Hey Strong Friend!
March is Women’s History Month, and in celebration of women (a celebration that should be daily, really) we’d like to encourage the women in our community to trade in their ‘superwoman’ capes for the ‘Balanced and Boundaried’ cloak. In this month’s blog, we’ll take a closer look at the Superwoman Persona and emotional labor, we’ll share some new community updates, and later on, we’ll talk about codependancy, in layman’s terms.
On the Superwoman Persona
What is the Superwoman persona, you ask?
According to MSU Today, the Superwoman persona refers to when Black women feel “the need to be strong, self-sacrificing, and emotionless.” This pressure is placed on us both in the workplace and in personal relationships. As the stress from these expectations compounds, it can have adverse physical and mental health consequences. If you want to take a deeper dive into the effects that the Superwoman persona can have on physical and mental health, then you can read Cheryl Woods-Giscombé’s research on this topic in her article, “Superwoman Schema: African-American Women’s Views on Stress, Strength, and Health.“
In the words of the singer Karyn White (sing it with me), “I’m not your superwoman!”
But it’s not enough to simply be anti-superwoman, we must also be pro-balanced and boudaried. What does this mean? It means that we as Black women must be intentional about how we use our energy (also known as emotional labor). There are many ways in which you can do this:
1. You can delegate tasks that can be done by someone else, resisting the urge to do anything and everything yourself.
2. You can trust others to resolve their own issues. Their issues are not always your resposibility.
3. You can plug into the things that bring you joy, whether that be listening to music, spending time in nature or with loved ones, or simply taking a moment to yourself.
4. You can book your therapy appointment! (shameless plug)
5. And finally, you can recognize the value of your emotional labor.
Refusing to perform emotional labor is a radical act for Black folk and other folk of color because we often receive verbal reinforcement for performing emotional labor. With the labels of “good” or “strong,” we are primed to continue giving free emotional labor. Welp, not today! Let’s all encourage the women in our spaces (this includes you if you identify as a woman) to be Balanced and Boundaried.
Let us know how we can help you become more balanced and boundaried, and in the meantime, here are a few statements you can use when you feel pressured to give your emotional labor. Connect with us on social media and tell us: what are some of the challenges you face when enforcing boundaries? Share your insights using the hashtag #BalancedAndBoundaried.
EIM Community Updates
Eye In Me is now accepting short-term therapy clients based in New Jersey!
Our New Jersey books will be open until June 2021, so if you or someone you know lives in New Jersey and is looking for a therapist, then refer them here to request a FREE virtual consultation. Make sure to share this with your network, and let’s break through before we break down!
Next…..a reminder that Shatiea Blount’s Patreon is now live!
Through this platform, I am creating Black psychotherapy and life-coaching content that aims to reduce the stigma and fear surrouding therapy in Black communities. On my Patreon, I center Black voices and experiences in eveything I do.
Check out an image from episode 1 of the Anti-Stigma Therapy Simulator below. The full episode is available here.
And finally, a reminder that the Eye In Me team has launched a survey to help us learn more about the wants and needs of our audience.
Please click here to fill out a short 2-minute survey where you can ask us any questions you may have (both about therapy & life in general), and let us know more about how our content can better serve you. And each month, we will select a few questions from your responses and answer them in that month’s blog!
CODEPENDENCY…..In Layman’s Terms
Simply put, codependency happens when someone with a ‘need to be needed’ grows attached to someone with a ‘need to be taken care of.’ Codependent relationships are functionally dysfunctional and usually one person in the relationship is either physically ill, mentally ill, or consistently unproductive in a major area of life.
It’s hard to separate from codependent relationships because the ‘healthy’ person had made it their mission to help, fix, or change the unwell person although they know changing another person is unlikely. These types of relationships are harmful because all parties in the relationship become stagnant in some way and often do not realize their full potential as human beings. In essence, all involved become unwell to some degree.
If you think you are in a codependent relationship and you want to be sure, book a free consultation with EIM here. If you think this will be helpful for a friend or loved one, then please share this with them.
We’ve also launched a social media campain surrounding emotional labor so be sure to connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter to be further involved in the campaign! Happy Women’s History Month, and let’s start March off right and honor ourselves by respecting our boundaries and the boundaries of others.
Shatiea Blount, LCSW-C, LICSW, CPC