Heather Gray is a clinically trained Mindset and Performance coach at Choose to Have it All.com. Working online, Heather helps online entrepreneurs, leaders, and business owners identify what it is that they want but don’t have and teaches the movement required to get it.
Heather uses her twenty years of clinical experience to teach her clients the necessary skills for combatting fear, managing self-doubt, and shutting down the inner critic we sometimes hear in our heads.
Listen more to what Heather has to say on her podcast, Business Mindset Mastery, available on iTunes. Android users can find her through The Podcast App. Want to keep talking with Heather? Join her Facebook group.
Welcome to The Art of Living big. I’m your host, Betsy Pake, and this podcast is designed to share interviews, stories, and new ideas to help you redefine what could be possible for your life. Thanks for listening. Now let’s go live big. today’s podcast is brought to you by audible. You can get a free audio book download and a 30 day trial by going to audible trial comm backslash live big. They have a million jillion titles, okay, 180,000 different titles for you to choose from. You can listen to it on your iPhone or your Android or an mp3 player. I love audible. In fact, just this morning driving my kid home from school, I started to listen to white hot truth. Ooh, that’s a good one you guys something to look into. You can get your free trial over at audible trial. COMM backslash live big. And now here’s the show. Hey, everybody, thanks for listening in to another episode of The Art of Living bag. I have a two timer with me today on the show. It’s true. My friend heather gray is here for her second time on the show. Hey, Heather.
I bet gaming so much for having me. I’m psyched to be talking to you today. You’re my first two timer. I love it. I love it. I’m gonna go well, now I’m gonna you know, you’ve just set the bar. So now I’m gonna raise them to be the first third time. Right, right.
Well, it’s so great to have you because your episode was one of the first ones that I had last year. And it is still one of the most listened to episodes. And when I get comments. It’s almost always related to your episode.
That’s fantastic. Yeah.
So I know it really struck a chord with people. And I really respect you. And I actually reached out to you recently for advice. And so I thought, I want to have you come on. And let’s talk a little bit about boundaries.
Yes, the scariest word ever, it’s so
difficult. I find I find that so difficult. And as I tried to help my own clients with it, I think I really need to get a better handle on that myself. And so I reached out to you, the coach of coaches. Yes. And so tell me a little bit about, well tell everybody a little bit about you, and really what you do, and then let’s get into that.
Sure, absolutely. So I’m I’m a mindset and performance coach for online business owners and leaders. And what that really comes down to is that I believe that mindset is tied to the psychology of success. And I think that when we have all of the business skills in the business strategies, unless we know ourselves, how we move and how we move through the world.
we’re going to get to the next level in our businesses, and we bring it wherever we go, there we are, and we bring our personal stories and our personal experiences to the table. Regardless if it’s the boardroom, regardless if it’s the kitchen table, who we are, and how we move through the world affects how we make decisions in our personal and private lives. So I help people overcome some of the stumbling blocks like fear, anxiety, worry, to get to the level that they want to get to the most simplest way I put it at times is I help people get out of their own way so they can get what they want.
Yeah, I love that. And you do a really great job of it, which is really why I reached out to you. Because I always have good insight on situations that are real life situations. And many times, I think people have ideas or sort of like these, like visionary concepts of the world, but you really have a lot of practical advice. And
yeah, go ahead. I think I think it’s important to like one of the things that we talked about when it came up for you. And it was this idea of boundaries for people pleasers. How do people pleasers set boundaries. And one of the things that I find like the core thing that we have to accept, if we’re going to embrace the idea that we are going to be people who choose to have boundaries and demand that they be respected is that by definition, when we set a boundary, we are in fact telling somebody that they want to be closer to us than we want them to be. We are in fact creating a fence. We’re building a wall. And the natural consequence of that choice is we’re sometimes going to make people feel bad. And the questions I get about boundaries are How can I set a boundary without somebody feeling bad? And the reality is, is sometimes if you’re dealing with highly functional, emotionally intelligent people, you absolutely can set a boundary and have it be respected right away, but it actuality, most of us fall somewhere in the middle. And when a boundary is set on us, we have a reaction to that. So as people who are setting boundaries, we have to be prepared for that reaction. But not say that because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, we’re not going to
set the boundary. Well, I think that it comes down to really up. Would I rather feel bad, like over and over and over again? Or would I rather set the boundary? That person may feel bad for a moment or a day? But then they understand and then you actually can create a better relationship? Because you both know what you expect from each other?
