720.370.1800 - Intl 844.331.1993
Select Page
Feeling Judged?

Feeling Judged?

Self Improvement / Personal Growth

Don’t Let Mutual Intolerance Ruin Your Holidays

Feeling judged is difficult at any time, but as we lead up to the holidays, I begin to hear from many therapy and life coaching clients that feeling judged or criticized during family gatherings creates a ton of anxiety. I commonly hear that people feel judged by their in-laws, and also that they feel a great deal of frustration that their own boundaries will be tested. Many of my clients express anxiety and frustration that their in-laws and parents don’t respect their boundaries as parents, disregard their values, and also do intrusive and annoying things during their time together. 

Listen, it’s true: Most of the time we all get to live in our little bubbles. We spend time with our like-minded friends, and we get to control much of what we let into our personal spheres. But during the holidays, we pony up to spend time with people that we may not have much in common with other than the fact of our being related. And it’s stressful.

When we’re in close contact for prolonged periods of time with people who are very different from us, judgment disapproval can easily creep in — often to the point where it disrupts our ability to stay in the present and have a good time. We get upset with them for judging us, and then they get upset because we’re upset (or hold our boundaries and refuse to accommodate their preferences) and before you know it it turns into an ugly conflict instead of the happy holiday gathering you all want. 

So, what to do? How do you spend time with family who may have values at odds with yours, deal with judgment and frustration, and manage to have a good time anyway? 

How to Stop Feeling Judged

On today’s episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I’m diving deeply into this topic, in order to help you find strategies to stop feeling judged (while you’re staying true to yourself and your values). 

To this end, I’m tackling a listener question. Miss S wrote in with this:

“I recently found your podcast and I am enjoying it very much. I do have a request for a topic that may be helpful to others especially as we near the holiday season. I could use help in dealing with family members who are socially awkward and/or difficult to be around.

During the holidays, my mother and mother-in-law give us a run for our money!

We are exposed to guilt trip galore like accusing us of not spending enough time with them (ie unable to accept that we are adults and have our own lives and have set boundaries), the “inconvenience” of “having” to come to our house for the holiday dinner, not having overnight accommodations that are comfortable, not eating the requested desserts that they bring  & etc.

They are also obsessed with the past as in constantly bringing up family members who have passed away in such a way that it is awkward and not relevant to the conversation.

Despite our requests to not do this, my mother-in-law always calls her other son , who lives out of state, and puts him on speaker during the meal. It is really disruptive, awkward and unnecessary as we all speak to him on our own. Also, she doesn’t see us much so it would be nice for her to enjoy her time with us and call him when she goes home.

Also, my mother-in-law doesn’t like me anymore. I think she blames me for her son not spending as much time with her or his other family members. This is not true , of course, but it’s still off-putting when I can feel her disdain even though I know it’s her stuff, not mine.

I know that I will not be able to change their behaviors but perhaps I can learn to be less annoyed and regain enjoying my holidays. This is so much easier said than done so I am hoping that you may be able to illuminate a path for me.

Thank you for sharing you talent and expertise via your podcast. I have found it very helpful and have shared it with friends and family members, too.”

Listen and hear what I share with Miss S including:

  • Why it’s so important to get clear about your values before heading into emotionally fraught situations with family and inlaws
  • How to decide where to be flexible and where to hold firm in your interactions with others
  • How to let go of your need for approval from others
  • What to prioritize in order to help yourself make decisions and be less reactive
  • The secret strategy to help yourself be okay… even when others are not

 

Becoming Self Aware of Our Own Judgments

The flip side of feeling judged is often an opportunity for US to grow and become more self aware and compassionate. For example, I sometimes encounter people who are feeling very frustrated and judgmental for other people for… wait for it… being so judgmental!

Part of the key skill in learning how to manage feeling judged by others is understanding how we respond when our own values and preferences are not being honored. On this episode of the podcast I also discuss some of the ways that we can become more self-aware of our own judgment and use it to:

All this, and more, on this episode of the podcast.

All the best, 

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Listen & Subscribe to The Podcast

Dealing With Judgment

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Spread the Love Happiness & Success

Please Rate, Review & Share the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast!

