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Episode 191 - Boundaries

What do you do when the only solution is for the other person to change?

Since our lives give us endless opportunities for self development (whether we like it or not), this will happen to all of us sooner or later. We'll be in a situation where the other person is clearly, objectively WRONG. (Add 100 points for personal growth if that person is your husband.)

Are we supposed to just accept it? Think happy thoughts? (Ew.)

Not at all.

A few thoughts for you that have been swirling in my mind about this situation.

I keep forgetting that life is messy and people are messy... on purpose. Nothing has actually gone wrong when I see evidence of another person's weaknesses. It helps to remind myself of this. Life isn't supposed to go smoothly. Maybe you can relate.

Thinking "this shouldn't be happening" tends to get us very stuck. If they shouldn't, but they are, then our reality is a massive, confusing contradiction. I'm not saying they AREN'T wrong (because they definitely are). I'm saying that there's a danger of getting stuck in resistance.

Allowing for grief or disappointment might be the first proactive step you need to take.

Ultimately you can only control yourself (at best!). So allow yourself to be clear on right and wrong. Make space for difficult emotions. But don't forget to decide what you want to do with what IS in your control (because it's an awful lot).


  1.  Personal Update

  2. Codependence

  3. Internal vs. External Boundaries

  4. How to Work on Boundaries

  5. How Do We Live With People Without Good Boundaries?

  6. Cleaning Up Resentment is Critical for a Healthy Marriage


  1. Referenced in this episode: Facing Codependence by Pia Mellody

YT Ep 191 - Boundaries ===

<00:00:00> Kayla Levin: Hi everyone. I hope you had an amazing shift voice. I'm happy to be back and I'm also kind of amazed that we made it almost 200 episodes without an episode about boundaries. What's that about? We talk about it all the time, but we haven't had a dedicated episode. Honestly, I. I probably could have spent months preparing this.

<00:00:20> Kayla Levin: There's so much to say. There's so much about it. And in fact, what we're gonna do is the entire month of June, we're gonna be coaching on boundaries inside of how to glow. So I just wanna start by saying this is gonna be the tip of the iceberg. Um, it's a juicy topic. There's so much research and there's so much relevance to our lives.

<00:00:41> Kayla Levin: So we're just, I'm really excited for this episode, but I, I, I gotta say that, I gotta say we're just, you know, we're just skimming the surface here with the work that we're doing.

<00:00:48> Personal Update ---

<00:00:48> Kayla Levin: First I just wanna do a little, you know, Personal check-in. So two interesting things happened. So first of all, last night I was hoping we would be meeting up in Ramada goal and doing an in-person how Tolo schmooze.

<00:01:00> Kayla Levin: We have an amazing, had an amazing hostess and everything lines up and unfortunately yesterday was when Rav Gershon passed away and so we knew that. So many people are gonna be traveling to Bene Brak and just doesn't feel right to be holding that last night. However, maybe that means there are some people listening who missed the opportunity to register cause they weren't on my email list.

<00:01:19> Kayla Levin: I'm gonna be doing some in persons in New York area as well, um, this summer and this one in Jerusalem. We haven't yet announced our, makeup date, but if you are wanting to get in on that, make sure you get on my email list because we try not to send out too many emails about in persons just because they're only relevant to certain people.

<00:01:37> Kayla Levin: But I would love to have you join us if you are able to. So that's one update. And the other is that our podcast has passed 300,000 downloads. So I'm celebrating and I'm so grateful because again, we have done so little advertising. This means that you guys are really sharing and I'm, and of course we've had such amazing guests.

<00:02:00> Kayla Levin: I know that really helps as well. So thank you. And if you're new here, welcome. Um, we're working on a beginner's podcast roadmap for some of you who, you know, like don't necessarily wanna go through 200 episodes and wanna get the lay of the land. So hopefully we'll have that for you soon. And, um, I'm just, I'm so thrilled.

<00:02:20> Kayla Levin: And I'm so grateful. And I just, honestly, as a female business owner who's running a podcast that speaks to such a small audience, you know, um, Feels like a really amazing accomplishment. So I'm just taking a minute to appreciate that and celebrate that. Are you appreciating and celebrating things that you're doing?

