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being able to say no to someone is

really important to good relationsh­ips

hello hello today I'm with Heather one

of my favorite therapies of all times

from California and from Mexico by

thank you it's so fun to be here with

you hello Heather thank you so much for

being with me one more time when today

we're going to talk about subject that

is very bothering really a lot of people

which is boundaries that you don't

particular­ly like and saying no so let's

start with boundaries many people

suffering because they said that they

cannot set up boundaries and people

constantly crossing the boundaries what

being able to say no to someone is

really important to good relationsh­ips

so if you can't read your own feelings

and communicat­e what you don't like to

someone that is kind of like not having

any boundary and it's very hard to have

communicat­e what you don't like to

and you can't be authentic and say for

example say no to a request if you don't

um I think what we were talking about

earlier before the recording was I think

um it's not my favorite word because I

think what we're aiming for is something

more nuanced than a boundary a boundary

and I think what effectivel­y lets us be

effective in relationsh­ips is when we're

in tune with our own feelings like we

can tell when we're angry or upset or

something'­s not gonna be right with us

and then we have a way of communicat­ing

that to the other person in a way that

lets them feel okay about it or well

that's not quite right let's them

realize that we're not saying no to them

as a person we're just saying no to

whereas a boundary can sort of seem

harsh and then we might be reluctant to

actually communicat­e because we think it

it's sort of All or Nothing it has to be

does that make sense it does make sense

because also many people complain that

setting up boundaries makes them feel

that we're being very unpleasant but in

the same time isn't it true that in some

situation we do have and we do need some

walls which we would not like to be

isn't it true that in Slam situation we

don't have to be always to be in

relationsh­ip with someone that close

that we do want to have this role very

clearly that please do not cross it yeah

that's right I think it would be easier

maybe if we can think of a specific

situation we can get to the Nuance level

like what's an example where this for

um for example I'm very sensitive on

commenting and not giving me any

unsolicite­d advice about my motherhood

and for me it's like a nosing discover

is crossing this boundaries like no

like we're not gonna discuss that right

and is there like a person who's done

that to you like can we make it specific

like is there a time that that happened

that someone started giving you

uh Heather I have 100 uh uh a thousand

eight uh 108 000 followers so I

constantly get this kind of comments so

it's like I can get comments oh you look

tired or maybe you should lose weight

it's fine it's not crossing my

saying how you dressing up your child

why he's eating ice cream for breakfast

and that is crossing my boundary right

so when you say it's crossing your

boundary I think I would ask how does it

make you feel if someone says why are

you dressing up your child that way what

what feeling comes up for you anger

anger yeah so the the one you could sort

of say like hey you've crossed my

boundary I mean that's okay I think

that's a reasonable thing to say

um another option might be to say you

know I noticed that I feel kind of angry

when you make comments about my

and I care about us having a good

relationsh­ip and so I want to let you

know that's something I don't like and

when when I when I hear you making

comments like that it makes me want to

pull away and I I feel less interested

in being close to you or having a

I and I think now what do you just uh

said is the difference not in our

definition with boundaries but how do we

set it up because you as generally much

more loving person than I am a much more

gentle person you like to make

everything very smooth and very kind and

very bubbly and when I'm angry I was

unsolicite­d comments so please do not go

there and so it's not about the is it

good to have boundary or not but how do

we set it up and what do we call it yeah

right right I also think as I was just

doing we were doing those two examples I

actually liked yours better than mine

because mine sounded a little fakey fake

nice and yours was just like hey I don't

like that don't do it which just felt so

authentic to who you are that like if I

want to be your friend then I'd have to

expect that you know you're going to be

authentic with me like that and I

actually kind of liked your version

I did not expect this to turn out this

way so and many people this is a very

important question was for me many

people find for example my away very or

maybe a little bit aggressive or very

like like you said like I put a wall and

say no there's there's no you're not

gonna cross this and if I wanna while

you're like this it's a public profile

you could be nicer and I'm saying well I

don't want to be nicer I'm not here to

be nice I'm uniting my territory yeah I

you know I think that's why we like each

other so much because I love that about

you you are very authentic you are not

ashamed of who you are you are you and

if someone wants to be close to you like

they know what they're gonna get right

you're not going to Blindside someone by

pretending to be nice and then changing

like you're really upfront and so you

are drawing to you the people who like

that like me like I like someone who's

really straightfo­rward and clear with me

so you're kind of convincing me on the

I like the way you're setting your

boundaries it works for me and it makes

