Having boundaries is a healthy habit. It’s something that we all have to work on everyday. Having healthy boundaries within ourselves and with others leads us to a more peaceful and happy life.
Do you struggle with setting healthy boundaries with family and friends? How do you navigate challenging situations?
Today’s guest is Nedra Glover Tawwab. Nedra is diving deep into the importance of setting and maintaining healthy boundaries and how to navigate shifting your boundaries as we move through this new normal.
Nedra Glover Tawwab is a licensed therapist and sought-after relationship expert. She has practiced relationship therapy for 12 years and is the founder and owner of the group therapy practice, Kaleidoscope Counseling.
Every day she helps people create healthy relationships by teaching them how to implement boundaries. Her philosophy is that a lack of boundaries and assertiveness underlie most relationship issues, and her gift is helping people create healthy relationships with themselves and others.
You don’t want to miss this episode because Nedra isn’t holding anything back. She dives deep into family dynamics, navigating the boundaries within ourselves, and why it’s necessary to use our voice and ask for what we want.
After this episode, you will be ready to take charge of your life and stand up for yourself, even when the people around us disagree.
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In this episode, we talk about…
- The foundation of setting and maintaining healthy boundaries
- Ways to shift your boundaries when challenges arise
- Navigating boundaries in family relationships
- Empowering other people in the relationship
- Using your voice to stand in your power
- Order Nedra’s book Set Boundaries, Find Peace
- Follow Nedra on Instagram @nedratawwab
- Check out Nedra’s Website: https://www.nedratawwab.com/
Thank you for tuning in to this week's episode of balanced black girl podcast. I'm your host My name is les and I am honored to be sharing space with you today. So raise your hand if you have ever struggled with boundaries, maybe communicating boundaries or adhering to boundaries even after you've communicated them. I know you can't see me right now because this is a podcast, but my hand is up because I have certainly certainly had my fair share of challenges in that area. And I know that that's so relatable for many of us, which is why I am beyond excited to bring you today's conversation. Our guest today is Nedra Glover Tawwab who is a licensed therapist and sought after relationship expert. She has practiced relationship therapy for 12 years and is the founder and owner of the group therapy practice Kaleidoscope counseling. Every day she helps people create relationships by teaching them how to implement better boundaries. Her philosophy is that a lack of boundaries and assertiveness underlie most relationship issues. And her gift is helping people create healthy relationships with themselves and others. If you are not already familiar with Nedra's work, I'm sure after listening to this interview, you are going to run over to every platform to find her. Her Instagram account is pure gold. She shares the most incredible nuggets of wisdom and advice for better communication, healthier relationships, understanding yourself and understanding why boundaries are a constant practice to have in your life. In addition to her incredible content on Instagram, she also just released a brand new book just came out last week if you're listening to this episode, the week it airs, called set boundaries, find peace, a guide to reclaiming yourself, which has been called the boundary Bible. I just got my copy. I'm just starting to dig into the book. I have like my notebook and pen, ready to take all the notes as I read the book. And I was honestly taking all of the notes even when I was interviewing her because she just shared so many amazing gems and nuggets that are going to be so helpful for you. So without further ado, let's get into this episode so we can get into these boundaries. Enjoy. Alright, Nedra, welcome to the show. I am so excited to have you here.
Hi, I'm so excited to be here.
Yeah, absolutely. So I'm such a fan of your work. You just have such a way of helping us understand in digestible pieces. Really important lessons around boundaries and communication and all of these things that we all as humans are constantly working towards, I need to learn what brought you to that space and what has inspired your work.
Well, by training, I am a therapist, and I really love being a therapist. But one thing I realized is often as therapists we can talk over people's heads. And we're saying something really important. But people may not be able to understand it because we're not saying it in a way that applies to their particular circumstance. We're not saying it in a way that seems meaningful to them. And so one of the reasons that I started using Instagram as a platform to talk about mental health and relationship is because I wanted it to be assessable relatable information. And that has to be you know, demonstrate it in a way where people can say, Aha, I understand imposter syndrome. Aha, I get what codependency is because when we use these words without context and meaning for people in their everyday lives, they missed the message of something that is super important. But we have to be able to say it in a way where people can say, Okay, I think that's me. You mentioned, getting involved in people's business and trying to fix their issues. I've never thought of codependency like that. And, you know, people need it just that plain to be able to understand this is what, you know, these these really big concepts. This is how it looks in real life.
Absolutely, absolutely. I know, that's something that I appreciate as a follower of your work is the examples and being able to see myself in those examples of Oh, yes, I do that, or I have seen that, or I've experienced that with my family, and it makes it so much easier to connect.
