How to Move From FEAR to F*CK It: When Setting Boundaries Scares the BeJesus Out of U
where did women learn
to think so little of themselves
to apologize for just being
where did women learn
that each word that falls
from their lips
needs an explanation,
so their language is forever
bullet-proofed against criticism
where did women learn that
criticism is a defense
against not being believed or loved
~april yvette thompson
Acknowledging that this
was, indeed what was going on was the first step
The second step was abt learning concrete, hard rules
(that I followed without question trusting that the action would teach my heart the lesson)
that taught me how it felt to set BOUNDARIES
FEAR is what stopped me from setting boundaries.
This process of practicing a CONSISTENT RULE (even when I was terrified) eventually made the idea of self-love real and tangible. I learned to
So here are the some of the secret rules:
1. NEVER ever do anything twice
2. When someone asks something of u that feels uncomfortable (even a little), say,
“When u do (insert action),
I feel (insert feeling).”
Here's one of my favorite examples:
"When you couch criticism in a compliment, it makes me feel shitty,
manipulated by your passive aggressiveness and hostile towards you. And no, I'm not going to justify my feelings, I'm just going to leave until you find a better way to communicate with me. "
(Exit, Stage Left)
3. Here's the tricky part women always run into:
GIVE that person the ROOM to fix the problem by
not doing the dumb shit u just told them makes u
Don’t explain or justify ur feelings.
It’s their choice to stop making u feel that way
if they want to continue enjoying your company
& if they don’t stop, they just let u know how they
feel about u:
they value their
“stuff” more than u.
Which is fine bec u have the power to exit any interaction
that doesn't honor u
If this feels scary, go back to the script & then leave.
Take a time out for u...
Don’t argue w/ur feelings
just take the step,
say the script &
leave it the f*ck alone
in a friendly,
no strings attached way.
Those are the only lines you have in this short story called
“How to set boundaries & prioritize ur self-care & self-worth.”
Don’t try to get anything from someone,
just set a limit to the discomfort by stating
ur feelings & leaving the scene of discomfort.
Don’t do the other famous woman thing:
Try to fix someone’s behavior
(remember rule #1? read it aloud again now).
Take care of u every time someone crosses a boundary uv set
& made u feel uncomfortable.
U know this works when u try it w/ur
Nana or ur mother each time they begin one of the
"Monologues of 1000 Cuts:"
“Even with the xtra weight, u look radiant...”
This cutting is a reflection on them .
& guess what, u can’t fix it,
but u can let them know
how it feels when they do this
the first time & then limit ur
interactions w/them to 10 mins
& exit the scene the minute they go back to this behavior
but let them know kindly why ur leaving.
" I've asked you stop couching criticism in a compliment.
It feel passive aggressive and hostile, so I'm leaving now. "
Exit, Stage Left
NO FURTHER EXPLANATION.
Your Self-Care is Not Negotiable
Bec u see this isn't about them
or a negotiation around how u want to be treated.
This is abt how u want to feel,
how you care for your well-being
& how u want to live your life
& as long as your core values are up for negotiation,
u will always be miserable,
unfulfilled & repeating
the brokenness of the people who made u.
yes, i know,
but these are the choices
esp for mid-life geniuses
with more years behind u than in front of u)
2 Crucial Steps:
1. Say your script
2. Then exit
Works like a charm...
once I let go of needing to change
their toxicity & focus on taking care of me,
the moments of discomfort diminished &
freed up my time to find people who would
honor my boundaries.
Once u do it w/the ones closest to u,
it’s easy to do it w/everyone else.
I find that the most forthright women can do this with lots of people, but not their loved ones....then it's not really transformation, is it?
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is a Tony-winning producer/writer/actor & CEO of TheDreamUnLocked: Boutique Coaching for Actors, Writers & Dreamers