<00:02:38> Kayla Levin: I hope so. I'm trying to model that for you as well in this conversation.

<00:02:42> Codependence ---

<00:02:42> Kayla Levin: Okay. So we're gonna talk about boundaries. So, um, I wanna share my favorite book about co-dependence, um, because co-dependence and boundaries are very tied in. Why? Because whenever we're looking at a skill, when you look at. Um, a situation in which someone doesn't have that skill, that's when you can kind of learn about it.

<00:03:02> Kayla Levin: Okay, so let's say I'm trying to learn how to moderate, um, my eating. So looking at a person who is really, really dramatically not moderated eating, whether they're binging or they're, you know, starving themselves or they're, you know, any, any, any version of that I can actually learn, like from the complete lack of the skill, I can learn a little bit about the skill.

<00:03:25> Kayla Levin: So codependence. Much of co-dependence is characterized by the lack of boundaries. A person who is co-dependent doesn't, doesn't have healthy boundaries. Okay? Um, so Pia Melody wrote a book called Pacing Co-Dependence, which I really like. There's actually a lot of great books about co-dependence and a lot of what I'm gonna say here has, um, is, you know, either inspired by her, I'm gonna quote her a couple times.

<00:03:50> Important Note ---

<00:03:50> Kayla Levin: I wanna say this one thing before we get started. I think this is really, really critical. Which is that as you're listening to this episode, you're going to identify with some of this, whether for yourself actually, ideally, both for yourself and for other people in your lives, meaning you're gonna hear things that I say and you're gonna be like, oh my gosh, I might not have good boundaries.

<00:04:10> Kayla Levin: And you're gonna hear things. You're gonna be like, oh my gosh, yeah, I knew she didn't have good boundaries. This just proves it. And we have to be so careful that we don't fall for this idea that like, We're supposed to be living a life surrounded by other people that are all perfectly developed human beings.

<00:04:29> Kayla Levin: That was never the plan. The plan was never that you were gonna go through life and you know, you'd never have a family member who didn't have good boundaries or didn't have mental health crisis, or didn't have X, Y, z, perfect health, or that you wouldn't have these things. That was never the plan. So sometimes what will happen is like someone will be like, oh my gosh, I just realized like, you know, my mother-in-law doesn't have good boundaries.

<00:04:51> Kayla Levin: And then it's like, oh, and I just wanna take the dramatic gast out of the equation. Like it's just information. It's just information. If you find out that someone's lacking good boundaries, and the reason we learn about these things is because we can learn how to navigate it and for ourselves, we can learn how to heal it.

<00:05:09> Kayla Levin: Okay. I honestly think this, that's the most important thing I'm gonna say this entire episode. So I'm just gonna like reiterate this really quick. We're meant to go through life with people who are. Developing human beings, we're meant to be encountering them. We're meant to be kind of awkwardly bumping up against their baggage with our own baggage.

<00:05:28> Kayla Levin: We're meant to have our own stuff. That's what we're here for. It's not a problem in the design. It's not something to be ashamed of. It's not something to be angry about. It's like the whole point. Okay, so I'll just say that before we get in.

<00:05:45> Internal vs External Boundaries ---

<00:05:45> Kayla Levin: All right. So there's internal and external boundaries. I wanna divide these two first.

<00:05:50> Kayla Levin: Okay. We're gonna like, just do a little bit of, like a deep dive in sort of the whole concept and, and how this might apply to us. So they, it goes both ways. So traditionally, if we talk about someone having no boundaries, it's what we notice is them being offensive. And I don't mean offensive like colloquially.

<00:06:04> Kayla Levin: I mean like think of them almost sort of on the offense with their lack of boundaries. Like if this is the boundary, them being on the offensive means they're now over into someone else's boundary. They're on the other side of the boundary. Okay? So when I say someone has no boundaries, maybe it means like she went into my purse and took something without asking.

<00:06:20> Kayla Levin: Maybe it means that she's giving me, uh, um, her opinions about something that's like, feels very inappropriate, like about something private, about my life. And she's not in a position to do that. Um, maybe that I'm saying she, because most of our close relationships are with other women. But of course this can be for a man.

