Keep Your Peace this Holiday Season: 7 Lessons for Better Boundaries

Uncategorized Nov 05, 2020

This time of year is harder for some than it is for others. And even if this is your favorite time of the year, it still comes with its share of problems.

This year, my team and I have worked on a “survival kit” of sorts to help you with boundaries-related issues that come up the most frequently during the holiday season. Inside this guide, you’ll find lessons to offer you encouragement and strategies for addressing difficult issues.

These include:

Don’t Be Stressed or Depressed, Enjoy the Holidays: Some people get the holiday blues every year, whether it's from some bad memories or past experiences that they haven't dealt with, or simply because of the stress. Life can be messy, and in this lesson, Dr. Henry Cloud helps you navigate your feelings while restoring hope for the season.

Addressing and Removing Unsafe People: Whether you feel like a doormat or someone is manipulating you, it's time for a little house cleaning. Here's how it's done.

Codependency,...

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Just Do This One Thing Today

Uncategorized Nov 04, 2020

As Boundaries.Me members know all too well, I like to focus on One Thing. Every day I give our members One Thing to focus on in a personal video from me, and it's one small step that you can take in the right direction, every weekday. Add them all up and you're really going to get somewhere good.

Today, I want to give ALL of you one thing to do:

Be kind.

Give back better than you were given.

The returns of kindness will pay you back with a greater capacity for love, for enjoyment of all things, for a life that is never too small, a life in which you will never feel lost because you will have your people. Your group. Your family, whether by origin or by choice.

So, today when you find yourself in a situation where you have the option: be kind. When you are sitting in front of your computer, typing into the comment box on social media: be kind. When you are talking on the phone with someone that you disagree with: be kind. When you are talking with a person who has let you down for...

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How to Exist in a World with Good and Bad

Uncategorized Nov 03, 2020

The world around us is good and bad. The people around us are good and bad. We are good and bad.

Our natural tendency is to try to resolve the problem of good and evil by keeping the good and the bad separated. We want, by nature, to experience the good me, the good other, and the good world as “all good.” To do this, we see the bad me, the bad other, and the bad world as “all bad.”

This creates a split in our experience of ourselves, others, and the world around us—a split that is not based on reality and cannot stand the test of time and real life.

This splitting results in an inability to tolerate badness, weakness, and failure in ourselves and others. It leads to two basic problems: sometimes we deny the existence of bad; at other times, we deny the existence of good. We feel like we are all bad when we fail, or we think we are all good when we are doing well. In addition, we blame and punish others for failing to be the all-good person we want them...

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The Wise Choice You Can Make Today

Uncategorized Nov 03, 2020

Today is a stressful day for a lot of people. You may see them freaking out on social media, talking about how the sky is falling, disowning their families, friends and coworkers. They're shouting louder than ever today. Maybe you are, too.

No matter what happens, or what you want to happen today, one thing is true: 

You will need your relationships more than ever.

I'd like to invite you to join the best online community for identifying safe, healthy relationships and setting boundaries that work. You can join for just $9 per month (or save and get a whole year for $81). CLICK HERE

We are in the middle of hard times for reasons that go way beyond Election Day, pandemics or any other catastrophe on cable news today. In times when so many people are feeling a sense of doom, we need to be the light the shines. When so many are feeling lost and separated from others, we need to be the glue that joins. When so many people forget the things that really matter, we need to be the...

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Why We Pick the Wrong People and How to Change That

Uncategorized Nov 03, 2020

Note: This was written in the context of why we pick generally unsafe people to have in our lives and is not meant to place blame on victims of abuse. Abuse is never your fault. 


When we choose the wrong relationships, romantic or otherwise, many people just see it as a problem in the “other person.” They never get to where the real issue is and where the power to change lies.

Having said that, let’s talk about it more. First, you can see your hurt in the past two relationships has brought you some pain. It is important you get with some good people to help you process all of that hurt, so you can deal with it fully and put it in the past. Cry it out, express the hurt and anger, forgive and then, let it go. But that is not all. The next step involves the great lesson of hurt — learning.

Look at the past relationships and find the themes in the relationship that say something about you. What were the qualities you were drawn to? Were they good...