Absolutely. And the reality is, Betsy, is that our boundaries, our our needs? So yeah, we don’t, we don’t set boundaries that we want, or that we wish for, or that we hope someday somebody will listen to, our boundaries are directly tied to our needs for how we need to be treated in order to move through the world in a way that feels comfortable for us. And here’s the thing about needs, they’re non negotiable, we can’t wish them away, we can’t desire them away. And when we ignore our needs, we sit in the natural consequence of that choice of feeling less than a feeling stepped on a feeling resentful, hurt, angry, frustrated, and feeling trapped in that experience, because we can’t talk about it with the person who’s injured us.
Yeah, you know, I’ve had several instances. And you and I were talking, and I’m sure everybody listening, I mean, more than several right, I’ve had a ton of instances. And I’ve had times with family members were really just in the last year have I been able to set boundaries. But when I did that when I made that step, because I felt very belittled. And I continued to allow that to allow
that. Because in my mind,
it was easier for me to just, I’ll just take it, whatever, it’s easier than dealing with it. But what I found was when I dealt with it, I it made me feel so much more empowered than I ever expected. And, and one thing that I noticed, just to take it one step further is
what I think is an incredibly happy person, maybe to the point where it annoys people, because they think like, how could you I mean, even with my child, I see that right, but she’s a teenager, but where people will try to almost like dig to see if they can bring it down. And that’s a place where I have to add a boundary also.
Absolutely. And the thing is, Betsy, that makes a lot of sense to me, because think about it for a second, right? whether or not we’re stating our boundaries, outwardly, you can’t talk to me like that you can’t use that language with me, you can’t put me down to make yourself feel better, or that more passive aggressive approach of just poking about and poking the bear. You know what that does, whenever we’re doing those things, or receiving those, you know, compliments or complaints, rather, where we’re forcing the other person to look at themselves. So when we say you didn’t do this, or even if we’re saying I choose to live my life this way, and we’re not at all making it about the other person, they’re going to hear the story in between the lines. And when we start pointing fingers, that more often than not like I used to do couples counseling as a private therapist, when I you know, was building my first business. And I would often say take that finger, you’re pointing at the other person and turn it around, because the thing you’re like, really angry about is the thing you feel about yourself. And I think when people you know, my business is called choose to have it all. And the reality is, is you and I have that in common. We absolutely believe that our happiness is a choice, that we have no control over what happens to us, we can only control how we respond to it. When you tell a victim player that when you live your life in such a way that implies I’ve been knocked down but I got back up. Regardless if we say it out loud or not. The person who’s witnessing it in our space in our environment is hearing and why can’t you Hmm. And that’s what they’re reacting to that when they see you living your life in a way that’s positive, open minded, trusting and willing to be vulnerable. It challenges them. That challenge becomes uncomfortable. So they try to break it down and they try to break you down. Not because they don’t like you. Not because they don’t want you to be happy, but because the way you’re moving through the world challenges their own self perception in choices they’re making, and then they take it out on you.
Which really comes back to the thing that I always say is it’s never about
us. But really, it really isn’t. Yeah, it
really isn’t. And it’s, it’s, so it’s a weird moment, because it’s never about us. And if we know that that does that, I think that does help. So when somebody comes at me with something, I go, and well, that’s not really about me, but I all end, so I’ll give them a moment. But if they continue to come back, come back, come back. That’s when I really feel like okay, now I need to just set the boundary of what how is okay to communicate with me and to, to move through the world with me?
So can I can I give you an example here? Because I feel like so much of boundary conversation isn’t that people don’t know, what boundary to set is they don’t know the words to use with them. Yeah. So like, it’s I don’t know how to say it. So because I don’t know how to say it. I’m not going to set the boundaries.
And let me interrupt you for one second, I want you to keep going. But and the people that don’t set boundaries are the people pleasers that don’t want to say anything that upset. So it’s like this vicious circle, right.
