[BONUS EPISODE] Busy Moms’ Book Club: Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself

Busy Moms’ Book Club: Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself by Nedra Glover Tawwab

Every month, The Busy Moms’ Book Club meets virtually over Zoom. You do not have to read the book to join. I read the book, then will teach it to you and how to apply it. It’s the best because you can get ALL the goodness books have to offer in an hour. Because we all know you loved Cliff Notes for your book reports as a kid. 😉

In today’s episode, you’ll learn how transform your relationships and discover the power of setting boundaries with the book: Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself .

Our conversation explores the different layers of boundaries – from physical to emotional – and their significance in avoiding resentment, overwhelm, and burnout.

We also break down the dangers of neglecting self-care and offer insights on how to establish and communicate boundaries effectively. Learn how to create a healthier work-life balance, model healthy boundaries for your children, and identify unhealthy communication patterns.

Click HERE to watch the Busy Moms’ Book Club on YouTube

This Episode is For You If:

  • You’ve ever found yourself neglecting self-care, feeling resentful, avoiding things or people, and feeling overwhelmed
  • Think you have good boundaries but still feel discomfort in certain situations
  • You often say yes to things but then get frustrated and feel obligated to follow through
  • You avoid calls, texts, or emails from people asking you to do things
  • If you have ever felt so burned out that you want to run away from life or imagine going to the hospital for a break

Don’t miss this life-changing episode, where we dive deep into the six types of boundaries, with guidance on how to put these into action in your life.

Featured on the Show: 

Click HERE to watch this video to learn The 3 Things to Avoid When Reading Self-Help Books

Listen to the Full Episode:

Full Transcript:
Welcome to The Mom on Purpose Podcast. I’m Lara Johnson, and I’m here to teach you how to get out of your funk, be in a better mood, claim more with your kids. Manage your home better, get your to-do list done and live your life on purpose with my proven method. This is possible for you, and I’ll show you how. You’re not alone anymore. We’re in this together. Alright, welcome everyone. This is our first book club in a while, so I’m really excited to be here and to have everybody on today. I love books. I know you know that about me, and this is so fun because last month we talked about some of the changes to the book club. But the first change is the name. So, we’ve always been the Busy Mom’s Book Club. But what I realized was I don’t really love that word “busy.” It’s not a word that really resonates with me, but what I do love is living life on purpose and with intentionality, and so I shifted the name to the Mama on Purpose Book Club. So, I am very excited to have you here and very grateful that you guys were willing. We did have some last-minute changes to the book club, so it’s fun to be here today, even though it’s the last day of school for my kids. This is like the perfect window where I get to hang out with you guys before all the summer craziness begins. Okay, so I’m just going to share really quickly. So, we have Cherie Flowers chiming in from the Bahamas. “I used to love reading very voraciously, but in recent years I have become lax in that area, excited for avenues to rekindle the love.” I love that so much. I completely agree. There have been times and seasons in my life where I read everything, I can get my hands on. There was one point in my life when, for me, I like to have some kind of purpose. Obviously, I’m on purpose behind the things I do, and I just wanted a different perspective outside of the world that I live in. As a Caucasian woman living in Utah, I needed to be outside of my world. So, I would only read books from authors outside of my demographic, which was really cool. Right now, it’s a lot of self-help books where I use those for my business and growing my business, and I realized I just love to read them and take what they learn and apply them. That’s where the book club kind of came from, just because I figured, well, if I like to read them, other people might want to learn more about them too. So that’s kind of what leads us to today. This is our book, “Set Boundaries, Find Peace.” It’s by Nedra Glover Tawwab, I believe, is how you say her name. I could be botching that, so please let me know. If anybody on here has the correct pronunciation, please let me know. But I love this book. I was shocked as I started reading it, how I’ve always believed I’m very good at setting boundaries, at least in recent years, and as I was reading through it, I was like, oh, these are some really great opportunities to check in with myself. So, I’ll show you. I felt like I mean, I always underline things in books, especially for the book club, because I’m teaching it and I like to go back and reference. But this one’s very marked up because it seemed every sentence, I read you could do a whole book club just on that sentence. It was a lot of information, and so I will do my best to give this book justice because I will say that, as I was writing out what we were going to talk about, this one felt harder than some of the others because, like I mentioned, every sentence just held a lot of weight and was really valuable information, so it’s one that I would highly recommend that you do go and read for yourself. So, we’re just going to start off. You know this book club is for you if you’ve ever found yourself neglecting your self-care, feeling resentment, if you’re avoiding