I HAVE ADHD PODCAST

EPISODE 181

October 18, 2022

ADHD and Relationships Part 4: Boundaries with Nedra Glover Tawwab

ADHDers are notoriously bad at setting boundaries. So many factors go into this, but I believe it’s mostly because we feel poorly about ourselves, we don’t have a lot of self-trust, and we are embarrassed about our annoying ADHD symptoms. The result of this is that we ADHDers often don’t believe we even deserve to set boundaries. Additionally, many of us were not raised in families that talked about or even allowed boundaries to be set…so, it comes to boundaries, most of us are floundering.

A big part of having healthy relationships is being able to express our own personal boundaries. But, how? Like actually, HOW?

I am by no means an expert on this topic, so I invited an expert on to share her wisdom with us: best-selling author, licensed therapist, and sought-after relationship expert, Nedra Glover Tawwab.

Nedra has practiced relationship therapy for 15 years and is the founder and owner of the group therapy practice, Kaleidoscope Counseling. Every day she helps people create healthy relationships by teaching them how to implement boundaries. Her philosophy is that a lack of boundaries and assertiveness underlie most relationship issues, and her gift is helping people create healthy relationships with themselves and others. This episode has the potential to change your life, so enjoy it!

Nedra’s book, “Set Boundaries Find Peace” and the accompanying workbook are available on amazon, And I highly recommend that you visit her website to take her boundaries quiz…this will help you to determine your next step when it comes to boundaries.

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Kristen Carder 0:07
Welcome to the I have ADHD podcast, where it’s all about education, encouragement and coaching for adults with ADHD. I’m your host, Kristen Carter and I have ADHD. Let’s chat about the frustrations, humor and challenges of adulting relationships working and achieving with this neurodevelopmental disorder. I’ll help you understand your unique brain. Unlock your potential and move from point A to point B.

Hey, what’s up this is Kristen Carter and you are listening to the I have ADHD podcast episode number 181. I am medicated I am caffeinated and I’m ready to roll.

Today is Part Four in our series on relationships and ADHD. Last week’s episode was all about safety and relationships. And today we are talking about boundaries. In my experience, ADHD errs are notoriously awful with boundaries. I believe that some of the reasons are that we feel really badly about ourselves. We don’t believe we deserve to set boundaries, because a lot of our ADHD symptoms are very annoying to other people. And so to make up for that, we operate with very few boundaries. In addition, many of us were parented by emotionally immature parents who didn’t allow for boundaries at home. And maybe, as an adult, your parents still don’t allow for boundaries. So I’m just going to go ahead and generalize here and say that as a community, we could use some major help in this area.

So many of our relationships could be improved if we were willing to express our limits and our preferences, and not just our relationships, but our experience of the world would improve like we would be happier. Imagine being someone who could show up in your marriage and your parenting and your friendships and clearly express your limits and your preferences. Imagine being someone who could show up in your family of origin, even now as an adult and express what you want and what you don’t want. express what you like and what you don’t like, express what you’re willing to do and what you’re not willing to do. feels terrible at first and then eventually leads to so much freedom.

Like What Did that change everything for you? Well, I am by no means an expert on boundaries. So I invited an expert on to share her wisdom with us. Best Selling Author, licensed therapist and sought after relationship expert Nedra Glover twap what a big get for this show. I’m so thrilled to have her. Nedra has practiced relationship therapy for 15 years and is the founder and owner of the group therapy practice Kaleidoscope counseling. Every day she helps people create healthy relationships by teaching them how to implement boundaries. Her philosophy is that a lack of boundaries and assertiveness underlie most relationship issues and her gift is helping people create healthy relationships with themselves and others.

Niger’s book set boundaries, find peace and the accompanying workbook are available on Amazon. And I am telling you, you should run there right now and buy them both, I highly recommend them. I have said this on the podcast before I use them in my program, and I have used them to change my whole dang life. So all of the things will be linked for you in the show notes. So don’t worry about it right now. Just sit back and enjoy this conversation on boundaries and relationships with Nedra twap. I would like to say that your work has really impacted my life so much. And I just wanted to say, thank you so much for being here. And for putting yourself out there, I am sure that the blood sweat and tears that went into all of the work that you’ve done, and writing this book could not have been easy, but the impact that it has made in so many people’s lives has been truly significant. So I just really, really appreciate you being here with me today.

