August 21, 2023

Ride the Wave: Emotions in the Community Profession

By David D.

Being a community professional is like taking a wild ride on an emotional rollercoaster. You’re in charge of dealing with all sorts of challenges, conflicts, and personal stuff from community members. It’s no joke! In this blog post, we’re going to spill the tea on the hidden truth of online community management—the emotional ups and downs that come with the job.

The Emotional Rollercoaster

Community professionals are at the frontline, engaging with community members, and tackling their issues head-on. But let’s be real—this constant interaction can take a toll on your emotions. Buckle up as we explore the emotional rollercoaster ride of being a community professional.

  1. Handling Challenges
    Running an online community is like herding cats. You’ve got to navigate through all kinds of challenges—managing heated debates, addressing complaints, and handling conflicts. It’s like trying to keep everyone happy while juggling a dozen flaming torches. This constant balancing act can drain your emotional energy faster than an iPhone battery.
  2. Conflict Resolution
    Where there are people, there are bound to be conflicts. As a community professional, it’s your job to play peacemaker. You’re the one in the ring, mediating disagreements and promoting civilized discussions. But let’s face it—sometimes things get downright messy. You might even find yourself caught in the crossfire, facing personal attacks or online harassment. It’s like being a referee in a boxing match, except you’re not wearing any protective gear.
  3. Empathy and Personal Struggles
    Online communities often become a safe space for people to share their personal struggles. Community members might open up about their problems, seek advice, or just vent. As a community professional, you’re expected to be there for them, to lend an empathetic ear. But let’s be real—absorbing all those emotions day in and day out can take a toll on your own mental well-being.

Surviving the Ride

Now that we’ve laid bare the emotional rollercoaster, let’s talk about how to keep your sanity intact:

  1. Set Boundaries
    Draw a line between work and personal life. Don’t let the community consume every waking moment. Schedule specific times for engagement, and make sure to take regular breaks. Remember, you’re human too!
  2. Find Support
    Connect with other community professionals. Share war stories, swap tips, and commiserate over a virtual drink. Having a support network of like-minded professionals can do wonders for your emotional well-being.
  3. Self-Care is Non-Negotiable
    Don’t forget to take care of yourself! Engage in activities that help you unwind and recharge. Whether it’s hitting the gym, practicing mindfulness, or binging on your favorite TV show, make self-care a priority.
  4. Keep Learning
    Stay on top of the game by continuously learning and growing. Keep an eye on the latest trends, best practices, and industry developments. The more equipped you are, the better you can handle those emotional curveballs.

Being an online community professional is like riding a rollercoaster of emotions. You’ll face challenges, conflicts, and personal struggles, but don’t let that scare you away. By setting boundaries, finding support, practicing self-care, and staying informed, you can survive the wild ride. So, buckle up, take a deep breath, and embrace the exhilarating journey of being an online community professional.

You’ve got this!

David D.
David D.

Building Online Communities since 1998 | Full Stack Community Professional | Host of Community Live