Google Play

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

Let’s  Talk

Related Post

Financial Counseling For Couples

Financial Counseling For Couples

Why is money such an uncomfortable topic? How do you have a conversation around finances with your partner? When should you start talking about money in a relationship? Relationship coach and marriage therapist, Amanda Schaeffer, M.S., MFTC answers these questions and shares her top financial counseling tips for couples in this article on the Love, Happiness and Success blog!

How to Fix a Relationship After a Fight

How to Fix a Relationship After a Fight

If you’ve just had a bad fight with your partner and are seeking to repair your relationship, help is here. Get actionable relationship advice plus access to free relationship resources that will help you get past this crisis, heal your bond, and grow stronger and happier than ever before.

Emotional Affair Recovery

Emotional Affair Recovery

Emotional affairs can be just as destructive to a relationship as sexual affairs. However, it is possible to restore trust, feel secure, and heal your bond after an affair. Here’s how…

How to Deal With Selfish People

How to Deal With Selfish People

Do you often feel hurt, or frustrated by someone you care about? If so, you might be in a relationship with a selfish person. Get advice for how to deal (or when to cut your losses), now on the blog.

Becoming Emotionally Healthy

Becoming Emotionally Healthy

Feelings are a part of life — how do you deal with yours? Do you avoid them? Do you overreact? Or do you stay balanced: Listening to them, but not always taking action? Learn how to find balance, on today’s episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast

Invest In Yourself

Invest In Yourself

Marriage therapist and life coach, Brittany Stewart M.A., LMFT-C, shares three therapy myths and the truth behind what everyone deserves – happiness and support. Read this week’s blog to learn more about how you can invest in yourself.

Constructive Conflict: Arguments That Help Your Relationship Grow

Constructive Conflict: Arguments That Help Your Relationship Grow

Conflict in an evolving relationship is normal (and often healthy!). However, there is a real difference between healthy, constructive conflict and unhealthy, destructive conflict. Marriage Therapist and Dating Coach, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby, expounds on this critical relationship topic today on the Love, Happiness and Success blog.

Financial Counseling For Couples

Financial Counseling For Couples

Self Improvement / Personal Growth

How to Build Trust Around Finances In Your Relationship

Here at Growing Self we often do financial counseling for couples with people seeking to get on the same page around money. Let’s face it: money is a loaded topic. From our younger years, we are taught that finances are not a polite dinner-time conversation. It’s poor etiquette to bring up your salary, your expenses, your debt, and your money goals even among your closest relations. Why is this?

Our personal finances often influence how we feel about ourselves. They can have a huge impact on how much freedom, power, security, and comfort we experience in our day-to-day lives. 

Finances impact our significant life and relationship milestones, like getting married, having a baby, or buying a house, and can also figure heavily into big decisions like pursuing education, addressing medical needs, and planning for retirement.  

Money, more than almost any other topic about which couples fight, directly bears on survival (some researchers have even noted that fights about money are more likely to end a relationship than fights around other topics).

In my experience as a couples therapist and relationship coach, there are several reasons why couples struggle to address their money woes both individually and as a team. Today I want to provide you with easy to incorporate tips on how to talk about the taboo topic of money with your partner.

Why Is Money Such An Uncomfortable Topic For Couples?

Most of us were taught early on that sharing financial specifics is rude, and clients have sometimes told me that talking about money makes them feel embarrassed or “exposed.” If you feel this way too, you’re not alone.

For those who are in a budding new relationship, talking about money may not be necessary. Then, when you get to the point in your relationship that it feels like the right time to start addressing this topic, it can feel so foreign and surreal that you just keep pushing it off.

Because expectations around sharing and transparency are unclear, couples are left asking lots of questions without any clear blueprint for the “right” way to proceed.  

Do we combine our finances, or keep separate accounts? 

And if we are going to combine them, when do we do that? When we move in? 

When we get engaged? When we get married? 

How much influence should we have over each other’s spending?

Do I have a right to know where my partner’s money is going?

The discomfort goes both ways. For those who have been successful with their finances, they may feel rude bringing it up (almost as if boasting their money success), even though they have worked hard to get to where they are, practiced self-control, and self-discipline with their money habits.

For those who feel less than successful with their finances, they may feel shame or regret around their finances and they don’t want to bring that into their relationship with their partner. Talking about finances is emotional. Telling your partner about a large accumulation of debt may feel shameful.

You may be fearful of how your partner may view your spending or saving habits, or worry that entering a discussion about finances will end in a fight. The way you manage your money reflects your values, and when partners criticize these choices in one another, it can feel uniquely threatening.