Nedra Glover Tawwab 4:12
Thank you so much for that.

Kristen Carder 4:14
You’re welcome. So I read your book set boundaries fine piece about a year or so ago, when did it come out? I feel like I must have read it right after it came out.

Nedra Glover Tawwab 4:24
March 2021. Okay, so

Kristen Carder 4:26
not too long after it was published. I read it and it was about six months into my own journey. And it was a very difficult journey of reestablishing the relationships within my family of origin. And your book was so concise and clear. It was just incredibly helpful as I navigated that journey, which is very difficult, as I’m sure you know. And I’ve since recommended it to so many people including my podcast listeners and clients that I work with and now for the people Will that have been in my program, I have a group coaching program and for the people who have been in it like a year plus, we’re doing a boundary workshop, and we’re using your book as the foundation for that program. So I just, I’m just so grateful to you and everything that you’ve put out there.

Nedra Glover Tawwab 5:17
Thank you so much. I try to be conscious in my writing, of writing to people and not always people in therapy. And that’s why I think so much of my work is clear and concise, because I realize there are some people who love theoretical language. But the majority of people that I want to reach it’s, I want it to be understandable. I want people to be able to read a simple sentence and understand what a boundary is, and not have it very complicated by complex wording, which I love to read all the books that are theoretical, I just think that, you know, with people who are not in this field is really important to explain concepts in a way that general population can understand it.

Kristen Carder 6:08
Yes, and I really got that through the book, it was so digestible for someone like me. So in my work with adults with ADHD, over the last four years, I have noticed a trend. Many of us have been parented by emotionally immature parents, and many, if not all of us struggle to set boundaries and not just set boundaries, but even know that boundaries exist, that they’re a thing that we’re allowed to, so to speak, grown adults not even realizing that like a boundary is something that is a very natural and normal thing for a human adult to set, and that we’re allowed to do it. So if you don’t mind, I would love to just get Barry basic and ask you how do you define boundaries.

Nedra Glover Tawwab 6:59
Boundaries are rules, expectations, and needs that keep us safe and comfortable within ourselves and within our relationships. As you mentioned, within your community, I think that there is this idea that in attentiveness, being distracted, not being able to learn and I don’t want to say typical, but you know, typical way are things that are within your control. And I’ve seen it as a therapist where parents will try to let me say this, I’ve had to set boundaries with how parents treat children in my presence. Yes, because there is a misunderstanding that what is happening with them, whether it is ADHD, anxiety, or depression, it is like this choice. And they are choosing to be lazy and not get out the bed. And I’m like very depressed, you know, or they’re choosing to not pay attention in class. Or if you yell it, or if you punish them, just all of these tactics where it’s like, that does not work. And you’re being hugely ineffective and damaging a relationship with your child because you’re teaching them not to trust you.

Kristen Carder 8:27
I think that most of my listeners will really resonate with that, because so many of us had that experience as children. But now stepping into adulthood. It’s as if we carry across that persona of I guess I’m wrong. I guess I’m doing it wrong. I guess the way that I show up in the world is wrong. And so we don’t feel empowered to be able to say, Please don’t treat me that way. Or I love you so much. But please don’t talk to me like that, or whatever the case may be. Because we were so disempowered as kiddos.

Nedra Glover Tawwab 9:05
Yeah, advocating for yourself can be tough when you have been taught to not trust your voice. When you have been taught to silence your voice, it can be really hard to understand that. I need to say this at the beginning of recording, you say I will try to focus on you, but I know that my I will be a bit distracted because I’m looking at myself. So just letting people know how you show up. I have two children. And often when I am talking to my husband, my kids start talking to me. And I am like, overloaded. I’m like, I can’t listen to multiple people at one time. Like it’s impossible. Everybody just sounds like like, I can’t even hear one person. So three people talking to me at one time it was never worked for me. Not today. Not tomorrow, not ever. So if you want to talk to me, one on one is best that interrupting and just throwing this up, I forgot the whole conversation. It just doesn’t work for me. So each time that it happens, it is my responsibility to explain. Hey, if you want to talk to me, this is not the time because I’m talking to someone else, like I just is. It’s almost like, what were you just saying? Because I can’t even remember because this other person start. So we have to advocate for ourselves, hey, I have this issue. So you know, I need a little more time with this project, I need to sit with things a bit longer. And sometimes it’s not telling other people what we’re dealing with. And it’s just saying, I need to sit with this longer, instead of a week. Can I have two weeks?