things or people, and you feel a lot of overwhelm pretty sure most moms fall into those categories, which was really fascinating to think about all of that as boundary violations, and so we’re going to be talking about that today. You’ll also know this book club. Robin says check, check, and check. Yep, you’ll also know this book club is for you if you think you have good boundaries but as I was reading that list, you kind of felt your body jolt a little bit. Also, if you say yes to a lot of things but then get really frustrated and you feel obligated to do things like you can’t back out of it, you’re going to let people down. You shouldn’t do that. Also is if you avoid calls or texts or emails of people asking you to do things. And then the last one is if you ever felt so burned out that you want to run away from your life and that seems like the good solution. Or and I hear this from a lot of my clients that you imagine going to the hospital so you can get a break from your life. And I will say, I have been there, and I no longer have those imaginary visions of being in the hospital. But I will say that after I have a baby, I stay there as long as I can because they feed me. I don’t ever have to think about it. All right, so that’s kind of where we start with all of this. So, when we’re talking about boundaries in the beginning of the book, this is where, well, and I’ll just tell you a little bit I know about Nedra. She is a licensed therapist. In the beginning, she talks about how she kept hearing these things over and over again and she wanted a way to address it. So, I think she started a social media account and then she was getting so many DMs of the same kind of questions like how I uphold these boundaries, how do I do this or that, and a lot of details that people were sharing with her, and so she wrote this book as a way to address it, which I think is very cool. So that’s where it leads us to the very beginning, where she talks about what is a boundary. Now I feel like this is a word that I never really heard until the last few years maybe the last five to 10 years, and I don’t know if it’s with the self-care movement and she talks a little bit about that in the book. But when I think of a boundary, I think of someone yelling at me and not allowing someone to yell at me. That was always my mindset. In that case, it would be very appropriate to hold a boundary and walk away. What I didn’t realize is that there are many boundaries that we create for ourselves to keep ourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally well and cared for. But when I start thinking about, and she talks about this in the book, when we begin considering these boundaries, oftentimes it feels very mean, or we think we will be mean if we tell a loved one, I’m not okay with that. It also sometimes feels very selfish, and I will add that for many people, it feels very un-Christ-like because we are taught in our Christian culture that to be Christ-like, we should have selfless service. That is charity, the pure love of Christ. But when we’re looking at it in terms of a boundary, it’s essential to recognize that selfless service often is a boundary violation, as we are not caring for ourselves and therefore giving of ourselves and crossing our boundaries. But it goes against what Christ teaches, which is the trap that we often see in our brains. So, before we dive into that, I want to address this, as many of you are Christian and believe in Jesus Christ. Just a quick note, we have a record of him leaving for 40 days to care for himself. We also have a record of him taking a nap while the boat was going to sink. Okay, like he still cared for his needs. So, I want to start by saying that even Jesus had some boundaries around his physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Okay, so I want to get that out there as we dive into this. She goes on, and you’re going to want to know that her definition of a boundary is: “Boundaries are expectations and needs that help you feel safe and comfortable in your relationships. Expectations in relationships help you stay mentally and emotionally well. When to say no and when to say yes is also an essential part of feeling comfortable when interacting with others.” Okay, so I love this so much because it’s talking about safety and comfortability in relationships. That’s what a boundary is, and most of us will say, well, I feel pretty safe and comfortable. What has happened is we’ve disconnected from how our body feels and use our mind to talk us into being okay. She talks about this in the book, and we’ll go into it later. She gives us some really succinct indicators that you need healthier boundaries, and this is going back to thinking I have good boundaries. So, the first is neglecting self-care. That’s a big one, and what I find with my clients is that they think they’re doing right by their family and their children. I thought about this the other day; your children’s activities are never a reason for you to forego self-care or your mental well-being. Really, hear what I said there. Because that’s important. That is a boundary violation. Your emotional, mental, and physical well-being is just as important as your children’s and their activities. It provides equal weight. So, this often-neglecting self-care is the very first thing that happens, she says, when we get caught up in our desire to help people. That’s a lot right. So, this will show up when you’re trying to help people. Again, this goes back to the un-Christ-like, and I will mention that. Robin says I have a T-shirt, Jesus naps be like Jesus. I need that T-shirt. That feels very accurate for me, okay. So, the next one where you need healthier boundaries is if you feel overwhelmed. Now, overwhelmed, a