When To Discuss Finances As A Couple

Many of the  couples who come to me to find clarity around discussing their finances are at a loss for how to move forward. They have already exhausted the topic, fought over whose approach is better for the relationship, and have often felt unheard by their partner (or have experienced broken trust surrounding finances within the relationship).

You don’t have to wait until you get to that point. In fact, the earlier you start talking about finances, the easier it will be to create a plan together moving forward.

How Do I Bring The “Money Talk” Up In My Relationship?

Start by checking in with yourself. Getting an accurate and up-to-date sense of where your money is going on a regular basis will allow for you to approach the topic with confidence. 

Take stock of bills and scheduled payments, debt (including any student loans, a mortgage, and credit card debt), regular monthly expenses (like gas, groceries, etc.), and any miscellaneous spending (think: eating out, travel costs, buying Christmas presents, and so on). 

If you’re a little on the budget-avoidant side of the spectrum, it can be helpful to take your own financial pulse before raising the issue with your partner. That way you may be better prepared to answer their questions, and you’ll be more aware of whether or not you’re satisfied with your current spending habits. (If you’re already operating from shared accounts, you may be able to skip this step!)

Because finances can be an uncomfortable conversation (at first–it gets easier!) I recommend that you schedule a time to meet with your partner in a neutral zone – whether that’s at home, at a coffee shop, or maybe even out on a walk. Don’t spring the conversation on your partner in the middle of a romantic dinner, around friends, during work, or at your family reunion (although I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this!).

Financial Conversations Every Couple Should Have

You already know where you stand financially (hooray for finishing step one!), and maybe you now have a better sense of where you want to be. So, begin the conversation by sharing these details with your partner: be honest and transparent about where you are, and describe where you ultimately want to be financially as a couple.

Once you’ve shared, allow your partner to weigh in. If this conversation comes as a surprise to them, don’t expect them to have all their answers or point-of-view laid out clearly right away. They may need some time to think about what you’ve shared and to take stock of their own financial situation.

While you have this ongoing conversation with your partner, share your goals and listen respectfully to theirs (no matter how different they are from yours). Maintaining an open, nonjudgmental stance is the best way to keep the conversation from shutting down or spiraling into conflict.

Expectations From Financial Conversations As A Couple

Beginning this conversation will allow the two of you to set expectations around your money. The whole point of this conversation is to build trust, awareness, and success in your relationship and in your finances.

This conversation should lead you toward shared goals, an idea of what your future looks like, what you can each expect out of your current employment status, what changes you need to implement, and how you can achieve your financial and lifestyle goals over the next one, five, ten, or even fifty years.

Three Tips To Successful Communication Around Finances

Respecting your partner will be what gets you through any difficult conversation, especially when the conversation has to do with something as life-altering as money.

If there are large disagreements, try talking about the meaning behind your position and asking about what your partner’s position means to them. Example: having a higher eating-out and entertainment budget might be your way of prioritizing community and friendships, while saving that money might be your partner’s way of feeling secure in the face of potential future emergencies.

Here are three tips for successful money talks.

Be Patient

As discussed earlier, this is not a one-time-over-morning-coffee discussion. It’s an ongoing conversation that you may need to have weekly, or at the very least once a month. The more time and effort you put into discussing and implementing change in your finances as a team, the more successful you will be. It takes time, and that’s okay.

Be Realistic

Change is not going to happen overnight, and you’re not always going to see eye-to-eye but if you’re realistic with yourself, your partner, and with your bank balance, your relationship will have a better chance of moving forward at a manageable pace towards your goals.

Be Compassionate

Above all, be compassionate. People mess up. Have grace both for yourself and for your partner. Recognize that new habits take time to build, and that you probably won’t have everything figured out in your first month (or year) budgeting together. And guess what? That’s okay too.

Final Thoughts…

Do What’s Right For YOUR Relationship

There’s more than one way of handling your finances. If you are having trouble finding the right method for your relationship, maybe speaking with an expert to gain insight into what might work best is the right move for you and your partner. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Try Different Approaches

There is no one right way to talk about money or handle your finances. You don’t have to be a money expert to start making good money moves. Working together as a team is going to be the MOST important step to achieving your financial goals, and to maintaining trust in the relationship.