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Why We Need to Connect With Others Right Now

Uncategorized Nov 02, 2020

Social distancing is difficult because we were created to be in relationship with others. Pair that with a volatile political climate, and there are myriad reasons for relationships to feel torn apart and broken. 

But without a solid, bonded relationship, the human soul becomes mired in psychological and emotional problems. We cannot prosper without being connected to others. We sometimes think, however, that we can supply all our needs without other people. We think that, in a state of emotional isolation, we can still grow. This grave violation of the basic nature of the universe can cause serious problems.

Learning to bond won’t happen overnight. Making human connections takes a good dose of grace, truth and time. Here are some skills that will start you on the long road to making changes that heal.

Move Toward Others

It is wonderful when others move toward you and seek out your heart. Often, though, others cannot see what you need and how emotionally isolated you...

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How to Break the Patterns that Make Us Miserable

Uncategorized Nov 02, 2020

In human development, structure is internalized from the outside and becomes internal. Teach a child that if he chooses A then B is coming, he begins to think in a linear path. Therefore, he makes choices that are going to give him the B that he desires. In other words, before the misery comes, he learns to make a choice that is going to prevent it. That is the move to maturity.

Sometimes, we do not know the structure of life or certain situations or certain relationships until we are in them. So, we do not anticipate the ways that those jobs, projects, contexts, or relationships need to be structured. We don’t know what causes misery until we are there.

But, once we are there, and the misery becomes a pattern, we need to realize that this is not a one-time occurrence. It is a pattern. And we need to take ownership of the reality that whatever internal structure we are depending on to not have this happen is not working. If it were, we would not be having the problem on an...

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How to Take the Steps to Get Unstuck

Uncategorized Oct 30, 2020

Do you ever feel like you're stuck on a path that's not leading you where you feel you ought to be going? Sometimes we can get stuck in these comfortable grooves, which because they are familiar, feel safe, but maybe aren't actually all that good for us.

Change is hard. Often, change carries a fair amount of risk, and risk is something many of us avoid like the plague. However, it's important to consider when taking a risk might be worth it. Likewise, ponder whether what you need to gain a fresh perspective on your life, goals or relationships is just the right kind of change.

Part of recognizing this opportunity to improve your circumstances is just seeing the needs you have. You have to regularly undertake a self-evaluation and question whether your needs are being met, and whether you're going the direction you want to be going. If you're not, it may be time for a change.

Be vulnerable, be open. Other people often cannot see that you need emotional support, or that you're...

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How to Experience the Forgiveness You Deserve to Have

Uncategorized Oct 30, 2020

“I know that when I do something wrong, I’ve been taught that I’ll be forgiven,” said Erik. “I believe it in my head, but I just can’t feel it in my heart. I still feel ‘bad.’ “

Knowing something in our heads does not always translate to feeling it in our hearts, where our emotions live and breathe. This is because we know things in two different ways. One way is conceptual and informational. We know that we are forgiven.

The other way of knowing is experiential. It comes from what we have experienced in relationships. If, for example, a lot of our significant relationships have not been very forgiving and have left us feeling bad or fearful of losing love and acceptance, then that is what our hearts know, even if our heads know differently. The gap between the head and the heart renders us unable to feel what we know to be true.

To close the gap, you have to talk to your heart in its own language, the language of experience. You...

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You Can Set Limits on Manipulative or Narcissistic Behavior

Uncategorized Oct 30, 2020

In the alcoholic home, if a spouse chooses not to limit her drinking, this is their responsibility. However, other family members can set limits on how they will be affected by it. If an alcoholic continues to drink, the other spouse can only limit themselves, not the other person. They can say, “I will limit my exposure to your behavior. If you continue to drink, the children and I will move out until you get sober.” You can’t stop your spouse from drinking, but you can stop yourself from being affected by it.

I realize this is one example, and there are many different situations and outcomes that affect this situation, but I want you to know that you still have control of the decisions and choices that you make for yourself. And making those decisions involves myriad details. 

If we can’t set limits on ourselves, however, we need to enlist the aid of others. This is still taking responsibility. If we call the police and ask them to help limit our...

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