And they’re always the people pleasers who don’t set the boundaries are going to be the most open to being taken advantage of because they’re teaching people how to treat them the first time they let the comment go by, you’re giving permission to the person to let that comment out. And so in that moment, you’re teaching the person who delivers sarcasm, who rolls their eyes are such 13 that you’re happy that they get to do that. So they can feel bad about your happy in comparison to their own happy and get the tension release and the pressure relief that comes from crapping on your good day. Yeah,
yeah. You know, my husband says to me, like you’re too nice. He says that to me a lot. You’re too nice. And he’s an attorney. So he always sees I’m making a generalized statement, but he always sees like, the bad, right? Like, he’s a happy person. But he’ll he’s much more cautious, I guess, is a good way to explain it. So I give everybody the benefit of the doubt, until they’ve screwed me like 10 times. He gives
everybody the benefit of the doubt until they start to screw him once.
And then he immediately cuts it down. And he doesn’t get crapped on but I do.
Well, here’s the thing is I if somebody were to tell me, I’m too nice. I would wrap that up and be super proud of it tied up with a bow and be like, that’s a really good legacy. If I go tonight, that’s a really good legacy to have. What you really want to ask yourself is, am I too permissive?
That’s different. That’s different. I like that. Yeah. Am I too permissive?
Because we teach people how to treat us. My Angelo taught us this and Oprah sort of exalted it. And it’s become this like, quick thing that we can say in conversation. But sometimes I think we look at it and talk about it way too casually. When we don’t stand up for ourselves, when we don’t say this is what I want, this is what I need. And somebody is allowed to overstep that to get their needs met, we have taught that person how to treat us, we have taught them what they can expect from us. And we have taught them how we move through the world. So the first thing that happens when we set a boundary when we say, hey, that’s not okay. They react in shock, and in defense, and you know, all kinds of arrogance, because they’ve been allowed to do it so far. So what’s the problem? Now, it’s changing the rules halfway through the game. And any time we’re kids, and somebody says, No, it’s not three strikes, you’re out, it’s four strikes, you’re out. Or it’s when the ball hits the very, very end of the field. Everybody else on in playing the game, when the rules get made up and change, Midway has a reaction, people get to have a reaction when we’re changing the rules. The way to manage that is to be really sort of crystal clear and transparent about it. So when I set a boundary on something that I’ve allowed to go by, the first thing I do is acknowledge that I’ve allowed it to go by so I say, you know, listen, the other day, you were really sarcastic with me. And you kind of made fun of this thing that I you know, this idea I had and I know that I hadn’t thought it all the way through. And I know it was an unfinished idea. I just kind of got excited, and you were sarcastic about it and kind of made me feel bad but I let it go. But here you go. Do it. And again, and I find myself having a reaction when we’re transparent, that we’ve allowed it to go by. But now we’re stopping. Yeah, we’re, we’re racing the argument. We’re already saying, Yeah, I know, I allowed this last week, I know that you’ve been able to call me, and I drop whatever I’m doing. And I listen to you right away. But I gotta tell you, when you call me at 11 o’clock at night, and I’ve been in bed for an hour, it really just rips my sleep sleep cycle, I gotta let you know, I really don’t want to take phone calls after nine o’clock.
Right? Yeah, yeah. So then you’re really acknowledging that this hasn’t been how you’ve acted in the past. But this is really what you need. And I think if you can phrase it like that, too, this is what I need. So I need you to not I need more sleep. I really like that. So I need you to not call me after nine o’clock.