Avoid Financial Infidelity At All Costs

A good rule of thumb in relationships: the moment you feel an impulse to conceal something, that’s your cue to share it with your partner. Admitting that you made a poor decision is less harmful in the long run than getting caught hiding it.

Here’s to your financial success together!
Amanda Schaeffer, M.S., MFTC

P.S. Do you have any conversational tips to share about building trust around finances in your relationship? Share with us in the comments section below!

Amanda Schaeffer, M.S., MFTC is a marriage counselor, family therapist, life coach and individual therapist who creates a warm, safe environment, bringing out the best in you and your relationships. She empowers couples and individuals to heal and grow using evidence-based approaches that create real results and lasting change.

Let’s  Talk

Related Post

Financial Counseling For Couples

Financial Counseling For Couples

Why is money such an uncomfortable topic? How do you have a conversation around finances with your partner? When should you start talking about money in a relationship? Relationship coach and marriage therapist, Amanda Schaeffer, M.S., MFTC answers these questions and shares her top financial counseling tips for couples in this article on the Love, Happiness and Success blog!

How to Fix a Relationship After a Fight

How to Fix a Relationship After a Fight

If you’ve just had a bad fight with your partner and are seeking to repair your relationship, help is here. Get actionable relationship advice plus access to free relationship resources that will help you get past this crisis, heal your bond, and grow stronger and happier than ever before.

Emotional Affair Recovery

Emotional Affair Recovery

Emotional affairs can be just as destructive to a relationship as sexual affairs. However, it is possible to restore trust, feel secure, and heal your bond after an affair. Here’s how…

How to Deal With Selfish People

How to Deal With Selfish People

Do you often feel hurt, or frustrated by someone you care about? If so, you might be in a relationship with a selfish person. Get advice for how to deal (or when to cut your losses), now on the blog.

Becoming Emotionally Healthy

Becoming Emotionally Healthy

Feelings are a part of life — how do you deal with yours? Do you avoid them? Do you overreact? Or do you stay balanced: Listening to them, but not always taking action? Learn how to find balance, on today’s episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast

Invest In Yourself

Invest In Yourself

Marriage therapist and life coach, Brittany Stewart M.A., LMFT-C, shares three therapy myths and the truth behind what everyone deserves – happiness and support. Read this week’s blog to learn more about how you can invest in yourself.

Constructive Conflict: Arguments That Help Your Relationship Grow

Constructive Conflict: Arguments That Help Your Relationship Grow

Conflict in an evolving relationship is normal (and often healthy!). However, there is a real difference between healthy, constructive conflict and unhealthy, destructive conflict. Marriage Therapist and Dating Coach, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby, expounds on this critical relationship topic today on the Love, Happiness and Success blog.

How to Stop Beating Yourself Up

How to Stop Beating Yourself Up

Self Improvement / Personal Growth

Stop Beating Yourself Up

Do you beat yourself up? Criticize yourself? Pass judgment upon yourself? Have a running commentary in your head about all your mistakes, faults and shortcomings?

Even worse, when you DO do something kinda awesome, does this inner bully slap it down and tell you why it doesn’t really matter?

I can’t tell you how many times, in my role as a therapist and life coach, I’ve articulated the above questions out loud to a client sitting in front of me… only to have his or her eyes suddenly brim over with tears: They’ve just been seen.

When You Feel Like You’re Never Doing Enough…

They are trying so hard to be good, likable, loveable, and worthy — and they are. They absolutely are. But they don’t feel like it. They beat themselves up, nonstop.

They might work harder, do more, achieve something even more spectacular… but they always find something to critizise. Other people tell them they’re great, but they don’t feel it. It’s never *quite* good enough.  It’s like a bottomless pit — no matter what they do, or how much approval they get, they still beat themselves up. 

It’s so painful. It’s so exhausting. It’s also so common — especially in high-achieving, successful types. (Ironically). Yes, the people who seem pretty darn close to perfect in the eyes of others are often the ones struggling the most to feel peaceful and self-accepting. [Read: The Problem With Perfectionism]

Can you relate? Do you feel like you’re never doing enough? Or like you have to be perfect (but even when you are, it could still be better?

If so, the latest episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast is for you. We’re going to be talking about how to stop beating yourself up, even if (and especially if) you’re going through life circumstances that make you more vulnerable to beating yourself up.