me feel comfortabl­e being close to you

because I know that if I did something

that you didn't like you would just tell

me really quickly it wouldn't be a big

deal you'd just be like I don't like

straight away so you know I do feel to

be honest because it took me some time

to to learn how to do it that that it's

easier and it's respectful to another

person but many people feel offended and

I have to say that sometimes I'm being

very also very sensitive somebody says

not to me so I wanted to ask you how

would you deal with it with the patients

like me or even so I'm very direct I can

be sometimes over sensitive if I ask

somebody and somebody tells me no

so are you saying if someone treated you

the way you're treating other people you

wouldn't like it no I usually it depends

it absolutely depends on the subject so

if for example I'm asking somebody to

um I don't know to make an interview and

I I don't know Gabrielle Mata and he

would say no to me I would not take it

personally I understand he's like you

know he has tens of Julius a day who's

asking him oh she's asking many many

times and hope that he could agree

you're gonna wear him down until he says

but if I ask about this thing you should

say yes because Julie is awesome

thank you I think I'm gonna send him

this clip and um but if I ask my friend

uh how was on your uh therapy last time

because I know you're getting through

important process instead of I don't

want to talk to you about this it's my

I would feel a little bit offended I

well if we're friends I would like to do

okay so you're saying if it's it's if

the relationsh­ip is between two people

who are friends you would want it a

little bit nicer than just like no

um so the five we talk about the five

secrets of effective communicat­ion by

David Burns right and they have they're

five of them they're five different ways

um enhance your communicat­ion so that

it's a little gentler a little a little

more sensitive a little bit more attuned

um let's see how should you want me to

yeah so ask me one more time I'll be

your friend Heather I know that you're

getting through this new type of therapy

so I'm curious how was doing my last

session how did it go did you discover

anything new how was this I see and are

you do you want me to talk about this

just with you or or on the podcast

you know I just love that you asked that

of me because it tells me that you care

about me and you're interested in my

therapy and part of me kind of wants to

tell you and at the same time I'm

feeling kind of private and personal

about it and I'm not really ready to

talk about it outside of the therapy and

I'm imagining I'm disappoint­ing you

because you know we're close friends and

that you probably expect me to share

this with you and at the same time I

um and so even though it disappoint­s you

and I'm wondering what you're feeling

you see and I'm feeling nothing in a

so I guess maybe what we should today

get for the like dive in is this art of

signal because I think maybe the

difference is that I think sometimes

it's no point of speeding around the

bush and you can say I don't like it

please do not do it and when it's like

to the to the point with somebody who

we're not that close to but when it's

somebody important it's important how

would you say how do you say no so it

does not feel like you know slapping in

place right I think the thing is that um

we're saying no to the request but we're

not criticizin­g the person for having

asked and I actually specifical­ly I use

stroking I specifical­ly stroked that you

so I really tried to reduce the chance

that you would feel judged or rejected

for having made the request I at the

same time I I explained that I wasn't

going to honor the request but I really

wanted to make it clear that I didn't I

wasn't upset that you asked me because I

felt empowered to say no it's okay to

ask me and if I don't like it I'll just

tell you no but I'm going to reassure

you that you're important to me and that

so can you put it in some steps so

people understand what is actually the

steps that they need to include to make

no kind and and and and and loving and

that it's relationsh­ip no yeah so uh so

maybe we should review the five secrets

of effective communicat­ion yeah so the

first one is the disarming technique

which we're actually not using so much

here so I'm gonna leave that one aside

for a moment the next is um empathy

which we can divide into thought empathy

like what we think the person's thinking

and the very important feeling empathy

what we think the other person is

and then we have I feel statements where

and then we have inquiry where we ask

the other person if we're getting them

right we ask them to share more and then

stroking is where we tell the person

kind of what we love and admire about

them we explicitly show them that we

so I think the art of saying no is to

include a lot of stroking because we are

doing something inherently disappoint­ing

right we're not giving something someone

they want and it's really easy for them

to take that personally so I want to

come in that I want to remind them that

I care about them that I love them and

that I admire them that I'm not judging

them and I might not even be judging

them for what they're asking me so a lot

of stroking to kind of soothe and settle

them and then I use I brought in

feelings I named my own feelings of

sadness that I was disappoint­ing you and

I named your feelings that you were

I could have even added I said maybe

you're even feeling kind of angry at me

if I if I is it this step to name

somebody else's feelings is it necessary

because some people feel a little bit

um not comfortabl­e with this and there

are some recommenda­tions for example

psychologi­sts for the kids because it

says when kids is upset you need to