Kristen Carder 10:59
Yeah, that is so good. I love your distinction there because not everyone is comfortable sharing their diagnosis. But you can still share what works for you and what doesn’t work for you. When someone is kind of assuming that the way that they show up in the world is not okay. So somebody with ADHD, who maybe is at the beginning of their journey, maybe hasn’t fully accepted their diagnosis, but is realizing like, wow, I am going to need more time on this project. Our first assumption as adults with ADHD is but I shouldn’t or but this makes me like bad at my job. What encouragement might you have for somebody like that to go ahead and self advocate and say like, this is what makes me comfortable. This is how I show up best. This is how I can serve like this company better if if I have this, you know, extra time or whatever.

Nedra Glover Tawwab 11:54
We all show up in the world in different ways. There are people who don’t have a diagnosis of ADHD and may need that same allowance. So it’s not always about, oh my gosh, I am problem because of this label. It’s like I have this issue as a human. It has nothing to do with this label. Let’s take the label out of it. As a human, I need more time for this project. As a human, I can only talk to one person at a time as a human multitasking does not work for me, I need to focus on one task at a time. That’s not going to be like everybody else is going to be different. We’re all different in different ways. And it’s not always because of the label that we have. It could just be who we are. So if you have trouble identifying yourself as someone who is dealing with ADHD or even acknowledging this, I don’t even want to call it a challenge because it’s really just a way of being we have all sorts of stuff. How do we label those things? Do we even try to label them? Do we try to beat ourselves up for just saying like, I like to sleep in. It’s like, I’m such a terrible person. I like to sleep it. It’s like, I’m not a morning person. That’s it, you don’t, we don’t need a label for it. We don’t have to, you know, beat ourselves up for it. It just is. And I think it is the same way when you’re dealing with some of those symptoms that you’re trying to share with others that it just is it’s not anything that has to do with you, in particular and makes you a terrible person is like everyone has these things. This is your thing. This other person has to drink everything with a straw. You know, you don’t have that thing. We all have our stuff. Yeah, I don’t know what their stuff is. And you know, you know your stuff and you have to communicate your stuff to other people. I love when people ask, do you want your water? Ice cold room temperature? That’s a demonstration of acknowledging there are two types of people that exist with this water thing, right? There are some people who are like ice cold. And some people are room temperature for me. I’m in the middle. It depends on the day the temperature what type of water it is. I am like, what is what kind of water okay, ice cold. What up? I’ll take it room temperature. How hot is it outside? You know, like all of those things matter, right? Yeah, but it is just a preference. Sometimes it is just, you know, this thing that we have about ourselves and we don’t have to make it seem like a bad thing. As much as is just the thing.

Kristen Carder 14:47
I love that. And what is so fascinating is that what we often do, I don’t know if this is just a human thing, but what we often do with boundaries is I think We make them so complicated, and we make them so difficult. And I’m curious, like, Why? Why do you think that? You know, we’re in this age right now where like, you even have to write a book on boundaries. Like, why is this so hard for humans?

Nedra Glover Tawwab 15:21
Were tucked out of being naturally ourselves so much. That’s why it’s hard. Yes, everything about us is like, taught to be different. Maybe not everything, but a whole lot. You know, why do you want to wear your hair like that? Why you sit like that? Why are you talking like that? Why are you Why where are you? And before you know that you can’t even recognize yourself, because so much about you has changed to accommodate your environment, the relationship, you’re in the, you know, the group you belong to that you’re like, I, I used to, like, I don’t, I don’t even know, I’ve lost myself. Well, you know, we lose ourselves, because we’re constantly doing this given up of you know, what we naturally want. And it’s easy for us to do that. Sometimes, because we’ve been programmed to do it. We’ve been programmed to highly consider what other people think about us, and to lowly consider what we think about ourselves to the point that now we’re adults, and it’s like, I’m so afraid to speak up, watch a child, watch a child, they have, in most cases, really good boundaries. Now, they do need some finessing around the language they use, because they can be pretty pushy, and sometimes aggressive, those little people, but they certainly know what they want and what they don’t want. And in most cases, most adults are going to talk them out of that you should like this, you should want to wear this you should, you know, all of this stuff to help them on become themselves, we have to make you very comfortable for the world. That’s why the classroom has to be quiet. I don’t care if you’re four and you want to be loud, we have to make you comfortable for the world. Everybody else has to like you, you have to fit in. So if everybody’s wearing a white shirt, you wear a white shirt. I went to a middle school was dress coat. I hated it. hated it. Because it was like fit in every day, wear a white shirt, wear a blue pants wear blue sweater, and I’m like, I’m trying to figure out ways to wear like a black and white striped shirt. Yeah.

