in the purchasing of media equipment to give us a better experience of learning than to rent out the equipment. But that made things worse, he just said that that was just a bullshit explanation for them to cover up for the low pay for interns…

In the end, I’m left devastated and compelled to make a change to “fit” his frame of thinking that I don’t agree with. I’m willing to listen to his views and I see the point he’s trying to make - which is stand up for your own work rights, and that I deserve better than this. But the way that he put it across made me interpret them as “should”s or “I’m wrong”. I still would love to work there, after all, I fought for it, am intrigued by the work culture, and I value learning experiences more than a low pay and longer working hours (after speaking to my school’s coordinator and my brother, they said that the media industry is a longer way up to better pay).

I just feel angry that people don’t frame it in an understanding way, and now things become sour and I find it hard to find that balance between “agreement” and “being friends”. And it’s difficult to see the relationship that we’re in in the same “friendly” way anymore… (I.e. if you disagree with me, and think that I’m a fool for believing in their bullshit (in his perspective), then how can we still be the friends that we used to be?) I find it hard to deconflict this…

And also, when you’re on that healing journey and recovering through triggers, many people outside in the world won’t give a shit about that, like that band mate, after vibe-ing with him for many months, I don’t see him as someone who i can trust with my vulnerability and my authentic struggles, but instead would just shut me up and say some positive self-development tips that honestly I just don’t really need… I wonder if I should try setting more filters and limit the things I share with him lest I get more cognitive dissonance and triggers that is more than that which I can treat off…


I feel your wisdom here.

I don’t share my vulnerabilities OR MY CELEBRATIONS with “just anyone.”

If you made $1 million, he’d probably also have something critical to say, eh?

What’s right for you, your boundaries, are not mine. I ask you respect that.

Earn while you learn

Truth is that any business relationship is an exchange. I believe when we enter into the relationship, whatever the pay, with the idea that we’ll be taking 5-10x the value for ourselves… and also offering 5-10x the value as well.

Some clients who get the Emotional Support Circle pay me $0. I treat them the same as those paying. Some pay $11 and some pay $44. I treat them the same.

Why? Because it is my choice, and it activates and exercises generous qualities in me that I carry with me everywhere!

Honestly, whether you make $600-800 or $1000 is NOT in my experience the key question. To me it is the WHY this makes sense for you.

  • What will you be learning?
  • What might that learning be worth over it’s lifetime as a skill?

There are people RIGHT NOW, as I type, doing Open Source development work that they could charge $100+ per hour for. They will contribute many thousands of dollars in value… for what?

This software we are using right now, Discourse. Do you know how much you have to pay to use it?


Why? Because people chose to develop it. Yes, some of them also have hosting services and get money flow that way. Others do consulting. Others… it’s their way of making the world a better place.

I honestly believe your friend is operating from primitive brain. And his primitive brain sounds like it triggered yours. NO ONE wants to be taken advantage of.

But here’s the thing:

If it is a YES for us, we’re NOT being taken advantage of.

That’s my posture. Yes, I’ve had people tell me, "You shouldn’t charge a gliding scale because people who can ‘afford more’ will take advantage of you!

Duh. Of course. But my goal is not to maximize how much I extract from every business relationship. I can say, with certainty, that I get to live a life where I interact with a broader mix of people – a value to me – because of my YES choices.

I also refuse to disempower myself by believing that if it is a YES for me, that I am being taken advantage of.

I have worked, as a professional, on projects where I made 50 cents an hour. Such is life. I can say that my intention is that in EVERYTHING I do professionally I am a student-teacher, and in that learning opportunity I take with me VALUE – Real Skills – that make me the person I am today.

Congratulations my friend on your internship! And yes, I’d love to hear what you’re excited about from the opportunity!


@Rick Thank you for the clarity! Yes, I do value that learning more than the financial income earned from the internship and that’s my truth, and my energetics. I think even though i can agree that it’s a YES for me, it’s hard that people challenge your YES, and think that you “should” believe that it’s a NO instead. It’s hard to draw lines and not be influenced by people…

I’ll be working as a advertising content creator in a creative food industry, and I see a lot of value in exploring the use of creativity in food art, photography, filming!


That sounds like a really promising opportunity! Congrats!

Yep! People don’t realize how much they project on others, how what they tell others they “should” do is what they would have to do, or would like to do, or feel ashamed that they don’t or didn’t.

If one reads almost anything autobiographical by accomplished people, one of the reflections is how SHOCKING it often was how unsupportive those closest to them actually have been about their success.

It’s one of those things I hate admitting about humans, but envy and status changes really do dis-regulate even people who love us. You were chosen, you have a chance to really upgrade your skill set… anyone who is grousing to you that you shouldn’t probably isn’t grounded in your well-being but in their own primal reactions.

It’s something I look for. Are they triggered? Do they seem WAY over invested in me doing something different? If so, then it really is their own energy that they can’t handle well.

Right distance. Right depth.

For things I really want to celebrate, I am pickier (by far!) than if I have a challenge. Co-celebrators are precious.

