The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

The Panther

The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

The Panther

The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

The Panther

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14 Days of Love Day 7: Fountains and Drains, Boundaries and Being a “Girl Boss”: Lessons From the Women of my Life

Luna Garcia

From knowing the difference between helpful and harmful relationships to setting boundaries even when it may seem uncomfortable and learning to lead with compassion and grace, these are a few of the many lessons I have learned from my mother, aunts and grandmothers.

Fountain v.s. Drain Friendships 

There are two types of people that you interact with: those that bring energy, or fountains, and those that take it, drains.

If you are constantly around people who drain you, your energy and everything around you, you will eventually be pulled into their negative energy like a black hole. Instead of feeding into the drain, give it as little energy as you can. You do not have to cut that person out of your life if they are important to you.

So, what does a fountain look like? A fountain is a positive thinker, a person who makes the best of every situation, someone who can take lemons and make lemonade and dance in the rain. Someone who loves helping other people more than themselves, a person who is naturally kind and compassionate, a great listener, who volunteers and someone who mentors others. If forced to use one or two words to describe a fountain, I would use the words “joy” and “giver.”

What about the latter? What does a drain person look like? This person exudes negativity; it is someone who is always focused on what was wrong or how they had been wronged; it is someone who is envious and jealous of others. This is someone who feels like bad things only happen to them, someone who wants to be listened to but is a poor listener themselves, a person who thrives in others’ misfortune; someone who is spiteful and someone who is selfish. If forced to use one or two words to describe a drain, I would use “drama” closely followed by “taker.”

Ask yourself: are you a fountain or drain to other people? Are you bringing energy or draining it? Are you a fountain to those you care about but a drain to those you are indifferent to? Support those you care about and be a fountain of energy for them, and, for those you do not know, be a positive bit of their day; be that one kindness that turns their day around.

Setting Boundaries to Protect Your Peace

New boundaries can sometimes make people uncomfortable, but what is important to remember here is that it is not about them; it is about you. Setting healthy boundaries in friendships can prevent others from taking advantage of you or limiting your full potential.

When setting boundaries with long-term friends, it is important to remember a few key steps and points. First, acknowledge how you value the friendship, and then communicate your boundaries simply and clearly. Express your needs, wants and limits, without apologizing or making excuses. Make sure you are being firm during your conversation but also kind.

During large milestones, easy boundary-setting conversation can go as follows: “I am going to tell you what happens with (state the event) but it is uncomfortable for me. I would like to tell you about it and then, if you want to offer me support, I would love it if you could just say ‘What do you need from me?’”

Being a Girlboss

My grandmother is the walking definition of a girl boss; she walks the talk with so much kindness, gratitude and generosity. So, in a restless effort to be just like her, I asked for her best tips on being a girl boss. 

  1. Listen to your heart 

That feeling in your gut or the little voice in your head is trying to tell you something. Listen. Trust your instincts — you may have others pointing you in certain directions, but your gut feeling will always guide you in the right direction. Nobody knows you better than you know yourself; honor that.

  1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil

Everyone has an opinion on everything, listening to random noises and voices altering your intuition is counter-productive and often adds to your problem rather than solving it. It is important to differentiate good advice from the bad. Surround yourself with people who truly want the best for you. Those who will empower you to do better, give rational opinions and share criticism when needed.  

  1. Voice your demands

One thing I have always been taught is that the answer is always “no” if you never ask. The biggest mistake you can make is not speaking up for what you deserve. We rarely get what we need without asking for it ourselves. So, voice your demands without being intimated. 

  1. Passion over everything else

All girl bosses share one key characteristic: the driving factor to be better. There are no rules for becoming a girl boss, so be the kind you want to be and have ambitious goals. Whether raising a family, building a business, finding happiness in the mundane and more, girl bosses have a clear vision and do everything to achieve their goals. 

  1. Uplift and empower others

Possibly the most important piece of wisdom my grandma and I share is to offer a hand to others in need. In a world, where many try to find their success in the downfall of others, be that person to pick others up and help them succeed too. Helping and guiding others will help you grow.

My grandmother is a leader yet a philanthropist, a boss yet kind, and to be half the woman she is would mean I made it in this world. 

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About the Contributors
Amy-Grace Shapiro
Amy-Grace Shapiro, Editor-in-Chief
Amy-Grace Shapiro is a senior and the Editor-in-Chief. This is her fourth year on staff, and she looks to inspire The Panther staff to value the importance of journalistic integrity, improve the quality of her writing and extend The Panther's reach to the Palmetto community. Aside from newspaper, Shapiro enjoys yoga, playing lacrosse and visiting her camp friends.
Luna Garcia
Luna Garcia, Design Editor
Luna Garcia is junior and Design Editor. This is her second year on staff, and she looks forward to designing many stories and getting to interview great people. Aside from newspaper, she loves to go to the beach and hang out with her friends and family.