People love indigination

I just found rocks in my purse, courtesy of one of my favorite humans (who happens to be 17 months old). ⬇️

This morning, we were playing with the rocks on a gravel patio, putting them onto the table and sweeping them off. She was busy with her work on this project when an older girl came over and put a cup brimming with rocks beside her.

My little friend tipped the older kid’s cup over, enjoying the rocks spilling out all over the table. The older child was surprised, looked at me and said, “I didn’t like that!”

I said, “Yes, I can see that wasn’t your preference. It’s okay to be upset about it.” The girl left and came back again with a cup of rocks, placing it in the same spot.

My young friend promptly tipped the cup over in exactly the same way. Just mellow enjoyment of the rocks spilling out.

The older kiddo said, “Hey!” And looked at me again.

I said, “That’s part of putting your rocks beside a one-year-old. She’s just doing the game between you two…she even dumped them out in a ‘You’re welcome’ kind of way, didn’t she?”

The girl didn’t argue with that.

She then brought a cup of rocks over a 3rd time. When my little friend didn’t immediately tip them out, the older girl scooted them closer to her, waiting.

At that point, my tiny friend dumped them out again.

I told her, “Isn’t that fun? Part of you likes that she does that, and she can tell.”

This is exactly what happens in corporate America (and nonprofits and…just generally with humans, and with *far* less awareness than I think the rock-bringer girl had.)

I was celebrating the whole exchange. It’s like, “Ooo, yeah girl! Indignation-get it!”

Indignation has historically been one of my favorites.

Benefits of indignation include:

▫️avoiding personal responsibility by villainizing someone/something outside of yourself.

▫️ getting attention from other people for being a victim

▫️feeling more “right,” and brains prefer being correct over being happy

▫️the surge of the sensation/activation which creates aliveness

I love those benefits. Full approval! 🙌🏼 And, a great thing about indignation is that it can indicate a boundary is necessary.

✨So we can be sober about whether it’s time for us to make a boundary/make a change…

✨or if we want to keep repeating the pattern because

-it keeps us from a scary, more personally-responsible change

(Ex: It’s time to start your business)

-or keeps us from admitting to ourselves what we want/feeling a feeling

(Ex: It’s sad to leave your profession)

-we like the attention

(Ex: Attention is a NEED. And people often get more attention/energy for problems than contentment.)

-we get off on the sensation

(Humans like to feel aliveness ::: coffee, amusement parks, sex…workplace indignation)

These are okay-enjoy it! 💁🏼‍♀️

People run the indignation dynamic all the time in their work. Just look for anything you feel indignant about and decide whether you’re ready to drop it or the benefits are worth it.

And you’re welcome to bring your angsty indignation to me. I love it. It’s fun. 😂🙌🏼


Emma Garrett is an Executive Career Coach, helping high-integrity leaders position themselves for what’s next in work and life. Ready to start doing things differently? Consider scheduling a free call to share your situation and goals or checking out the resources at