I love the people in my life. The convos we have are always so rich and deep and meaningful and expansive.

On Instagram not too long ago, Liz Wiltsie asked her audience (which includes me, of course) whether having gotten the vaccine changes our quarantinetimes level of introversion.

Of course it has. For a lot of us. We’re beginning to realize we were doing WAY too much peopling before. We’ve been forced to dial that back and now we’re clearer on how much peopling we even want in our lives anymore. Time to do peopling on our own terms.

As someone who has always loved peopling ON HER OWN TERMS, I shared the phrase I use to decline group things (or even 1:1 things) when they aren’t feeling aligned with my level of anxiety-management.

(Energetic boundaries are always a big player in my self-care.)

Bonnie Gillespie Liz Wiltsie IG Peopling and Boundaries
Click for Instagram version.

As you can see from the above, I shared that my go-to in responding to invitations I’m not yet ready to accept is “I’m dialing in my new relationship with peopling. Thanks for understanding that for now that means I’m going to decline this invitation. But I do love you and want to see you, so please ask again” (or “ask again when it’s X,” where X is the shape of peopling I’m ready for).

I think it’s important to have language ready to use in sticky situations we *know* will be coming up.

And honey, IT’S SO OKAY to not be ready to charge out into the world and hit the clubs, parties, concerts, even restaurants or movies!

We have a lot of inertia for NOT PEOPLING.

In one of our lovely membership spaces, some beautiful people were opining on a run of low enoughness going on. Yeah… it’s legit. I think the dip in enoughness is precisely because we know we’re about to have “to people” again, ready or not.

We may have put on weight, gotten more wrinkles, let our hair go grey… not to mention aaallllllll of the activated and well-practiced internal anxiety factors that have nothing to do with our appearance.

Being out and peopling again is threatening when we have this much inertia around NOT peopling… or only peopling behind a mask… or via Zoom.

We’re aware we’re about to be seen by eyes that haven’t seen us for a long time… and that feels very vulnerable and unsafe. The wobble around it is just primal brain trying to be sure it’s okay to be out in the world.

In addition to the above *declining* script, I’ve been prepping myself by imagining people going, “Oh, wow. You’ve put on weight,” and instead of spinning out or getting defensive or whatever else, I practice going, “Wow. Thank you. It is such a great reminder of the boundaries I’ve been practicing around my mental health this past year to have you so quickly violate them. This has been great. Thanks,” and leaving.

I’ve also been practicing saying, “I know you couldn’t possibly mean to be cruel, so I’ll take this opportunity to let you know, that it is indeed cruel to comment on anyone’s physical appearance, positive, negative, or neutral. I get that it’s easy to comment on physical changes that are clearly available to witness. Let’s try some more evolved observations… and if you feel you must comment on me at all, try commenting on my strength or resilience or success in leadership since I’ve seen you last.”

And, probably more usefully, I’ve been practicing things like accepting an invitation “to people” again with caveats: “Yes. Let’s get together. That will be fun. Let’s pledge though that we’ll not comment on one another’s appearance or any vulnerable areas in which our survival modes have been in charge since we last saw each other. I think this boundary will help us focus on how wonderful it is to see one another rather than worrying about judgment. I’d especially appreciate — even if *I* bring up how silver my hair has gotten — you not joining in on any comments about my appearance. I’d love it if you’d take that opportunity to remind me that we’re not going there, out of kindness to our enoughness.”

πŸ¦‹πŸ’œ This is how leadership works. We practice the world we want to live in, then we go live in it. And we enforce boundaries when our most vulnerable bits are in danger. (See: Circles of Safety for more on this.)

AT YOUR OWN PACE, Y’ALL. Self-care is all about knowing what works FOR YOU and making it safe to give yourself what you need. ALWAYS. Pandemic or no pandemic, vaccine or no vaccine. πŸ’–πŸ§˜πŸ½β€β™€οΈβœ¨

I hope this overview of how I’m navigating the anxiety around peopling has been helpful for you. Please share in the comments below any rehearsing that you’re doing around this. It’s a raw area and we don’t need more reasons to feel raw! Practicing ways to keep our enoughness intact? Super valuable stuff! Thank you for joining me in this next level of adventure.

Three quick things before I sign off:

1. Woo Webinar! Sign up here. It’s free. It’s happening at 12pm PDT Tuesday May 11th. Yes, there will be a replay but only if you sign up.

2. SMFA Summit! Also free. Sign up here. 11 straight days of inspiring interviews with some of my very favorite people. We’re #CreatingTheHollywoodWeWant together and it’s inspiring, educating, motivating, and absolutely delightful. Do! Not! Miss! This!

3. If you’d like to receive texts from me, put your info in here or just text BON to +1.310.388.9852 and I’ll be in your hot little hand via text, sharing showbiz inspo, enoughness tips, and a little woo too. πŸ˜‰ Hooray!

All right lovelies! Happy peopling! πŸ™‚ Thank you for being one of mine.

So much love flowing your way,

Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

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  1. Lisa May 12, 2021 at 8:11 am

    Hey Bon! Love this email!!! Such a real challenge people are starting to face, and this really gives great, specific language for it. So helpful.

    Also, is there a fancy, shareable link to share with folks to point them to the Summit? Or just grab what’s in the newsletter?


    1. Bonnie Gillespie May 12, 2021 at 11:25 am

      Glad you found it! THANK YOU for sending people our way. Cannot wait ’til it aligns have you as a guest at the SMFA Summit. You’re making so much magic in the world!

  2. Lisa May 12, 2021 at 8:14 am

    Ooop! Moderating myself! Found the link! lol!!! Thank you!!! 😘😘


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