Unsafe People Will Apologize Without Changing Their Behavior

Uncategorized Apr 25, 2020

"But he's really sorry this time," she said. "When I confronted him with what I knew, he cried and said he was so heartbroken about what he had done. I could tell he was really torn up about it."

My counselee was referring to her husband, whom she had discovered had been seeing another woman. She was being taken in by his "true pain" over what he had done and his promise never to do it again. However, he had made similar "confessions" countless times before. Each time, he was "so sorry." He cried and made very short-lived 180-degree turnarounds. This was the fourth time that he had been involved with another woman. And each previous time, he had been "sorry."

The truth is, however, that sorry is as sorry does. A synonym to sorry is repentance, and it means a true turnaround. But unlike the "spins" that this man had made, a true turnaround is one that lasts. That does not mean that there is perfect behavior after that point, but that the change is real and bears fruit over time.

To...

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Help Your Adult Children Without Enabling Them

Uncategorized Apr 23, 2020

Being a parent doesn't stop just because our kids reach a certain age. Many of us find that our love for our children is wrapped up in our desire to protect our kids and make sure their basic needs are taken care of, and that can go on well past any given age for a lot of parents. Helping our kids feels really good in the right situation, and sometimes we're the only place they can turn to when they're trying to make positive change in their lives. But we're also the place they're most likely to turn when the going gets tough, and sometimes struggling is necessary for our development.

When do you think it's a good idea to support your adult child directly? Not just moral support or love, but financially?

Every parent-child situation is different, but let's say that all parties agree that you've found a fair way to provide support for your adult child and that you have the means to be able to help them while they work toward a goal.

When you help your adult children, you're a...

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I’m Taking Your Calls and Answering Your Questions

Uncategorized Apr 21, 2020

This past week has been crazy for me and my team! Just like with anything in life where you’re presented with an obstacle that requires you to fix and adapt, we have used our time in quarantine to launch new material and create engaging opportunities to stay connected to you! 

Last week when I told my team that I wanted to produce a radio show to go live over social media, they pulled together to help me create the NEW (and work-in-progress) Dr. Cloud Show within a matter of hours. We've been going LIVE at 1 p.m. PST Monday-Friday, taking your calls and answering your questions. 

During our first week, we had: 

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The Key to Getting Through A Panic Attack

Uncategorized Apr 20, 2020
 

If you've ever experienced a panic attack, you know that your thoughts can spiral out-of-control and manifest into symptoms to make you feel as if you're in a life-threatening situation. It can feel like a perpetual cycle that leaves you with feelings of impending doom. It's cripples your life, and keeps you from experiencing the freedom you were created for.

When we live with fear, panic and anxiety, the world closes off to us. We see fewer opportunities to experience the gifts of life. We don't allow ourselves to try new things or even try the good things again. We limit our options. We feel hopeless. If there's a light at the end of the tunnel, it's not a way out, it's a train.

So, where do you start when you want to be free from anxious feelings and set a boundary with those? It begins with practicing mindfulness. Now, when I talk about mindfulness, I'm not referring to a new-age religious ritual. I'm talking about awareness. A big way people get over panic disorder is by...

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When Fear Actually Hurts You

Uncategorized Apr 19, 2020

Just as there are smart and dumb risks, there are also helpful and useless fears. Like any emotion, fear serves as a signal to us. It alerts us to potentially dangerous situations and prepares us to take proactive action. That is why there are physiological components to fear: increased heart rate, adrenal surges, and muscle tension. These responses prepare us for a flight from harm. So, fear is helpful when there is a truly dangerous situation ahead of us, and when we need to take evasive action.

At the same time, some fears are useless to us and keep us from the risks we need to take. These usual fears are not about reality, but more about misperceptions and distortions we have in our heads. We need to learn to pay attention to the one and get rid of the other.

For example, I love rock music, and used to play in a band when I was a student. When I grew up and started working, I figured that my playing days were over, and I resigned myself to being a listener, not a performer. One...

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How to Handle Those Who Get Angry at Your Boundaries

Uncategorized Apr 14, 2020

When you establish a new boundary with someone, the most common form of resistance is anger. People who get angry at others for setting boundaries have a character problem. Self-centered, they think the world exists for them and their comfort. They see others as extensions of themselves.