lot of people feel overwhelmed every single day. All the moms that I work with have told me that they feel overwhelmed. It says understanding boundaries is a proactive way to gauge what is truly manageable and also allows you to give 100% of the task at hand without the nagging sense of feeling overwhelmed all the time. And I think that’s really important because the underlying problem here is you take on too much. So, then the third thing she says is that you start feeling resentful. She says when we’re resentful, we do things out of obligation to others instead of for the joy of helping. Now, there is a reason why when we’re discovering our purpose, which is a formula I created for my clients, it is like following your joy plus decisions equals your purpose. There is a reason why joy is there because the second that you are feeling joy, you’re stepping out of resentment and obligation; you’re doing something because you want to do that; you are holding yourself to a boundary. The next one that shows up if you need healthier boundaries, is avoidance. Now, avoidance can come in all shapes and sizes, but what she says here is avoidance is a passive-aggressive way of expressing that you are tired of showing up. If that doesn’t hit you in the butt, I don’t know what will. So anytime you’re avoiding something, you’re just being passive-aggressive. And she talks more about this, and we’ll talk about it too in a second. So passive-aggressive. So, I want you to go over to the chat box. Sherry says, oh yes, so I want you to go over to the chat box and tell me which one really stands out to you as you think about these for yourself. So, before I erase this, I’ll wait just a second so you guys can go through that. It is normal to feel like a punch to our gut. What she is doing is she is presenting the problem to us so that we then can figure out the solution, the healthy thing that we can change going forward. So pretty soon, I will be sending out the book club guide, which will have the rest of the books for this year as well as a couple of questions that you can ask yourself for each book club. That way, it’ll help you remember and have some key takeaways for each book that we review. But the very first question on that guide is, what is the problem, which Nedra just presented to us? Is this problem that we are all falling into these categories? Once we start feeling that discomfort, we want to get out of it very quickly. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable. I want you to stay with it. She’s going to give us some solutions, but before she does that, she says there are three layers of boundaries. So, this is what you need if you need some healthy boundaries, if you’ve fallen into any of these categories. But she said there are three layers of boundaries. Okay, so the first one is a porous boundary. Now, anytime I think of porous, I think of a sponge where there are lots of different holes and it’s kind of seeping through. Okay, so what she says porous boundaries are weak and poorly expressed. But she gives some examples, and I will give her credit. I loved the examples that she uses in this book to really help illustrate the things that she is teaching. She says porous boundaries are oversharing, dependency, enmeshment, and we’re going to talk about those, the inability to say no, people-pleasing, dependency on feedback from others, paralyzed fear of being rejected, and accepting mistreatment. I will tell you that I have coached clients on every single one of those things because that is a boundary issue. And if you have a fear of being rejected, which almost always when somebody is working towards their purpose, they have that fear of being rejected, that is because there is a porous boundary. If you are people-pleasing and depending on the feedback of others, it is a boundary issue. Okay, I am amazed at how many women I get on a call with, and they say something like, “I’m a people pleaser, I’m a perfectionist,” like these are badges to wear. No, that’s a boundary issue. Okay, I want to be very clear on that. So, the next one is rigid. Rigid is so this porous leads to unhealthy closeness. Rigid ones are a self-protective mechanism to build distance. This comes out of a fear of vulnerability and history of being taken advantage of, and I think that’s accepting mistreatment. Yes, Anze says that. Avoidance first, then resentment is what Robin said before. And then overwhelm and avoidance are the largest. So, yes, thank you for sharing those. So, I want you to be thinking of these boundary layers, or levels where you fault the most in. Rigid is where I am 100%. Like, I avoid vulnerability, I cut people off, I have very high expectations of others, I enforce very strict rules, I build walls, and I don’t like sharing my life with others, which is very funny considering what I do for my job. And those are boundaries that I’ve had to really, really work through. It has been so painfully hard for me to post something on social media that’s slightly vulnerable, and I’ve gotten better with it over time because I’ve created healthier boundaries for myself. But yes, rigid is where I would be 100%, and I will say that this is also very common where there’s a fear of vulnerability, a fear of being hurt by other people. So, then the last one is healthy, healthy boundaries. This is our next layer, and she talks about healthy boundaries as being clear about your values, listening to your own opinion, and I will say I had the best experience with one of my clients the other day. We were kind of reviewing, we just wrapped up her coaching package and we realized that the overarching theme of all of her coaching was she developed self-trust. She knew what she felt, she was communicating what she felt, and