Today I want to talk to you about a great Polish saying: not my circus; not my monkeys which translates loosely into English as Not My Fucking Problem.
I may be coming across as a little hostile, maybe a little volatile, maybe toxic.
Yet when someone tries to manipulate you, take advantage of you, get you to jump through their fiery hoops, this phrase may, just may, help you set a healthy and effective boundary for the purpose of healing this connection and relationship.
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I’m not saying you have to be rude or volatile or arrogant or cocky or mean. All you have to do, when someone is trying to manipulate you, is calmly think “hey, not my circus not my monkeys not my fucking problem.”
Just think the phrase. Don’t say anything at this point. Just thinking this phrase lowers your escalating anxiety and ushers in improved mental wellness and functioning for YOU, which after all is the point.
You want good mental Wellness? Of course you do! Who in the heck wants to be stressed? Who wants to be anxious? Who wants to be depressed? NO ONE.
You can achieve mental wellness in that moment by using this simple psychological fitness skill. Thinking “hey, not my circus not my monkeys not my fucking problem.” You reduce your anxiety and set a boundary by thinking and not responding! Bonus.
When our brain begins to determine our boundaries are being violated, we are being manipulated, we are being controlled by someone who is pulling our strings and wanting us to jump through their fiery hoops, our stress response kicks in. Once the old fight-flight-freeze response kicks in it becomes difficult to regulate our emotions and set boundaries. We can become agitated, frustrated and act out.
When that stress response kicks in, it is very difficult set a boundary without first thinking “hey, not my circus not my monkeys not my fucking problem.”
When we think this, we regulate and that regulation allows us to cope, problem solve and communicate much more efficiently.
The goal hear is to stop the automatic stress response by slowing our thoughts down thus regulating emotions so that we can respond in a healthy and effective way that is congruent with our perceptions of ourselves. We can set boundaries and fulfil our needs.