Yeah, yeah, we really need that. And I think like, when I'm with my client, sometimes I have to gauge the antidote that I share based on who they are, how it applies, you know, if it's someone who's a, you know, an accountant, I have to think about, like, gosh, what can my accounting examples be? You know, if it's someone who's a mom, I have to think of those parenting examples. And so I have a lot of practice in, like catering the message to the audience, because it's like, okay, so who am I talking to? And how can they understand this thing?
Absolutely, absolutely. Which is so important. A lot of your work centers around boundaries, and setting and maintaining boundaries can be really challenging for people in various contexts, whether that is setting boundaries with family setting boundaries in friendships. If someone is having a hard time with either identifying or maintaining their own boundaries, what are some foundational steps you recommend they take to start working on that area?
Well, boundaries are a lifestyle practice. And with any practice, we have to be consistent, there is no way that we can in one day have the amount of water that we'll need for a lifetime, we have to continue to wake up every single day and start over with our water drinking, right? So it's the same way with boundaries, you have to every single day practice boundaries is not that you'll get to this this level of Aha, I've mastered this, because new things will come up and come along. And you'll have to adjust that. It's been so interesting, as I've been talking to people about the book, one of the questions has been, how did you become so perfect at boundaries, and I'm ikumi, the person who had to set a new boundary yesterday. I'm not perfect. I'm just practicing. And I'm finding new boundaries, as things come up that I didn't even think about or consider, you know, the pandemic, we've had to create new boundaries. When you get a pet, you have to get some new boundaries, don't get on the couch, you know, like, there is so many examples of how we have to create new boundaries. And I think the biggest thing is sticking to the discipline of doing it every day, or at least most days, that it is a life discipline, to have healthy boundaries is not something that you can do once or twice in his life who did all the boundaries is like now, like, on my deathbed, I'll be like, get me some water. Now that is my boundary, right? So we will be setting them so get comfortable with being uncomfortable in the work of setting boundaries.
I love that analogy that you used of, you know, you don't maintain hydration by drinking water once it's a it's a continuous thing. And I think that's just that's such a that kind of gave me an aha moment. Just now when thinking about boundaries, even with the pandemic, you know, we're a year into it. Now, what are some ways that you've seen people have had to set new boundaries or challenges around boundaries that have occurred from how our lives currently look versus a year ago,
we've had to create new rhythms and routines for ourselves. And so when you are in the mode of waking up and eating your breakfast and getting ready for work and leaving the house, you know, like all of this sort of thing, it has shifted and for many of us we were like off is like okay, I'm not doing that anymore. So do I just roll out of bed and start working? Do I maybe have a little bit of routine and so figuring out personally, how to get back into the structure of your day was a personal boundary of okay. I'm a little bit more frustrated and part of it is I'm just getting out of bed and you know going to work instead of getting out of bed and stretching in half Some breakfast reading a little bit. So the boundaries have, you know, we've had to renegotiate that with other people, I think some of the boundaries have been, you know, how we can communicate with them. Some of us we're not seeing people in person steel. In others, you know, we have like small pockets of people that we are willing to see. And then availability. You know, I think early on in the pandemic, people assume because we're at home, we're available all day, like, you know, like work has disappeared, like, I'm just watching my court shows, and it's like, now I'm working, is just that home. And so my availability has not shifted, because we're at home, I'm still working. And so my, you know, my hours are the same. Or maybe they are a little different. And so just understanding that the pandemic has shifted, you know, what boundaries will look like in a pandemic, and really getting a hold of what those things are, I think early on, we were like, Oh, my gosh, because it was so sudden, yeah, I've been watching this, this new season of Queen sugar, which is amazing. But it's also triggering because they're going moth, each episode is a month of the pandemic. So they started February, then March and April. And just remembering how abrupt the shift was. We didn't have a chance to even consider boundaries. When you're talking about Tuesday, everything was open and Friday, the world shut down. We didn't have the time to say, you know, when I start working from home with this pandemic, I will it was like, No, do it today. This is. So, you know, we had to adjust to what this wasn't early on. We thought it would be short term. So there was no need for boundaries. It's like, oh, two weeks? Yeah, I can do this for two weeks. And then it's like, no, this is this will be the year. And we're just, you know, it's only been a year now. So we're still like, okay, maybe next month, maybe next month. And so some of the boundaries that I implemented early on was not watching the news, not paying attention to the COVID numbers and these sorts of things, because it didn't determine my safety protocols. like watching the death toll. It wasn't like, Oh, you know, that many people didn't die today, I'll start washing my hands. It's like, No, I'm washing my hands. I'm wearing a mask. You know, I'm doing all of these same things, no matter what the death toll is. When I look at the death toll, it makes me feel really anxious and sad. When I'm watching the news, I feel devastated for small businesses, I feel devastated for parents. I don't think this is having a positive effect on me. I'm so very early on making the decision to be present with people and listen to their stories about it, and not listen to you know, the the news and you know, whatever they're trying to say about it and really picking the new sources that I'm willing to be open to and about what topics and really, you know, I think routine saved me just figuring out what is a new routine now that we're in a pandemic by what does that look like? Because I couldn't just wake up and get started with work. But I noticed I'm a little cranky. I was telling a friend yesterday little measure needed a nap. Because I was a little cranky. I was like an eight year old yesterday, I needed a nap and some milk. So just you know, just really recognizing what's needed and not just continuing in the cycle of this function of, Oh, my days are so like, what can you do to make this day a little more? Easy? What can you do during the work week to not be so overwhelmed is so important to just consider what boundaries could be to make you feel a little bit better about the many processes that we have in life?