she was trusting herself on a very deep level. Huge success! She was creating healthy boundaries. I want you to think about that for yourself. Having a healthy vulnerability with people who’ve earned your trust, being comfortable saying no, and being comfortable hearing no without taking it personally. So, with this, there are always two parts that she says to setting boundaries. The first is communication and the second is action. I will say, in my experience coaching and with myself, both of these are equally hard, but one will start coming easier before the other, if that makes sense. So, think about this for yourself on which one feels the hardest for you. That’s typically not the one to start with, because chances are you already have some boundaries. Well, I’m just going to leave that out there. You get to decide for yourself. It really depends on the person. I would recommend starting with the easier one because that way, you can keep putting it out there and start making some shifts without shutting your nervous system down. So, when we come down to setting our boundaries, she says the short-term discomfort for a long-term, healthy relationship is worth it every time, and I agree with that. I am so grateful that I have been able to work through some of these hard things. Now, I will say at this point, the hardest part of moving forward on these two things is our brain’s fear of how people will respond. So that’s the next part that I want to talk about is how people respond. Let me make sure, because I think – hold on, let me just double-check. I want to make sure we’re okay on time before I dive into each of these. Okay, I’m just going to read these. I’m not going to write them out, but I want you just to listen and make a note. If you have your pen and paper, make a note of which one stands out. That seems the scariest to you. So, common responses when we put a boundary, when we communicate a boundary, and we follow up with action are as follows. These are the common ways people will respond. The first is to push back, and they will push back in some ways that, like, “that’s not fair. I’m not making you change.” The next is limit testing, meaning, “Are they really going to follow through with what they say?” Children are amazing at this, aren’t they? The next one is ignoring, which is also common with our children. This is a very passive-aggressive way for people to handle a boundary. The next response is rationalizing and questioning. People will start asking questions as to why their behavior isn’t a problem. A common one is that grandmas are supposed to spoil their kids or their grandkids, or it’s okay. “I wasn’t being serious when I said that comment; I’m just venting, complaining.” There are many examples in the book that illustrate these ideas, which is one of the benefits of reading it. The next response is defensiveness, which can be tricky because when people’s walls go up, they start to personalize everything that you say to them. They stop hearing you and start crafting a response. It’s essential to recognize that this is normal and okay and try to work through it. Another response is ghosting, which is a big one in the dating world. Ghosting refers to cutting off communication with someone without any explanation. It often happens because people have unhealthy boundaries. The last response is the silent treatment, which is a passive-aggressive form of punishing you for trying to set a boundary. This is common in marriages, where if one partner is not in the mood for being intimate, the other person gets their feelings hurt and goes silent for a time. It’s crucial to maintain your boundary and not feel bad about the way the other person is feeling. You never have to be intimate if you don’t want to be. Acceptance of boundaries is essential for healthy relationships. Boundaries are the cure to most relationship problems, which is a pretty broad statement for her to say, and I’m glad she said it because all of these things come back to these layers of boundaries and being able to understand them. She talks a bit about all the different areas where we see boundary violations. There’s work, romance, family, and a whole bunch of other areas. We’re not going to dive into all of them, as much as I want to. That would be a totally different time. But for you, I want you to think about when was the last time that someone said no to you? At the end of the chapters, she poses this as one of the questions to us. She has these exercise sections where you can really take and apply the things, and of course, that’s really meaningful to me because I always want to apply what I’m learning. I immediately had a memory come to mind. I was asking for church volunteers for putting on an event, and someone said this person is always reliable. I would reach out to her. So, I reached out to her, and she told me no, and it took my breath away for a second. I was like, I don’t know what to say right now. It was so bizarre for a church setting for someone to say no. But the second I sat with it; it was the most refreshing feeling. It was like somebody just cracked something open in me, and I was like, oh, I can say no to things. She was such an amazing example. Now, she said no because of her time boundaries that she set in place. She was a mom, she was in school full-time, she was working full-time. It was not something that she was going to focus on; it was not her priority, which is so amazing for me to be able to see and experience that. And that was 11 years ago or something like that. It was a long time ago, so I want you to think about that. Before we move on to the next, think of a time when you wanted to say no, and you didn’t. This is a big one. We may have these daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. I