And so often the people pleasers and people who struggle with boundaries are so worried about what the other person’s gonna think. And the way that I manage that is by challenging people to tell the other person what you want them to think. I hope you don’t, you know, I hope you don’t think I’m elitist. I hope you don’t think this, the example I was gonna give is, I was I was at a recent live event. And everybody was together. And we were doing everything as a group. So anytime the group broke up, everybody was going to the same restaurant for dinner doing the same drinks after the event. And there were a couple of people at this event that I had personally befriended on a level that was more personal, and more meaningful to me. And I wanted just the three of us to go to dinner. Yeah, and I didn’t ask, and I did say out loud, because I was really afraid of what it would look like to everybody else. And now a month has passed since that event. And I’m really still bummed that I didn’t get girlfriend time with the people that I had been intentionally building closer relationships with, right, what I wish I had done is said that out loud, first of all, to the two women I wanted to have dinner with because I didn’t even tell them at the time, then I it came out after and everybody felt bad. But I wish I had said to them, hey, listen, I know that we don’t all get together as a group very often. And this is a big thing. But you know, the three of us have gotten really close, I really kind of want to celebrate that because it’s an event. So I’m talking about people that I only had relationships with online. Yeah, right. I would really like, you know, I would really like it if the three of us could just have a girlfriend dinner. And I didn’t say it. And so I didn’t get the need met. And now I don’t know when I’m going to get another opportunity because one lives in Chicago, the other lives in Canada, like doing that anytime or you know, slim. But if I had said that to them, and given them the choice, and then we could have decided together and I really think if we just said to the group, Hey guys, we’ve become a little threesome here. Over time, we’ve gotten really close, and we’re just gonna like have some girlfriend time. hope you guys don’t mind. And we’ll see you tomorrow, it would have been fine, right? But I spent so much time worrying about how it would look to the group if I would be seen as elitist if I wouldn’t be seen as somebody who you know, was picking favorites. Any villain the blame for the number of stories I’ve created in the weeks leading up to this event? But I never asked so I didn’t get the need that.
Yeah, that’s so powerful. What a great example. Because really, it was in your head that they would have thought something
right. And I think I do that often. Like, I don’t want them to think this. But I don’t even know if they’d really think that.
Absolutely. And I think too, that sometimes when we’re worried about what someone’s gonna think we just have to address it. Another example came up with somebody who was emailing me, I run a Facebook group, and somebody had been posting questions in the group, but also was emailing me pretty regularly. And what I ended up saying is, hey, you have a lot of questions. I’m having a hard time addressing them one on one. If you’d like to work with me, let me know. And you know, we can have that conversation. But otherwise, I’m going to ask that you let somebody else take the turn. I finally said that, but I’ve been wanting to say it for like two months. I just didn’t want to seem unfriendly or unhelpful or unwelcoming or I only wanted to work with a certain kind of person. I was so worried about all of that, that instead I was finding myself not having boundaries over the amount of free advice and free content. I get people I have I’m responsible for that. And if not, I’m going to live in the natural consequence of not setting that boundary.
Yeah, yeah, that’s a really good example too. You know, it I find that the thing that you’re saying in here that is really striking a chord with me is not just setting the boundary, but letting them know why you’re why and that you are. So I’m going to use an example from my personal life. And we can, we can, you can feel free to coach me on it as we walk through. So I have a relationship that’s about 30 years old. And whenever I’m with this person, I feel like they’re very belittling. And I always brush it off, brush it off, and I don’t see them, uh, you know, super often, so I just kind of let it go. And over the years, because I’m 46, right. So it’s been like the majority of my life. I always think like, it’s easier to just walk away. But what was happening, I realized was that it was starting to, it had already affected the way I saw myself and things I dared to do. And about a year ago, and my podcast had just come out, and I shared my podcast, and I was belittled. And it wasn’t that particular event as much as it was like the straw that broke the camel’s back. And so I set my boundary. But I don’t know that I did it the right way. Because now I feel like there’s a lot of confusion about the boundary. And there is a lot of I’m still trying to step over step step in but because I haven’t said this is where the boundary is. Instead, I’ve just said, like, you can’t do that thing. Well, we’re not talking about my podcast anymore with them. So that thing isn’t happening. But there’s confusion now. So how does somebody if they’re listening, and they have already, in their mind, set the boundary with somebody and already started to make changes and how they interact with that person? Do they then go back and say, Look, I didn’t really explain it at the time. But this was sort of what was happening with me, and this is what I need from you moving forward?