How to Stop Beating Yourself Up

Specifically, we’re discussing:

  • Why You Beat Yourself Up
  • How to stop beating yourself up for mistakes
  • How to stop beating yourself up over the little things
  • How to stop beating yourself up for past mistakes (that feel big)
  • How to stop beating yourself up over mistakes at work
  • How to stop beating yourself up after a breakup
  • How to stop beating yourself up emotionally
  • How to stop beating yourself up for not being perfect

Listen to this episode to learn how to start pushing back against this “inner bully”  so that you can cultivate self-compassion, feel less insecure, feel good about yourself, and take pride in your many accomplishments so that you can own your awesome.

You are worth it! 

All the best,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

PS: What’s on YOUR mind these days? Have a question or a suggestion for an upcoming blog or podcast? I’m listening! Feel free to drop anything in the comments below, or via this secure form.

Listen Now

How to Stop Beating Yourself Up

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Spread the Love Happiness & Success

Please Rate, Review & share the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

Google Play

Or, Watch on YouTube!

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

Let’s  Talk

More Love, Happiness & Success Advice On The Blog

Financial Counseling For Couples

Financial Counseling For Couples

Why is money such an uncomfortable topic? How do you have a conversation around finances with your partner? When should you start talking about money in a relationship? Relationship coach and marriage therapist, Amanda Schaeffer, M.S., MFTC answers these questions and shares her top financial counseling tips for couples in this article on the Love, Happiness and Success blog!

read more
Unlocking The Power of Your Subconscious Mind

Unlocking The Power of Your Subconscious Mind

What you’re NOT consciously thinking about is often more powerful, and influential, than what you are conscious of. Learn how to access your subconscious mind to create congruence within yourself, and tap into your inner wisdom.

read more
How to Deal With Selfish People

How to Deal With Selfish People

Do you often feel hurt, or frustrated by someone you care about? If so, you might be in a relationship with a selfish person. Get advice for how to deal (or when to cut your losses), now on the blog.

read more
Becoming Emotionally Healthy

Becoming Emotionally Healthy

Feelings are a part of life — how do you deal with yours? Do you avoid them? Do you overreact? Or do you stay balanced: Listening to them, but not always taking action? Learn how to find balance, on today’s episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast

read more
Invest In Yourself

Invest In Yourself

Marriage therapist and life coach, Brittany Stewart M.A., LMFT-C, shares three therapy myths and the truth behind what everyone deserves – happiness and support. Read this week’s blog to learn more about how you can invest in yourself.

read more
How To Get Your S**t Together When You Feel Overwhelmed

How To Get Your S**t Together When You Feel Overwhelmed

Do you have so much to do that you’re constantly running, yet feeling like things are slipping through the cracks? Learn how to reconnect with what’s most important, cultivate calm focus, and get meaningful things done on this episode of The Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.

read more
3 Quick Tips for Self-Care While Traveling For Work

3 Quick Tips for Self-Care While Traveling For Work

Traveling for work can take its toll on your mind and body – it’s important to refresh and spend quality time on self-care (even away from home!). Career coach and therapist Markie Keelan, M.A., LPC shares self-care tips for a successful work trip!

read more

Unlocking The Power of Your Subconscious Mind

Unlocking The Power of Your Subconscious Mind

Self Improvement / Personal Growth

Thinking Without Thinking

Understanding Your Subconscious Mind | The rumors are true: The latest research in neuroscience shows that only about 5% (or less) of our brainpower is devoted to conscious, volitional thought. The rest of it is running the show behind the scenes. Not just keeping your body working, but thinking, solving problems, making associations, judging, and leading you to feel.

All of which, then, eventually, leads to your taking action, having reactions, having feelings, or feeling compelled to do certain things…. without ever having made a conscious decision about it. Or, commonly, the subconscious parts of your brain do all the hard work and then hand off the final, finished product to your conscious mind (who thinks they were in charge all along!)

Sometimes, this all works out, but other times your subconscious mind can wreak havoc on your life, leading to:

  • Feeling frustrated that you can’t follow through with what you intend
  • You are experiencing unwanted patterns in your relationships, career, or outcomes
  • Feeling badly, and not really knowing why
  • You have reactions to people or situations that are creating issues (particularly in your relationships)
  • You seem to have inner obstacles that are holding you back from creating positive change

Without understanding what’s happening inside of you, subconsciously, it’s very difficult to create real and lasting change in your life. You can try to make changes, but if your subconscious mind has other motivations…. it’s going to win every time.

