Today, we’re talking about an interesting topic that many of our listeners have asked me about on many occasions – what we should tolerate in our lives and why.
Tune in to this episode of The Life Coach School podcast as I answer questions related to boundaries, making your own decisions and tolerating behaviors of other people. You won’t want to miss this insightful episode!
If you would like to get your questions featured on the podcast, please leave them in the comments at the end of the episode show notes and I’ll gladly answer them on the upcoming shows.
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What you will discover
- How to best handle situations where your partner in a relationship blatantly disrespects your clearly outlined boundaries.
- The importance of honoring your boundaries.
- Other tips on tolerating others’ behaviors.
Featured on the show
Welcome to the Life Coach School Podcast, where it's all about real clients, real problems, and real coaching. Now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
OMG. I just finished eight days in-person training, my favorite. I love teaching in-person training. It was my last training of 2015. We've had 75 people come through the training this year and wholly in love with all of them. I'm so amazingly excited for them all to meet each other at the mastermind that we're going to be doing next May. It's just been such an amazing group of people. I just can't wait for them all to meet each other and meet all of the coaches that came before them. Because oh my God, everyone's just amazing, amazing, amazing.
One of the people that came to this training, I'm absolutely I think completely in love with her, and I think everybody else in the training is as well. Her name is Vivian. She started listening when I first launched the podcast. I would call her my superfan. I asked her if she would come on the podcast with me and talk to y'all about her experience of what she's done by just listening to this podcast.
The changes that she's made in her life are really exceptional. Her experience with the in-person training, and how she showed up, and what she learned, and what she noticed, I think would be really awesome for you guys all to hear. She came with her daughter, Lauren, who is equally as beautiful and amazing. I can't wait for you guys to hear from her. Everybody else who was in the program, and what we all learned, and what we all did is unbelievable. I can't seem to wrap my mind around what an experience we just had.
We break up into small groups, and one of the things that we just did ... I'm finishing up today. I'm actually recording this on my lunch break. It's just about to finish up today. One of the things, it was so funny, one of the women, Mandy, who's in the class with me, said, "You know, Brooke, I didn't know that you were such a big deal." It was so funny. She just basically said, "I thought I was just coming here to learn how to coach other people. I've had this profound experience in my own life and this profound shift."
What happens at the end of the training ... because here's the deal, you guys: it's like camp, because everybody stays in the same hotel and everything is in walking distance. They tell me all these stories of what they do at night after dinner, and in their hotel rooms, and in their pajamas. Oh my gosh, I just love hearing about it.
Anyway, we all have a little bit of an issue on the last day because it's like going back into real life. Everybody feels so great and everyone spent eight days coaching themselves so everyone's into this amazing mindset, and believing in themselves, and believing what they're capable of. They've all made these new best friends and they've spent eight days with them and now we're all leaving. One of the things that I love to offer them as a way to think is that their life will never be the same. You have this profound experience in your life. You don't ever have to go back to any part of that life that you don't want. I love knowing that. I think that is so powerful.
I just want to give a quick shout out to the group and to everyone that was in it. I want you guys to know how much I love you. I'm going to miss you so much. Hopefully you're listening to this a week after you've gotten back, and you know that I'm thinking about you and loving you all…because what a magical experience we just had. I want to offer that anyone who's thinking about possibly coming to the training, and you want to know what it's like, you are more than welcome to request to speak to any of them. I know that they would love to tell you about the training, and where they were before they came, and where they are now, and what their experience was like. Because it was magical, and I want to go through each one of their names and tell you how much I love them all so much, but they all know who they are for sure.
Today what I want to do is I want to answer a few of your questions. One of the main questions that I want to ask comes from Bea. I'm going to read you her question and then I'm going to address it: Hi Brooke, I've been kind of a silent listener on your podcast for a while now, internalizing things and self-coaching to the best of my ability. However, I'm dealing with something now where I feel lost and need your wisdom, as I can't seem to find it myself. I've been married two years and I'm pregnant. So far, our marriage has been wonderful, although it's taken a lot of hard work. Recently, I noticed that my husband has been really flirty with one of my coworkers, who happens to be beautiful and tiny. Meanwhile, I'm growing larger and larger. He's been texting her a lot lately, and when I confronted him about it, he just said he's a flirty person and he likes the attention.
He let me read the text, and he was super flirty and sent her kiss face emojis. He's sad that he ever thinks I would cheat on him. I told him I thought what he was doing was cheating, and he disagreed. We had one big fight, blow up. I listened to the manual podcast afterwards and told him that I can't control him. I requested that he not text her anymore, but I know that I cannot force him to do anything. I know I need to focus on my own self-esteem and confidence, but this is making it ten times harder. He told me yesterday that they are going to start taking art classes together. They're both graphic designers, and he hopes I'm okay with it. When I told him that emotionally I'm not, he was upset. I want to be at a point where I trust him and know that only I can give myself the feelings I want. I shouldn't depend on him for that. This morning I checked his phone because I wanted to see if I was overthinking their relationship, which I get is not a good thing.
