353. Setting Boundaries and Getting Help: A Candid Conversation with Dr. Kelly J. Baker

 
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Today I’m chatting with Dr. Kelly J. Baker, who was also part of my episode with Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom last year. In this conversation, Kelly and I talk about her academic work studying white supremacy and the klan, and how history is never only in the past. But the core of this episode is talking about setting boundaries. Kelly and I have been having an ongoing casual email conversation about setting boundaries, especially within specific organizations and settings. We talk about the expectations placed upon women in terms of Email replies Social media interactions Demands up on your time External expectations of time and expertise Organizations like the PTA We are going to dish on PTA a LOT. I bet you have PTA stories. Bring it. Tell me about them. We talk at length about the ways groups of people keep one another in line with damaging expectations, and how much shame and shaming play a role in that exercise. And without being explicit, we are also talking about emotional labor, and how, when people, often women, refuse to tolerate unpaid emotional labor, and say no, usually someone else who is vulnerable pays the price. It’s a whole thing. As I read in Burnout, it can be a challenge to have empathy and compassion for a person or group who is trying to push you back in line with their expectations of your behavior, knowing that in a lot of ways they may be driven by internalized misogyny and patriarchy. Those expectations come in many different subtle, damaging messages, and we’re going to talk about some of them. Kelly also touches on setting boundaries for yourself in working from home, or being self employed, and the pressure we put on ourselves to Produce All The Time. We also talk at length about mental health, and mental health crises, and seeking therapy. Kelly recently wrote about the the cost of coming to terms with your own mental illness and asking for help. And of course, we have book recommendations.

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