Episode 385: How to Be a Boundary Boss with Terri Cole - Your Kick-Ass Life

PODCAST & BLOG

PODCAST & BLOG

Terri Cole is back on the show! Terri is a licensed psychotherapist and global leading expert in female empowerment. And, has experience in many topics, including codependency and boundaries. In this episode, she joins me to talk about boundaries and her new book, Boundary Boss: The Essential to Talk True, And (Finally) Live Free.  

Terri busts common myths about boundaries, as well as the beliefs bestowed on us of what a woman should be and how it plays into having disordered boundaries: “It is more important to be perceived as nice, then perceived as authentic.” According to Terri, that is a setup for a boundary disaster.  

In this episode you’ll hear: 

  • “You teach what you need to learn.” Why Terri decided to write a book about boundaries. (6:58)
  • The art of drawing boundaries with ease and grace does not mean creating conflict. (9:50)
  • Having a unique “Boundary Blueprint,” and common themes Terri sees in her work. (10:49)
  • The biggest myths around setting and enforcing good boundaries. (15:09)
  • How good boundaries can help enhance relationships. (19:09)
  • How boundaries have been tested for people over the last year and how can we use this time to recalibrate. (35:00)
  • A step you can take to stand in your boundary when someone is extremely unhappy with it. (42:30)

Resources mentioned in this episode:
Terri’s website and book
Terri Cole is offering a free gift to all MSN listeners: Visit Boundaryboss.me/kickass to grab 5 kickass boundary strategies + scripts
Episode 193: High functioning codependency: What is it and how to heal with Terri Cole
Getting the Love You Want, Harville Hendrix
Keeping the Love You Find, Harville Hendrix

YKAL is supported by:
Green Chef – Use code 90kickass to get $90 off including free shipping.

Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist and global leading expert in female empowerment. For two decades, Terri has worked with some of the world’s most well-known personalities from international pop stars to Fortune 500 CEOs. Terri has a gift for making complex psychological concepts accessible, and then actionable so that clients and students achieve sustainable change i.e. true transformation. She empowers over 250,000 people weekly through her blog, social media platform, signature courses, Real Love Revolution, and Boundary Bootcamp + her popular podcast, The Terri Cole Show. And now through her new book Boundary Boss: The Essential Guide to Talk True, Be Seen, and Finally Live Free. Learn more about her work at terricole.com.

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SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Terri Cole 00:00
When someone has trauma in their life, what ends up happening is that our defense mechanisms that are so securely in place like our, we have habitual behavior, habitual thought patterns, I get up, I do this I burn through the day I come home, I do this. All of that changed for lots and lots and lots of folks. And so as much as people felt a lot of anxiety and felt very unsteady about that. This moment has been in still is an opportunity to do a lot of growth, a lot of growing in a short period of time. So, anything dramatic or traumatic, therapeutically speaking, it's like it opens the window to transformation. You just got to like stick your arm or your foot through, and then throw your body through and decide you're going to do something different. You're going to learn something different. You're going to, instead of just being afraid you're going to uncover why it's so hard.

Andrea 00:56
You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast with Andrea Owen Episode Number 385 with guest Terri Cole. Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast, your guide for strategies, tools and insight to empower yourself. I'm your host, Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, a life coach since 2007, an author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, Master resilience and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go.

Andrea 01:48
Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of the podcast. I'm so glad that you're here. Does everyone love the new intro music? I hope you do. Because I am mildly obsessed. I love it so much. I can't not wiggle my butt around in my chair when I hear it. So again, that's why I knew it was perfect intro music for this show.

And so, I'm recording this on a Monday. And on Saturday due for yesterday. I got my Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, and it's the one-shot. And so I got it. Let's see, it was like 12:30 in the afternoon. And then I went home you know, like all anticipating the side effects. Felt okay, went to bed woke up twice throughout the night, which isn't that unusual. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night. Welcome to middle age. And I woke up at five in the morning feeling like I got hit by a truck. Yes, it and I don't get sick all that often. I'm very grateful for my strong immune system as it seems. And I woke up and it felt like a hangover. So, it was mildly triggering to feel that. I was like, oh my god, just a really bad headache in the front. My ears felt a little bit clogged. I got up, took some ibuprofen, went back to sleep, slept for a couple more hours. And then when I woke up felt a ton better. I think it was the ibuprofen honestly, that helped and the extra sleep. And throughout that day, I felt a little bit rundown kind of like I'd been fighting something off yesterday. And then that was it. I woke up this morning and feel almost 100%, probably like 97.3% myself. But I'm just I'm glad to have that done. And hoping that we can move away from all of how hard it's been and that kids can go back to school. People can go back to work if you want to. I know a lot of you are going to continue to work from home and just get on with your lives.