want you to consider how often you want to say no but don’t, and I want you to really explore why that is. This was a big one for me when I was really struggling with postpartum depression. I was always very comfortable having playdates, watching friends’ kids, all of those things, but when I had my daughter, my postpartum depression was debilitating, and there were lots of times that I wanted to say no and didn’t. It was very unhealthy. I was completely overwhelmed, and I didn’t feel like I could say no because people had watched my kid, and so it was very fascinating, as I read that, to think back on that time. So, I want you to think about that for yourself and explore the beliefs that you had at the time. So, as Cherise says, I think in church volunteerism we tend to have weaker boundaries because of perceived obligation. So, spot on, that is right there. I’m going to read that again because I think it’s so important. We tend to have weaker boundaries because of perceived obligation when we are volunteering in church, and again, it goes back to the beliefs about being un-Christ-like and that. Yeah, I’m just going to leave that there. No more words, okay. So, she goes on to talk about, like what are the costs that can happen if we avoid setting boundaries. So anytime someone presents a problem, they’ll then follow up with, what’s the cost of that thing? Same thing, like if you go into the store and there’s something that you want, like okay, what’s the cost of that thing? And you determine if you want that cost, if you’re willing to put that out there, that amount of money, or you don’t. So, as we think about this and we think about the discomfort of setting a boundary, I want you to think about these costs that she’s presenting. Do you want these costs? So, the first one is burnout. Burnout is a big one for moms. It’s when they start imagining running away, and it’s important to recognize, let’s see that part of that part of burnout is hold on. Where is it? So, burnout is caused by not knowing when to say no, not knowing how to say no. So, for just a fun activity, I want you to close your eyes and I want you to imagine saying no to someone, doesn’t matter who. So just think about that. Now I want you to switch. Whoever it was they said no to. Maybe it was very easy. Maybe it was your kids. Okay, now I want you to say it to someone that you really love and admire like a friend. They’re asking you to go for a girls’ night or to, I don’t know. You come up with a scenario, but I want you to imagine somebody that you’ve never said no to. Saying no. It may feel a little more uncomfortable. Okay, that comes from not knowing how to say no, prioritizing others over yourself. That also leads to burnout, people-pleasing superhero syndrome. I can do it all. It’s very much me because I have so many walls. I don’t ever ask for help, unrealistic expectations, and not being appreciated for what you do. So, then she goes on to explain some of those just a little bit more, and there’s just a couple that I want to highlight because I see them show up the most in my clients. So, the first thing would be to prioritize others over yourself, and the biggest thing here would be to really think about if something is added to your list. What are you taking off? And that really gives you an idea of how hard it is to say no because immediately most women I coach say, oh, I didn’t take anything off. Exactly! That’s the problem. I added another child to my house, and I expected myself to stay at the exact high level of things that I was doing. Oh no, that’s crazy. That’s a boundary violation. Not knowing how to say no. You have to be okay, getting it wrong and not saying it right all the time. So, another important part. Okay, so let’s move on. So, another cost is anxiety, depression, let’s see. Yeah, borderline personality disorder. All of these things can start to show up when you have unhealthy boundaries. So, I think it’s important to recognize what she’s doing in this section of the book. If we write out the model that I use a lot in my coaching, we’ve got the circumstances, we have thoughts about those circumstances, which then lead us to feel a certain way, which causes us to act, which gives us our result. So, if we have thoughts about needing to be there, prioritizing others over ourselves, it will create some kind of feeling inside of us that will result in the actions we take, which will result in something. So, I’m going to illustrate this. Okay, so we’re going to put others before self. Okay, that causes you to feel burned out. Okay. And then the actions are you imagine running away. Okay, the same thing with, like, if you are putting others before yourself, the feelings are overwhelmed, and when you start feeling overwhelmed, you become more anxious and depressed. Okay, so what she is giving us is the cost of all of these things. Right here is that you’re not having a happy life; you are not having healthy relationships. So, it’s important to recognize what she’s talking about. So, as she starts going more into detail on all of these things – and again, there’s so much in this book that I want you to go through and read for yourself – but the couple of things that she says the common feelings are, like I mentioned, the burnout, the overwhelm, the resentment, the frustration, the anger is a huge one as well. Now, I want you to get clear for yourself on what your common feeling is because most people have their “wubby” emotion – the emotion they feel the most, that they’re most comfortable with. Okay, everybody has one. Just to be clear, when you have unhealthy boundaries, you’re going to have one of those – the frustration, the anger, the overwhelm – more often than others. So, she said