Absolutely, absolutely. So much of that resonated from how abruptly this did happen, we didn't really get a chance to ease into it. And it was very much just with a light switch. Life had really changed but also so much opportunity to look at ways that we can restructure our day. And I think for a lot of people not having that separation between work and home has also been really challenging. And that has made it harder for boundaries, maybe around work where you feel like I have to always be on or always be accessible or it's always right there and looking at ways to create that separation I think is really important for people.
Mm hmm. Yeah, I think it's like, you know, back in the day I met this isn't my story, but I remember You know, people said, like you had a pair of church shoes, and you had a pair of, you know, tennis shoes that you wear all the time, like, we need a separation and things because you cannot play in your church shoes. And I think very early on, what we were doing is doing everything like in this melting pot and live like working out while on your lunch break at home and eating at your desk. And, you know, helping your kids while you're working at the table. Like it was just like, Oh my gosh, like, we need systems to kind of say, okay, from this time to this time, this was workout time, and I will put on workout clothes, the rest of the day, I will put on my work clothes, I will put my kids in this space so they can do their work I will work from, you know, just really establishing a new routine has been really helpful for people during this time that you know, is outside of our control. And all we can control really is, you know, some of those systems that we're creating? Absolutely, absolutely.
Oh, my goodness, I would also love to talk about some of the boundaries that can maybe be more challenging for people to establish and maintain than others, right? Like if people have a harder time, setting boundaries with family versus setting boundaries in friendships and what that looks like. And I think for a lot of people family is one of those areas where it is a lot harder to set boundaries, maybe it's around, you know, setting boundaries with parents or siblings or with children or what have you. Is that something that you've seen in your work that that's an area that maybe people struggle with the most? And what are some of the strategies you recommend for boundaries when it comes to family?
Yes, the biggest area where people struggle is with family. I believe that to be the case, because the conditioning that has taken place over the course of years. Our family members have had the privilege to condition us for our entire lives. And so setting boundaries in that relate in those relationships, yes, it sometimes seems impossible, especially where, you know, your mom has conditioned you to to think you can't talk to her like that, like, you know, setting a boundary with a person who has created the environment. There are certain things you cannot say and do to me, even though we are adults, and we can't you know, be disciplined in the same way is still penetrates you still have that belief like oh my gosh, I cannot say anything to grandma. And we have to realize that grandma is not babysitting me. Grandma's over my house. You know, so Grandma, my house, and you know, I am acting like I'm on a playscape and grandma gotta switch it is that's not the case. That's not the case. Right now. We have those like flashback moments, oh, Grandma, don't get me and it's like, Look, grandma is a little slower. Now, you know, she's not she's not choleric kids up anymore. And you're an adult, and you're an adult. And in our families, it's really important to begin the process of becoming an adult. And the challenge is, often we don't do that. We just want our families to kind of get it and to be an adult, you have to be an adult. And that means restructuring those relationships, having difficult conversations, standing up for yourself as an adult, having rules in your house, having rules about how people can treat you, no matter who those people are, you know, you wouldn't let a coworker, stop by your house and announce, why does your brother get to do it if you don't like it? Now, if you like it, it's fine. But if it's something you don't like, in general, you don't like it. Now, maybe you have some exceptions, like if it's an emergency, if it's a Saturday, I don't care. But if you generally don't like it, it's it's your job to communicate it. And I think so often we have stepped into the role of I am the, you know, this is my mom, I am the daughter, this is my dad, I have the daughter, this is my big cousin. I'm the little cousin that we don't use our voice to really stand in our power of outside of this role. I am an adult and as an adult. These are the things that I would like to see and have in my life. Yeah, Mama gotta take her shoes off when she come over.