Kristen Carder 17:35
Totally.

Nedra Glover Tawwab 17:37
I was in constant trouble for like being our dress code. I’m like, Why have the colors are what they’re not in a way that you’re saying. But I definitely have these colors. Somewhere in here, I have on a white shirt. Now if I wear a red turtleneck under, you know, it was just like that pushing to like fit into the box.

Kristen Carder 18:02
It’s so fascinating that you bring up that kiddos usually have great boundaries, because what I noticed in the last two years, as I’ve been doing this work for myself is that my parenting style has totally changed. And now accepting what my kids say, you know, when they say they don’t like something or someone not pushing them to cross their own boundaries has been something that I’ve had to learn. You know, I’ve been a parent for 14 years. So that was 12 years into my parenting journey of like, Oh, my goodness, I’ve been treating these three little boys like they don’t know what they want or like what they want is not okay. And and of course, I realize because that is just a generational thing that we all get programmed. But I’m really hoping and praying that our generation is one to like, interrupt that cycle.

Nedra Glover Tawwab 18:57
You know it what you just said, it made me think of, you know, there have been times where my kids have said that they don’t like a particular family member that I like, and I have fought the urge to advocate for this person. But what I realize is I have a relationship with that person. My kids don’t have that same relationship. So they have the right to dislike this person or not not disliked but not want to spend time with him. Right? You know, they have their option of other people is not going to be this person I really like because, yeah, I like that person. And my preferences are different. Guess what I’m typically doing with adults, adult stuff. So my kids like people who who probably can, you know, show some interest get on their level like all of this stuff. So the people I’m picking as you should like them. It’s based on our love of like watching Game of Thrones. And I’m telling my kids you should like exam. Right? Right, what

Kristen Carder 20:02
why they’re boring or right. Yes, one of the questions that I like to ask myself is like, what’s in it for them? You know, I can see what’s in it for me with this other person, but what’s in it for my kids? Like, they’re just gonna come and like, sit? And listen, that’s not fun for a kid. Yeah, I totally relate to that. So I’m curious, how do we know when our boundaries have been crossed?

Nedra Glover Tawwab 20:32
Hmm. I’m going to turn this question back on you, when you are having a boundary challenge. What are you filling your body?

Kristen Carder 20:41
Yeah, this has been some deep work in the last couple of years. Because that is how I know when my boundary has been crossed, is that my body reacts. And as someone who was kind of groomed and taught not to pay attention to her body, not to pay attention to the way that I was feeling. That has been a complete relearning for me to first notice, pay attention to acknowledge, validate the way that my body feels. And so usually it is just like rising up from my stomach up into like, my throat area, and I feel very, very tense. I just, I know, in my body, and logic comes later. For me. It’s my body that responds first. Would you say that’s typical? I don’t