I celebrate this opportunity in your life, and those of us who have listened to your heart on the circle calls I am guessing do, too :heavy_heart_exclamation:


It’s really true… i suppose the reality is that people are not that much invested in emotional work as we are, and wouldn’t hesitate to call us out as being weaklings for sinking ourselves into dealing with our emotional work since they’re not in anyway aware of the need to heal their own emotional wounds.

Thanks Rick. This might just be what I need then. Showing the right distance away from the people that can’t be aware of my emotional need and approach them only with the right depth in conversations and sharings…

I’m so glad that even though the world is chaos and mistrust, there are still safe places like these where I can retreat to and heal, without being judged and called out for… Thanks for this space Rick :smiley:


You’re welcome. It’s a co-creation with you and all those participating (including those whose participation is currently witnessing and holding space).

I have an acquaintance who rides mountain bikes. He rides them hard and fast, but not recklessly – if that makes sense. He knows his skill level.

He’s careful about who he asks to ride with him, and often rides alone.

Why? He really enjoys a great riding partner!

Well, if he were to ask me, I am NOT up for the task. I don’t have the bike, the skill, or stamina.

If he asks the dude who is always bragging about defying death in his downhill blitz, then he knows he’ll be taunted for being “not man enough” – wimpy.

Weird, isn’t it? To find a good match for something like that is a challenge, even in a world with millions who ride mountain bikes.

I remember that sometimes when I wonder why it is so hard sometimes to find good matches for almost anything in my life. I like having a range – for example, I can slow my walk to saunter with someone not up to a 20-minute mile. But I cannot “push” to do a 10 minute mile without being more at risk of falling. A challenge, eh?

If you and I were going to “jam” on the guitar, you would have to slow WAY WAY down and meet me. I bet you could! But it wouldn’t be the same as jamming with @Glenn I suspect.


Congratulations on your internship, Jun. If you’re happy with the pay you agreed on, then let it be just that. Your friend is entitled to his opinion and maybe he would not be doing what you’re doing at the pay you agreed on. For you, it doesn’t sound like money was the only factor, so you have to look at the other things you value as well. And those things might not have a monetary value.

I retired, left, quit, whatever you want to call it a high paying engineering salary to do something that I would be able to make even more money. But, in the end, I didn’t count on some things happening - major divorce, draining all my financial accounts, selling my house, deeply in debt from the divorce and years of custody battles. My kids were very young at the time and it was a dream of mine to be the one raising my children, not daycares, not someone else.

I grew up with my dad in particular working all the time and it seemed to me that he always made it about money. In fact, he still puts money over his health right now as a 92 yr old. For me to stay home, I didn’t have the mental-emotional fitness to do what I left engineering to do - work from home as a futures trader while raising my kids my way. So I’ve lived on very little to just scrape by financially because I’ve been working through all the emotional, financial, etc trauma over the decades of emotional abuse.

I’m much better now, but some people might look at how stupid it was to quit a 6-figure job to do what? Raise children? But for me, the value was more than I could ever earn and the payoff bigger than any amount of money I could ever make. I determined what was truly important to me.

My financial situation is better now, but I’m still not back on track with futures trading and I’m working my way towards it emotionally and mentally. I may have to go back to engineering or take a job or figure out how to make money some other way until I can get back to trading. But if I do take a job for whatever amount of pay, I’m saying I agree to that pay and the conditions. If I don’t, then I can always choose to leave (unless I signed a contract saying I can’t or have terms to abide by).

My youngest will be going off to college in the fall (nearby, but living in the dorms) and my oldest may or may not choose to stay living at home. So now they do not really need me to the extent they’ve needed me the past 14 years and I can get back to my financial dream that I paused for something more important.

Money isn’t everything, but it is something. You just have to determine what it has to be for you. People have questioned some of my choices here, but I never have regretted staying home and raising my children. It has been the single biggest and best job I’ve ever had and I didn’t get paid for it.

People can share their opinions with me. Some thinking having children is bad. It’s okay they think that. Maybe for their lives they don’t want children and I respect that. That just wasn’t my personal opinion.

I offer that both of you are right and as long as you’re holding true for what’s best for you in how you see it, he can have his opinion and you have yours. And, like what Rick said, sometimes we have to choose who to share our successes and failures with. Some people are just unkind.

Last thing, I remember early in my marriage to my Now husband. I posted on Facebook for people to pray for my marriage. We had hit a rough spot and I just needed prayer. I didn’t say what for. Someone wrote, “So soon?” I thought that was so rude. I figured if you didn’t have anything good say, then why say it? That is how I would do things, but that person didn’t believe the same way as me.

In the end, I unfriended him and removed him from my life. I don’t need people to agree with me, but one thing I value is being respected and I felt that was disrespectful. Maybe for you with this friend that was disrespectful. I find I keep or allow people in my life if our common ground is being respectful, regardless of beliefs, tastes, opinions, etc. Without that common ground, we have nothing to go on and I find those that cannot be respectful, they are more apt to cause triggers, traumas, manipulate, exploit, and no one needs that, right?