I noticed that he deleted their text history off his phone, assuming that I would read it. They obviously text each other, as I asked him if I could read it before, and her name was the top recent contact. Now my mind is wandering into all the dark places of where their relationship is going. Ultimately, if he's going to cheat on me, I don't want to have to work so hard and freak out to prevent it. I don't want to be with someone who would cheat on me, but how am I supposed to work on my self-confidence when I feel such doubt for his feelings towards me? In a perfect world, I'd be confident and happy on my own, and have a husband to have fun and have a life with. Do I just accept that he's not the person I thought I'd married and move on? But I love him so much. I just wish he would love me, too.
This is such a good question. Because, just recently, of course when I was doing my in-person training, this came up. I think not the exact situation, but the issue of if you love someone and if you are taking responsibility for your side of the street and you're really cleaning up your mind on your side of the street, what does that mean you should tolerate from someone else? What do you want to tolerate? Here's what's really important to know, is I highly recommend that you clean up your mind, you clean up your thoughts. You get to a place where you are responsible for your own emotions.
Now, once you get to that place, you get to make a decision on whether you want to stay or go. Now a lot of people think that you have to get cheated on first, that you have to be upset about something first in order to leave. What I say is the only reason you need to leave a relationship is because you want to leave. I think that's really important. You don't have to destroy your relationship in order to leave. You can just leave because you want to, because you don't want to be married to someone who is flirting with somebody else. You don't want to be married to someone who wants to go do art classes with someone that you asked him not to even talk to. That's completely up to you.
Now, here's the way I think it is really healthy to look at it. He is an adult and he is "allowed" to do whatever he wants in his life. You are an adult and you are allowed to do whatever you want in your life. When you clean up that side, do you want to be married to him if he doesn't do the things that you want your husband to do? You need to decide about that. When I read your message here, it doesn't sound like you want to leave him. It sounds like you want to control him, though. That's a huge thing. I can just picture people listening to this freaking out, like thinking oh my God, no way, I would never tolerate that.
But you want to get to a place where you're clean, where you can feel love towards him, where you can understand maybe where he's coming from, and then make your decision there. The fact that he's not doing what you want him to do ... I always say you can ask people to do stuff, just don't hang your hat on whether they do it or not. You have to take responsibility for what you want to do. You can't control what he does, but you can certainly control what you do. Your decisions are yours to make. You don't have to stay. You don't have to go. Just make sure your thoughts about it are clean.
Now you have thoughts that you're overthinking the relationship and you are telling him that you're upset and you're telling him that you want him to change. It sounds like you're explaining to him why, like you don't feel comfortable with him flirting, you don't feel comfortable with him deleting his text messages, and you don't feel comfortable at all with him texting her. The reason why is because you think he might cheat on her. Now you can clean those thoughts up all you want and all day long and feel better, and, really important part here, you don't have to stay if you don't want to. Just because you clean up your mind, just because you get to a place where you feel good, just because you get to a place where you're in a loving place and not a fearful place doesn't mean that you have to stay. It doesn't mean that you have to go.
I think that's really important for you to know. Sitting down with your husband and talking to him about this, and really getting to a place where you feel like you have enough information and knowledge to make a decision about what you want to do is a decision that you have to make. Here's something I want to really warn you against: is that if your husband wants to do art classes with this woman, and if he wants to text her and send her emojis and be flirty with her, that does not mean that you have to leave. It doesn't mean you should leave. All it means is that you get to decide.
I think a lot of times we think these things happen and we think it means something that we should leave or not. In fact, even if he does cheat on you, you get to decide whether you want to stay or whether you want to leave based on what you want to do. When you clean up your mind, that is your decision and you get to decide, and you can stand by that decision. It most certainly also doesn't mean that you have to stay. If he stops texting her, if he doesn't do the art class with her or whatever, you don't have to stay, you don't have to go. You get to decide. Do not make decisions based on what you think other people would think you should do or what you think society would say that you should do, or any preconceived ideas about what he should or shouldn't be doing. You need to decide based from a really clean place what you want to do, from a place of love for yourself and a place of love for him, and knowing that you can't control him.
I really appreciate you asking that question, and I really appreciate everybody listening to the answer. Because it's not definitive, and even those of you who are listening who are coaches who think you know what she should do, you can't possibly know what she should do. What she should do in terms of a relationship with her husband has to come from her own mind.
Here's one thing I know: I think we all have a knowing of what we want to do. What we can do is really tap into that knowing. Now, be careful not to change your circumstance when you do that. What I mean by that is don't say I want to stay but he needs to change. Assume that he's not going to change. You've already asked him to change and he hasn't. This behavior seems to be something he's going to do regardless of whether you want him to or not. Clean up your mind first, and then make a decision about what you want to do. Because you can control only what you do and not what he does. That's really important for you to know.