Also, just a quick reminder, if you're not following me on Instagram, I'm @HeyAndreaOwen and over there. You know what is one of my favorite things, a couple of my favorite things on Instagram when you tag me on Insta on the gram and that's what we're calling it these days. When you're listening to the podcast, I am going to start to always repost those and sometimes I would miss them and then I was gone for eight months. So, from nowhere on out, if you take a screenshot of listening to the show, tag me and/or tag me while you're reading one of my books, I will always give you a shout out I appreciate you sharing so much.

All right. Let's talk about our guest today. Terri Cole has been on at least twice before. She is such an incredible expert around many topics mainly codependence and boundaries. So, if you're like many of us, you might struggle with some codependence and when we struggle with codependence, we have poor boundaries. And so these two topics go hand in hand. If you haven't listened to the two additional shows that she's been on, I'm gonna drop those in the show notes because especially the one around codependence so incredibly insightful and helpful.

But today she's here to talk about boundaries and her new book. So, for those of you that are new to Terri, let me tell you a little bit about her. Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist and global leading expert in female empowerment. For two decades, Terri has worked with some of the world's most well-known personalities from international pop stars to fortune 500 CEOs. Terri has a gift for making complex psychological concepts accessible, and then actionable so that clients and students achieve a sustainable change. She empowers over 250,000 people weekly through her blog, social media platforms, signature courses, Real Love Revolution and Boundary Boot Camp, and her popular podcast, The Terri Cole Show. And now through her new book Boundary Boss: The Essential Guide to Talk True, Be Seen and (Finally) Live Free. So, without further ado, here is Terri.

Andrea 06:09
Terri Cole, welcome back to the show.

Terri Cole 06:11
Thank you so much for having me.

Andrea 06:14
I have a very short list of people's voices, who I think are the best ever. One of them is George Michael. The other one is my mother. And Terri Cole.

Terri Cole 06:25
I love that, thank you.

Andrea 06:28
Your voice is just so soothing and wise and matches who you are as a person. And so, I'm excited to have you back on the show. I think this is the third might possibly be the fourth time. It's extra special to have you on because we're talking about your book about boundaries. And I know that you've taught you've come on in the past and talked about codependence, you've talked about recovery. You've talked about love and relationships. So why did you decide to write a book on boundaries?

Terri Cole 06:58
Well, you know, what do they say, you know, you teach what you most need to learn,

Andrea 07:02
Oh okay. That’s true.

Terri Cole 07:05
And what I found being, you know, been a psychotherapist for the past almost 25 years. And I started seeing all of these, um, it was like patterns in pain of my clients. And as I continued on, once I became more seasoned as a therapist, I was like, wow, all of these things go back to an inability to set limits, having no language, like not knowing the language of boundaries. Not being able to as the subtitle of the book says talk true, like, just tell the truth about how you feel. And so, I took copious notes over many years. And I just started becoming fascinated because of my own journey to write I, I was my clients, I am my readers, you know, where I was a boundary disaster. And part of you know, what I share in the book is how I went from being a boundary disaster to a boundary master and then thought, wow, if other people just had this, this methodology that I've created with my therapy clients, this step-by-step process to understand why you relate the way you do in your relationships, when it comes to boundaries, and how to change what isn't working, that would be something really valuable. And so that's how I chose this topic.

Andrea 08:28
Well, it's, it's so essential, and I noticed that too, so I didn't know early on, you know, when I started my life coaching practice, and started writing books, how important and universal boundaries struggles are, but what I came to notice, especially after I wrote my second book was that if someone struggles with, and especially you know, my audience is largely women. They struggle with perfectionism, people-pleasing, any kind of addiction. codependence numbing out like you hit the root of it. You have a boundary problem.

Terri Cole 08:58
Yep.

Andrea 08:59
And no one really teaches it. I don't even think I knew what that word was until I was in my 20s.

Terri Cole 09:05
Oh, nobody does though. Because we're putting out the fires that are dysfunctional boundary behavior creates. And we're focusing on that fire, that thing what that person said, not realizing that if we can get proactive with our boundaries and our precise communication, we wouldn't have all those fires.

Andrea 09:28
You made me think of something that I want to ask you because I hear this all the time. And I'm sure you do too. I hear people say well, I just don't like conflict. I have my opinion about that. I want to know what you think when you hear a woman saying that?

Terri Cole 09:45
If someone says I don't like conflict I want to be like ‘Hi welcome to being a human being on planet earth.

Andrea 09:48
Right. I don’t want to know anyone who likes conflict.

Terri Cole 09:50
Yes, like we're not WWE like wrestlers. Do you know? Most most people don't love it. So, if you say I don't like conflict, what I would really say is, why do you think that learning this, the art of drawing boundaries with ease and grace equals conflict?

Andrea 10:18
That's the question to ask yourself. Yep, start there. I love that.

