Set Boundaries and Declare Dominion: You Need to Read with Anna Kunnecke (Plus a Book Giveaway!)

Let’s start our conversation about how to set boundaries and declare dominion in the most logical place: with the dream I had the other night about owning a living, breathing miniature elephant. (We’re going somewhere with this, I promise.) I’d had the tiny elephant for a few days, and I’d thought that I was taking pretty good care of it. But then I placed a container of water down on the floor where the elephant lived, and the little guy went crazy. Within seconds it was splashing and guzzling water, equal parts desperate with thirst and wild with joy. That...
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Can’t Stop Striving? Your Free Perfectionist Recovery Toolkit Is Here!

I knew I was a perfectionist the day I got into a car crash on the way to high school. The accident totaled our family’s pretty blue Chrysler Concorde, and I wasn’t in great shape either. Thankfully I didn’t sustain significant physical injuries, but I was hyperventilating, trembling, and generally traumatized. Still, my tears were barely dry when I insisted on going straight to school. Why? Well, I thought that since I’d already screwed up by getting into the accident and missing two classes, taking a day off was out of the question. Though I would never have asked a...
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What If Your Real Self is Really Mad? (Plus a Giveaway!)

You’ve heard the platitudes … Honesty is the best policy. Tell the truth and shame the devil. An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. They make it sound simple, don’t they? As if telling the truth was so straightforward. But for those of us who are accustomed to covering up, getting real is … complicated. When you start speaking up after years of silence, you’ll discover the land mines in your psyche. You probably won’t even know they’re there until you step on one. The anger and sadness that you stuffed down years ago will rise to...
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10 Dead Giveaway Signs You’re People-Pleasing

Truth: I’ve had a draft of this people-pleasing post saved on my computer for months now. Why? Because it’s something that I scribbled down for fun one day. Since it’s a playful list post, a judgmental voice told me that I shouldn’t publish it. It wasn’t serious writing, so it wasn’t good enough. But then, light-bulb moment: maybe you don’t need serious writing from me all the time. As Glennon Doyle Melton once wrote, “I convinced myself that everything I wrote needed to be shiny and shareable and big and amazing. So I started writing essays instead of love letters....
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Feel the (False) Guilt and Do It Anyway.

You know what’s difficult? Questioning the ‘should dictator’ in your head. Standing up for yourself and your needs. Deciding not to let false guilt boss you around. If you dare to do these things, then you’re my hero. Seriously. It’s hard to be “selfish” enough for your own good. I’m quoting my own judgmental inner voice here. Whenever I consider making positive changes on my own behalf, she screeches, “But isn’t that SELFISH?!” …
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When a People-Pleaser Decides to (Gasp) Tell the Truth

The note reads, "Caroline possesses a respectably expansive vocabulary." Intellectual assent is easy. Being people of peace? Shifting from self-blame and people-pleasing to compassion and honesty? Sure thing. But putting these things into practice when we're angry and upset? That's another story. Luckily, life continually offers us opportunities to learn ... which are often disguised as conflicts. *** My dear friend Tam recently lent me a copy of Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. Nonviolent communication (NVC) is, to quote author Marshall Rosenberg, "a way of communicating that leads us to give from the heart." As I read,...
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