Yes, absolutely. You had a post on it. Instagram a little while ago that I loved and bookmarked aware, you basically told people don't say your parents were doing the best they could as kind of a dismissive action. I'd love to talk about that a little bit. Because I think for a lot of people, and I think also in our community, this is something that is prevalent, is that we hold on to that without acknowledging the Yes. And that it can multiple things can be true of saying, in my environment, in my upbringing, they were doing the best they could, and there was also still maybe harm done, or maybe trauma done, that is now still my responsibility to address and me addressing that doesn't negate what happened or that they were doing the best they could. Can we talk about that a little bit more, and how people may struggle with that dynamic?
Yeah, I think one of the most powerful things we can do as adults is to recognize that our parents could have been doing their best, and it just wasn't good enough. For us. It wasn't always what we needed. And our parents are humans. I remember when I was in college, I had a friend, I had a baby. And my first thought was like, I can't imagine myself as somebody who's Mom, you know, it's like, oh, my gosh, like right now, you know, or somebody's having, you know, a baby at any point in life. When I didn't have one, it was just like, Oh my gosh, like, somebody has a bit late. I didn't feel like I had the tools, like, because of my life. But when I think about it, you know, my mom had me at 25. So I probably would have been, you know, her friend, like, I can't believe you have a baby, you know?
she was being human. And my expectation was that she would be a mother and not human, right, like, but you know, at any age at 2025, we are all human. We don't know everything we don't, you know, sometimes we don't have the skills we were never taught, we don't even know what we're doing is wrong. Because so many of us have not addressed our trauma or things that didn't work that we're still continuing. Do you know, like, you sometimes we spank our kids, because we were spanked? And that's the reason, you know, we haven't really thought about like, is this effective is just like, this is a pattern, you know, we say things to people, because this is what was said to us. So you just keep saying everything will be okay. It is like, do you feel like that's helpful? Like, no, we don't think about this stuff, we just do it because it's habit is routine. And parenting can sometimes be the same way. And so in considering that, you know, your parents could have done that, you know, they could have done their best. And it could be problematic for you. Lots of times when I'm working with adults around their relationships with their parents. I have to really help them be able to speak about their parents in an honest way. Because I think that saying anything other than my mom was great. She was awesome. My dad, he did the best he could. It's like a betrayal. And I have to remind them, first off your parents not in this room, they won't even know what you saying. Right? They won't even know that you just said you really don't like her spaghetti. Like she has no clue. You know, she has no clue. But you are not betraying people by being honest. You're betraying your maybe you are you betraying yourself by not being honest. You're not standing in your power of added like this. This was not okay for me. And one really powerful question I typically ask people is, you know, when they have this problematic situation, my parents didn't come to my games, I often say, you know, what do you think would have been appropriate for your parents to do? Because sometimes, you know, we think like, man, I really didn't like this thing. What do you think would have been appropriate? And then they share like, you know, I think they should have been more on my games. Ah, how does that feel that they weren't there? Their hands. And it doesn't mean that your parent wasn't a provider, it doesn't mean that your parent didn't give you hugs at night and beg you Care Bears, you know, it just means that you wanted this other thing. And they did not give you that. And so often with abuse or neglect, we look at it as this very extreme. Like, you know, well, they weren't on drugs. It wasn't you know, we didn't run out of food and it's like, yeah, that's like, that's like Child Protective Service Level. You know, uh, Abuse and Neglect, but a lot of us, we are neglected in ways that other people can't see emotionally. We don't have anybody saying, you know, how was school today? Who did you play with? What do you like to do? Let me sit down with you and draw a little bit. And those are the things that hurt adults, because it teaches us that, you know, maybe our needs aren't important. Maybe other people are, you know, they're incapable of meeting these needs, because they're too much, because we didn't have these things. So when I hear people say things like, my parents did the best they could, I also want them to know that sometimes the best is not good enough for you. And it's okay to name that because as long as your parents are still alive, they can be doing better, right? So what if we made that and we say, you know, today, it would be really helpful, if, okay, we had 30 years of you not doing it, you know, that's up. But today, I would love for you to sit down and really watch a movie with me, because I have had that experience or whatever the thing is, you know, it's okay to acknowledge what you didn't have. So you can, you can start to reclaim some of that stuff, and maybe get it today. So it was really, really important to be honest with yourself about what you need.