<00:06:36> Kayla Levin: Maybe she's going around blaming other people for her emotions or for her decisions, right? You made me do that, or you made me so sad. That would be a lack of boundaries, sort of on the offensive side. But there's also a lack of boundaries. So that's like when I go out across the boundary, into someone else's boundary, right into their personal private space, their private life, their private things, their body, that's me going out and crossing a boundary.

<00:07:05> Kayla Levin: But it's also called not having boundaries when we allow people into ours. Right. I allow someone to give me a hug when I'm not comfortable with that and that, and I don't feel like I'm able to say no. I, um, allow someone to blame me for their emotions. Or even if they don't blame me, I take responsibility for their emotions or their decisions.

<00:07:27> Kayla Levin: Um, someone wants to do something or say something or go somewhere, and I don't feel comfortable doing that because I'm so uncomfortable with the emotions that will come up for them. Right. We call that people pleasing sometimes, right? That I'm, I'm not able to verbalize or to express what it is that I want because I can't handle whatever they're gonna, however they're gonna respond.

<00:07:49> Kayla Levin: I. That's also a lack of boundaries, right? That's kind of like having, my boundaries are not intact, and so all this stuff is coming in. Whether the other person even blames me or not, by the way, like another person might be really disappointed about something and I'm spiraling out on a guilt trip, and they're just processing their disappointment, right?

<00:08:05> Kayla Levin: They're not even necessarily blaming me. So we think that to some degree, and in some situations, like we're all messy humans and we all might. Like do something and be like, oh, maybe that was inappropriate. I shouldn't have said that thing to that person. Or, oh my gosh, like I just caught myself like not wanting to say this because she's an authority figure.

<00:08:25> Kayla Levin: And with authority figures, I don't like to displease them. Like we all kind of have our own little boundary collage of like strengths and weaknesses, right? And so what we wanna think about, and that's true for the other people in our lives as well, right?

<00:08:41> How To Work On Boundaries ---

<00:08:41> Kayla Levin: So what we wanna think about is how do I work on boundaries?

<00:08:45> Kayla Levin: In a way that serves me a lot of the time when we think about creating a boundary, we think of it in terms of how to protect myself. And it's true that boundaries really do protect us, right? If we have a person who, you know, takes our money without asking, if I create a boundary that this person no longer has access to my bank account or my wallet, so now I'm protecting myself, but often, often.

<00:09:11> Kayla Levin: If I'm lacking that internal boundary, right? If I'm on the victim side where I'm letting the the other person in, or I'm taking responsibility where I don't need to, then thinking of creating a boundary to protect myself is actually just kind of trying to. Avoid the work. Like I'm trying to like, it's like I'm going out and building a moat around myself, so they're gonna trip and fall into the moat, and then I'll never have to deal with building up my own healthy defenses, my own healthy way of processing like other people's discomfort or how I feel uncomfortable saying no, or any of those things, right?

<00:09:45> Kayla Levin: So I like to think of boundaries that serve. It's true that boundaries also protect. I personally like the word serve. I think that when we think of boundaries, how do I create boundaries? How do I develop boundaries that serve me? It feels a little bit less rigid, and I'm less likely to get into that place where I am out there building moats everywhere so that nobody can come close enough to me.

<00:10:08> Kayla Levin: Because why? Why do we not want that? Let's just be clear. What we don't want is to build so many traps around us that nobody can come anywhere near us because then what we don't experience is like, Real connection with other human beings, which is of course, so critical to our wellbeing and to our life journey, right?

<00:10:25> Kayla Levin: So, so boundaries are meant to allow us to interact with other people without bumping in and hurting each other, right? And again, that requires us having our own internal boundaries in place. And it requires, Us knowing how to navigate people who are over on boundaries, and for those of us who catch ourselves, being over being on the offensive side with boundaries, like getting into other people's stuff, understanding what's causing us to do that, and how can we pull back, how can we allow other people to have their own boundaries, right?

<00:10:55> Kayla Levin: How can we respect other people's boundaries? So we wanna ask ourself, is my challenge generally, like in whatever area I feel like I'm struggling here. Is it in not being willing to maintain my boundary, or is it a lack of internal boundaries? So, for instance, let's say my mother-in-law calls and or your mother-in-law calls and she says she wants you and your husband to come with the kids for Yif.