Terri Cole 10:21
Because it's a limiting belief, right? That brings us to, you know, all of us have this paradigm in the unconscious mind. Very unique, right? Yours is unique to you. Mine is unique to me. I call this your ‘boundary blueprint’. And it's basically what we learned in the family we grew up in. The culture, the country, the people we hang around with all of it, about boundaries. And we don't even know that, you know…

Andrea 10:49
Yeah, okay, the ‘boundary blueprint’. I love that. So, can you give us some examples, even if you gave them in the book, but like, the common themes that you see with a lot of your clients, and the people that that follow your work?

Terri Cole 11:00
Well, one of the top ones for women, you know, folks who are actually, you know, raised as women, is that niceness becomes this quote, unquote, virtue, above all other things. That it's more important to be perceived as nice than it is to be perceived as authentic, or honest. And that is a setup for being a boundary disaster from the get like, literally from the beginning of life, where if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Really? Why? How about I could say something real, that maybe isn't nice, but it doesn't have to be mean, either.

Andrea 11:40
It can still be kind.

Terri Cole 11:42
Without a doubt, all about. As women, we are socialized to believe that, you know, femininity means being completely selfless. It means giving someone else, anyone else, the shirt off your back, so to speak, giving, giving giving, like being this endless, you know, as Dr. Harriet Lerner one of my faves says, you know, it's like we're raised to be there, you know, endless, like fill-up stations, right? That that we're we feel guilty if you know, people just come on by we fill them up and they leave. Now I butchered her quote, but you get the point.

Andrea 11:58
Yeah.

Terri Cole 12:00
Where we learn that to be a good partner, to be a good mother, to be a good friend, that you need to not have good boundaries. I don't want to hurt someone's feelings. You shouldn't hurt someone's feelings. You're like, okay, so here's the question. So, when we really break it down. If you're saying yes, when you really want to say no, because you're trying to be nice, hi, are you actually being nice? Are you just being dishonest? But we're taught that you know, yeah.

Andrea 12:58
Yeah. I remember in high school saying yes to this boy, I think I was only a freshman or a sophomore to the homecoming dance. And I didn't want to go with him. He wasn't creepy. I just didn't, I didn't want to go with them. And I said yes because I didn't want to hurt his feelings. And, and I know that my story is not uncommon. But that is the first memory I have of doing something. There was a pretty big action, like going on a date with this was to a formal dance. And I didn't I didn't want to go but I also didn't want to hurt his feelings.

Terri Cole 13:26
Right? But look, that's a perfect example, Andrew, because look at that. It's basically saying, how this person feels, and what he perceives, is more important than how I feel and my truth. Right? Because now, now you go to a fancy dance where the guy is gonna be like, hey, as next Saturday night, let's do pizza. You're like, Oh, my God, no, like, like, and then we get bitter because we're like, dude, if you knew how much, you know, I had to force myself to do that. But why are you forcing yourself to do it? I mean, I know why you did. But we're talking about being grown up in our lives. And these things are still happening, as a different version of going to the prom with someone you don't want to go to the prom with. All-day, every day.

Andrea 14:20
Yeah, yeah. And it became a theme for my 20s and into my 30s until I finally figured it out and had to, and I don't and I don't want to be flippant about that it was and I would love for you to maybe talk about about this a little bit is that I have found that unlearning these old beliefs that have been bestowed on to us that have been probably the beliefs from our mother and our mother's mother and our mother's mother. Long before we were even a twinkle in our parents’ eyes.

It's complicated and it takes a lot of work and introspection and self-compassion. And to me, if this feels like PhD level work is unlearning the conditioning and, for lack of a better word training that we have had as women. What do you think?

Terri Cole 15:09
Um, yeah. To all of that. And you know, the way that I described the ‘boundary blueprint’, it's like an architectural blueprint for a house that someone else designed decades, even centuries ago. And if we don't look at it, if we don't bring it up from the unconscious mind, or the basement, as I call it, and bring it into light, it goes unquestioned or unchallenged. We think, ‘oh, this is just the way relationships are, I need to give in to what my partner wants’. That's being a good partner, or, I need, to whatever the limiting belief may be. And now that's not to say, of course, whoever raised you your parental impactors, as I called them, the adults in your life. Of course, they taught you great things, too. But the great thing is they're not causing you pain.

So, I focused on the things that are limiting your ability to create the life, the relationships, the friendships, the career that you want. Because having disordered boundaries, and we're not going to say good or bad, you know? Because there are so many myths around boundaries, where it isn't good or bad, it's are they effective? Or are they ineffective? Do they get you closer to what you want in life? Are they aligned with who you are? Or are they dysfunctional, they get you further away from the things you want in life. Further away from people knowing you, like actually knowing you because we could do this forever. We could go on forever and ever. And it's not, that's just one way of having disordered boundary boundaries that are too malleable, right? That they're, they're too porous.