Nedra Glover Tawwab 21:40
Yeah, I would say we start to get nervous. We have headaches, we have stomach aches, we have eye twitches, we have sweaty palms, our heart rate increases. One thing I find is we talk about the fence with multiple people, someone’s self, because we’re seeking validation for this even being a boundary issue. Oh, my gosh, so and so came over here. And can you believe they asked me this? Because we want this other person to say yes, that’s terrible, then it’s like, okay, great. I have a real issue now. And it’s like you already had an issue because in that moment, you are uncomfortable. In that moment, you are uncomfortable. What tends to happen is we ignore how we physically feel. And we ignore how are we emotionally feel, whether emotionally we are feeling anxious, upset, depressed, any of these things, resentful burnout, we ignore it, because we are hoping that we are not right. It’s like, I do not want to be right about how I feel about this thing that I know is troubling. Well, why we don’t want to have it civil situate conversation. We don’t want to create chaos, we don’t want to make the other person feel uncomfortable. So as much as we can, we will try to continue to go along with it. You know, one of the things I try to do with my kids is reassure them that if my feelings are hurt, that’s for me to deal with. And you need to be able to tell me stuff. So if I’m hurt by what you say it that is my business, I need to go cry. I need to go journal, I need to talk to my therapist. You don’t have to help me feel better. Like that’s not your job, say whatever you need to say. So they’ll be like, what’s that dark mark on your face? I’m like, Oh my gosh, I guess that’s caught a zit. You know, so, you know, they’ll say stuff like, oh, this macaroni is not as good as the Trader Joe’s macaroni. I’m like, Okay, thank you, for your honesty. Duly noted. I make great Caroni by the way, but it is not what little kids like.

Kristen Carder 23:59
Okay, I could have a whole conversation with you about macaroni, because yes, all of the drama around the specific kind that each child’s I have three, they all like different macaroni. It’s like oh my word with the macaroni preferences. And yet they’re still allowed to have their preferences. And that’s what I think is so hard as humans, especially humans, who, as children, we weren’t allowed to express our preferences as adults, learning that it is actually very natural and beautiful and good. That your kids are telling you what they like and what they don’t like and what they prefer and what they don’t prefer, including being around people or going places or eating something. And I think that allowing that from our kids and tolerating our own discomfort, as you said, like not making them responsible for it. That is some very deep work. And now a word from our sponsor. Hey, Kristen here. I’m the host of this podcast, an ADHD expert and a certified life coach who’s helped hundreds of adults with ADHD understand their unique brains and make real changes in their lives. If you’re not sure what a life coaches let me tell you, a life coach is someone who helps you achieve your goals like a personal trainer for your life. A life coach is a guide who holds your hand along the way as you take baby step after baby step to accomplish the things that you want to accomplish. A good life coach is a trained expert, who knows how to look at situations or situations with non judgmental neutrality, and offer you solutions that you’ve probably never even considered before. If you’re being treated for your ADHD, and maybe even you’ve done some work in therapy, and you want to add to your scaffolding of support, you’ve got to join my group coaching program focused focused is where functional adults with ADHD surround each other with encouragement and support. And I lead the way with innovative and creative solutions to help you fully accept yourself, understand your ADHD, and create the life that you’ve always wanted to create. Even with ADHD. Go to I have adhd.com/focused to join. And I hope to see you in our community today.

Nedra Glover Tawwab 26:31
What think one of the biggest mistakes we make in adulthood is trying to forget how we felt in childhood. And I’m not talking about trauma, I’m talking about every single day stuff being forced to eat stuff you didn’t want to eat, starting a new school, being uncomfortable being around a certain person, I’m not talking about, you know, the severe emotional neglect physical, I’m talking about that everydayness of not being able to control your life. You know, do you remember like not being able to open a jar? How powerless that was, or not being able to reach something. And here we are as adults, like annoyed that this person, this little tiny person that’s like, can you get that for me is like, um, you know, I remember being three feet.

Kristen Carder 27:29
I bet you were so cute. Were you the cutest? Kid, I bet you

Nedra Glover Tawwab 27:35
that was kind of adorable. But you know, I think if we can just remember that we used to be this thing. We can really tap into some power of accepting preferences not just with kids, but with adults, like it’s normal is normal. let’s normalize having preferences.

Kristen Carder 27:57
You know, it’s so interesting, as you’re talking about that, I’m remembering how I could not wait to be an adult. I couldn’t wait. I was so excited. But then becoming an adult you navigating that and transitioning into like, Okay, now I’m an adult. But a lot of times, I still feel like a kid in expressing my preferences and in being afraid of how someone’s going to react to me when I state a boundary. And I was wondering if you would mind. Like just talking a little bit about how maybe the nervous system plays into us not being willing to set a boundary because you said something so poignant a little while ago about like, we actually don’t want to set boundaries. We don’t want to be right, that our boundary has been violated because we know that that will require something of us. We know that means like, dang, now I have to go have this difficult conversation. Or Dang, now I have to set a limit here or express a preference. How does the nervous system play into that? Do you think because I find that I go into like, flight fight freeze sometimes fawning, like Oh, it’s fine. It’s fine. Like it’s not a problem. And it is something that happens automatically within me. So is there a connection there to like how our nervous system reacts when we go to set a boundary?

