Episode 96: Wanna Break Free? How workplace boundaries protect us from the need to please

Sep 06, 2021

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You’ve been working with seamless efficiency all day to make sure you’re out the office door no later than 5:15 today. 

You’re rockin’ it ‘cause you’ve got plans

A hot date. Your kid’s first piano recital. A full-body massage you’ve been looking forward to for weeks. 

But, just as you’re packing up to leave, your boss walks through the door with an urgent request. It’ll mean canceling your plans. 

It’s not like you’re surprised...she does it all the time

So, what do you do? 

You love your job but you’re really tired of making plans only to have your excitement pummeled at the last minute. 

“Help!!!!!” you think to yourself in desperation. 

Then, out of nowhere, your hero Boundary Babe swoops in to save the day! Time stops as your boss stands waiting at the door for an answer. 

“You called?” she says, outfitted in her shimmery lycra with a “B” emblazoned on the lapel of her cape. 

“I didn’t realize it, but yea...I need to set a boundary here!” you say, exasperated and relieved. 

Ahhhh, if only it were as simple as calling on a superhero...

But, you wanna know a secret? 

Setting boundaries doesn’t require superpowers. And they’re easier than you might think.

In this week’s episode, Karlee introduces a month of boundary breakthroughs that’ll help you rescue yourself from the need to be all things to all people- especially in the workplace. She’ll help you identify where boundaries might be missing in your work relationships, and give you a simple set of questions to ask yourself so that you can aptly identify the kind of boundary that’s being called for. 


Boundaries are the bridge between you and what it is that you value. If there’s something keeping those things apart, then it’s time to talk about bridging the gap. 

If you’re ready to shed the resentment, conquer the fatigue, do away with underappreciation, and stop over-committing yourself, then this boundary-setting episode is for you.

What You’ll Learn in This Episode:

  • Are you an emotional octopus? (1:18)
  • Two questions to ask yourself to frame your boundary before you create it (12:41)
  • Signs of a psychologically safe workplace (15:38)
  •  What boundaries don’t do (20:39)
  • A real-world example of setting a workplace boundary (21:02)

People Mentioned in this Episode:

Dana Lemay

Sarri Gilman

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:


Episode 67: Boundaries Go Both Ways: How to Unearth Your Boundary Questions and Be an Ally to the World

Episode 66: Boundary Bravery: How Women are Giving Themselves Permission to Set Boundaries with Amy Ziegert

Episode 65: Feel Like Your Life Isn’t Your Own? How Women Are Building Bridges and Setting Boundaries Like a Boss

Episode 32: Curing the Knee Jerk “Yes”: Doable Boundaries That Will Set You Free with Nancy Levin

Episode 30: Reclaiming Your Time: The 3 “B-words” That Give Women Back Their Time and Energy

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Messy and Magnificent is produced by the folks at Ginni Media

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