That's really, really beautiful. Definitely. And I think even from my personal experience, being able to identify maybe things that I needed, or that would have been helpful and didn't get in that moment, you know, we can't change our childhoods. We can't change the past. But even just acknowledging what some of those needs were now can be so helpful.
it's, you know, I think it's a beautiful thing, when we really reflect in a way and not the punitive way, you know, no one needs to be punished. Because your parents are human. And, you know, we're all humans. We all we don't get it right. And sometimes, people are not trying to hurt us. We like to think that when people harm us that it was intentional. You know, why did they cut me off? Why did they and it's like, sometimes it's not intentional, this person is in a hurry. They're not saying to themselves, how can I cause a car accident? You know, they're they're not doing that. They're not intentionally hurting. They're just, you know, trying to do something that they feel like they need to do. And our parents are the same way. They're not trying to hurt us, in many instance, instances. But they do. It is okay to name that it's okay to name it.
Yeah, absolutely. Oh, my goodness. So you had another Instagram post, this one was more recent, that was like, oh, my goodness, it was so I mean, they're all so good. That just for the sake of this question, I'm referencing this one and paraphrasing a little bit, because I'll link it in the show notes so that people can go check it out and, and book market. But the gist of what it said was repeat after me, I'm not a parent to my parents, I'm not my siblings, parents, I'm not my friend's therapist, I am not a lender to my loved ones. I'm not a social worker in my family. And I loved it, because it just talks about all of these different roles that we can take on that can happen through conditioning in our various relationships, and also speaks to the challenges of when you want to change that you realize it's not appropriate for me to be you know, acting as a social worker, to my family, or the therapist, to my friends, or, you know, so on and so forth. how challenging it can be to also change those dynamics and how there can be a lot of guilt that comes with that. So if someone is in one of these situations where they realize, you know, they're taking on these roles, and they want to start shifting those dynamics, how do you recommend they navigate that situation and navigate maybe the feelings of guilt or resistance that come up when they have those conversations,
I'm gonna add to to that list that I just thought about, as you mentioned the list. I am a social worker, but I am not your social worker, because I technically AM. And so just that role in that, like, I am literally a social worker, and I remember people would be like, Oh, I'm gonna have my friend call you because her son, no, no, no, no, I don't know, housing resources in every state. The things that you're asking me for are things that that you can google you can be your own social worker, you know, because you know, as much information as I know, it sounds like nothing. So you know, we all the same page of information. So go ahead and look up that resource and I think That's a really big one, we have to empower people to help themselves. Another big one for me is like, I am not tech support.
And I realize, oh, my goodness,
when people ask you, you know, and it's usually like, you know, it's like, how do you I'm like the, you know, on Google, I just google how to move the file on Dropbox to get up. Because I don't know. And so what we typically will do, we will do the work for the people, we will look up the Google Art article, and then we'll send it to them, here's something neat. It's like, you know, that's work that they could have done. That's not true, john. And so as we're in these relationships with people, we have to remember that it is helpful to empower people we're not, we're not taking anything away from them by empowering them to do some of these things on their own. When you when you have your kids order their own food that is empowering, it is disempowering to read the manual to your 16 year old and, you know, order said he won't chicken that he knows nothing, he's not able to do this thing for himself is very empowering for him to use his voice, and to do it. And so as we're navigating these boundaries, in relationships, where we've had these roles of being the accountant, being the therapist being tech support, and all of this, you know, different stuff. Remember that you are empowering people to know how to do these things without you. Because Oh gosh, if something happened to you, do you mean they would never again be able to figure out x, y and z, that's not fair to them. That's not fair, they should be equipped to figure this thing out. And it's not that people can never lean on you. Because that will be a rigid boundary, we don't want that. But what we want to take care of is those instances where it's always the case, that you are the person being the helper helping people sometimes occasionally, is completely a healthy part of a relationship, but doing it always all of the time. That is when it is problematic. All of us at some point, we'll listen to our friends talk about some you know, some relationship and you like, okay, but if this friend if this is the the totality of your relationship, which it is sometimes where this person is just like, on and no one and no one is like, okay, boundary needed. This is not you know, you broke up with someone temporary thing. It's like, this is what you always talk about. always talking about, we need a boundary here.
Absolutely, absolutely. Oh, my goodness, so much of that, that is so relatable. And one of the things that I want to touch on is you mentioned rigid boundaries, which I would love to dive into a bit more. How do we differentiate between setting boundaries and and building walls? Because I think sometimes that can be mistaken, right? People can put up a wall or kind of cut people out or shut people out and call it a boundary. How do people differentiate between the two?