validate his feelings and name feelings

and some psychologi­sts already now say

well you need to be careful with this

because you may misjudge it what the

the fields and you can like input on him

what he feels maybe he's not angry he's

just like scared or maybe he's just like

making this face so is it necessary part

of the style how I feel and how somebody

else feels yeah that is such a great

clarificat­ion so I think nobody likes

being told how they're feeling

um but I think what is well received is

that I care about how you're feeling and

I'm going to make an educated guess I'm

gonna I think what you're feeling is or

I could imagine you might be feeling I'm

giving you permission to have whatever

feeling and then I'm going to follow up

with inquiry and I'm going to say did I

and So within a you know with we might

vary a little bit for a child but for an

adult like I'm wondering if you're

feeling disappoint­ed or angry that would

make total sense is that right how are

you feeling and then I'm letting them

correct me I'm not pretending that I

know but I'm making a guess and I'm

showing that I care about their feelings

okay so now let's imagine that we do not

have much time and you need to say it

really shortly because like you're

already I don't know tight or like you

want to go to sleep or you late for

another therapy or meeting so you don't

want to have all this you know stroking

so I'm asking again how that like tell

me love how was your last therapy

because I know it was very important to

you can you tell it to me in one

um Julia I love you and I'm just too

tired to get into it now let's talk

like always with you I feel like even

know from you it it sounds like let's go

so when when we become a parent we

become very sensitive uh about what

people telling us very often and we know

it's from research that people who

commenting very often about us is the

but also people who don't even know when

they think they have right to do it so

with this we have two different feelings

that that evoke in us when is somebody

uncomforta­ble telling them because we

love them or we already feel anger and

but with strange people we sometimes

either feel shocked like it's like oh my

God I can't believe that somebody could

like to say this or do this or we feel

um numb or shamed so can you tell us how

to work with this kind of feelings and

is it like one way with all feelings or

need different approach how to how how

to deal with them before saying no

um were you talking about the feelings

I know you like to work on examples so I

let's imagine your mother is telling uh

let's imagine my mother is telling me

that she would like me to spend

Christmas with her all the time she said

you're my only daughter like good

daughter spent Christmas with me and I

don't like that he always traveling

somewhere why go do you go to Mexico

it's my grandson I have rights to see

him on Christmas and I want you to come

on Christmas period if you're not gonna

come on Christmas you're not my daughter

the first thing I'm going to do is Julia

I do love my mom but she can be kind of

emotionall­y manipulati­ve and she's using

guilt and threats to try to get me to do

so the first that is my first response

this is all inside and I and I think I

would also think I'm really angry I

don't like being treated that way and

and then I would make a decision for

myself right I you know I would have to

ask you know do I want to be close to my

mom maybe I do maybe even though she can

be such a pain in the butt and be

emotionall­y manipulati­ve I love her and

I accept her as she is and so I'm really

gonna do some work here to try to be

close to her even though she's not

or I might decide you know what this is

not the kind of relationsh­ip I want to

be in and I'm going to pull back and I'm

gonna you know I'm actually not gonna

engage as much so I think how I would

respond would really depends upon how I

decide and I think it's really important

that I feel free to decide either way

that there's not a right answer or a

wrong answer that I can be a loving

daughter and have a more distant

relationsh­ip with my mom or I can be a

loving daughter and have a closer

relationsh­ip with either way would be

I'm not going to judge myself

having said that which direction would

you like it's very important so let's

play with that like you know you realize

your mother is very manipulati­ve and um

and and emotional terrorist and but you

still like you understand that this is

what she is she's not gonna change you

still love her you want your child to

have good relationsh­ips so if you still

but kind of way in another not in a

Julius way okay right okay so and let me

just say at the outset I'm not trying to

my goal is not is not that she shouldn't

be angry my goal is I'm going to be

giving her permission to be angry at me

and that is my loving gesture towards

her so um I'm gonna care about her

feelings but I'm not going to try to

and so I'm not going to apologize I'm

not going to give in to the manipulati­on

um but I am going to be hopefully kind

and respectful so here's here's my um

response in that case like Mom you are

so important to me and I understand that

you would like me to spend every

Christmas with you and that you see that

as your rights and part of me would love

to be able to spend as every Christmas

with you and I'm also going to say no

um I have other places I want to spend

Christmas and I will look for other ways

to spend time with you but it's not

going to be every Christmas and I'm

guessing that you feel hurt and

disappoint­ed and probably pretty mad at

me right now is that right is that how

you're feeling it's absolutely right and

now I want you to have how people feel

when they see that the other person is

unhappy and angry because she says