They're also boundaries that are too rigid. Yeah. If you get super defensive, if you can't be in the presence of someone who thinks something differently of you, if you can't accept another person’s ‘no’. And if you take that super personally, and you know, I'm shouting out to the codependents in the crowd, because I feel you, I know you, I was you. I am a recovering, high cut, recovering high functioning codependent, as I call it. And so, it's again, none of this is judgment.

So back to what you said, I agree that it takes time. But it is such a worthy endeavor. And as the book that just came out yesterday, can teach you. It's not my book is not just a book, it's also a workbook. There are also meditations. Like, it's an entire way of shifting your mindset and realizing that you can do all of this with ease with grace and when it's appropriate, with love. So that's what being a boundary master means. It doesn't mean you go around balling people out all day or having a fistfight in the supermarket, where you know how people think that, like, the myths around boundaries are like, if you have good boundaries, you're a bitch.

Andrea 18:11
Yeah, you're like shaking your finger in people's faces. Like, that's not what it looks like.

Terri Cole 18:15
It's so not. But I do think that, that I'm hoping that this book, you know, that I've poured my heart and soul into, will be dispelling those myths and having being a ‘boundary boss’ is something that is aspiration, it's becoming literally fluent in the language of boundaries, because how can you know when people go, I'm so bad at this or I don't know how to do it. I'm like, hi. That's like, expecting to know how to do it is like thinking that you could just pray hard enough to wake up fluent in French tomorrow. Like, how can you know you need someone to teach you. And you need language scripts practice. Exactly. It's just like, think of it as like, Babel, right? Isn't that like one of those language things or whatever?

Andrea 18:55
Or Rosetta Stone.

Terri Cole 18:58
Rosetta Stone for boundaries. That's what the book is.

Andrea 19:09
Awesome. So Boundary Boss: The Essential Guide to Talk True, Be Seen and (Finally) Live Free. The link is in the show notes, everyone. We're going to talk about some free gifts that you can get that that will help you with this book from Terri in just a minute.

I'm interrupting this conversation to bring you a few words from one of our sponsors. One thing I've been focusing on a lot over the last couple of years is how to unload some of the mental labor it takes just to be an adult. Deciding on meals, making a shopping list, doing the shopping, preparing the food and then cooking are several things I needed help with. So, my husband Jason and I turned to Green Chef. Ingredients come premeasured, perfectly portioned and mostly prepped. Because of that, that's one of the many reasons I love Green Chef because it's so easy to have My kids help us cook these meals. Green Chef is the most sustainable meal kit offsetting 100% of its direct carbon emissions and plastic packaging in every box. So, you can not only feel great about what you're eating, but also how it got to your table. Green Chef is a USDA certified organic company includes recipes that are paleo keto, And plant-powered diets. They are the number one meal kit for eating, well go to GreenChef.com/90kicKass and use code 90KICKASS to get $90 off, including free shipping. That's GreenChef.com/90kicKass and use code 90KICKASS to get $90 off and free shipping. And thank you for supporting our sponsors, because that, in turn, supports this show.
But I want to ask about good boundaries. And what that has to do with relationships. Like it's sort of obvious, but can you talk about? I think specifically how good boundaries will help someone in their romantic relationships, whether they're single or dating, or, or in a partner relationship. Right?

Terri Cole 21:13
Okay, so let's say that you're single, when you're dating, if you are a ‘boundary boss’, you can set boundaries and expectations early and often. Meaning, so let's say you're dating someone you know, you're texting back and forth with or whatever they say, ‘I will text you on Friday, and let's get together Friday night. Does that work for you?’. You go ‘Okay’, then they don't text you until 11pm on Friday night. And they say, ‘What's up?’

Andrea 21:45
Ew Huh? Yes, that would be my response.

Terri Cole 21:48
Imagine if you just wrote back gross. Anyway. That's it. But what do you do? You know, a lot of times, if we don't like quote, unquote, confrontation, we're like, um, nothing, but we're short. We'll tell them you know, how we feel with indirect communication. We don't respond at all exactly. Right. Maybe we don't respond. Or we say, ‘oh when I didn't hear from you today about the plans you said we'd have tonight. I just thought you had a flaky moment. I hope you had a great day. I'm reading a great book about hitting the sec’… or whatever, right? You can call the person out without being demanding. Expecting someone to keep their word is not unreasonable. It doesn't make you difficult but colluding with the lowest part of that other person is literally you. Like, you know, closing the door and locking it in the prison of like a bad relationship.

Andrea 22:54
I think people are having like the moment where, you know, they get that pit in their stomach listening to this, they're like, Oh, no. Oh my gosh, yeah, you could reply to that text and say I'm reading a really great book. It's called Boundary Boss. Exactly her text to you. Yeah.

Terri Cole 23:16
And let's do that. Let's do the committed relationship one.

Andrea 23:19
Okay. Yes, give us an example.

