• Mia Brabham

6 Times Powerful Women Set Healthy Boundaries with One Line

powerful quotes by women

When talking about health and wellness, we often neglect the importance of mental health and sometimes forget to tend to our minds. One of the best ways to care for your mental health is by setting boundaries — especially with those in your life who can drain you of your energy or make you feel lesser than. With the help of a few legendary ladies, we’re taking note from some of their most iconic one-liners to revisit the power of creating hard boundaries and how to approach tough, toxic situations.

"Reclaiming my time." (Rep. Maxine Waters)

The irreplaceable and untouchable Rep. Maxine Waters sparked an anthem when she repeated the phrase "Reclaiming my time" to Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin every time he avoided her question.

During a 2017 hearing of the House Financial Services Committee, she asked why he hadn’t responded to a letter she’d sent him three months earlier questioning the then president’s Russian ties. Rather than answering the question, Mnuchin began complimenting the congresswomen for her service to California.

Waters repeated the three words, thanked him for his kind words, then urged him to answer the question. She continues to do so throughout the rest of her allotted time.

The moment transcended generations and kindled social media hashtags, inspiring memes, and conversations across the country about time and respect. It’s also become a gospel remix on YouTube.

"I'm speaking." (Vice President Kamala Harris)

During the final vice-presidential debate of 2020, Vice President Kamala Harris told Former Vice President Mike Pence "I'm speaking” when he interjects as she’s talking.

When he interrupts her once again at a later time, she pauses, smiles, and continues: “If you don’t mind letting me finish, we can have a conversation.”

This display of elegance and power is inspiring, but it’s also infectious. She’s now breaking barriers as the first Black and South Asian female Vice President of the United States — and her iconic line is now on t-shirts, ball caps, and buttons everywhere!

"I'm not going to answer that question anymore."(FKA Twigs)

*Domestic abuse trigger warning*

When FKA Twigs made a powerful stance earlier this year, she made a stance for survivors everywhere. In a sitdown interview with English singer-songwriter FKA Twigs, Gayle King asked the pop star following her domestic abuse case, “Why didn’t you leave?”

FKA Twigs, born Tahliah Barnett, expresses how she understands that question is out of love, but that “We just have to stop asking that question.” She continues, “I’m just going to make a stance and say that I'm not going to answer that question anymore because the question should really be to the abuser, ‘Why are you holding someone hostage with abuse?’”


Who knew one, simple word could be so powerful? Whoopi Goldberg truly gave "Okay” a new meaning last month on national television. Her The View co-host, Meghan McCain, went on a minute-long tirade rant about the American Revolution and how it relates to the royal departure. Goldberg listens, pauses, and utters one single word: Okay.

Sometimes, you just have it keep moving.

"Listen and you might learn something."

During an interview on Good Morning Britain following Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on CBS, Piers Morgan interrupts Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu multiple times while giving her perspective on the topic.

After a few interjections, she tells him, ”Listen and you might learn something.”

We’re at a time in society where we’re having a lot of important discussions regarding race, gender, and other important topics — and things can get heated. If someone isn’t listening to your point of view, this might be a new way to come to the conversation if you have something you’d really like to say.

“I’m not going to live my life in fear."

A whopping 17 million watched the aforementioned and masterfully conducted interview of Meghan Markle by Oprah Winfrey. When Winfrey called some of the conversation’s revelations “shocking,” Markle makes it clear that she didn’t plan on saying anything shocking.

“I’m not going to live my life in fear," she says, unwavering. “I don’t know how they could expect that, after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there is an active role that the firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.”

Meghan and Harry’s choice to leave a toxic role and speaking truth to power may just be the most potent and freeing display of boundaries of all.

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