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:

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