Terri Cole 23:21
Okay. So if you're, especially if you're in a committed relationship, and it's even been only a year, but then I have a lot of people write to me, and they've been in committed relationships like me for 24 years, for 30 years, for 15 years. You know, you have established a boundary dance between you. I do this, you do that. You do that I do this. So, I teach in the book itself and in the courses that I teach and boundaries, how do we slowly change the dance? Because a lot of times, we agreed to certain dance steps when we were a lot younger, that we're really resenting the crap out of now. So, the first instinct a lot of people are like, ‘I can't wait to tell them everything is gonna change. I can't wait to like get the Billboard and be like, there's a new boundary sheriff in town’. You know what I mean? So, we're not doing that ever because nobody ever wants to hear that and is not they will not be…Andrea 24:21
On that used to be like, I can't wait to tell him all the things he's doing wrong.

Terri Cole 24:27
I can't wait to tear that one down. Yeah, I can't wait to tell them what a boundary bully he is. I can't wait. It's gonna be amazing. So, we're not gonna do that. But you can slowly but surely first I have you do an inventory of like, what about the boundary dance you're doing right now, what behaviors and all of your relationships, not just your romantic one because clearly, we have boundaries or dysfunctional or healthy boundaries with every person we have a relationship with. So, you start by doing an inventory and going oh, I really don't like that. Every time my person is always late. I'm home making dinner, or you know, that sounds like gender normative. But you know what I'm saying whatever, or I've done whatever the thing is, and they're supposed to be here. And they're 20 minutes late all the time. And they never call me, although I've repeatedly asked them to just send me a text, that they're going to be late. So, there is a proactive way of having the conversation, instead of I mean, who the hell wants to have the same fight for 55 decades? Like, you can.

Andrea 24:55
Yeah.

Terri Cole 24:57
And with no intervention, you probably will. But you don't have to. So, you can say, hey, we've had this conversation before, I'd like to make a simple request, that if you're going to be late tonight, that you just text me and let me know. And if you're more than 10 minutes late, and you don't…, this is what the repeat offender, like someone who you've already asked them to do it 44 times and they haven't, I'm going to eat without you, and put yourself back in the fridge. Because I don't want to spend another night fighting with you about this or being resentful. Like I put in the effort. And I would like or whatever. So, so you can back. That's like adding a consequence. And now you don't do that the first time. You you set a boundary.

So, let's say you never said anything to the person. When you go, hey, I'd like to make a simple request that if you're going to be more than 10 minutes late, you text me. And then I'll know when when we're going to eat or whatever. The first time, they don't do that. You can say, hey, three days ago, I asked you and you agreed, because part of it is you want to get the person to enroll and kind of agree with it. Can we agree to that? Will you agree to that? They say yes, yes, I'll do it. And then you can say, hey, you know, three days ago, you said you would do it? Today, you were 25 minutes late, and you didn't let me know. Oh, why are you being so difficult? It's whatever and say, okay, I'm going to tell you though, I will, you know, I really need you to keep your word. And it bums me out. Because now we spend the rest of the night and I'm annoyed. Like I don't feel like hanging out with you. I feel unimportant to you. I feel unappreciated, I feel resentful. Exactly. And then we pick a moment if the person continues doing it where you have to set a consequence. And it may not seem like a big deal. But when you change the dance, even if it's just in that might be a silly example, but saying, I'm going to eat without you. And you actually do it. Even if the person acts kind of pissy or offended in the beginning, what you've actually said is, I'm a person who keeps my word. And I really do not, I'm not doing this dance with you anymore. I don't want to fight about the same crap. And that is a better way in sometimes then drawing a boundary than having the same conversation with someone who is not respecting that, because if you haven't enforced your boundaries, they kind of already know you're not going to do that make sense? Exactly. Yes.

So now you're saying that that's how you tell them there's a new boundary sheriff in town? Is that you gently? And you don't have to be super aggro about it. It is totally unnecessary. Yeah, because taking that action is a very powerful beginning of changing things. Speaking up more, prioritizing your own preference. Maybe you're someone in a relationship who's like, I’m easy. You know, me no fuss, no muss. That's, you know what I mean? Like, were a lot of us that used to be a badge of honor. Or maybe that is a badge of honor. And hey, man, maybe you are easing, but I can tell you from being in the trenches with my therapy clients for 25 years. Nobody is that easy. That is a way of avoiding. Like, there's no possible way you have no preferences ever. And so, I'm not saying make up a preference about something you don't have one about. I am saying know your own preferences. I do a huge inventory in the book which is like the okay and not okay list, where every area of your life you start looking at and being like, does this work for me the way we're communicating the amount we're communicating, you look at your finances, you look at everything, because that, it's your life. And so much of the time we become habituated in like settling in areas where we don't need to.

Andrea 29:22
Yeah, settling or worse. Having someone take advantage of our quote unquote niceness taking, basically taking advantage of our poor boundaries.