Well, there are three types of boundaries. There's porous boundaries, which we just we don't have any filter positions open, people could do whatever. And that's typically what we hear about boundaries, don't let people do whatever say no, you know, that's we're addressing the porous boundaries, situations, right? And then they're, you know, rigid boundaries, where we have these hard rules for everyone all the time. And that's not helpful because we can't exist on our own. We do need people for stuff. Sometimes I need to call a friend if my car breaks down. Sometimes I need to call a friend if I'm having a bad day. Mama, can you can you bring me some soup? You know, like, we we do need people so we don't want to create this environment of we shouldn't need anything from anyone. We need stuff we was born neaten and we will die need them. So that is a healthy part of human existence. But as we you know, become adults, we do become more autonomous. And so we don't need everything from people. We just need some stuff. And so when we become like rigid, we're creating this environment of I don't need anything from people I don't ever need help. I don't ever loan people money. I don't ever listen to people problems. And you know if that is the case, you will you will have some unhealthy relationships, because we do sometimes have to listen to stuff we sometimes do. You know, as parents, you know Watch a bunch of I'm a parent, I watch a bunch of stuff I don't like, that's a part of being in a relationship. I just watched Sophia to first, you know, it was like, I don't care, you know, but it's a part of being in a healthy relationship. You know, I don't think it's appropriate. It's never watch, you know, it's
like, you know, sometimes
I will, you know, I've grown the like, trolls, you know, so there are some things that, you know, we have to be okay with doing as a part of being in a healthy relationship. So boundaries are not always I got cut this person off, I have to stop this. Sometimes we need to speak up before we stop anything. Yeah, I think that the cut off is the last resort, not the first one for some of us is easy to cut off goes because we just don't want to talk about and I get that it's, you know, it's really uncomfortable to tell people, you know, I feel like we could have a healthier relationship if you spent more time listening instead of, you know, criticizing and telling me things that aren't particularly helpful. So when I share something, I would love for you to just listen. And if I want some feedback, I will tell you, please give me some feedback. Right? So I think is one of those things where we'll just cut the person off and say they never listened. It's like, Well, perhaps they didn't know that they weren't a listener, because I bet if we polled 100 people, 100, people will say they're great listeners, and probably half of those people are terrible at listening, right. And so sometimes people are just not aware of themselves. So we have to let people know sometimes, and maybe they aren't great relate, you know, listeners in other relationships. So we have to let them know what works for us. That is a healthy boundary. Now, if we've done that, and this person, they don't want to listen, they tell you your boundary is silly. They, you know, push back against it, then that's where we say, Okay, let me think about this relationship a little bit. After we've expressed the boundary, not as a, you know, go to cut them off. They're terrible. Because I think what, what could be helpful and really preserving in relationships is to think about how to reshape them. If we can, sometimes we can't, and we have to cut people off. It does happen, where it's like, you know, this, this person just won't get a boundary. They just, they're just not here for boundaries. And I am not here for this relationship with them. That does happen as well.
Yeah, definitely. I love that you said that it's a it's a last resort, not the main tactic to use which I think is so helpful for people. So I would also love to touch on the flip side a little bit, you know, we've we've talked a bit about what it looks like, you know, when people violate our boundaries, and how we navigate that. And we're all human, and I'm sure we've all violated other people's boundaries. And at some point could be in a conversation where someone is sharing their boundaries with us that maybe we've overstayed. And so what do we do when we realize maybe we're the ones violating someone's boundaries? And how can we avoid being defensive? In that situation?
