Glennon Doyle shared with us SO MUCH, like why people find you unrelatable the more joyful you become, how she liberated herself from other’s expectations (including her family), why it’s important to sit in the pain (spoiler: we aren’t always meant to be happy), and how to deal with old beliefs. She also talks about the best ways white women can be allies and why doing anti-racism work is so important. Glennon shared a lot of personal anecdotes and got super real.
Who is Glennon Doyle?
Glennon Doyle is truly living untamed. She is the founder of Together Rising and the author of several bestselling books, including Untamed, her most recent memoir and our new favorite masterpiece! We both breezed through Untamed in like two sittings. It was unparalleled. All of her books are on our bedside tables, and we know we can always open up to a random page and trust that her memories will give us a laugh/cry combo and a powerful truth bomb we all need to hear.
In this post you’ll learn
- Why the happier you are the more people find you to be unrelatable
- What is internalized misogyny and how to overcome it
- Why being honest and authentic benefits everyone
- How to know why you’re abandoning yourself
- The best ways to show up for your children
- Why pain is so important in order to grow
- How to combat old belief systems
- Why doing anti-racism is important and the best ways to do it
The more joyful you get, the harder it is for people to relate to you.
We connected with Glennon on such a deep level — her commitment to sharing and listening like we’ve been friends forever keeps inspiring us to be present and be ourselves more than ever! One of the key takeaways from our conversation with Glennon was the internalized misogyny of joy. Talk about deep stuff.
Glennon dropped some major wisdom and food for thought. She found that once she became happy, it made her unrelatable to people. The more joyful she got, the more people came up to her telling her how relatable she USED to be.
So she came to the conclusion that we love suffering women in this culture. And society wants our women to be humble, and messy, and sad. She started noticing it right after she met her wife Abby.
There was a huge firestorm after she announced that she was in love with Abby and would be marrying her. Entire religious denominations — ones that she wasn’t even a part of — were writing takedown pieces on her kicking her out of their denominations.
There’s something ingrained in us to make us think, “there’s just something I don’t like about her.” Glennon recognized that it’s our own internalized misogyny. The more successful, bold, certain, and powerful a man becomes, the more people like him, but for a woman, it’s the opposite.
The more successful, bold, certain, and powerful a woman becomes the more people dislike and don’t trust her. This is internalized misogyny and Glennon caught herself doing it too, at her child’s soccer game.
There was a 12-year-old girl on the other team who was really talented and confident. She and the other moms were thinking, “Who does she think she is?” Internalized misogyny exists within us and that’s why Glennon believes we all need to be aware.
So how did she push past the internalized misogyny she experienced from others? By moving past the martyr mentality. A lot of the criticism came from owning it all for the first time. People thought her change was personal to them, but that is never the case. Glennon explained that it’s never personal to the other when we show up as our truest selves.
Glennon found was that the truth ALWAYS stands up. She realized that as a woman, criticism and people not liking you feels like the end of the world—but it’s not! Glennon learned that people don’t expect you to be perfect, they just expect you to be honest.
And so that’s what she did. Making it through all of the criticism and seeing so many people hate her made her feel fearless, and she hasn’t looked back since.
At the end of the day, it’s all about trusting and honoring yourself by liberating yourself with the truth!
What is the ultimate untaming?
When Glennon told everyone she was leaving her husband, she found that the quiet concern of the people who loved her shook her the most, like her mom. She discovered the red flag that she is abandoning herself is when she finds herself defending her choices to her mom or others.
Only people who are afraid that the person they are talking to can take away the thing that they have start flailing and defending.
The fiercest women Glennon knows will come home and cry about their mommas. She said,
You would think that the ultimate untaming is to be loud and yourself out there, but what I have found is that the final frontier of untaming is often figuring out that the best way to honor your parents is by trusting fully the woman they raised. This is not a them OR me situation. This is, I honor them when I honor myself.Glennon Doyle Quotes
Glennon feels that if we are not doing things our parents don’t understand then we are not living into the future they have birthed us into. In the end, healthy families want you to be okay, and the only way to prove to everyone that you are okay is to go about your life and be okay.
If you find yourself explaining to everyone how okay you are, that’s when you are slipping again.
Glennon resists the martyr mom mentality and instead wants to be a model for how she wants her daughters to live: bravely. She realized she doesn’t want to slowly die for her children, she wants to show them how to bravely live.
Her dear friend, Liz Gilbert told her,
“Don’t forget that every truth you tell is a kindness even if it makes people uncomfortable and that every untruth you tell is an unkindness even if it makes people comfortable.”Elizabeth Gilbert
When we give ourselves permission to live as beautifully and authentically as we want, shit might hit the fan for a while, but then everyone around us starts to wake up. The people who were most afraid will slowly start to grant themselves permission to live.
Glennon deeply believes that what is true and beautiful for her will always be true and beautiful for her people, there is no either-or. What her people need is whatever it is that she needs.
Why pain is the fuel for revolution
Glennon believes that the only thing that makes everything so beautiful is that it is fleeting. If we keep the end in mind, the middle feels sweeter.
When nobody talks about pain, you start to think your pain is different or weird and that’s when you try to numb it or hide it. By doing this, you miss the benefits of sitting with your pain.
If the point of life is to become the truer version of ourselves or more beautiful versions of ourselves, then the fuel we use to become that is pain. It’s sitting with your anger. It’s sitting with your fear and doubt. It’s not numbing yourself out of it.
But when we transport ourselves out of our pain we miss all of our transformations. To become the person we are supposed to be next is inside the pain of now.
One of the reasons we stop trusting ourselves is because we abandon ourselves during pain. If a friend comes to us during pain, we would never abandon them, but we do it to ourselves—and that’s how we break trust with ourselves.
All we have to do is wait in the emotion. Just be sad or be pissed. If you sit with it, it makes you trust yourself because you didn’t abandon yourself, you allowed yourself to feel it. All feelings are for feeling.
Life is not about feeling happy all of the time. The pain won’t kill you. Glennon used to think that if she felt pain or anger, she wouldn’t recover, and that’s not true. You can feel it all and survive. Glennon has vowed to never abandon herself again.
Glennon Doyle on How To Deal with Old Beliefs
Glennon also talked about how we attach our worthiness to our productivity. She still struggles with the belief that rest is laziness and laziness is disrespect.
Glennon realizes that when she is bitter it is usually triggering a belief about herself. When she hears the judgmental voice in her head that says, “must be nice” she is feeling an old belief that her worthiness is tied to her productivity and that she is only worthy of the space she takes up as proportional to what she is producing, which is super exhausting.
That’s why she says you have to fiercely guard your humanity. You’re not here to constantly push out content. The beautiful part of the human experience is just to be. The judgemental thought is really just revealing your deep longing.
Glennon Doyle on Race Relations
Glennon is a fierce activist, and sometimes she feels like her main job is screwing up bad publicly so that everyone else can learn. She used to think all of the time, “why is my audience so white?” She realized her job is to get white women to listen to black women as much as possible.
She also points out that when there is a tour or event and a token spot to add a person of color, it is expected that that person will speak about race—as if that person isn’t a full human being and can’t speak about other things.
When you give yourself time to change you hear and speak differently. When you show up to do anti-racism work – you will get “bumped.” So whatever is inside of you will spill out at some point. That’s why it’s important to do the work so it spills out differently. Glennon says that though you might get criticized, what’s worse than being criticized is being a coward.
Want to revisit our incredible conversation with Glennon? Listen to it on Spotify!