They: “You Need to Set Boundaries”

They: “You need to set boundaries.”

Me: “I’ll do that now.”

They: “But first, can you help me move this mountain.”

Me: “Yea, sure, hold on.”

Setting boundaries are easier said than done, and trust me, it’s something I am still working on. From the demands of family, friends, relationships, groups, and work; it can be tiring doing things for people. They always say, “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” but there are times you are so busy you don’t realize that cup is empty. You only notice when your like that episode of Spongebob when he first went to Sandy Cheeks’ house. I NEED IT I DEFF NEED IT. I need to fill my cup. 

We need to recharge. We want to feel good. We want to say I don’t feel like it, instead of having to come up with a real excuse to tell someone why we don’t feel like it. But do we really owe them an explanation?

For me, this has always been a weakness (but just cause I’m writing it, don’t test me). It has always been a struggle to say no or shut the door on a situation if it no longer serves me. 

Where do we learn this as black women? Do some say we gotta it from our momma? Aye! I know it sounds like the song, but we have picked up more than our mom’s beauty; we have learned how to not say no. 

One day, my mom was cooking some food for someone, but we had nothing to eat. Y’all. When I tell you she was cooking…. Sis was cooking! She had like 4 big ass of food she made for someone. Let me tell you how this convo went.

Me: “Mommy, someone paid you to cook for them.” 

Mom: “AHHHH..(restless voice) Sista (fill in the blank) needed me to make some plates for her party. I have a lot to do today, so this is taking all my time. I had to get all the ingredients too! 

Me: Wow, I hope she’s paying you

Mom: Paying me? (laughs)

Me: If she’s not paying you for all this food, why are you even doing it. 

Mom: Well, she asked, and how would it look if I said no?

And like that, this was ingrained in my head. This would happen a few times with not only food when it came to my mom. 

We need to charge for our time and energy. And it starts with setting boundaries.


There is so much unlearning we have to do as black women. People think we are supposed to do it all. That is false. We can cry, we can be overwhelmed, we can be stressed. But don’t get me wrong. We can also do dope ass shit.

But does that mean we should let people chip away at our dopeness? Like Cardi B said in a song, “I don’t do nothing for free, you know I gotta charge.” 

We need to charge for our time and energy. And it starts with setting boundaries. Let’s work together to start setting them boundaries, sis!

3 thoughts on “They: “You Need to Set Boundaries”

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