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Better Boundaries:

You don't have to be broken to be better

by Kari Kwinn

Book club, reader's guide, audio samples & more



  • You have a hard time saying "no"
  • Your life is pretty much "fine"
  • You are vexed by "adulting"
  • You are overwhelmed by overwhelm
  • You wonder why you keep repeating the same lessons (just with different people)
  • You feel resentment towards people you really like or even love

"This book spearheads an entirely new category of books: adulting." - Cassandra Olson


You're basically fine. You say you're fine. Nothing is really wrong, but you've just been a touch overwhelmed for the past decade or six. It's hard to manage all of the details, and you feel like some moderately important balls are starting to drop.


You hear yourself say that things will be better when...

  • your sister gets sober or

  • your kids go back to school or

  • you finally get promoted] or

  • you get ahead of your finances or

  • any other external circumstance.

I'm here to tell you - you don't need to be broken to be better, and if you relate even slightly to Captain Fine Yet Overwhelmed, I wrote this book for you.

What You Will Learn

  • How to enjoy the holidays this year

  • How to stop overextending yourself

  • How to peacefully end (and begin) relationships

  • How to give and receive appropriate help

  • How to end resentment in your most intimate relationships

  • How to put out the right type of energy for everyday situations

  • How to truly own your desires and have them met

Sea Shell

"I found myself talking with my kids about boundaries & building them together." 



Ch 8: Ghosts & Monsters


Ever notice that sometimes you react to an abrasive text message in a calm, collected fashion and sometimes you launch into a vengeful rage?

I call this the text monster, and it exists in all of us.

The text monster reacts rather than responding. The text monster adds nuance and intonation where it may not have been intended and jumps into worst-case-scenario mode. The text monster is always present and will sabotage your friendships and relationships if given access to your phone.

Reacting and responding are different. I’m not the first person to distinguish the two, but for the sake of this section I’ll define reacting as the text monster. Texting is a great place to examine this behavior. We often perceive urgency with texts—it’s not a call, where we have vocal nuances, nor is it an email, where we have a moment of reflection before hitting send. It is a text message—an instant telegram we can fire back at without a second thought.

Or a first thought.

Many of us employ this reactive burn it down mentality to ending relationships—whether it’s after a pinnacle fight, storming out of an office building never to return, or posting something inciteful, dangerous, or toxic on social media. Burning bridges is a really effective way of ensuring that the other party keeps their distance—you’ve acted in such an immature or frightening way that they would never consider repairing the relationship.

Responding is so different from reacting. It is consideration and reflection, thoughtful and complete. Frankly, we rarely make the time for this. If we don’t burn down a relationship with a person or an entity, we often go to the other end of the spectrum: ghosting.



I did not fully appreciate the commonplace nature of ghosting until I started dating. Now I am quite familiar. When we don’t know what to say or have the skills we need to say it, we simply disappear. 

I really dislike this about us.

Perhaps you have a visceral reaction when a friend mentions being ghosted. Or maybe your feelings are stronger when you think of folks you have ghosted. Or maybe, like many of us, you feel equally gross when considering either one.

So why do we do it?

My answer? That’s the wrong question.

The better question is: how do we stop? And what do we do when we are ghosted? If you want to get into your whys, chat with your therapist. If you want to get into someone else’s motivation, you are in for a long winter. They ghosted you. This means they’re unlikely to want to sit down and have the meta-conversation about why with you....


I have the only advanced degree that shares its name with a snack food

I am curious.


What I teach is a distillation of tools derived from the study of human behavior from many origins, predominantly Eastern Philosophy, but you wouldn't know it if you didn't ask, because you'll read the book and practice applying the tools in simple, everyday circumstances - like deciding where to go for dinner, how to give and receive appropriate help, how to end a relationship, and how to figure out your own motivations.

I am not a therapist, and what I offer is not therapy. I do offer a lot of ways to leverage this work to support your therapeutic relationships, including how to find a therapist who best suits you, and how to get the most out of therapy sessions.

I am a teacher, and like all good teachers, my job is principally to ask good questions.


Kari Kwinn

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