<00:11:20> Kayla Levin: The thing is, she asks that every single yif, every single yif, she wants you and the kids, you know, your family to come to her house. If you, you feel so guilty and uncomfortable sharing. That you would rather be with your family. That's y If you've been with them for the last three and now I think it's, or maybe just, you know, the last one you went to, your in-laws and this one, you wanna go to your family because you imagine that this is gonna make your husband or your mother-in-law feel so bad and that idea of like what you're gonna make them feel makes you so uncomfortable that like, you can't like handle the situation.

<00:11:54> Kayla Levin: So what happens? You end up feeling angry and resentful that she's asking. And you, you go around sort of thinking to yourself or maybe even saying to people, like, my mother-in-law has no boundaries. She asks us to come to them. Every single young tip. If she had boundaries, she wouldn't ask.

<00:12:09> Kayla Levin: Now, this boundary is an internal boundary. She can ask for whatever she wants. If you would see that, you really truly do get to decide where you go and that the adults in your life, your husbands, your mother, can manage their emotions. You wouldn't need her not to ask you if you could come. You see that?

<00:12:31> Kayla Levin: So that's, that's an example of when we like, sort of go around wanting everyone else to protect us from our own inner stuff if my stuff is coming up. Cuz I can't handle her disappointment or my husband's disappointment. And I'm not even talking right now about the fact, and I know some of you're thinking this already, but what about like, you need to compromise with your husband.

<00:12:49> Kayla Levin: I'm not talking about that right now, just cuz it's not the topic, this, this podcast episode, but it's a very real topic. I'm just talking right now about if you're like, you, you, you feel like, you know, in theory you could say no, but you're not saying no, you're not expressing your needs because it's so uncomfortable for you.

<00:13:05> Kayla Levin: Now you feel like so offended that she's going around asking, not going around. She's coming to you and asking for you to come. So that's where you wanna make sure that you're checking on your internal boundary. Am I allowing other people to have their life experience or am I taking responsibility for how everyone feels?

<00:13:22> Kayla Levin: Am I feeling like my job is to keep everyone happy? Okay. That's different than being an empathetic and kind human being, right? It's a very, it's a very fine line, and we wanna make sure that we're clear on that. If you are comfortable sharing that you're not. Willing to, you know, that you, let's say that you don't wanna go, you'd rather go to your family and let's make it her, not your husband.

<00:13:46> Kayla Levin: So like she ends up, she's calling you, she's in tears every hour, basically, you know, a barrage of phone calls until you change your mind. That's on her, right? That's her lacking a boundary. And then your work there would be, how am I going to deal with that? Because since she doesn't have a boundary, it's up to me to maintain my own.

<00:14:06> Kayla Levin: Okay. And. Over the course of the month, we're gonna discuss sort of very specifically how to do that.

<00:14:13> How Do We Live With People Who Don't Have Boundaries? ---

<00:14:13> Kayla Levin: So the question really is not what's wrong with everybody. How do we diagnose everybody? How do we decide This one has this kind of boundary issue, this one has this kind of boundary issue. We want the information, but the question really is, how do we live with people who don't have boundaries?

<00:14:29> Kayla Levin: Because to some degree, All of us have to do that. Okay. And as always, the work starts with ourselves. All right. Um, one thing I wanna give you to sort of get started with this, Pia Melody has something in her book I really like, or she talks about resentment as victim anger. She says, we could call resentment, maybe victim anger.

<00:14:52> Kayla Levin: I really love this idea. Why? Because sometimes it can be hard to start. On something that feels this big. Okay, I'm gonna deal with my boundaries. It's like, what do I even do? So what I would have you do here is to start noticing where you feel resentful. Those of you who are newly married, it's very possible that you don't really know how to label this emotion, but if you look for it, you might find it.

<00:15:14> Kayla Levin: Okay. Or you could even use the phrase victim anger. When do, where do I feel victimized and angry? Okay. Start looking for it. In what way are we making ourselves a victim? Now let me be very clear. It's not so you can blame yourself, right? And notice that I'm not doing a lot of talking about what's right or wrong.

<00:15:35> Kayla Levin: Like it's wrong for her to be on the offensive side. It's right. I mean it's, of course there are things that fall into the category of wrong or abusive. But what I tend to find is that when we're very focused on labeling something wrong, we stop there. It's wrong. She shouldn't do it, and then we don't, we're not able to move past it.