Terri Cole 29:32
Yeah, but here's the thing we, listen, I promise you that the cracked boundary pot finds the cracked boundary lid. Just like in relationships where you know, Harville Hendricks will talk about that, you know, we attract people who mirror our childhood wounds, and from an optimistic point of view that is so that we can hopefully work them out. And then from a therapeutic point of view of being in the trenches, I can say a lot of times, we just are repeating the painful crap we saw and experienced as opposed to working it out.

Andrea 30:06
That is that that is a great book that has helped me in my marriage, I want to put that link in the show notes. There's two versions, there's Getting The Love You Want, which is for couples, and then what is it finding the love you need? Is that the one that he wrote for singles?

Terri Cole 30:15
No, it's it's Finding The Love You Want, and I think it's then then there's Keeping The Love You Find.

Andrea 30:26
Okay, thank you. Well, we'll work it out. It will be in the show notes for, for anybody who's kind of interested in that theory that Harville Hendricks came up with, it's fascinating.

I love everything you said. And one of the things that's been helpful that I just want to sort of tag on to the lessons you just gave us is what I have found helpful in my marriage is the way that I come from when I'm making a request, that is an uncomfortable conversation, is I am very honest, and say, if I don't say anything, it's exactly what you were saying. If I don't say anything to you about this, I'll become resentful and be passive aggressive, and then be possibly mean and nasty to you about things that don't matter. But the real issue is this other thing over here. And I love you too much. And I love us too much to do that. I think has a different feel to it, then you're doing wrong, and I need you to change it. So I'm happy.

Terri Cole 31:19
Yeah, yes. And also, the whole sentence starter thing, right, like, figuring out how to best approach your person. And I'm not talking about managing, right in the way that like…

Andrea 31:25
Or manipulating.

Terri Cole 31:27
Yes, both. You know, I mean, I learned well, from my mother, you know, men were people to be managed. That's it, you know, and that's not what we're talking about. What we're talking about what you just shared is a way to be successful and to own your part of it, right, because you are 50% of your marriage, and your spouse is 50% of your marriage. And no matter who's doing what, that's literally all it can ever be. You're 50 you have your side of the street. The other person is 50. They have their side of the street. And so, so much of learning to have good boundaries, especially if you have a tendency to go towards codependency is knowing what is your side of the street.

Andrea 32:20
Yeah. Yes, yes. Yes. Yes. So, I have one more question for you. But before that, let's tell everyone about the free gift that they are getting from you. So, do you want me to tell them or you to tell him? I'm very excited about this?

Terri Cole 32:34
No, I'll tell them where to get it. So, BoundaryBoss.me/kickass. And you're going to get five kick ass boundary strategies plus scripts. Yes. Because the words so much of the time. It's the words. And again, these are scripts that you will then make your own. But sometimes, you know, like, when you're writing something, you're like, I just need to, I just need that route, that beginning statement, I just need, how do I open this up? How do I approach it? And so, there are definitely full scripts, but that you can make your own because and the thing with the scripts, though, is that as you go down this path, if people are actually becoming ‘boundary bosses’ and do the whole thing is you realize that having the the words is so important. But getting all of that stuff your, your boundary blueprint, that stuff in the unconscious mind, the basement of your mind, is also incredibly important because you are the way you are for some really good reasons, which doesn't mean you can't change it. But like nothing is wrong with you. You know what I mean? Right?

Andrea 33:48
I’m glad you said that. Exactly. Okay, so BoundaryBoss.me/kickass, kick ass is all one word, and that link again, is in the show notes. I'm just I'm, I got really excited that you have scripts, because again, that that's what I hear so much from people is I don't know what to say. And every time I'm working with a client one on one, and I'm helping them I'm like, well, you could say here's what I would say. They're furiously scribbling. And they're like, hold on, write that down. And it's really it. I have to also acknowledge that how much work I've done to be able to help people through this and I just know that they appreciate those scripts so much. So, thank you so much for forgiving that to everyone else. And…

Terri Cole 34:26
Everyone…I want to say that one of the actually there is a whole entire chapter in the book that is all scripts like what do you say when you're nosy aunt’s like, why don't you have kids yet? What do you like, all the questions? All the scenarios. So literally, there's like, I don't even know 800 there's a zillion scripts in the book itself but towards the end of the book.

Andrea 34:49
Oh my gosh it’s like the glossary. I love it.

Terri Cole 34:52
Someone grossest hitting on you. Where do I get that? Okay. Here we go.

Andrea 34:54
Here's my book. They're gonna have to carry this around in their bag.

Terri Cole 34:59
Indeed.

Andrea 35:00
Okay, I want to talk about 2020. And how difficult it was for so many people. And I think what happened in terms of boundaries is, obviously, people were home, starting to work from home, having to change things with their coworkers. You know, the political, racial, and civil unrest that was happening, you know, the divisiveness, and I feel like boundaries got tested a lot. And not that they weren't before. But how can we use this time to recalibrate and hopefully 2021 will be a better year for boundaries?

