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I Don’t Have to Give You a Reason

Written By: Lauren Howard

Wait a minute. I don’t have to give you a reason.

That’s the reminder that I have to give myself most when dealing with the boundaries that I voluntarily chose.

No one is enforcing them but me, and no one wants to enforce them but me, and yet, I still have to convince myself to do it.

We’re doing this for a reason. A reason that took me more than 30 years to realize and even longer to decide was enough to require a change.

It’s really easy to both keep your boundaries and somehow weasel out of them at the same time.

Most of the boundaries that I’ve developed are for one person.


Pages and pages of Standard Operating Procedures to deal with one person in my life.

Okay, not really on the actual documentation, but that’s what it feels like. My brain is covered in schematics and workflows and responses to situations that will come up considering how many of them I have seen in the past.

It’s a lot like when you see a company design a whole bunch of processes to manage the attendance issues of one person on a team. It feels like a lot, and it took a whole lot work and retraining.

Yes, it’s worth it.

No, it’s not easy.

Every time I honor my boundaries, they’re questioned.

The worst part of that? They’re questioned by me.

I mean, not just me, but I do this whole thing in my head where I walk through the conversation that will emerge from drawing the line in the sand to all of the responses that will come from doing it.

My instinct is to explain why. I made this decision and here is why. I need to do this for me and the reason is this.

Except, that’s a losing game. Every explanation is another opening to question and manipulate. Every word added gives more ammunition for someone who is looking for misplaced firepower.

I was going through that process one day when I realized something. I don’t have to give you a reason. I don’t owe anyone an explanation for the ways that I choose to keep my peace.

Part of realizing that was stopping myself from going down the rabbit hole of anticipating the responses before they come.

If I tell myself no, I can tell you the same thing.

I don’t have to give you a reason why it is the way it is. It just is that way. If that’s a problem, it’s not my problem.


Founder & CEO at elletwo


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