Understanding The Subconscious Mind

A core, foundational piece of any high quality personal growth work begins with digging into the subconscious forces inside of you that are influencing the way way you feel, think about behave. Traditional talk therapy, while it does have limitations, is very good at helping you get insight into why you do the things you do. Giving a voice to things you don’t usually consciously consider (much less say out loud) can give you understanding of yourself, and self-awareness of your subconscious.

Often, what emerges is that people have deep-seated, subconscious rules, expectations, assumptions, value-judgments and emotional triggers that they 1) have no idea they’re carrying and 2) are extremely powerful. It’s only by bringing these unseen forces out of the darkness and into your conscious mind that you begin to have power over them. [Learn more: Take our “What’s Holding You Back” online quiz]

Reprogramming Your Subconscious Mind

While developing this type of insight into yourself is essential if your goal is to create change, it’s not enough in and of itself. As I teach to all my therapy and life coaching clients, and in my online Happiness Class — insight alone is not enough to change your life. To make real and lasting change, insight must be coupled with intentional action designed to get you different results. (The domain of any life coach worth their salt!)

However, rushing into action without first understanding the other, deeper forces at work inside of you creates the dynamic where you try to make changes, and then fail. This all-action-insight-be-damned approach is common among many life coaches who do not have a background in counseling psychology.

But if you take the time and do the work to create self-awareness and insight into aspects of your subconscious mind that are creating problems for you, THEN you can very deliberately, consciously begin working to reprogram your brain, swap outdated ideas for new ones, talk yourself through challenging situations, implement different thinking styles, and support yourself through challenging emotions. [Learn more:  Mindhacking]

Does it take hard work to learn how to do this? Yes, it does. However, the level of control you have over your outcomes, the shift in the way you feel, and the impact it has on your relationships and your career are enormous and for most people, well worth it.

Unlocking The Power of The Subconscious Mind

Another huge advantage of working to understand your subconscious mind and gaining self-awareness (and self-control) over what’s going on in there is that you develop a newfound sense of trust in your subconscious self.

Whether you know it or not, your beautiful brain is always, A L W A Y S, taking in information, making associations, thinking through problems, evaluating things, and putting things together. If you learn how to trust your subconscious mind, you tap into a wealth of information about the world — not to mention your inner wisdom.

Some call it “intuition,” and some call it “creativity.” I personally think of it as your mind doing what it was built to do: Think. It’s just that not all thinking is conscious.

People who are creative, or who have jobs that require them to solve problems, design systems, or come up with novel solutions find their work to become immensely more productive when they turn the reigns over to their subconscious minds.

Understand and Unlock The Power of Your Subconscious Mind

Because all of the above is SO vital to anyone serious about personal growth, and creating positive change, I decided to devote a whole episode of the podcast to the subject of how to unlock the power of your subconscious brain. Listen and learn:

  • Why high level “solutions” will not be effective unless you understand your subconscious self
  • Why your subconscious brain can sabotage your relationships, and your outcomes
  • How to get insight into your subconscious mind
  • How to redirect yourself if you have subconscious forces that are causing problems for you
  • Ways of harnessing and strengthening the problem-solving abilities of your subconscious
  • When to listen to your subconscious… and when to do a “manual override”

All that, and more, on this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.

xoxo, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

PS: I’ve been recording episodes of the show LIVE on Instagram and Youtube lately. I’m including both the video and the podcast version below for you. Join me next time! Jump in, (most) Mondays at 12pm MT, www.instagram.com/drlisamariebobby

PPS: Do you have questions about this topic? Or another topic for an upcoming show? Leave them in the comments below, or through this confidential form. I’m listening! LMB

 

 

Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast

Unlocking The Power of Your Subconscious Mind

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Enjoy This Episode?

Please Rate, Review and Share The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

Google Play

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

Let’s  Talk

Feeling Judged?