Yes, I think it’s a little bit about being open to the fact that there’s gonna be more than one conversation about this. And again, if you communicate transparently, and you put the onus of responsibility on yourself, you’re simply informing the person. So you can say, you know, a year ago, we my contest came out, and I know that you and I had to have a hard talk about the way you responded to that. And the way you talked about it. And I know, you might have thought that it was just about the podcast, but you’ve got to understand that the comments you’re making are about my person about who I am, and how I move through the world. And that’s like an umbrella over everything. And when you talk to me in this way, and you say comments like this, it makes me feel x, I start to think why. And then it makes me do a and when you walk somebody through the process, you’re making me feel small, it’s making me not want to tell you things. So as a result, I don’t call you as often, then the natural consequence of that train is, and we’re not talking as often as I wait could. And that makes me sad. If you’re good with that amount of distance, then I guess we’re fine. Otherwise, we’re going to continue to drift apart. And before that happens, I at least thought it was worth the conversation.
And so when you’re asking somebody, or you’re setting this boundary, and this might be I guess this is a different I’m just going to ask it the way it’s coming to me. What What is it I really want them to do? Do I want them to change their behavior? Or do I just because? Because I struggle with that a little bit too. And maybe that’s the people pleaser in me.
Well, part of it too, is the first question. I’m gonna back up and ask you a different question. So this is a person who has been in your life for 30 years. If you never talk to them again. Would you be okay?
Okay. So why is the relationship with someone who chronically puts you down? Why is that lasted 30 years? out of habit?
Um, yeah. Yeah, I would say or proximity.
Okay. So because it’s gone on and this has been the way it’s always been. You’re now in this like, on again, off again, 30 year pattern of occasionally being treated and being you know, sort of made to be small. The first thing you want to decide is how important is this relationship to me? How much do I need it? How much am I tied to the outcome of it? Because the conversation we’re having about boundaries, Betsy, it’s really hard. And we can do this amount of work for every single relationship. ship that presses our buttons. If the woman at Starbucks rolls her eyes, because she thinks my coffee order is too high maintenance, I really have to decide how much time and energy to give that because she’s only the woman at Starbucks, we have to decide before we even have the hard conversation, that we’re having a hard conversation for ourselves, because the relationship is important to us. Otherwise, the boundary is going to be about pulling away from the relationship because these conversations are hard. And we don’t just have them on principle, we have them because the person is important to us. If it’s just a principle, we can go sell them, we can pull away, we can withdraw, it doesn’t matter, right? We’re doing this because the relationship is important. So we want to lead with that.
Right? Okay. So this is, although that should have been obvious to me, maybe somebody else is just like me and thinking through this. So it’s not like every single, like every relationship you have every Facebook friend you have, you’ve never even met them. And they’re saying something that you feel is stepping over the boundary, you just delete them, you don’t have to have the conversation. But if it’s like I’m talking about it’s a 30 year relationship, they are close to somebody I love, and so that they will continue to be in my life. And so that’s a worthwhile relationship to, to clarify and to set the boundary verbally.
Yes. And to let them know simply what’s going to happen. If this doesn’t change, just say, Listen, you and I both love the same person. So we’re going to be in each other’s circles for a while. But I need you to know that going forward, I don’t plan on sharing personal information, because clearly you’re not that into me. And that’s fine. Yeah, because you’re really into the person that we both care about,
right. And I really like that because that is really good. See, Heather, this is why your two timer. This is really good. Because it doesn’t mean that I have to be close with the person, it doesn’t even mean if I stay in a relationship with them, it has to be a close relationship, it may be that you’re setting the boundary and you’re stepping back. And that’s your new normal. And that’s really good. It’s not about like fixing it and getting close, it’s just about getting comfortable.