some of the things that we do when we have these unhealthy relationships is we avoid. I talked about this in the beginning. She says one of the ways people avoid is to move away. It’s really funny, and I’m not talking about just picking up your house and going somewhere else. Sometimes it’s just like turning your chair around, and I’ll share an example about that in a minute. The next one is to gossip, and we do it under the guise of needing to vent or complain about someone when, in reality, it’s just a boundary violation. Instead of actually speaking our truth, we just get mad about it and go tell it to someone else. And then we’re like, “okay, I don’t think they’re going to change. It’s easier just to cut them off and never see them again.” And I’ve had that happen to me many times. And I say “happened to me” because chances are I was violating some boundary I had no idea even existed, which is what’s so important about communication and being able to dive into our boundaries for this reason. And she talks about where do we learn boundaries from? I thought this was a really fascinating question because I don’t ever remember learning anything about boundaries. But the more she started to talk about it, the more I realized, oh, I learned unhealthy boundaries from some really amazing people, but they were never taught healthy boundaries either. And what I’m talking about is diving into our family dynamics. She says that what we learn about boundaries is in the family. It all starts in the family. She said typically, if you’re comfortable communicating, oh sorry. Parents and caregivers typically feel comfortable communicating their expectations to children, but children often feel they don’t have a right to set boundaries for themselves. And I think this is really important, and it’s been on my mind a lot. At some point, there is going to be a podcast on it. I’ve already written half of it. Where we don’t have, we don’t give our children an opportunity often to exercise their own boundaries, mostly because of the way we were raised. So, in traditional parenting, meaning the parenting of our generation, it’s my way, that’s just what it is, and anytime you disagreed, that was pushback or being disrespectful, okay. So now what she’s inviting us to talk about is boundaries. Anytime we give our children an opportunity to present their boundaries, that is not being a pushover, that is not giving in to our children. Our internal beliefs want to tell us otherwise. I was just coaching a dad actually on this. So, children have boundaries unless they’re shown or told it isn’t okay for them. So, the thing she talks about is you offer other options. You insist that they do the thing, or you punish if they don’t. We’ve all done this over food, haven’t we? I never thought about it in terms of teaching my child unhealthy boundaries, but she’s right. I want you to really think about that. We can offer other options. That’s not saying you make an entire new meal, but possibly along the lines of, here’s maybe a food you won’t like, maybe you can try it, but then there are also foods that you do like. She uses that as an example when it comes to food. When we’re looking at that, it’s essential to understand that. Another one that shows up all the time is when you’re around family members and grandparents want a hug. It doesn’t even have to be grandparents; it can be anybody – friends, other family members, teachers, there are all kinds of situations. Now, it’s important to recognize that you can offer options to your children. I even had this conversation with my parents when my children were young. Out of love, my parents would say, “Come here, give me a hug. Don’t you want to give me a hug? I love you.” It was okay; it was totally out of love. But what I had to present to them was, “Hey, it’s totally up to the children if they want to hug you. It’s not being rude or disrespectful. We’re going to offer them options and allow them to choose, instead of insisting or punishing them. You have to go give your grandparents a hug before they leave.” We always say you’re welcome to do a handshake, a high five, a fist bump, or nothing at all. They get to choose. Now, the best thing, and she goes on to say, the very best thing that you can do is to model this behavior for your children, which is hard. If you don’t know or have struggled with boundaries, all of this, I hope, is bringing awareness for you so that you can start moving towards healthier boundaries, not just for yourself and your relationships, but also for the way that you parent your children. I’m not going to spend a ton of time on this because there’s a lot of it in the book, and I want you to be able to dive into it for yourself. But she does talk a lot about childhood issues that impact boundaries, such as trauma, abuse, and neglect. So, trauma is just an eventual life experience that causes you to feel deeply distressed, and it shifts your brain and your body into survival mode. In this moment, it can be very difficult for you to hold a boundary for your life if there has been abuse of some kind – physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. So again, she goes more into these within the book. But the biggest thing that I wanted to talk about is that anytime a child is placed in some kind of adult role, being the man of the house, your parents confide in you about things within their marriage, struggles within their marriage. If you’re asked to consistently care for your siblings because your parent is not there, if it’s your job to be the emotional support for your parent, if you’re responsible for bills, all of those things, that’s a reminder that it’s not your job to do those things. Even now, as an adult, it’s not your job to do those things. And