How to Set a Boundary and Survive the Shame and Guilt that Follows

Fat Black Liberation
6 min readOct 17, 2019


Wouldn’t it be fantastic if it always felt good to set a boundary? Wouldn’t it be absolutely terrific if a firm “no” was met with understanding and not retaliation?

We are educated to be compliant. We’re socialized to fit in. Respect your elders. Mind your manners. Follow the protocol. Our entire lives are spent bowing to authority and following rules. And you have the nerve to step out of line and set a rule for yourself?

Listen. I get it. Setting a boundary can be necessary at times but we talk about setting boundaries like it’s a cute, happy, fun, celebrated process. I’m sorry to break it you but…

nobody is going to give you a gold star for doing a good job at adulting — EVEN THOUGH YOU DESERVE A PREMIUM GOLD STAR FOR DOING A GOOD JOB AT ADULTING.

The truth about boundaries is that sometimes they are honored, sometimes we are punished for them and sometimes after setting boundaries we punish ourselves.