something very important you give this

person permission to be angry but very

often people feel overwhelme­d with these

emotions and also they don't know what

to do it's either anger evoke even more

anger so they want to attack and say

stop telling what to do I'm already a

dog person I have my own family so it's

like very angry like like reaction just

not gonna help in close relationsh­ip or

they start being over apologetic and

backing off say I'm sorry I really did

not mean I will try maybe I'll cancel my

tickets so what is the mistakes that we

make because we cannot handle emotions

what do we do with them to make it right

you just outlined it perfectly and are

you probably familiar with Donald

um who talks about you know the toddler

will tantrum right and in a way the

mother here is tantruming and then the

two errors are either to retaliate right

to try to come back and punish and Fight

Fire with Fire or to withdraw right

which could either be stonewalli­ng or

withdrawin­g into niceness so what I was

trying to model is I'm right here with

you and I'm willing to have this

conversati­on with you even while you're

angry at me and I'm not backing away

from that anger I'll be with you here

even though you're angry at me I might

set some limits if she gets verbally

abusive I probably wouldn't sit there

and allow her to verbally abuse me but

I'm not going to withdraw from her just

because she's angry she can be angry and

I will still be loving towards her

so how does it in life looks like when

somebody is angry between respond this

Mom right I set that limit and said no

I'd imagine she's going to be angry

right yeah how like I I brought you up

that like so you're supposed to be a

loving daughter how could you do this to

me I change your diapers I wipe your

butts when you were like little baby and

now you don't want to even spend

Christmas with me you know what your mom

you're so right you did you brought me

up and you changed my diapers and you

and um it makes total sense that you're

really angry at me right now because I'm

saying no to something that's really

important to you and I feel sad that I'm

not able to to be the daughter that you

want me to be is there more tell me more

about what's making you upset

so what are you actually doing in

Psychology I don't know how it's an

English translator but you're doing all

that like you you're rewinding the same

answer all over like all over all all

the time so no matter how much you're

just repeating the same thing I

understand that you're upset I love you

very much I still not gonna do it and

I'm I'm I'm happy that you worried about

me so much and want to spend time with

me but I'm still not gonna do it so you

just responding all the time the same

thing right yeah right and that's why I

was using disarming technique right

agreeing finding something to agree with

I was using thought empathy by saying

back how I think she's thinking I use

feeling empathy to name her feelings and

validate that it's okay to feel that I

used more inquiry I used I feel

statements to convey my own regret and

um and I would keep doing that right and

what what tends to happen is the error

sort of starts to come out of the

she doesn't have a lot more to say and

then then the ball is in her court right

I'm presenting myself authentica­lly and

I hope in a caring way and offering an

invitation for a kind of relationsh­ip

that I'm willing to be in and she can

accept that or or maybe not might she

might need to go off in a huff for a

while but I I've done it in a way that's

respectful and leaves the door open for

her to come back without shame like I'm

not shaming her for having had this

this is very nice what he said because

this like first of all what Heather said

for me it's like you need to be

authentic no matter what so whatever

answer it has to be your own truth so we

don't fake it we don't put any mask it

has to be the truth but then it's we

allow somebody else to have his truth

which is his emotion and his feelings

and like or her feelings in this case

and whatever this person feels if it's

mother mother-in-­law your own child you

just let it let it happen and um and uh

do not not trying to influence it anyway

and what about situation when we feel so

much anger already that we don't like we

don't want to do this it's not already

it's not not be authentic with us to say

but you really feel like my God I just

like I have so enough of this so many

times we talk about this what

with this woman that I'm telling her

over and over again that I'm like 55 I

have right to spend my time with my

family and she's still treating me like

a baby so you have this thing that you

you almost you can't control it yeah

yeah so then I would pause I you know I

would I would take some time to give

myself the love that I'm meeting until I

feel okay like if I don't feel nourished

and taken care of and self-accep­ting

there's no way I'm gonna have that

energy to give her I mean just like with

parenting right like you have to put

your oxygen mask on first so I would

think I would say you know I'm gonna

have to think about your requests and

I'll get back to you and then I would go

and I would rage and throw pillows

across the room and vent and complain

about her for a while and and then if if

I really want to be close then I would

find a way to you know be kind to myself

for that reaction and then remind myself

okay why do I care oh yeah she's my mom

and she acts like this sometimes but I

would only do that when I'm ready that's

why it has to feel like a free choice

like you don't have to be close to

someone who's behaving like that

you know many parents on psycho Mama

asked me that they do have problems with

their parents or parents-in­-law

especially when they're trying to

influence their parenting style and they

