Ask Jen — How to Deal with Maimers, Blamers, and Shamers.

We can’t avoid it.  We live on this planet with other people.  And, sometimes people sort of suck. 

In our ongoing conversation about how to Craft Your Comeback, reader Anne R. wrote in that one of the reasons she fears failure is that there are people in her life who will say, “I told you so.”

In this episode of Ask Jen TV, I share some secrets for dealing with the Maimers, Blamers, and Shamers who insert themselves in your life.  (Do a couple come to mind even now?)

After you watch the video, let me know what you need next with respect to your midlife comeback plan.

Love, Jen

Photo: Flickr,

P.S.  Thank you to everyone who has already registered for our mid-June Craft Your Comeback workshop.  The first tier has already SOLD OUT; however, there are still some tickets that remain in the second group.  Click here for details, or skip all that and register here.

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20 Responses to Ask Jen — How to Deal with Maimers, Blamers, and Shamers.

  1. Valerie says:

    I loved the image of looking at communicatively toxic people through the window of the mental ward they are in. I just had an unexpected email from just such a person, and it was great to be able to form a clear (and humorous) boundary! I would add that people who act from their own wounds in a hurtful way will likely respond to your attempts at boundary-making by trying to convince you that you are the one who should be locked up. But that is just more of their delusion and their tendency to bully. So, don’t listen to them! It has taken me a long time to learn that.

  2. Gail Fulkerson says:

    I really appreciate that you say what needs to be said without couching it in flowery language. Thank you, Jennifer Boykin!

  3. Jenn, ok the first thing that comes to mind is WOW…I love the way you got this one down packed:)

    I curious, has this ever happened to you as well? I have had 2 different kinds of these people come along when I talked about following my dream.
    1. The ones who NEVER believe that you are actually going to go through with it. So, in the beginning, they are all,” Yeah, that sounds great, go for it..” Then, when they see that you are moving forward and that it might actually happen, they start saying things like, “hmmmm, just be careful, this and that could happen, or, you’re still on that, give it up (laughing)..
    2. The ones like you have just described, saying things like, how you are crazy…blablabla

    In my case, some of these people where very close to me. You know what I realized? In doing what I really wanted to do, being around me, just reminded them how much they would want to change, how much they would like to do something different…Only, they would never make the move, so, want to stop others from doing so. This way, they will not have to be miserable. In having someone follow their dream, means someone is going against their beliefs and they can not face staying in their comfort zone while someone is actually doing what they love!

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi, Antonia. Thanks for your message. Um, yes, this has happened to me. Also, I have DONE it. I’ve been the “I told you so” person. I don’t like playing either role, so I’m working to change it.

      I hope you are still having wonder travels.


  4. Lynda says:

    With immediate family members, I am constantly taking their “emotional temperature”. When others are not happy with me, or just unhappy, I fear they will stay that way. I need emotional boundaries to be less sensitive to the normal negativity and moods of those I love most.

  5. Heather says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    I was so impacted by the realization that “meanness of sprit comes from brokenness.”

    I have just started taking steps to start my own freelance writing business and there are several people (both in and out of my family) that hear this and have absolutely no response. It completely baffles them, that I would go to college (as a non-traditional age student) and graduate and not seek a high-powered corporate position.

    I’m going to carry that phrase on my heart and realize that it’s often the doubter that is broken and not the doer.

    • Jennifer says:

      Go you. I can’t wait to hear those reports of your freelance business. I’m cheering from you all the way over here. Jen

  6. Susan B says:

    You are the person I would have wanted for a mother….a kick-ass, take no prisoners, I’ve got your back, coolest mom on the block! I think you are one of the most original, bare bones, in-your-face (in a good way) ladies on the planet.
    Keep it up!

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi, Susan. I gave my highschooler like 5 minutes from the time he came home until the time I quoted your message to me. He giggled and shook his head. What do you think that means?

  7. Beth says:

    Your writing is inspiring, but did you also know that you are an awesome public speaker? I love Ask Jen TV- encore, encore!

  8. Nice job Jen! Makes me think about a few people that may need to be moved to one of the outer circles. 🙂

  9. Thanks, Jen. You have inspired me once again. The people who have said “i told you so” are close family members, so I really can’t avoid them but when you mentioned that something in them is broken, it was a “light-bulb” moment. I recognize that is the case with two people in particular. I am learning that I have to do what I feel is right for me, but of course, I always question myself from time to time. Thank you for your video. As always, you make a lot of sense.

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi, love. You know you can’t evolve without the questioning — so keep doing some of that. But we also need to growth some trust in self, too. That’s traditionally been one of my weaker areas, and self-doubt makes me easy prey for the naysayers.

      I celebrate your beautiful courageous heart. Thank you for bringing the topic. As you can see, LOTS of us deal with it, love.


  10. Farnoosh says:

    Jen, I LOVED your video. The honesty, the sincerity, the raw emotion. Thank you so much! Really, I can’t agree more with the way you articulated how to keep the people who tend to say those things far far away from ourselves. Lasting impression. Keep doing the videos. Cheers….!

  11. Pamela McLeod says:

    Loved this…and ironically I JUST got sucked into an interaction with a seriously broken person this evening. I wish I would have seen your video first so that I could have stood graciously “on the grassy knoll” while she was spewing hatred & judgement ” from inside the mental ward”. I had a few choice words (and some VERY “UNchoice” words) for this woman…and fortunately I was in the position to edit most of my comments.
    ** Admittedly, I had some REALLY good zingers I was DYING to use, but I took the high road and bit my tongue. Now, I’m standing on a slightly higher road with holes in my tongue, but I know I will eventually be grateful that I kept my cool. Mean people suck. *sigh…

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