that all comes back to a boundary that needs to be created for you and some healing that needs to be done. If you find that you are in one of those spots, I do recommend that you get a licensed therapist to help you work through some of those traumas, and it’s such an important thing. Okay, so the next thing, going back to the model that she says, or, sorry, the model that we use, like the circumstances, the thoughts, she presents some very distinct thought patterns for us that keep us from setting and maintaining boundaries. So again, there’s so much, and I feel like I’m looking at the time, and we’re not even halfway through what I wanted to talk about. So, I’m just going to mention these, and then you can go find them in the book. It’s on page 60. These thought patterns include being anxious about future interactions, feeling powerless, and not thinking that a boundary will help. Another thought pattern is getting your value from helping others. I’ll pause there for a second and let that sink in. That is stopping you from setting a healthy boundary if you get your value from helping others, have no clue where to start, or believe that you can’t have boundaries in certain relationships. So, all of those come back to the thoughts that create the feeling that causes us to act in a particular way. Those are some of the underlying beliefs that we have. She goes on to talk about the six types of boundaries, and I think this is where we’ll probably leave, we’ll probably stay here and then talk about the common ways that we can address a boundary. The six types are physical, sexual, intellectual, emotional, material, and time. As you see these laid out, I want you to think about examples that could be for you. A physical boundary example happened not long ago for me when I was in a Facebook group specific to autism for one of my kids. There are adults in there who are also autistic, and I remember that and try to be respectful when asking questions. So, there was a specific question I was asking for help. Someone responded, and I responded back. Then she came on very strong, and some of the things she said in her comment I did not perceive as kind by any means. Now I recognize after the fact that she probably was one of the autistic adult members in the group and sometimes they don’t intend harm. But it was still important for me to create that boundary for myself. Another example is sexual boundaries; you can read the book for more information on that. Intellectual boundaries involve not discussing adult problems with children. It’s essential to recognize the boundary between those topics. And finally, the last one I want to touch on is time boundaries because I find that this is the biggest issue I spend coaching on. As moms, we often don’t have boundaries around our time. We don’t go to the bathroom ourselves. We are always saying yes to church, volunteering, or the PTA, or driving our kids every which direction. So, it’s important to recognize that if you struggle with work-life balance, prioritizing your needs, or any self-care, it always comes down to not actually knowing what your boundaries are around your time. So, in the summer, I get very overwhelmed when there are a lot of kids in my house. I know that about myself. I want my children to still play with a lot of kids. So, one of the time boundaries I have created to care for myself is that there are certain days that I don’t allow friends over. They can go play somewhere else, they can come over a different day, but on certain days there are no friends in the house because that is my body’s recovery time. That is a time boundary that I have created for myself because I recognize and prioritize my needs. So, the last thing, in our last few minutes, is that there are four unhealthy ways that we move forward with boundaries. The first one is if you are passive. As someone with a lot of walls, I was passive about a lot of things. What I realized was that most of the time, I was just denying my own need and telling myself it was okay, it was not that big of a deal, like I don’t want to rock the boat, it’s easier just to say it’s fine. So, in language like that, you are being passive. The next one is aggressive, which I think we mostly know. That’s usually when someone is being really harsh, pushy, or demanding. That will often show up in the way of name-calling or cursing in order to get you on board with whatever they’re saying. It’s essential to recognize when someone is being aggressive and create a healthy boundary that you will not be spoken to that way. And then you can leave. It’s funny because, as I was writing this, I was thinking about my brother, who has some of the healthiest boundaries I’ve ever seen. He’s absolutely amazing. This is my older brother, and we were sitting at Sunday dinner the other day. He was talking about someone in his HOA who was berating him. He said something like, “You know, the way you are behaving right now is similar to a bully, and I will not accept that or talk to you when you are behaving this way. I’ll meet back later,” and hung up the phone. That’s my brother right there. He has always been so good at setting boundaries like that. So, then the third one is passive-aggressive. Now this and let me write down the last one. We’re going to say PA. And then the last one is manipulation. Okay, these are really subtle, and so it’s important for you to recognize how your body responds because, since these are very subtle ways, it’s easy for us to gaslight ourselves into thinking that we did something wrong. When you are holding a healthy boundary and someone is trying to manipulate you and make you feel wrong for that, or if they are making snide comments, that is being passive-aggressive or manipulating. That