Actress and mother of two Lauren London discussed the struggle of saying no and dealing with guilt amid her journey with setting boundaries on the latest episode of “Red Table Talk.”
When best-selling author and popular therapist Nedra Glover Tawwab noted that “with boundaries, there are times where we feel guilty,” London shared that guilt was an emotion she felt a lot while growing up.
“That’s my whole childhood,” London told the group. “It was a full guilt trip. My whole childhood was a full guilt trip.”
“It puts shame on you,” the actress explained, before reiterating, “Unfortunately, a lot of guilt was put on me as a kid.”
After Tawwab noted that guilt-tripping was “a powerful tactic” and one that needed to be unlearned since “It’s okay to say no,” London explained that in hindsight, she didn’t think the people around her while growing up meant to impede on her boundaries despite it happening anyways.
“Um, I don’t even think it was intentional,” the actress said. “I think it was just like the way of the world we came from. ‘You don’t have wants. You’re a child. Don’t ask me questions. Sit down,'” she expressed hearing as a kid.
As Jada mentioned, “the old school” mentality London grew up with is an experience many can relate to.
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“Or like [me saying], ‘I don’t like going to so and so’s house’ [and being told] ‘We’re going anyway,’ or ‘They didn’t do nothing to you,'” London explained, giving more examples. “You know, ‘Why are you acting like that around so and so? They’re nice.'”
“Which is why I used to have really aggressive boundaries,” the actress expressed, “because my boundaries weren’t respected as a child. I got really aggressive with my boundaries, so it was like, ‘Oh, you don’t hear what I’m saying? I’m a fight you. I’m a sock you. You’re gonna respect the violence.'”
Tawwab gave a great definition of what boundaries are by stating, “Boundaries are the solution. It’s want we want, it’s what we need, our expectations — it’s not for other people to set, it’s for me to do.”
The women discussed how vocalizing one’s boundaries is similar to sharing one’s preferences. While one may have specific limits, it’s crucial to remember that those beliefs aren’t always instilled in others, and they don’t have to be. In terms of what boundaries one may set, there are five key types — emotional, material, physical, sexual and intellectual.
Titled, “Changing Your Life Through Healthy Boundaries.,” watch the full episode here.
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