Listen and apply? You know, I think there is we do think we have to do I get that question a lot like I do Q and A's on Mondays and my Instagram store and lots of people will say so and so set a boundary with me, what do I do? Listen to them? Yeah, if someone said, I don't want you to come over here unannounced, there's nothing you need to do other than don't go over there unannounced. You know, like, you don't need to tell them why do you want to listen to them, listen to their boundary. There's there's no work to be done there. Other than you listening, if you completely agree with it, disagree with it, or something, you can, you know, you have choices, you can say I'm not listening to this thing. I don't think this is a relationship for me. Because this you know, this boundary doesn't make sense. It's too big, you know, whatever, you have choices, you don't always have to listen. But you know, if you don't have a problem with the boundary, you don't have to have a conversation with someone about their boundary or why it's important and these sorts of things. Just listen, because it's typically really hard for people to tell you stuff. They had to have, you know, 25 conversations with themselves in the mirror Geeking themselves up to say anything, so please just let them let them have a boundary. Let them have a boundary without the pushback, because it's not always easy to set them. Even when it seems like it is for people. You know, people will say to me, oh, you just set boundaries so easy grubby so hard. I don't want to have to tell people No, you know, like, I don't I don't get any pleasure from Oh, I just told you Another person know, you know, it's like, oh, that's not you know, that's not something that brings me joy, you know, but but I do it. Because it's healthy for me. I do it because it's healthy for me. And so it's not always about, you know, what, what do I say when they, you know, tell me a boundary like, you know, maybe nothing? Maybe nothing because you don't need to defend your behavior because your behavior is not in question is not in question. What this person is saying is, I don't like it. And we have to allow people not to like stuff. When I was a teenager, I had a friend and her mom made some I think it was like chocolate cake or something. And I don't, I don't really like chocolate cake in particular. It's just too much chocolate in one place. And, you know, she gave it to me and she said, You know, you're like it is mine. And I'm like, Yeah, I don't, I don't like and so I ate it. She asked me how it was I didn't like it. She was like, how do you eat? And you can have the most world famous potato salad, Kate? apple pie. It's just stuff I don't eat. So I don't care who makes it is no offense to you. I'm not trying to be mean to you. I'm not trying. I just don't like it. I just don't like potato salad. I don't like big fruits. I don't want no chocolate cake. I don't care what restaurant we're at. They have the best blah, blah, blah. I don't want it is nothing to do with you. And you know that because you make the best. Everybody else like it. So everybody else could like this thing that I've requested that you don't do with me. Like everybody else could be like out here if you don't come over here and let me know. Great. Great for all those people. As for me, I need a text message. Like, just me. Yeah, just me. I'm not telling you you need to start you know, texting everybody. I'm just saying with me. And I'm okay. I am entitled to a preference.
Yeah, absolutely. And I love that example because sometimes you know it can be initial response can be to take it personal have what are you saying about my cake? You know what I mean? But your preference has nothing to do with the quality of what the person is bringing? It's completely
Did you hear how I describe the cake. I said it's too much chocolate one day, so I'm already going into the cake with a bad this cake has got to be nasty. I have to prove myself right. So I can never let you say that the cake was good. Even if I think as long as a bad it's like this was terrible. So it has nothing to do with you. I'm convinced this bad. So let me have my let me have my mindset please. Nothing to do with you. You're not the first cake Baker. Let people have a preference even though that preference may be something that you are uncomfortable with. Because you get to do it everywhere else. Because that's really the biggest issue with people setting boundaries with us. Well, I get to do it everywhere else. Nobody else says I'm loud. Well, you loud in here. What? You know, I don't know about anybody else's eardrum except my own. And for me, I'm gonna take this as loud. And that could be okay, what everybody else is not okay with me. And I don't know, maybe they're not saying anything. Maybe you need to ask all those people? I don't know. But for me, I don't like it. Yeah.
So important, so important to understand. I would also love to talk about your brand new book set boundaries, find peace, which my copy is on the way I'm so excited to dive into this book. Can you tell us a little bit more about the book, who it's for and what we can expect.
It is for everyone. It is for everyone who has a relationship with anything. Because boundaries operate in every area of life. They operate with our relationships with ourselves, the discipline, we need the loving care that we need. They operate in our relationships with work, family, friends, partners, social media, technology, finances, boundaries are just all over the place. And so in this book, I have the opportunity to talk about the many areas where boundaries are present because boundaries has always been thought of like saying Just Say No, just cut them off just and that is, you know, that's two pages of the book. Saying no and cutting people off is two pages of 304 page book. Because boundaries is so much more than that, you know, boundaries is, you know, when you're having financial issues, and you're running your credit card up boundaries is cutting your credit card up boundaries is putting yourself on a budget. Boundaries is you know, like, there are so many ways that we could consider batteries that I think we don't consider. Like, we're like, all of these things are problems. And it's like, oh, these are all problems that you have the power to manage. But because we think they're so external, we're not managing them. You know, when we say, Oh, my gosh, so So always call me and they just, you know, they so drain and like, you know, that that's, that's a boundary issue. That's a boundary issue, there are things that you can do to retain your energy in the face of people who drain it. And those things are typically boundaries around how you talk to them, how often you talk, what you allow them to, you know, kind of get into in the conversation, always say what those sorts of things. Sometimes your people, I don't want to know how they do it. Because I know when they say how to do it, it's going to be just like, the energy is going to leave my body like, Oh, my gosh, and then this thing happened, and then nothing happened. So I have learned to start the conversation in a different way. Tell me something good. You know, I'm not I'm not asking How you doing? Because that is a triggering question for you. And you really get into it. I'm like, I just want to know, is it Sunny, where you are? Like, I just less less, we set the tone here. And we don't think about it like that. It's like, Oh, my gosh, this person they sometimes they don't know how to talk in a different way. And maybe we could show up. Maybe we could show up? You know, just just shift the conversation. You know? Did you did you watch Queen sugar this week? Are you watching snow fall? You get you can start conversations differently. You don't have to get well How you doing? Well, you know how they doing? They told you 100,000 times that nothing is good. Do you want to continue to ask that question? If you want that same answer, or do you want a different answer, I want something different. I want you to tell me how you're planning to do it. That's what I want to know. I don't want to know how you are. I'll just be really consider it about boundaries in so many ways, because I think we think of it as this very narrow thing. And it is as broad thing in relationships.