Do you feel apprehensive about spending the holidays with family or in-laws who judge and criticize you? On the latest podcast we're talking about how to deal when you're feeling judged, but also how to use this as an opportunity for YOUR growth and personal evolution. Read More
Feeling Judged Family Holidays Boundaries Inlaws Denver Therapy Online Life Coach

Financial Counseling For Couples

Why is money such an uncomfortable topic? How do you have a conversation around finances with your partner? When should you start talking about money in a relationship? Relationship coach and marriage therapist, Amanda Schaeffer, M.S., MFTC answers these questions and shares her top financial counseling tips for couples in this article on the Love, Happiness and Success blog! Read More

Unlocking The Power of Your Subconscious Mind

What you're NOT consciously thinking about is often more powerful, and influential, than what you are conscious of. Learn how to access your subconscious mind to create congruence within yourself, and tap into your inner wisdom. Read More
Unlocking The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, Subconscious Self, Self Awareness, Personal Growth, Denver Therapy, Online Therapy, Denver Life Coach, Online Life Coaching

How to Deal With Selfish People

Do you often feel hurt, or frustrated by someone you care about? If so, you might be in a relationship with a selfish person. Get advice for how to deal (or when to cut your losses), now on the blog. Read More

Becoming Emotionally Healthy

Feelings are a part of life — how do you deal with yours? Do you avoid them? Do you overreact? Or do you stay balanced: Listening to them, but not always taking action? Learn how to find balance, on today's episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast Read More
Emotionally Healthy Denver Therapy Online Life Coaching

Invest In Yourself

Marriage therapist and life coach, Brittany Stewart M.A., LMFT-C, shares three therapy myths and the truth behind what everyone deserves - happiness and support. Read this week's blog to learn more about how you can invest in yourself. Read More

How To Get Your S**t Together When You Feel Overwhelmed

Do you have so much to do that you're constantly running, yet feeling like things are slipping through the cracks? Learn how to reconnect with what's most important, cultivate calm focus, and get meaningful things done on this episode of The Love, Happiness and Success Podcast. Read More
get your shit together feeling overwhelmed stress reduction denver therapy online life coaching denver life coach self improvement productivity

3 Quick Tips for Self-Care While Traveling For Work

Traveling for work can take its toll on your mind and body - it's important to refresh and spend quality time on self-care (even away from home!). Career coach and therapist Markie Keelan, M.A., LPC shares self-care tips for a successful work trip! Read More
Denver career coach online career coaching traveling for work self care advice online career coach

How to Deal With Selfish People

How to Deal With Selfish People

Self Improvement / Personal Growth

Building Awareness and Setting Boundaries

Do you have someone in your life who consistently makes you feel like they don’t care about you, or whatever you’re feeling is not *quite* as important as whatever is happening for them?

If so, you may be in a relationship with a selfish person. This can be emotionally draining, not to mention frustrating — particularly if they’re your husband, wife, or partner. (Though selfish bosses, friends, and coworkers are challenging too).

If you’re trying to figure out how to get your needs met in a relationship with a selfish person, here are some strategies to make it work. (Or, give you the clarity and confidence to let them go).

The first step? Understanding the psychology of selfish people can help you get insight and compassion into the way they think, and why they do the infuriating things they do…

Why Are Some People So Selfish?

Emotional intelligence exists on a spectrum. Some individuals are higher in emotional intelligence than others. One symptom of low emotional intelligence is the tendency to be self-absorbed: Exclusively concerned about what you’re thinking, feeling, needing and wanting, rather than attuned to the thoughts, feelings, needs and desires of others.

One thing that I have found to be helpful is to conceptualize the way that people are functioning in the context of their life experiences. People who are “selfish” (have little awareness of the thoughts, feelings, or needs of others) tend to have been raised in environments in which their feelings, thoughts and needs were not recognized or valued. In contrast, highly empathetic people had — from earliest childhood — their feelings and thoughts reflected back to them, and at least respected.

In this way, thoughtful and compassionate people are not born: they’re made. Likewise, people who have arrived in adulthood without the easy ability to understand or value the emotions of others are products of their environment. The good news is that everyone can learn how to become more other-focused. However, this work is long and slow.

Can Selfish People Become Less Selfish, Over Time?

While emotional intelligence is different than cognitive abilities in that it can be strengthened and increased through deliberate learning and practice, it requires the person who is lower in emotional intelligence to 1) recognize that there is an issue, 2) have an interest or desire in improving the situation 3) learn specific skills and strategies to increase emotional intelligence and then 4) commit to practicing these skills regularly.