And I think that one of the things we have to think about, and this is where I like this is where the bread and butter is. So many people focus on the words you say and the external conversations you have, I talked to people a lot about the idea of knowing what their internal boundaries are. And knowing what they’re going to put up with what they’re not going to be put up with, who they’re willing to spend their time with who they’re not, and recognize that in order to get the life we want, and spending our free time in the way we want to and whatever is going to fill up our gas tank is largely up to us. And we can have boundaries that no one else knows about. So for example, there’s family members that if they were to call some people may not answer until it’s at the start of the day for other people is I’m not this person’s going to interrupt my work day, I’m not having that conversation until I’m done everything I need to do, we can manage our internal clock, like the first example that comes to mind. And this is this isn’t necessarily the best example. But I think it gives people some insight. So when I was a therapist, I knew that I couldn’t work with my most depressed people. So if I had at any point in time, by have significantly deeply wounded, depressed, traumatized clients, I could not schedule all five of them on the same day, because it would wipe me out for the week. So I would look at my schedule, and I would see that two of them were already in on a Tuesday. So even if I had more openings on Tuesday, the remaining three didn’t get a Tuesday offering. I didn’t say it out loud, I never said so just so you know, I have five really deeply depressed people. And I have this rule that you can’t come in all together on a Tuesday. So I need to spread you out. We can manage things like that on our own. So another example is I had a client who, whose uncle at Thanksgiving would start to make really racist, profane inappropriate comments after you’d had a drink or two. And every holiday was the same thing. And my client would just leave the room or go outside or keep dodging me uncle. And then she had a kid. And she came to me because she says I don’t know how to tell my mother that I don’t want to come to Thanksgiving because I don’t want my daughter exposed to my uncle. And I said I was like, Well, do you have to you know, how do you have that conversation? Because you’ve already told your mother 1000 times that you don’t like the way your uncle is, and your mother wants everybody there and family’s family, your mother’s already told you she’s not making a change is your boundary, I’m not going to Thanksgiving at all, or a 10 year boundary be, we’re showing up for appetizers. And we’re going to come an hour early. So Grandma, you can spend some time with our daughter, and we can see everybody. But then after appetizers, we’re going to go home and have her own family Thanksgiving. And that you’re not dealing with the uncle who’s clearly never going to change. You’re not dealing with the mother who’s already accepted this crazy behavior for years and years on end, and you’re not compromising what you’re subjecting your daughter to?
Yeah, I really like that. All right. So I have another question. What about and when you started on this, I started thinking about this. What about if you make dinner every night, and I use this example, about a different thing. But I use the same example in my group the other day, my husband knows dinner served at 630. And so he comes home at 630 if he wants to eat with us, but it wasn’t always like that, right? It would he would come home. And he would come home and be 20 minutes late 30 minutes late, he wouldn’t even text. And I would get really upset. So I would start thinking like you don’t respect me, you think I’m less than you, you know what I mean? Like, I’m the one cooking dinner. But one day, he didn’t come home. And all of a sudden I thought oh my god, I hope nothing happened to him, like I hope nothing’s wrong. And so when he came home, my reaction to him was much different than it usually was. Whereas before I was angry and bitter and mad. Now I was like, Oh my god, I’m so glad you’re safe. It’s so good to have you. Thank you so much for working so hard, right? So, so his interaction with me was much different. And it and that, for me was like a moment where I was like, wow, how I react changes my reality, right? Because it changed his behavior too. But when I posted that we all started talking inside the group because a lot of people said, my husband will never show up for time for dinner on time. But how? How do you set a boundary? And for me, it was what we eat at 630? If you’re not there, then you eat by yourself. But is that? Am I thinking through that? Right? Was that what you will wait question and my question back isn’t setting the boundary? It’s
already following through. It’s the same thing when we set curfews on kids or we set rules and limits on kids and what’s tolerated and not. How many times have we been in a department store and we hear some poor mother though, if you do that one more time. If you do that one more time, if you do that one more time. It’s not about how you set the boundary. It’s after you’ve let your husband know that dinner served at 630. You’re not serving three meals you’re not treating, you know, yeah, serving the kid who’s come home from soccer pack practice starving at five o’clock, and then the daughter who’s coming in from play practice at 530. And then the husband who wanders through at 715, that dinners at this time. And when you say that, and the husband comes home late, he eats by himself,
right? Does he do that part happens, right? Yes, yes. Well, that happens at my house because I got because I got mad. Yeah,
yeah. Really. So it’s
not necessary. It’s it that is even taking it one step further. Right. So it’s not just about setting the boundary. It’s really about following through with the boundary you set because once you set the boundary, they have a choice. And their choice has consequences.