I'm going to give you six steps to consider when someone responds to your boundaries with anger:

1. Realize that the person who is angry at you for setting boundaries is the one with the problem.

2. View anger realistically. Anger is only a feeling inside the other person. It cannot “get inside” you unless you allow it. Let the anger be in the other person.

3. Do not let anger be a cue for you to do something. People without boundaries respond automatically to the anger of others. They rescue, seek approval, or get angry themselves.

4. Make sure you have your support system in place. If you are going to set some limits with a person who has controlled you with anger, talk to the people...

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How to Practice Boundaries with Yourself

Uncategorized Apr 08, 2020

If social distancing has you feeling inclined to over-indulge in a particular vice, a little mindfulness and setting a boundary can go a long way right now. Once you have identified your boundary problem and owned it, you can do something about it. Here are some ways to begin practicing setting boundaries on yourself.

Address your real need. Often, out-of-control patterns disguise a need for something else. You need to address the underlying need before you can deal with the out-of-control behavior. For example, impulsive eaters may discover that food is a way to stay separate and safe from romantic and sexual intimacy. Their fear of being faced with those kinds of emotionally laden situations may cause them to use food as a boundary. As their internal boundaries with the opposite sex become firmer, they can give up their destructive food boundary. They learn to ask for help for the real problem – not just for the symptomatic problem.

Allow yourself to fail. Addressing...

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The Boundaries.Me Podcast: Dr. Dan Allender - The Clarity of Your Calling

podcast Apr 07, 2020

In this episode of Dr. Cloud's Boundaries.Me podcast, Dr. Dan Allender tells the story of how clarity around what he's uniquely meant to do in this world helped him naturally form boundaries.

When we know our calling, it gives us clarity as to why we're doing what we're doing. Forming boundaries can start in many different ways, but getting clear about your motives is a very natural way to form your first boundary. It helps you know what you'll do and won't do, what you'll say and won't say. A good sign of a healthy boundary is that it lets us learn and take in new information. It teaches us that every yes is no, and every no a yes that can either can keep us in tune with our calling, or detract us from it.


Guest Links

The Allender Center

The Allender Center podcast.

Leading with a Limp

Story Sage online course 


Boundaries.Me Courses Related to this Episode

Addressing Your Spiritual Needs  


How to Subscribe to the Boundaries.Me Podcast
 ...

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People Who Try to Control You with Their Feelings Are Immature

Uncategorized Apr 06, 2020

Jim came into therapy because of his inability to get things done at home. He said, “I am irresponsible, and my wife is very displeased with me. I can’t seem to follow through on anything.”

“What sorts of things don’t you follow through on?” I asked.

“Well, Jean wants me to rake the yard, plant a flower garden, fix the patio, remodel the kitchen, take the kids to the movies, make more money ... .”

The list went on and on. “Did you promise to do all those things?”

I asked, when Jim paused to take a breath.

“Yes.”

“Do you want to do all those things?” I asked.

“Not really, but I have to,” he replied.

“What do you mean, ‘You have to?’” I asked further.

“Well, if I don’t, Jean will get mad and say that I don’t love her.”

I was beginning to get the picture. “You mean that you promise to do anything Jean wants? How in the world can you make...

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5 Reasons to Give Yourself Permission to Ask For Help

Uncategorized Apr 04, 2020

Sometimes we struggle to ask for help. You may be the person everyone runs to for help, or maybe you feel like you would be a burden to someone. Let’s talk about the ways that make it ok for us to seek help from others.

Here are a few of the reasons asking is helpful for us:

  1. When we ask, we develop humility. To request help or support from another destroys any illusions of self-sufficiency we might harbor. Asking helps us remember that we are incomplete, that we are needy, and that we are to seek outside of ourselves to take in what we need. This creates the position of humility in us, which opens us up not only to others and our Creator.
  2. When we ask, we are owning our needs. Asking for love, comfort, or understanding is a transaction between two people. You are saying to the other: “I have a need. It’s not your problem. It’s not your responsibility. You don’t have to respond. But I’d like something from you.” This frees the...
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