Nedra Glover Tawwab 29:20
Absolutely. Our nervous system is always at play. It’s always at play whether you know we’re startle we need to set a boundary. That’s where that you know, when we need to set a boundary some of us will, will deflect Oh, they you know, they didn’t really mean it this way. Some of us will try to ignore it until it becomes too big. Some of us will try to address it, but we become too aggressive. And some of us will never say anything. One of the things I talk about in my book is, you know, being passive about how we respond to boundaries being aggressive. Sif, being assertive, being passive aggressive, because sometimes we’re responding. But we’re responding in our behaviors, not not words, and people don’t really know that we have an issue with them. So we just start being mean to them, or we start, you know, doing all these things. And they’re like, Wait, whoa, where did this come from? Well, we’re being I’m going to show you that I’m upset with you, because you make me feel uncomfortable telling you or I don’t feel comfortable telling you. So our nervous system is is certainly at play when we’re having a reaction to the discovery of needing to set a boundary. It’s a, you know, for many of us, it’s an unfortunate event. And I tell you, when we wait too long to set boundaries. It’s usually an explosion. Yeah, the other person is completely shocked. Because they’ve been doing this thing for 20 years imagine, you know, allowing someone to mispronounce your name. I had an uncle who would mispronounce my name. And every time I would try to correct him family members will say, well, that’s just how he say it. Well, he say a lot of other things. If you could say Crover, you could say nhadra. Agree, we’ll need you to learn my name. Because I don’t want to be it’s not like it was a nickname. It was just the wrong or wrong way to say my name. You weren’t calling me baby girl. You were calling me now dress up? You know. So it’s like, are you asking me to accept this? And why? Because you don’t want you haven’t dealt with it? So now I’m at a certain age where I’m tired of it. Yep. And so when I say something to this person, it’s like, oh, you’re being so me. AMA. I say his name properly. Hmm. Am I being dean? Now? What if I just started mispronouncing his name? Would that be okay? That’s not okay to do the two people. So you never have to learn in a is what I’m hearing.

Kristen Carder 32:10
Yeah, and that is just fascinating. Because it it says if the whole family community comes around, and prevents us from setting very simple boundaries, or stating very simple preferences, if a kid doesn’t like a meal, like don’t tell your grandma that you didn’t like it, you know, or if, if they if you don’t want to go to this place with your with your auntie, it’s like, well just just go, it’s fine. It’ll be you know, just an hour of your time. It’s like, the whole family comes around, at least in my experience, and and helps each other not to set boundaries.

Nedra Glover Tawwab 32:48
Oh, I’ll tell you my daughter, she had a bully at her class last year. And I had to go on the field trip with them. And she’d already see it, you know, I’m gonna point out the class bully to you have like, okay, so she did a slight little, that’s him. And then he sat with her during one of these activities on the trip. And he was trying to engage her and she would not talk to him. And she’s like, I’m not talking to him. He’s me. And I just let her like, her boundary is she doesn’t want to talk to you anymore. She doesn’t care if you want to play with her in his moment. Maybe you’re only doing this because I’m here. I don’t know. But she’s done with you, buddy. Yeah.

Kristen Carder 33:30
I love that. Done. When you love that. And five years ago, me would have been like, you have to at least be naive to talk about the like I would have,

Nedra Glover Tawwab 33:41
you’d have to talk. Yes.

Kristen Carder 33:42
I love that. That’s so good. What would you say is the difference between setting a boundary and trying to control someone else’s behavior? Because I think we get that mixed up a lot. And I would love to hear your perspective on that.

Nedra Glover Tawwab 33:58
Well, a boundary is controlling your space, your stuff, it’s about you. The other person sometimes will tell people what they can do with their stuff. What they can do with their life. You know, you can’t let them talk to you like that. Well, they’re doing they’re letting that person talk to them like that. You may not like it, but you can’t intervene in that situation. If they don’t see a problem. You can’t drink anymore. That’s a big one. with substance use. We often tell people you can no longer do drugs. Well, you know they can. You may not like it now what you can say is with me in my home, when we’re out together with like, you can give a lot of things that really do have to do with you. You can’t control what they do outside of your preps. You can tell them you know I’m hurt and vibe you can do a lot of things but what you can’t do it control their behavior? I have seen people, you know, maybe not help someone. Oh, they’re just going to use it for alcohol. Yeah, they may? I don’t know, but you can’t control what they spend their money.