Absolutely, absolutely. I love that I'm so, so excited to read it. I love that you said you know, saying no. And you know, cutting people off as to pages because it is just such a bigger, I mean the tip of the iceberg. And I'm so excited to continue diving in and learning from you. So we'll make sure that we also have the book linked in the show notes so that everybody knows to get it. And it's just I know, I'm so excited for it. So before we wrap up here, a big theme that I've had for myself personally this year and on this platform is really diving into a sense of ease and being very intentional about rest. Like this is actually the first interview that I've recorded in 2021 because the first two months of 2021 I just was like you know, I'm tired and I'm not in a place where I'm going to record and have an engaged with good conversations. So I'm going to take a break and get back into it when I've had a chance to recharge and so really wanting to model that and continue that so I would love to hear this year what rest looks like for you and how you're being intentional about rest this
year. Well, being intentional about rest I think rest for me looks like reading more books.
indulging and more TV. I don't know if I could do that any more than I do. I watch so much TV but I really like to like chill. I really do. And children for me is on a Saturday picking up a book, land in a chair and just reading the book and that is very restful. I am pretty intentional about going to bed at night and not staying up because there's really nothing for me to do. I wake up super early. So I get sleepy, you know, about nine to 10 o'clock, I'm like, Oh, my body sets the boundary. My body is like, Girl, we're out of here, you you watch a movie, we're gonna go to sleep. So, so my body sets the boundary there. But I think in terms of rest, I think rest is more than just sleeping, I think it is taking a break, I think it is knowing what you find to be relaxing and restorative. And because so much of my work is heavy, I just want to watch a TV show, I just want to watch some real light, you know, just, I just want to, you know, turn on some music and have a dance party in the mirror. Because and, you know, so much of my work life is you know, helping people through trauma, helping them like you know, with boundaries, helping them with relationships, and sometimes, you know, to restore myself, I just won't read a book, you know, like that, that is very restful to me. And so I am intentional about every single day waking up and reading something I typically read for about an hour. Just because it feels good to me. And you know, it helps me to get started with my day and center myself. So rest is is amazing. And I saw your Instagram page, like I'm taking in, I thought you it was like February, we're like, all right, not posting this month, just resting. And I think that's a beautiful thing. Because rest can can look different for each of us. Sometimes it is taken a break from social media, sometimes it's taken a break from a particular relationship. Sometimes it's taken a break from, you know, watching TV, sometimes it's taken a break from. So it looks differently. And so you determine, you know what rest is for you. And so for me, rest is relaxing really, really hard.
I love that. Oh, so good. I feel the same way. Being able to curl up with a book or a TV show that's like not super heavy or intense. Well,
thank you so much for being here today. I loved this conversation, I learned so much and just so appreciate your wisdom, how can our audience keep in touch with you and continue learning from you and
I am the most present and active one Instagram, I cannot manage more than one social media platform. So anything that is happening, I typically posted there, I am active in posting mental health and relationship related content there. So that is the number one source. I have a website WWW that natural terroir calm and on there. I have some really fun quizzes, I have a boundaries quiz, I have a relationship quiz. And there are some free worksheets. So it's really helpful to be able to give people resources and not just like, here's your issue, here's your issue. But let's continue the conversation, let's really figure out what's going on with you. And here are some steps you could take to be better. I would love it. If everybody in the world went to therapy, right? That won't happen. And so we have to find therapeutic resources and other ways. And that's sometimes that's a worksheet. Sometimes it's an Instagram post, sometimes it is reading a book. And so I want to be able to help people in a variety of ways because as a therapist, helping people one on one is amazing. But there are you know, tons of people who who need resources. So I have some on my website, Instagram is another one. And then I have this book.
Beautiful. We will have your website, Instagram and the book linked in the show notes to make it really easy for folks to find you and use those resources. So thank you so much for creating them. You're welcome.
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