Yes, absolutely. And it’s recognizing that it is in the follow up, because think about the kid, right? Think about that one more time, kid. The reason why that kid does it again, is because they keep waiting for that one more time. And they keep doing it because there’s no limit and limits make people feel safe. They don’t just make kids feel safe. We’re all grown up kids. And when we know the lines on which we’re able to operate, everything feels better and safer. And so when I tell and I used to do parent coaching with parents and I would say to the parent, I said when you set a limit and you don’t follow through, the kid doesn’t know who’s in charge. And then as a result, they keep pushing you and pushing you until they get the boundary. When we’re talking about something like I am only willing to make one meal and serve it at this one time. What we’re telling people is I am not taking care of you 24 seven, I’m willing to take care of you nightly at 630. If you need more time than that, you need to take care of yourself and then follow through. But if you keep making dinner if you keep the place Warm if you keep texting and saying is it only going to be five more minutes? Are you close? How close? If you do all of that you’re teaching the person that you have a soft boundary. And of course, if they have a choice between stepping on yourself boundary and getting their own needs met, they’re going to choose the soft boundary,
huh? Yes, cuz I would write because that’s Andrew, I think when you set up boundaries, I think that changes the vibe you give out. So that then you’re not the obits here. So you’re too nice, because even with you, Heather, I reached out to you to get advice. But I was very not hesitant. hesitant is not the right word. I was very respectful of your time. And I said, I don’t know if you can answer this. Do I? Like honestly, I was like, do I need to hire you to ask you this question? And it’s really because I respected your time. Now you are gracious enough to answer and give me really incredible advice. And so I wanted to help you by hopefully sharing your message on this podcast and introducing you to more people. So but I think that’s all in the vibe that you give out.
Right? Well, the other thing too, is that we have we can’t manage. And the people pleasers do this all the time. They not only try to manage their own boundaries, they try to imagine what the other person’s boundary is and manage that. And what I always tell people is, I am responsible for my own boundaries. If I give my time, and it’s not respected, that’s on me. And it’s on me to say, hey, you’re asking me a question after business hours, or Hey, this is your third question this week. And if I don’t, I’ve taught people how to treat me. So they get to ask the question you get to ask until somebody says no. And if you’re worried about a boundary, like ask back, like, I remember like, so I was, I couldn’t figure out in texting. And somebody said, Oh, I’ll get on a call with you. And I immediately was like, Oh, we will. But I, it’s just so important that I need to pay you like I didn’t know what the boundary was. And it gets super awkward. So I said, like, like, you have the free time to help me and you don’t mind, you know, helping a friend out. I said, because this isn’t something I can pay for right now. And I said it and it’s Yeah, for awkward. But then it’s so much easier to just enjoy the gift of somebody’s time. But we either have to set the boundary or when we don’t know what someone else’s boundary is ask. So I have clients, for example, who have I don’t know if you’ve heard of the app called boxer, it’s like a walkie talkie. Yep, yep. So when they purchase time with me, and they’re working with me on their programs and plans, they get boxer access to me and I’ve let them know that it’s Monday through Friday during business hours Eastern Standard Time. And if I get a message, after that time, I will respond the following day. Now sometimes if I’m bored is anything and there’s a rerun on TV and that boxer thing dings. It’s on me to decide whether or not I’m going to be consistent with my own boundary. Because as soon as I listen to the message and reply on a Monday night at seven o’clock I am now I told my client, like it’s okay, every once in a while, I’m gonna answer you Monday at seven o’clock. The the issue around boundaries is so personal to how much we’re willing to set them and maintain them even when we don’t need them. Because a lot of times what happens is, we only do it when it’s necessary. So that means we’re really already pissed off feeling stepped on feeling disrespected, need to feel small. And then all the other times when it’s not that big of a deal, we kind of let it go. When we move through the world is boundaries, people who know how we expect and deserve to be treated, and we respond consistently. And we take care of ourselves with the same measure, those conversations start to go away. When you’re you’ve never done it before. You are talking all the time, because you have a ton of conversations to have with people about what you expect, what you need, what you don’t need, what you’re willing to do. But once everybody knows who you are and how you move through the world, they adjust.
Hmm, that’s incredible advice is to not let the boundaries go just because you don’t need them at that moment. That’s really great. Because when you do that, it creates
confusion for the other person.
Yeah, sure, sure.