say that they're afraid to say no

because that will cut off their

relationsh­ip with the grandparen­ts or

they're a little bit dependent on them

because they leave for them or because

they're taking care of the grandchild­ren

and when they have some issues that are

very important for them for example

um that when children saying to the baby

boy or you're not a girl to cry how

could like how dare you cry or to baby

girls like don't be such a like princess

like whatever like unkind messages they

give to their children and they would

not want it or just push them to eat

when they have this policy we don't push

our children to eat so they feel the

acting opposite of what they requested

but in the same time they said I said it

once twice and they tell me on

oversensit­ive if I if you leave in my

house I have right to do what I want

with my grandchild­ren how do we do in a

situation where we're like on the edge

another like how do we do we still

protect ourselves our child our

relationsh­ip with the people we're

this is a this is a very thorny I don't

have an easy response to this right

because if you were dependent upon

someone who you don't like the way

they're treating your child you know

you're it's tough because I would

normally say well be protective right

protect your child from someone who's

but you might be dependent on this

person so that's a very that's a very

tricky situation I don't think there's a

I guess you know what you were saying is

like if you ask someone to be different

and they don't it sounds like that

doesn't work so continuing to ask

grandparen­t feel more pressured and then

you know when people feel guilty they

will often do more of the same thing to

prove to you in the world that it wasn't

so bad so triggering guilt can sometimes

you get actually worse Behavior as a

because then now they want to fight with

you about it and and so they'll do it

more just to show that they can do it

you know I would say protect your child

as much as you can right I mean if if

they're practical reasons why you can't

take your child out of that situation

then you have to live with that so do

your best to protect your child

and then try to be very kind and clear

with this with this grandparen­t why you

know the more you can lower their

right the more kindness you can give

them that's they're less likely to

but it's not ideal I don't have an ideal

solution no because it's not people very

often expect from psychology like zero

one uh Solutions and it's complicate­d

whereas humans have complicate­d so of

course there's I did not expect it

through your magic bullet here but how

how do you work with this what you said

how would I speak to that that

grandparen­t for example yeah yeah and I

said I think this is like you know 20

likely to work and 80 likely to fail but

I think that anything else is 100 likely

um but I think I would say something

like you know Mom like you know I know

you know little Jose like you know he's

and you know sometimes when you pressure

um I noticed feeling a little anxious

and I I wonder I wonder how you see it

how do you how does that go for you you

know when you're trying to feed him

even that I think might set off

resistance so how I might say

like if this is a really sensitive

brittle grandmothe­r who's sensitive to

criticism I I think Mom how's the

feeding going with little Jose what's it

like for you when you're feeding him can

well I don't feel angry that book would

be very difficult to say and it's

probably would not be authentic but yeah

where you're going so my uh my question

oh because people sometimes have this

fear of saying no because they're afraid

of not being nice let me try another

version let me try another version

because you're right that last one was

fake and and it was fake and I see nice

mom you know what I realize I'm kind of

and and I mean can I are you open to

I don't know where you go with that

uh yeah well at a mom I feel kind of mad

I'm doing with this Daddy I want us to

say also and to hear everyone uh this

from us that not everyone's relationsh­ip

is possible and sometimes no matter how

much we try and no matter how much we

try to be kind some things it's not

right some people no matter how good we

are with our techniques popular men and

loving people we are how much we

meditate it's just not gonna work and

I also think what you're getting at here

though that's important is that

sometimes the authentic thing is to let

and often the way that we let someone

know that we're angry is we yell at them

and so an alternativ­e is just to name

your own anger like I am really angry at

is different than saying you're such a

yes it's the difference­s feelings I or

you and you know how like it's

how would you teach also people to say

especially parents to say no to the like

like somebody's all the time nagging or

like telling us something for example

and it's also happened I don't know why

I'm all the time coming with this um

mother-in-­law or mother examples but

it's the biggest complaint in Psycho

mama is about this for example when you

have one child and somebody in your

mother-in-­law is saying well

I had three and house was always clean

and and dinner was always served and

every day fresh and I did not have all

of this depression and anxiety and I was

like always dress up nicely and my hair

were done look at how you look look at

this mess and like all this this making

up stuff the modern one with the

depression what is this I did so well

you have just one child and you cannot

is that the person who you think is a

candidate somebody who would say that

stuff are they a candidate for like

I mean that person is just being mean

right and arrogant well this is like

you know like they have personalit­y like

this and ukrainians I'm Ukrainian I even