is a very important thing to recognize and to really be comfortable with your underlying beliefs so that you can spot it when it happens. The last thing that I’m going to end with, and again, this is probably only halfway through the book because there’s so much, but she talks about assertiveness. Assertiveness is how you clearly and directly state your needs. Assertiveness involves communicating your feelings openly and without attack, and I will say that she says it somewhere else in the book that healthy relationships will thrive with boundaries. Unhealthy relationships or toxic relationships will not. And I want to be clear here that as you’re moving forward and you’re feeling the discomfort of putting boundaries in place, there will be people that will not come with you on the journey. And that can be a hard reality, but there will be fewer people than you think. So, when I really started learning this for myself, this was many years ago. I had the very best friend at work. She and I sat close to each other. There were three of us, all together. She was in my wedding; all my pictures have her there, like very close. We traveled to Canada together; we were very close. I considered her one of my very best friends. And at some point, she and the other lady were always gossiping and complaining and saying very unkind names about our manager. I loved our manager. I didn’t always like her, you know, people are people, and sometimes we disagreed, and that was fine. She’s human, and I’m human, and we worked through a lot in our relationship, but I genuinely loved her. And these names were not okay. And so, I would just turn my chair, you know, going back to avoiding when they started gossiping around her. And at the time, I didn’t know how to set a boundary. That was the only way I really knew how to, was to just turn my chair. So, at this, it was probably, you know, a short time later when she said, “Okay, I recognize you’re not going to talk bad about her anymore.” I said, “No, I’m not.” And at that point, that’s where I really set that boundary that I’m not going to do that anymore. So fast forward, I left the company. I came back a little while later. When I came back, I was cut off essentially. She would not talk to me; she would not look at me. I don’t know at this point what boundary of hers, you know, maybe it was just that I held the boundary. And I struggled with that for years. Eventually, she quit. She quit the day of and left me, she, and somebody else in our department. They left me alone in the department when our boss was on a holiday break. And they quit the day of and walked out. And I never saw her, heard from her ever again. I was totally blocked from all social media. I am not saying that I’m the victim here. I’m sure that there was something that happened that I could have taken accountability for. And I recognize that it wasn’t a healthy relationship for either one of us. So, in essence, she did me a huge favor. And I struggled with that. I will tell you, I had dreams about her for like eight years after, like horrible, heart-wrenching, because she was such a close friend. And then I was able to recognize, okay, I can heal from this, and I can move on and learn that I had healthy boundaries. That was something that I created. I may have crossed one of her boundaries and not known, and I truly do want to create a space where I have relationships where we can communicate our needs to each other in a healthier way, and I do, okay. So, I want just to leave that there so you can normalize if that has happened to you, you can take accountability for things that you want to improve on, and you can recognize that sometimes that will happen as a result of having a boundary, but it will happen less than you think. That is the only time that has happened. Honestly, my BFF cut me off too. It’s so challenging and painful. But what I realized was that oftentimes there is a boundary violation, and when that happens and you can move forward, that means it’s a healthy relationship. Okay, so I’m going to stop there because we are at the time, but I just want you all to know that this is one book I would recommend getting because we could have hours and hours to talk about this book, the enmeshment, and the codependency. And I will just say, like, when we are looking at our individuality as a woman, it is essential to separate that outside of our children and our children’s wellbeing because that’s where we can really get enmeshed in them and codependent on them being okay before we feel okay. There’s a saying that I heard very early on in my motherhood. I heard it multiple times, actually, and have since then that you’re only as happy as your saddest child. I want you just to see that as an example of enmeshment and being codependent. As you dive more into that, you can recognize that you can be okay and mourn with those that mourn without putting the weight of your emotional wellbeing on a child. So, I’ll leave that there. Have a wonderful rest of your month. I can’t wait until next month, where we’ll be diving in. I can’t remember the book right now, but it’ll come out in the email, so you can request it from your library or have time to purchase it. And also, be on the lookout. We almost have my website done for this brand-new opt-in, where it has the three things to avoid when reading self-help books, and I will tell you it’s a short video. It is very good and something that I highly recommend, so that will also be coming out in your emails. All right, have a wonderful rest of your day. I’ll see you all next month. Bye. Thank you for listening. Please share, review, and subscribe to this podcast so that together we can live life on purpose.

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