They don’t, they don’t know where they stand. It’s kind of like, you know, if you’re again, it’s so easy to teach this in terms of moms and kids. So if moms tell kids like you don’t have to nap, but you have to be quiet for an hour a day. Because moms know internally. This by the way would be a really great boundary for a lot of moms to set They never said, But um, to say I need an hour of quiet you have to be in your room you have to self soothe, you have to self entertain. And then the mom is having a really good day and got a good workout in and doesn’t have any chores, and decides to say, hey, let’s throw caution to the wind and go to the park. Instead, mom needs to know the next day to say, Hey, I know we had a special day yesterday and we went to the park and you didn’t have your hour of quiet time, I just want to let you know that that’s not a new thing. That was special. And we need to go back to quiet hour today. But what happens is, nobody wants to have these conversations out loud. And they expect the people who move through them and the wisdom in the world to just automatically know, sense and understand this. And it simply doesn’t work that way.
It’s almost like saying the obvious thing, even if you think the person knows it, almost not like treat them like a kid but treat them like a kid in that I’m going to assume they don’t know. And I’m going to explain. Yes.
And one of the things I think is really important here because a lot of people if they’re if they see the word boundary in the episode title, if they have toxic people in their lives, really damaging her whole mentally ill unstable people, they’re going to come here and they’re going to listen to this episode. And they’re going to say, Betsy, and Heather, you have no idea what you’re talking about. None of this works. And because toxic people and people who are struggling with their own mental illness are incapable sometimes of respecting boundaries. And when we preach boundaries to people who have toxicity in their lives, and they set the boundaries and they do the things we’re saying and it doesn’t work, they start to tell themselves the story that the problem is, then I it was really important to me today to leave that a little bit, at least as a footnote, or bringing into the room of the conversation with boundaries that when we talk about the person who you know, the neighbor who just rolls their eyes at you or the client who doesn’t know what time of day is appropriate to message you like we’re talking about the regular everyday boundaries. But sometimes we’re managing people who are causing us heartbreak, because their own hearts are breaking, or who are riddled with mental illness are riddled with addiction, personality disorders come to mind. And a lot of these skills and conversations are going to be really important for the healthy individual in that relationship to have. But what’s important that scene for people listening who find themselves in this situation they need to know is when we set a boundary, we have no control over whether or not the person listens to it, it hears it and respects it. We’re not setting the boundary for the other person. We’re setting it for ourselves, and we can’t measure its success, or our ability to be healthy by how the other person responds to our boundary. We can only measure that by Can we say what we mean what we say. And Jake, we do it in a way that feels transparent, and healthy and true to us.
Yeah, that’s the we’re gonna leave it right at that. That was some good stuff. Thank you so much, Heather. This was so valuable. I know, just for me, personally, I really enjoyed this. And I know that people are gonna listen and get tons and tons of value of this show. So thank you so much for being on.
Oh, you’re you’re very welcome. I think this is an important conversation. And I really encourage people to really look within themselves around the boundaries that they have with themselves and the you know, personally, that they’re holding with themselves, whether or not they’re holding them with other people and decide what they want to do next, as a result.
Tell everybody one more time where they can find you.
Sure. Well, I have a podcast of my own. So yeah, people Yeah, yeah. So stop me over at my podcast. It’s called business mindset mastery. And you can find it on iTunes. And people who use the Android phones, they can’t I don’t think they can find me on Stitcher. So you can find me through the podcast app. But you’re also welcome to check me out over at Facebook. I have a Facebook group called choose to have it all or you can come to my website and learn how to work with me there and choose to have it all
calm. And I’ll put all the links to all that stuff in the show notes so that people can find it really easy.
Oh, fantastic. Thanks so much. I I think that this is a really important conversation, Betsy. And one of the things that I think would be helpful like going forward, like the takeaway for your listener is to decide for themselves who they want to be. How they want to move through the world and whether or not the treatment they’re receiving is consistent with that.
Yeah, that’s really good thought. Thank you so much, Heather.
You guys, this was a great conversation. Thanks so much for having me.
Thanks for spending some time with me today. Remember, you can find me inside my facebook group at SS lB community.com. That stands for start small, live big community.com. And as always, here’s a little message from my