Kristen Carder 35:15
Yep. Wow. So a boundary has everything to do with us. Me personally and my space and control is trying to manage someone else’s behavior and someone else’s space. Is that clear? A clear distinction? Absolutely. That’s really, really helpful. That’s really helpful. Sometimes when we set boundaries, actually, in my experience, oftentimes when we set boundaries, the people on the receiving end of the boundary are not super excited about it. They’re not pumped to hear about my boundaries and my preferences. How do you encourage people to handle the discomfort that comes when other people may be pushed back or defensive or test our limits? You speak a lot about that in your book? How do we handle people who are not thrilled with the boundaries that we are, that we are stating?

Nedra Glover Tawwab 36:23
I think it’s a lot of personal practicing, that needs to be done. Some of that is journaling speaking with your therapist, having a group of friends and family that you can talk through some of these challenges with also maybe, you know, having your own process for these are the ways in which I take care of myself when I’m not having such a great day. But you cannot exist in a space where you’re never offended, like is not even possible. And sometimes people say hard things to us, I spoke about that earlier. And whatever we need to do, we need to go cry, we need to you know, feel bad about it, all of that stuff. But isn’t that what makes a healthy relationship, someone being able to be honest with us and say, Hey, I don’t like this thing. I wish we could do this thing a little bit differently. It doesn’t have to be the only way we can have a happy relationship is if everything goes my way.

Kristen Carder 37:29
I heard a quote, I don’t remember whose quote it was, I’m sure I was scrolling Instagram. And it was something to the effect of if there’s never conflict in your relationship. It’s not a healthy relationship. And I thought that was so interesting, because I think for myself, and most people like me, at least in our family of origin units, we’re trying to make it so that there’s never any conflict. There’s never a ripple, I don’t want to make my mom mad, I don’t want to make my sister upset. I don’t want to say this to my grandma. Because that will hurt her feelings. We’re trying so hard not to have conflict. And I love that twist of like, actually, that’s what makes a healthy relationship is the ability to have the conflict and have the expressed needs. And then the Ouch, you know, reaction to it. And then kind of managing that together.

Nedra Glover Tawwab 38:27
Yeah, I can’t imagine a world where it’s just no conflict. Like that sounds like paradise. To me, it doesn’t sound like Earth. We live on Earth, we’re in relationships with people who have preferences and lots of stuff going on. And they might want something different. At some point, they may feel like something is too much or not enough. And that’s, that’s okay. Like we have those same preferences, I think of people setting boundaries as me as kind of a safety mechanism because it’s like, you know what, I feel more secure in this relationship. Because if I’m adhering to your boundaries, that means that I can also have some boundaries, and you’ll adhere to them. Because now I know that you understand boundaries. Yeah. It’s it’s a great motivator to see someone setting boundaries in a relationship is like, oh my gosh, did you just tell me that you didn’t feel like talking anymore? Whoa. Like, I’m gonna try that one. Yeah. It’s like, I’m not even mad at you. I’m not even mad at you. Like I really respect that. And that’s something that I need to implement implement in my life.

Kristen Carder 39:41
I agree. It’s, it’s such a green flag. We talk a lot about red flags, but it’s such a green flag in a relationship when someone can tell you like, hey, I really didn’t like the way that came out. Is there a different way that you could say that because that really, you know, the way that you just said that really hurt me? I’m was like, wow, that, first of all, it takes so much self awareness to be able to do that in real time. And then secondly, to feel safe enough to express a preference with me means that we’ve really created a beautiful relationship. I just really appreciate you being here. And I’m just curious, like, if someone is feeling very lost when it comes to boundaries, other than of course, reading your book set boundaries, find peace, a guide to reclaiming yourself such a good book, what’s maybe the first step that someone can take with, you know, testing? Can I set a boundary? And what’s the first step? Do you think

