Hello! I am pleased to announce that I have been invited to speak at SUPCONF in Seattle on March 21st, 2017.
The title of my talk is “Boundaries and Burnout”. I wanted to share what I’ve learned in my first year of working as a front lines agent. I struggled with burnout even though I followed all of the great advice found in support blogs and conference talks. I had sane work hours, a supervisor and coworkers who appreciated the work that I did, and a reasonable workload. However, I was still feeling drained at the end of each day.
While reading a book called “Passionate Marriage” by David Schnarch, I discovered that I was suffering from poor emotional boundaries. This is what was causing my burnout. I’m a highly sensitive person. Some people have a problem with not feeling enough empathy, but I was feeling way too much. My poor emotional boundaries meant that I absorbed the thoughts and feelings of everyone around me, whether it was someone suffering on the evening news, an angry customer, or my exuberant child.
I had to learn how to separate my feelings from the feelings of others, without becoming so cut off from other people that I lost the ability to genuinely connect with others. Empathy is essential for successful support professionals, but it is also a big contributor to the high turnover in the industry.
As it seemed many other people in the support community were highly empathetic, I thought others might benefit from hearing my story and hearing about the solutions I found.
Stay tuned for another post detailing my talk!