Boundaries

“Many of us often find fighting oppressive systems too grand of a notion because we feel so disempowered and disrespected in our interpersonal relationships… Start building the muscle to set boundaries with people who don’t see you and respect you in your intimate spaces. What is institutional/big, is only a magnifying glass to what is small.” Ashtin Berry


OOF. This hit me last week. While trying to allow numb to outweigh frustration, I couldn’t escape responsibility. While I would love to blame “old white men” for all of my problems, as an “old white lady” I had to ask myself where I was allowing disrespect in my own life. 

πŸ‘‰ Absolving the friend who always shows up late
πŸ‘‰ Not asking my partner to help me keep the house clean (summer shedding is real 🐢)
πŸ‘‰ Tolerating unsolicited emails from that family member whose beliefs I have made very clear are not the same as mine…

So I asked myself, what small thing can I do to move towards having better boundaries this week? (When we are so f*cking exhausted by the system, asking for something for ourselves can feel very overwhelming.) Setting boundaries always rocks the boat, but doing so gives you the life jacket.

Setting boundaries in our businesses has a ripple effect as well. Who are you excusing from showing up on time, paying on time, submitting paperwork on time? Who is showing up half-ass, who is speaking to you disrespectfully? Who the f*ck is underestimating your talent/value/generosity? (How dare they?! I will πŸ”ͺ them!) 

Yes, we’ve entered the cursing phase of my no-f*cks-given 40s, deal with it. 

How we set boundaries should also be considered. I’m trying really hard to stop chuckling when I ask for something. I do this because I’ve been trained by the system not to make anyone feel uncomfortable (because I must be likable at all costs!) But doing this waters down what I’m saying, it signals to the other person that I’m not serious about this boundary, and it’s likely to be ignored.

“Hey, haha, um, if it’s not too much trouble, do you think you could maybe pay that invoice I submitted last year? I mean, if you’re not too busy? Haha LOLOL πŸ˜…πŸ™

No, girl. Are you going to call up your senator and say, “Hey, LOL um would you mind if I had like maybe some control over my own body and if you don’t mind, maybe some privacy in my doctor’s office? TIA!” 
F*ck that.

I’m giving you permission to dip your toe into asking for what you need, directly with intention, without having to lighten it up or water it down to protect someone’s feelings or risk being labeled as less than sweet (what happened to us all deciding to be Nasty Women anyway?!) You do not also have to manage people’s reactions.

I do realize that we have to protect our energy and our spaces and this is all so nuanced.


To be continued…

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