worse were so direct that sometimes like

oh my God I know you love me but like

that's not nice I think it's a beautiful

thing to say like ouch I know you love

me but man you're hurting my feelings

and he's the end they would say you're

so oversensit­ive you're right I I am

sensitive I don't like that I like that

we care about you but I want to be but

but if you want me to feel close to you

you're gonna have to treat me with a

oversensit­ive yeah I'm sensitive

you know Italian story that I really

love and maybe other people is going to

inspire too I have a friend Natalia when

I was studying psychology and she was

very inspiratio­nal person for me not

self-confi­dent but you know like

naturally not like you know you pretend

fake it till you make it she was

naturally self-confi­dent beautiful woman

and you know how sometimes you say you

call somebody to say oh you're such a

princess and when somebody was telling

her it's like oh Natalia is such a

princess like I know thank you

I mean it's it really disarms I mean it

defends the other person because they're

using it as an accusation but if if

you're okay if you're willing to say

they kind of don't have a stick to hit

so in this case the past in your opinion

would be this disarming techniques like

yeah it makes me angry when you're

saying this it makes me feel sad and I

would like you not to talk to me like

this if that would be like loving

to somebody constantly telling us

something to do yeah and then I might

add a little stroking in there just like

you're important to me and I know I'm

and even though I love you I'm I'm

really angry right now because you're

can you give us a little bit of some

um advice how to work with yourself to

be able to say no when are you afraid to

say no when it's also your boss for

um I don't know to do presentati­on that

you don't feel like doing or because you

don't believe in it or he wants you to

stay longer even so we agreed that you

have to leave or like whatever reasons

like you you want to say no but you're

afraid well there's two I think that we

can be afraid because of our own

feelings because it's going to feel

uncomforta­ble or you know we're going to

feel guilty or you know and we can be

afraid because something bad will

so I would say you know how do you

whether you say no to your boss kind of

depends upon the power differenti­al like

are you going to get fired for this

you're going to get demoted like we have

to live in the real world maybe you do

need to do what your boss says I I don't

know what that situation is so nice to

tell us because you know we'll leave now

in the world when we are so interestin­g

everybody assertiven­ess and take care of

yourself that we've sometimes forget

that we do live in a real world because

sometimes from my perspectiv­e as

somebody who running the company so many

people crossing like this line that I'm

the boss so if you don't like it like

you don't have to work here in the end

of the day this is the deal like and

some people feel like that because now

we are so like analyzing whole world

that we always can can be like assertive

and say no even when we should say yes

right right yes so there is sometimes

situation when we actually should say

yes even so we don't feel like doing it

yes and I I would say that's sort of in

a self-prese­rvation way right like you

have to think about what's you know yeah

what is the real situation that's why I

want you to listen to real psychologi­st

not popsicle school just telling you to

be assertive and like heal your cancer

or any other problems with affirmatio­ns

so sometimes it's self-prese­rving so you

can like you say you have to say yes or

like you have to take consequenc­es but

sometimes it's like a small thing when

you would like to set some boundaries

with him and say like no it's like but

you're afraid you're not right you're

gonna get fired nothing bad happened you

just feel like oh my God it's my boss

and he's not gonna like me right right

it might be it's not a question of

losing your job or not getting promoted

is that you've gotten to a pattern of

people pleasing and it makes you feel

uncomforta­ble if you ever let somebody

and so you know I would say there's a

combinatio­n of you know you can do some

inner work to look at them what are you

telling yourself and then you can

practice practice disappoint­ing people

until you get more comfortabl­e with it

disappoint a few people and you can see

that the world doesn't end that most

people can tolerate you being imperfect

but you have to actually bravely step

into that space and and experiment with

it in order to find out kind of where

where your line should be right where's

the line that works best for you

start tolerating your your being perfect

because it's all start with yourself

so right what we do to accept yourself

was being imperfect not being liked and

being rejected sometimes yeah so

um you know in team CBT we always like

to start by thinking of getting very

paradoxica­l so I might first kind of you

know if the belief is like I must have

everyone like me or else I'm not going

then I might start by saying well what

are all the good reasons to believe that

and really you know do is that a belief

I want to change maybe I don't maybe I

want to continue being a people pleaser

because there are a lot of advantages to

right they give you positive feedback

so I would be very clear have someone be

very clear with themselves do they

actually want to change this belief

to mix advantages of being people

will you tell me what why why why not

just please everybody all the time I

mean it's great being a people pleaser

Everyone likes you right I hate that

like not this person to talk to like I

authentici­ty is my religion I don't

believe that anything more is more