I want to answer this next question. This was a question based on a comment on the podcast "Toxic People": Hi, Brooke. I love your podcast and all the work you've done. I hope to see you soon as a trainee. My question is, how do you respond to boundaries when it isn't respected and you can't just leave? For example, I don't like when somebody raises their voice to me. I've been in a lot of trouble with my husband, whom I love very much. He's trying to help teach me how to drive, but he's mad at me when I make some mistakes, and he talks about it over and over while I'm trying to drive. He raises his voice. What makes me sad, incapable, and angry with him and myself, and as a result, I cried and we argue and argue. This experience has been so hard on me, and it's blocking each day. I think all my life depends on it. I really want to get my driver's license driving safe, but don't want to argue with my husband. I already told him about this boundary, but I cannot get out of the car when he starts yelling at me or talking over and over. It annoys me so much. Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you very much for spending time reading this.
Of course you can get out of the car. You can stop the car and get out of it. Of course you can. You can tell him, listen, if you're going to yell at me in this car, I'm going to stop the car and I'm going to get out of it until we both calm down. You can absolutely do that. I'm not sure why you're believing that you can't do that. I'm also not sure why you're believing that your life depends on this. I think that's an important thing for you to really take a look at.
The other thing I want you to notice is that you say when he raises his voice, it makes me sad, incapable, and angry with him and myself. I just want to remind you, if you think about that self-coaching model, his behavior doesn't make you feel any way. What you think about his behavior is what's causing you to feel the way you do. If you honor your boundaries, and your boundary is if you yell at me, I'll get out of the car, then you can get clear on what you want to believe about yourself. There's a reason why your husband is yelling, and it has nothing to do with you. His actions have to do with him and what's going on in his mind, and why he's creating his own frustration. Your feelings are because of what's going on in your mind. For a boundary, you want to make sure that you state it clearly and then you follow through. That is how you can take care of yourself when someone's raising their voice. Really, really appreciate the question. Thank you.
This last one is also from the same "Toxic People" podcast. It's from Kate: I've been listening to your podcast since April of last year, and it has really helped me gain some perspective on my emotions and how I handle myself in difficult situations. Based on your recommendation, I've also immersed myself into the work of Byron Katie, and I've combined it with your model. I've been doing a lot of self-reflection and inquiry on my thoughts regarding work and my boss. He is very up and down with his moods. About five years ago, he went to see a therapist, and it was then recommended to a psychiatrist. He was told he was bipolar and needed medication. He basically ran out of the building and didn't take the advice. Since then, we have been working through it together, rowing through the days, good and bad. The bad days can be really difficult. I've been working with him for over a decade, and I care deeply for him. It makes me really upset to see him when he's down. I know that it's not his fault and he doesn't enjoy being in that space, but there also comes a point where I think I have to look out for myself, and for the business, and my colleagues, and say that his behavior has to be moderated or there will be serious consequences. But then, the very bad day passes and the good day comes around, and so the cycle begins.
A lot of my personal work has been around realizing that I cannot change him, and the only thing I'm in control over is how I think about him and react to him. My question is really about the bigger picture. How do I cope with his ups and downs? I'm not a qualified therapist or psychiatrist, and I don't really know how to manage his moods sometimes. More importantly, how would you suggest I deal with my colleagues? They haven't gone my same journey of self-reflection, and many are on the verge of quitting, which would be sad, and, in some cases, detrimental to the firm's success. Due to my role, they often come to me for advice on how to deal with him. Sometimes it sounds like I'm just making excuses for him all the time. Part of me hears you saying that there's nothing I can do to change him and we have to set boundaries, but the consequences are really negative. I'd like to try to avoid them if possible.
Kate, that is your issue. You can't control him and his moods and what he does. All you can do is set boundaries and control yourself. You also can't control what your colleagues do or don't do, or what they think or don't think. You can only control yourself. The question is, if you can't control him or change him, and if you can't help him be different than he is, then what can you do to take care of you? Because that is the only thing you can control. Even if you believe that you can control what's going on with your colleagues, and what they think, and what they will do, you are wrong. You can't control that. You can demonstrate boundaries. You can talk to them. You can encourage them not to leave. You can make excuses for him. But ultimately, they get to behave how they want to behave, and so does he.
The question becomes, how do you want to behave? How do you want to act? How do you want to set up boundaries? Know that you can handle any consequence. What you're saying is you're dealing with all of the negative things that he's doing because you don't want to deal with the negative consequences that you believe you would be creating. That's a choice you can make. The truth is you can keep doing what you're doing or you can set boundaries and take care of yourself. Those are both options, but don't put yourself in a position where you believe you can help him change. Because he's an adult person and so are your colleagues, and you can't control them, and you can't change them. You have to focus on yourself and decide what you would like to do.
Okay, everybody, that's what I have today, thinking about what you can tolerate. If you have questions for me or you want to talk about this some more, please go over to thelifecoachschool.com, click on podcast, and type it right in there in the comments. I'll get to you on one of the next episodes. I look forward to talking to you guys next week. Take care, everyone. Bye bye.
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