Nedra Glover Tawwab 40:47
I would say go to my website, there is a boundaries quiz. Perfect, where you can figure out if your boundaries are in a healthy space or an unhealthy space. And from there, you will know, okay, I need to read a book, I need to talk to a therapist, I need to take a course, I need to begin the steps of this. Sometimes our boundaries are really wonderful in you know, the area of friendship and terrible at work, you know, so there can be work to be done. And we need to figure out what that stuff is. But sometimes just taking a simple quiz can let us know like, Okay, I have work to do. And you can figure out, okay, where do I want to start, I have a workbook, I have a workbook. And for people who are like, Oh my gosh, I don’t want to read 200 pages of anything. I think the workbook is a wonderful place to start, because that is like doing the stuff to help you set the boundary like what is your barrier? What do you think this person will say? Is it like, what is the likelihood that this will actually happen? What boundaries? Do you need to state with this friend? What boundaries do you need to state with your mom? What’s stopping you from doing that? So it walks you from beginning to end and really helps you practice, practice, practice, practice, because we only become better at setting boundaries with lots of practice. And I don’t know if it’s something we ever master, there’ll be a time where we’re like, you know what, I don’t even need to set boundaries anymore. If you’re in relationships with others and in the world, you will need to set some boundaries forever and ever. That is, isn’t a wheel a boundary?

Kristen Carder 42:36
Oh, my goodness, oh, well,

Nedra Glover Tawwab 42:39
we’ll just a big fat boundary. This is what you this is what you do with that. So even on our death. It’s like, you know what, this is how I would like things to go. I mean, so we’re constantly in this phase of like, stating our needs, our preferences, our wishes, our desires. Some of us even avoid wheels. You know, I’m often shocked when I hear about like, celebrities not wanting to have a wheel in place, and the chaos it creates in the aftermath, because it’s like, I don’t even want to strongly state who I feel should get this thing. And yeah, I’m just gonna avoid it. I’m just gonna avoid it. I’ve never got to say, who should get my you know, in their case, you know, it’d be like a lot of 500 million. I’m so afraid to say that this person is who I trust that I’m just never say that. And you know, half of it’ll go to the government. That’s how hard it is for me to set a boundary.

Kristen Carder 43:53
Wow. Wow, I never made that connection, that A will is a boundary and it is just boundary after boundary preference after preference. And the chaos that comes I mean, you just illustrated it after death. But the chaos that comes in our lives when we’re not willing to set boundaries is massive.

Nedra Glover Tawwab 44:15
Yeah, I’m to the point where, you know, with my loved ones, I’m like, you’re getting a will for Christmas. You don’t you don’t have to give me anything. That’s not my expectation. I’m not doing it to gain it. I just want you to have clarity with the people you want to give stuff to because there’s nothing worse than grieving and fighting.

Kristen Carder 44:37
Oh, that’s beautiful grieving. Right? Yeah, because people

Nedra Glover Tawwab 44:41
want that clock or people want this thing. I want you why you hear this. So all I need is your president befuddles other folks, please tell them who’s gonna get your tea set because it will be. I’ve seen it in my family where people are arguing Over artifact. So it’s like, I wish this person would have just said, You know what, here’s who getting this. But again, that discomfort is like, I won’t even say you guys deal with, well, if you leave, you know, 30 people to deal with one thing that sounds like chaos. Absolutely, absolutely. This is not a commercial in a state that way,

Kristen Carder 45:25
not sponsored by LegalZoom. Okay. Well, thank you. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. Honestly, it’s just such a pleasure to have you. And I just hope and pray that our generation of adults who are stepping into adulthood and navigating this with so many more resources and access to therapy and just the ability to understand boundaries on such a deeper level than our parents were ever able to, I would love for us to change the tide here so that really, our kids and our kids kids can have a completely different experience. And I know that you are just such a huge, huge part of that. So thank you for your time. It’s been such a pleasure. A few years ago, I went looking for help. I wanted to find someone to teach me how to feel better about myself and to help me improve my organization productivity, time management, emotional regulation, you know, all the things that we adults with ADHD struggle with, couldn’t find anything. So I researched and I studied and I hired coaches and I figured it out. Then I created focused for you. Focus is my monthly coaching membership where I teach educated professional adults how to accept their ADHD brain and hijack their ability to get stuff done. Hundreds of people from all over the world are already benefiting from this program and I’m confident that you will to go to Ihaveadhd.com/focused for all details

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