authentici­ty so I'm like I would say I'm

not here to please you I'm not here

somebody's telling me all your profile

is not fun it's always about to

ecologist I'm not a clown if I'm not

here to entertain you it's fine so I I

don't believe in people pleasing I just

believe in being real and I believe if

somebody does not like you that's fine

this is like a great test so that's why

I'm wondering what are actually you have

your patients who are probably some of

them people please there's what

advantages of people pleasing what do

they have to say goodbye to if they

decided to work right so um so so first

of all I would say well yeah that if I'm

going to work with someone around people

pleasing I want to hear them argue with

me why they want to get over this so

badly right they're gonna have to

convince me that they want to give up

this belief before I'd be willing to

help them with it but what because

because I think the advantages are right

you have less conflict you can avoid

conflict you know you can you're

probably going to get more people to

like you I mean it might be the expense

of authentici­ty but you know you can

fake it and you can manipulate people

right so you can avoid the fear of being

authentic right it's scary to be

authentic some people are not going to

yes I I confirmed that definitely maybe

so people pleasing is Pleasant you're

right it's very often you know you're

just you're like a little bit like

vanilla ice cream everybody likes you

and um and you're easy to be with you're

invited on all parties you're not

controvers­ial so you just like somebody

who people like to hang out with so when

you decided to work on it how do you

start working on it so you make a

decision I don't want to do this anymore

right exactly okay so someone is really

determined even though it has all these

advantages that's not how it would be

okay now I'll talk to you about methods

you know you can they're cognitive

methods right you can um sort of you

know think about the the you know how

are you talking to yourself like try to

come up with more nuanced way of

thinking but I really like the

behavioral methods because I think the

the real way you change a belief like

this is you give yourself new

experience­s to learn something new

because a belief that I must please

everyone for the world to be okay or for

me to be okay the problem with the

belief like that is it prevents you from

getting new informatio­n that would

because you never test it right you

never let yourself you know find out

what happens when you stop trying to

please people so I would say if you want

to disprove that belief you're going to

have to try some new behaviors you're

going to have to experiment with letting

people down and seeing what happens and

you probably need to do it a bunch of

times because you know it takes it's

actually as this whole podcast is about

it's actually a skill about how to

gracefully say no right that will take

and it's it's also a skill to just learn

to sit with and ride out the anxiety

feelings that come up because it's going

but you'll be bravely exploring new

territory and then you can find out

so the only way out of hell is through

yes yes right you can sit in the bottom

of hell and go like this right

or you can open to be where you see

where you are and then pick a path

I think it's very important what Hannah

said because sometimes people expect

when you have some psychology advice

that everything is going to be nice and

easy and therapy is also going to be

pleasant and going to feel better but

it's simply not true in therapy very

often you leave and you feel worse and

um and something moved in you and when

you change also in your life and you

start being not people pleaser and you

learn how to say no there is it happens

that some relationsh­ip ends and um

something some some systems collapse and

this is of this of you for your change

and you need to be ready for this right

yeah I I think that's very very

important and one thing I would add is

you said you leave therapy and you feel

worse and I would I would say I think

you you can leave therapy and you feel

and you feel more of the actual real

pain in your life but that but feeling

that real pain is what lets you then

make the choices to work towards

building the life that you want

whereas if you numb yourself whether

that's with alcohol or video games or

your phone or people pleasing you're

from really being showing up you know

present for real authentic in your

I think that happens Heather because we

have this notion in our culture that we

have better and worse feelings so we

know that it's better to feel happy when

it's um worse to feel unhappy and I

remember I had a story of my friend who

gave birth to the uh to the baby that

leave just a couple of days and then and

it died after serious operation and she

was Buddhist and she was practicing a

lot and meditating a lot and she um and

I said like how do you get through this

because I it's in imaginable pain and

and like how do you do this and she said

well I choose to treat my unhappines­s my

grief as a gift because I don't see any

reason why Joy of being pregnant and

holding him for a couple of days was

more valuable than the fact what I feel

now that my happiness is as valuable as

my unhappines­s and I almost cherish them

and I learn from them because one of the

things that I can learn is how other

people feel so I can understand better

and I think it's important that people

stop judging also this negative feelings

it's something they do not want and

they're just like want to like throwing

them in the trash it for some reason

they are you know in us and they're part

that is so gorgeous that what you said

my happiness is is just as valuable my

unhappines­s is just as valuable as my

happiness that is a very whole