<00:15:53> Kayla Levin: So if it helps you to label it wrong, go for it. This is, you know, it's not that that is a boundary thing that's on her. Maybe that gives you more confidence to say, okay, then it's okay for me to say that, you know, she thinks that I'm responsible for her feelings. That's a boundary issue that she has.

<00:16:08> Kayla Levin: That's okay. I can love her anyway, but you know, that means I can go ahead and say it. It's not my responsibility to make to, you know, to. To, to, to navigate someone else's unhealthy boundaries. Like I need to do what works for me in this situation. I need to set up a relationship where we can have a relationship with one, one another, even though she might have this issue.

<00:16:31> Kayla Levin: Okay. So I, I'm, all I'm just trying to say is it's fine to label it, this is right, this is wrong, but just make sure you don't get caught there because right and wrong things happen in human relationships. Right. Um, if we're getting into the. I'm, I'm sort of not going into the whole topic of when something becomes abusive, um, because I think that that's just a completely like next level.

<00:16:55> Kayla Levin: If you wanna look into that, you could definitely check out this book or other books on codependence because they are so heavily tied into addiction and abuse. I'll just tell you that, you know, for anyone who's wants to be careful with the what's in their house, anything you look into that has to do with addiction or abuse will have things you definitely don't want your children to see.

<00:17:11> Kayla Levin: So just make sure you keep it in a good room. Okay, so the piece I'm leaving you with the, the exercise I'm leaving you with is to look for this victim anger. Look for this resentment. Where is it showing up in your life, and is it showing up with an internal boundary issue that you're taking responsibility, you're taking on something, or you're allowing something in that you don't need to, or.

<00:17:36> Kayla Levin: Is there a technical set? Is there a technical need for a boundary? Is there somebody who is on the offensive? And you need to figure out how to work that out. Being able to really pull these two apart. Being able to be in a place of understanding, oh, this is my people pleasing coming up. This is my desire to, you know, make everybody like me.

<00:17:54> Kayla Levin: Oh, I see. I don't actually need this boundary, or this is that desire and actually I need to do the boundary and I need to manage that desire for everyone to like me. Okay. All very dynamic and totally something you can do.

<00:18:08> Cleaning Up Resentment Is Critical For a Healthy Marriage ---

<00:18:08> Kayla Levin: So the last thing I just wanna leave you with is that cleaning up resentment is so critical for having a healthy marriage.

<00:18:13> Kayla Levin: And I want you to just be on guard for resentment at all times. Like there's an old game, whack-a-Mole, where like the little moles would pop up and you had to like hit them so that they wouldn't stay up for too long. I want you to do whack-a-Mole with resentment in your marriage. Don't wait until it's been sitting around for years and years.

<00:18:28> Kayla Levin: As soon as you notice it come up. Just give it a whack. Okay? And one way to do it is to be looking back through this episode. Is this a boundary issue? Is there a technical answer that I need? Is it my own personal discomfort? If it is your own personal discomfort, this is the work that we're doing in how Tolo, if you really wanna work on it, come into our community and you'll really do a deep dive there and you'll see a lot of progress if you think that you can sort of like more navigate it on your own.

<00:18:54> Kayla Levin: I invite you to check out all the old episodes where there's a lot of discussion on this type of thing, how we're thinking, the stories we're telling ourselves. So either way, I hope you find the solutions that you need and just, you know, good luck to all of us just navigating our life with our baggage bumping into each other, left, right, un center.

<00:19:11> Kayla Levin: All right. See you here next week. Have an amazing week. Bye.

<00:19:15> Kayla Levin: Hey there, Kayla here. If you've been loving the podcast, I wanna invite you into my monthly coaching program, How to Glow. We take all the work here and go much deeper into our expectations of our husbands, our understanding of our husbands ourselves, by the way our intimate lives. We even extended out to anything else you want.

<00:19:31> Kayla Levin: Coaching on your parenting, your finances, your health. Get ongoing support. Live weekly coaching, and access to my best courses for only $49 a month. I would love to coach you inside. Registration is open now. Sign up at Isn't this the best time to start?




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