Terri Cole 35:36
Well, part of it is the way that I look at the pandemic up and even till now, you know, I mean, is that the change in our lifestyles, nobody was immune, right? Most of us were sheltering in place, and in a way spending a lot, a lot of time with folks that we love, but that we were spending maybe three hours a day with before, and now you're spending all the time. What it really did is like it shone a spotlight, on the boundary dysfunction in so many relationships, and then bring that to the, you know, the public-facing view.

So, you have that which is in your own home, and in your own relationships, in your own family, then the public-facing views. Are you, everyone had different? You know, some people were like, I don't believe in science, and I'm not gonna wear a mask. And if you wear a mask, it's a political statement or whatever. You have to decide, well, if grandpa refuses to wear a mask, I actually was interviewed by the Boston Globe during that time around, what do you do? My father is, you know, wants to see my kids and won't wear a mask? I'm like, but he will. Or don't let him see your kids. Like, how about it's, they lived somewhere warm, I was like, how about they come to the backyard. And if your dad does not have a mask on, and you can give them the choice, he's not even coming on the deck, and he can talk to the kids from the backyard. And that's that, like you, as a parent, have a job, you know, and this woman actually followed up with me, and she was able to do it. And even though the father was kind of a little pissy about it, but she felt really good about herself, because she was protecting what she believed, and wanting to keep her kids safe and really wanting to keep her dad safe as well, because she didn't know if her kids were carriers with no symptoms, like we don't know. And this was relatively early on when the pandemic were really, nobody knew.

So, I think that we were put into situations where that was a woman who would never have drawn a boundary or asserted herself, or spoke truthfully, in that way if it meant going up against her father. It was a very patriarchal family system. And so many of us have been in these brand-new situations where you have to call someone out even though or avoid people altogether, but it's so much anxiety for my clients to of have having people have disagreements about it. And the political thing had already been bad in especially in the US where there people who were like, well, the only way I can still talk to my family is if we, you know, politics is off the table, you know, and I'm like, okay, that that's a boundary, or you can talk respectfully to each other. But it seemed that there was so much polarization that became very difficult. But how is it an opportunity to recalibrate, because that's really the exciting thing is that anytime our regular routine gets interrupted, so when someone has trauma in their life, what ends up happening is that our defense mechanisms that are so securely in place, like our way of habitual behavior, habitual thought patterns, I get up, I do this, I burn through the day I come home, I do this? All of that changed for lots and lots and lots of folks. And so as much as people felt a lot of anxiety and felt very unsteady about that, this moment has been in still is an opportunity to do a lot of growth, a lot of growing in a short period of time.

So, anything dramatic or traumatic, therapeutically speaking, it's like it opens the window to transformation. You just gotta like stick your arm or your foot through, and then throw your body through and decide you're going to do something different. You're going to learn something different. You're going to, instead of just being afraid, you're going to uncover why it's so hard to have that kind of conversation. You're going to have compassion for yourself, and the little kid inside of you, and these are all the things that I teach in the book like it, there's a step-by-step process, that no one expects you to not be able to do this and then to be able to do this like a pro. There is five pillars of self-mastery that I created over the many years I've been doing this and it's baby steps one step at a time. Because it's that consistency that actually creates sustainable change, which is what transformation is, you know, Andrea, because it's like we can change, you can be a vegan, then you're not a vegan, right? That's just a regular change. Transformation is the change that the foundation, something has changed so much that you would never be able to go back to that small box you used to live in.

Andrea 40:27
Yes. Can I? I lied, I have one more question.

Terri Cole 40:29
Sure, of course.

Andrea 40:31
Well, I want to share a story, a personal story, and I'm gonna have to be very vague about the people involved. And then I would love for you to give your advice about what to do when this happens. And I know that you talked about this in the book, but and I've seen this with clients as well. And it happened to me for the first time really in my face.

So, I had set a boundary with someone. And then this person was going through a really hard time and I reached out to this person, this person expressed that they were hurt, basically, by the boundary that I had set. And I made suggestions about you know, like, maybe we should have a conversation with a therapist, and this person got really angry, and started to be really hurtful, like saying mean things hurting my feelings on purpose. And this was our old pattern. And I refused to do that dance anymore. And for a moment, I thought, am I the asshole? Like, did I set a boundary and shouldn't have done it, like, I found myself going to that place of, oh, this person is hurt. And maybe I'm a jerk. Maybe I'm holier than that when think I'm too big for my britches. And, and luckily, I have, you know, friend like you and who can who I can say, am I the asshole and they can talk me off the ledge. And also, if I was the household, they would tell me, but here's what I found is that this person that I set a boundary with didn't like my boundary, they liked me better, and in so many words, this person told me that they liked me better before they liked me better 15 years ago. And it was rough. For me having to stand in it knowing that this person was hurt and knowing that this person was unwilling to evolve themselves. It was grief, it really was grief.