I hope you do what is right for yourself, Jun.


Haha, that’s a great analogy Rick! I agree! It does make more sense having this perspective to be picky. I remember my mum always scolding me for being “too picky” for my food, and for many other things. And come to think of it, it might have influenced my thoughts such that I “shouldn’t” be choosey. Many decisions from buying my guitars, finding a guitar instructor, deciding for a hostel to stay in, were all incredibly challenging. But with tapping, and more soul work, I can start to respect my space more and more, and be more happy with my choices that serves me the most!

Speaking of jamming, I’d love to jam though @Glenn :wink: Not sure if I’m the one that too needs to slow down to meet Glenn’s virtuoso skills!


Thank you Doris! Yes for sure, and am really happy that you’ve gotten so much clarity to prioritising emotional health more than money. Indeed, money sure is something, and I must say that as a mother, it is much more difficult to let go of the need to earn money to finance some of what might be seen as “necessities” for your house, children etc.

And geez, the custody battles are surely traumatizing at least for me when my mum and dad were going to divorce and separate.

And that last part you’ve mentioned is definitely helpful. Respect is something that I do truly value, and perhaps it’s just a matter of time of whether or not he still continues to cross those boundaries of mine before I remove myself from him… We’ll see! (then again I wonder if after growing in more spiritual and emotional maturity, maybe I can learn to tolerate these kinds of people more, before immediately shutting them off? not sure yet!)


I am wondering that, too. I know my acceptance and resilience is much higher than it used to be, without triggering or disregulating myself. But then there’s still the question of Right Distance, Right Depth. What contributes to my thriving?

I do stand for tolerance/acceptance. But then there is unpleasantness – how much do I want of that in my life, and how does that connect – if it does – with what matters to me? Hmmm…


I’d love to jam…


I know in just the short time I started and Rick suggesting some things that have greatly helped me (i.e., seeing my dad differently), it’s helped increase my tolerance and resiliency.

Just sharing my thoughts and opinions. I used to just shut people off or try to change them (then get super frustrated). I think both are not good or have not been good for me. When you shut people off immediately, there’s not the opportunity to test resiliency when you’ve made your own improvements. What do I mean?

I wasn’t going to cut off my dad. I have had interactions with him after I made improvements to my emotional well-being and I was able to test whether they are working or not or if I need to make more improvements. Also, I treaded carefully as I know there are still sensitive or tender areas for me. Keeping a relationship open with him will help me to test and assess if what I’m doing is good for myself, for all.

I tend to be one that wants to face my giants. If we run from everything that causes us pain without addressing the pain, I think the pain festers and morphs into some weird monster the longer we try to ignore it. Then there are times you do need to temporarily run from the situation to regroup, get some help and healing so that you can deal with certain people. I think this is important to know when, too.

If you’re badly hurting and it’s just so incredibly painful, like Carol Look would say the SUDs is from 8-10, it’s hard to get anywhere when it’s that high. With my Dad, I’m in the 5-6 range, so it’s more appropriate for me to test things.

I know before certain people who trigger me super easily, but I’ve gotten a lot of healing and learning new skills, my SUDs is in the 1-3 and that’s where I’m seeing a lot of changes. They no longer trigger me and often now, I can just laugh and see that the way some people are acting it’s on them and not me. And I can then choose to respond in a way that honors both them and myself.

And, our energy changes when we’re in the 1-3, or 4-7 range, much different than in the Fight, Flight, Freeze modes of 8-10. People in the 8-10 range interacting with people in the 8-10 range in the same emotional space, it’s really volatile and harmful, IMO.

But there must be that willingness to change and not stay the same. I am finding that as my emotional well-being changes for the better, the world around me (those I interact with around me) changes.

Hope that helps.


Very true Rick, thanks for that clarity!

What music do you like playing to?

Yup, this is all really helpful Doris. Thanks for your insights! :relaxed:


I’ve been mainly a blues player for the last 15 years or so but I can do some rock and other ‘Americana roots’ type stuff…I’m definitely not a metal guy…don’t know any of that music…


Congratulations​:exclamation::exclamation:@Jun_Rong That is fabulous what you are creating for yourself. It is too bad that people :poop: on people’s celebrations. I have experienced this in my life and yes it did deplete my happiness. I hope after reading all these helpful posts that you feel excited again. I am excited with you. :exclamation::exclamation:


Haha, not a problem…! Everyone digs different things! I play blues but I’m no where near a solid player for that genre yet! :\ What do you wanna jam on? we could try doing solo improv?

Thanks Jean! Sadly, my internship got cancelled by my university due to work ethics issue from the company :frowning:


Awww, sorry about the cancellation… and I hope another comes along soon that is even better for you!

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Oh I am sorry about the cancellation. I wonder what the universe has for you that might be even better.

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@Rick @Angelsloveyou It’s alright. I’m glad I left a company that actually isn’t right for me too… When a door closes, another will open!