“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.
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.
And here, another proposal.