Terri Cole 42:25
So, what's the question?

Andrea 42:30
I’m asking for a friend. For someone listening, who might be hesitant, because I like to be really transparent with people. And I'm like, here's the here's what might happen. Like, it's not all unicorns and rainbows over there. It can be hard. And I'm thinking of family members when you were talking about the political divide that's happening and a lot of families. And I also see this in parents and their adult children, and also adult children with their parents, that this can get complicated. And so, I guess the question is, what is the step people can take to stand in their boundary when someone is extremely unhappy with it?

Terri Cole 43:10
Okay, that's, that's a great question. So, in the book, I talked about the desire to undo the boundary, when you first start drawing boundaries. It's called boundary reversal, where every part of your every fiber of your body wants to call them back and be like, Nah, you know, I was just kidding. I mean, it's okay. You could keep doing whatever you're doing is fine. Because and we do that. Like, sometimes the person will be like, oh, okay, well, I'll change that. Well, it's fine. No, it's fine. Listen, whatever. So, we don't let them correct the behavior. And we desperately, we want to be seen when we say the thing when we draw the boundary. But then we want to be loved and accepted. And we don't want to be rejected or have anyone be mad at us. So that's where the desire to reverse the boundary comes in.
So I always suggest that you you don't do anything, no matter how much you want to reverse it for at least 48 hours, take a beat.

Andrea 43:30
Yeah, I like that. Take a beat.

Terri Cole 43:33
And if the person goes on to say, like you're saying hurtful things, they're like this. They're you are now being a jerk. Because you drew this boundary, I would say, you know what, Betty, I'm really sorry that you're hurt. And yet, my job is to honestly express my boundaries, my limits, taking care of me is my job. So, if you don't like that, I'm sorry. And if you don't like this boundary, but here's the thing, it's my job. You don't have to like the boundary. But if you want to be in my life, you need to respect it. And if you can't, then perhaps this is where we part ways.

So, with family though, it's not that easy, right? Friendship is one thing. And family is another thing, but with family, you can stay lovingly attached. I've had people like pitching a hissy fit over a boundary, saying, no, you used to be so much this than that, whatever. Yeah, I'm sorry that you feel that way. And I still am not doing those four, I'm still not lending you money? Well, I don't I don't understand why you have the money. You don't whatever, Mike. No, it's just my policy, now, I'm not mixing my relationships. I'm not doing that anymore, which actually, I told you the last time that you borrowed money from me, and PS didn't pay it back. So, the reason why I don't is that I actually love you. And I want to continue to have a relationship with you. And that getting involved financially in this way. Now, that's so bad for the relationship, because I resented you for so long after that first time, and I love you, and I don't want to so I'm sorry, you're disappointed, I can see that you are. And I love you. But on this one, we're gonna have to just agree to disagree or whatever.

So just to does it make sense that the first thing is that we have to be able to tolerate that's, that feeling of not having everyone's approval every second of the day. You know, there's, there's a meme out there. That's like, what, why worry about if everyone likes you, you don't like everybody? Like, we won't eat, we won't even people we don't like to reject us, right? I think you're an idiot. And I still don't want you to reject me. So so so part of it is being discerning about the relationship, because what I find is that a lot of times when you start on this path of becoming a ‘boundary boss’, what you realize is that there are VIP like we make the distinction in the book, and you do a whole inventory where there are the real VIPs in your life, right? The relationships that feed you that are mutual, that are emotionally safe, you know the ones right. And then there are the people who think they belong in the VIP section of your life because they're your second cousin, or because their family, or because they want to be and what you have so much of the time we don't realize is that hey, man, you're the only bouncer of the VIP section. Yeah, so you got no rope and you got no guestlist then you're literally twisting yourself up in a pretzel and rearranging your life for people who are not adding value to your life. And that's bad boundaries.

Andrea 47:30
Yes. Oh, Terri Cole, I'm obsessed with you and this book, stop it. Oh my gosh, okay, Boundary Boss: The Essential Guide to Talk True, Be Seen, and (Finally) Live Free is for sale, wherever books are sold and you can get the link in our show notes. And then make sure that you go to BoundaryBoss.me/kickass to get your free kick-ass boundary strategies plus scripts. Before we go, is there anything that you want to circle back to and say that you may have forgotten?

Terri Cole 48:00
I just want every single person listening to know you can become a ‘boundary boss’. You literally can do this because I've helped 1000s of women from 95 countries do it already with teaching it through a course. So just have the courage to think that you're worth it because what you think how you feel what you want matters.

Andrea 48:26
Matters. It matters so much. Thank you, Terri Cole, and thank you, listeners, for spending time with us today. I highly encourage you to check out the other episodes where I had Terri on as a guest. I thought for sure especially if your ears perked when we talked about codependence because we did not get into that today. But we did in another episode. So, remember, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye, everyone.

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