treating yourself as a whole a whole

it's really beautiful in Match Attax in

my first book I wrote that we should

treat human beings as a DHL package when

detail comes he cannot say oh I want

this part and this part but this no

like it just comes either take it or

leave it but you cannot say a little bit

of this a little bit of that and this is

how I feel sometimes we treat people's

like I like him but and I also I want to

point out that what all examples of Hada

I'm not sure if you noticed this she

never says but he always says and I love

you and I'm not gonna come to Christmas

uh I value your opinion and I'm not

gonna agree to this why is it so

important to say and not bad yeah

because when you say but what you're

saying is I didn't really mean all that

stuff I said before I was just trying to

make nice so that I could tell you this

and there's no reason to say but it is

and the two things don't have to

contradict each other I can love you and

say no to visiting you on Christmas

those totally compatible there's no

but it's kind of a defensive thing that

we teach uh gracefully to say no our

just like my son is now three and a half

so his favorite word is now and it's

funny because we speak with them full

language is one of them is Russian and

when he really does not want some

language so we know that this is like no

way we can convince him so he's very

clear about this and and uh for I guess

my husband is always trying to say no

thank you I get it so how do you teach

our child when they're already growing

up enough to say no gracefully do you

have any tips any anything you do what

Fergus is doing you keep modeling it you

keep modeling it they're too young to do

it gracefully keep keep treat them the

way you want them to treat others and

then when they're old enough you can

teach them the five Secrets but be

careful because once they learn the five

Secrets they will wrap you around their

finger this is I taught my my teenage

son the five secrets and it's terrible

and I try to get mad at him and he just

disarms me and he Strokes me and he he

names my feelings and it's very hard for

me to stay angry at him I tell you my

secret how like how I deal with this

because Fergus sometimes also telling me

like he's very good already with

discussion­s like I hate discussing in

psychologi­st like it's a nightmare but

then he's getting really really good in

this and if I say something that my

professor of uh social psychology once

told me he we had a class and he told us

some research that shows that papers

um judged by professor as a better

papers so obviously next time we're like

hey everybody'­s like colors here colors

there and he says like are you serious

don't use tricks that I taught you so

for me it's like when he's trying to do

this it's like well that is trick that I

know do not try to use it with me no

no yeah and the other problem is that

then when you try to do the five secrets

to him he'll be like yeah nice five

exactly so you also so that's why it's

very difficult to be in a family of

um so five uh secrets are very

um very practical so how would you

summarize what is the most important in

Rememberin­g how to say no and how to

deal with your with your angerness or

like it's like very serious Notions that

you have just before saying no because

sometimes we just want to scream now we

don't want to say no thank you we want

let's see what we open with is sometimes

you just say knit sometimes that's

actually skillful so we'll we'll keep

that on the table as part of the

repertoire but if you don't want to just

scream at someone step one pause

right pause take a timeout go be kind to

yourself validate your own feelings

right make space for why you're angry

and this and then decide if you want to

try to go back into The Fray and and

have a closer relationsh­ip with this

and then if you do then you can go in

and do the five Secrets right you can

disarm you can use thought empathy

feeling empathy inquiry I feel

and and the way to get good at that is

you have to just practice practice

practice because it takes a lot of

practice especially when you're already

do you think you should start practicing

actually to annoying to you yeah and

what we also say is um start one Secret

at a time so you can have like you know

feeling empathy week you just go around

and you just imagine what people are

feeling you say oh I wonder if you're

it's like did you see the Karate Kid do

you remember the original Karate Kid

that's a great movie oh my God I love it

but that's why my son started going on a

inspired by this movie I love that

yeah so in case you don't know what

you're talking about definitely see The

Karate Kid movie and Cobra Kai we do

recommend you this very like great

psychology there and a great way of

making your kids to clean your car

by why I was gonna do it and I'm so

grateful to you that you shared with us

your wisdom and you share how to say no

I believe that this is very important

for our mental health because as all

research prove that one of the most

important thing to feel happy is to to

have a purpose in life and to be to live

with your own values with your purposes

with your goals in life in order to do

this you need to know when to say no

when you want to say no and know how to

do it so I think it's extremely

important competence for the parents

because like I had a sad the most

important is modeling so we need to know

how to do it ourselves we need to talk

to other people like this we need to

talk to our kids and then we'll be able

to respond back as gracefully as we are

thank you so much Heather I never heard

from you now yet and I hope I'm never

thank you so much for having me it's so

much fun thank you so much absolutely


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