Unfortunately, in this situation the question “can we ‘train’ self-absorbed people to take more of an interest and listen?” is describing the central problem which is also creating barriers for the solution. People with low emotional intelligence generally have zero awareness that their relational focus is creating distress or annoyance for others…. Because they often fail to pick up or consider how others are feeling. “Being trained” would require them to pick up on cues given by others and then respond by doing things they struggle to do: containing their inner experience to the point that they’re able to focus on the other person, listening, etc.

All of these activities, though they seem simple, actually require a complex emotional intelligence / emotional regulation / communication skill-set that is developed over time. Expecting that someone who doesn’t do these things should be able to if they only cared enough is a recipe for disappointment and resentment.

Should You Call Someone Out on Selfish Behavior?

You certainly can point out when someone is being self absorbed or inconsiderate. But, consider this: 

When you (naturally) react negatively to someone with low emotional intelligence (again, someone who may have little to no self-awareness around how they may be impacting others) they will often feel genuinely surprised, offended, and even attacked and victimized. For this reason, enerally speaking, more often than not, attempts to directly confront self-centered behavior and ask for improvement results in defensiveness, minimization and often an unproductive conflict.

It is therefore extremely difficult for others to create change in a self-focused person.

The person doing the calling out is usually just going to get dismissed by a self-centered person as being hostile, difficult, “selfish” (ironically), or a variety of other things. It usually takes a self-centered person to experience consequences in multiple relationships as well as in the occupational domain in order for them to entertain the possibility that they themselves are the common denominator.

Now, what CAN work is to “assist” the other person in experiencing natural consequences for their relational patterns. For example, it’s normal and natural to not want to spend as much time with someone who is self-centered and a poor listener. Over time, they may notice that they don’t have that many friends, or have short-lived relationships, aren’t advancing in their careers, or often feel lonely and disconnected. They may start to feel badly about that and wonder why. 

This type of self-reflection can lead them to enter into a personal growth process, ideally with the assistance of a therapist or coach who can help shine a light on the relational blind-spots that have been causing others — and ultimately themselves — so much pain. This can lead to a transformational new level of self-awareness and personal responsibility, particularly when it’s coupled with effective direction around how to learn emotional intelligence skills.

How To Become Less Selfish

People committed to the process of increasing their emotional intelligence can then begin learning how to understand their own feelings, and use that as a starting point to develop empathy for others. Often, learning how to name and manage their own feelings feels like new territory for them. 

They can shift away from the “mind-blindness” that may have characterized their relationships in the past, and begin deliberately focusing on what others are thinking, feeling, or wanting. Often, learning how to actively and empathetically listen, ask open-ended questions, and slow their process down to incorporate the perspectives of others are central to developing stronger relationships going forward.

However — and this is key — no one can do this work for them. The selfish person has to be motivated to do this work for themselves. If you try to “help” a person grow in this area by confronting them, nagging them, or pushing them towards personal growth work it’s just going to make YOU angry, and THEM defensive. (And less likely to do the work).

Should You Stay In a Relationship With a Selfish Person?

The  answer to this question depends on what type of relationship you’re hoping to have with a self-focused person, and how committed you are to supporting them through their growth process.

Dating Someone Who is Selfish

If you’re dating, it may be wise to let this person go sooner rather than later so that they have time and space to continue to develop themselves personally. You’ll be saved the frustration, hurt and resentment that you’re certain to experience if you continue attempting to get your needs met by them before they are able to do so.

Being Friends With a Selfish Person

Likewise, casual friendships with people who relate to others this way are rarely satisfying. You’d do better to invest your time and energy into friendships with people who you can have a more balanced and mutually generous relationship.

Married to a Selfish Person

Now, if you’re neck-deep in a marriage / kids / mortgage situation with someone who you’ve come to realize is a self-centered and lacking in emotional intelligence skills, it may be worth working on things with them. In these situations “working on things” tends to look like one person getting really angry with the other person for doing what they usually do — being thoughtless and self-absorbed — which leads to defensiveness and withdrawal.

A better solution is to bring this party to a good marriage counselor who can help you both understand what is happening in the relationship in a neutral and productive way that’s more likely to generate real and lasting change. The person who struggles with emotional intelligence skills needs guidance around how to be a more emotionally present partner. However, the person on the other side of the dynamic may also need to work on having acceptance, compassion and appreciation for their partner as well.

A particularly difficult relationship to manage is when you have a parent or a close family member who is very self-centered. The best strategy here may be to 1) lower your expectations dramatically 2) limit your time together and 3) look to other people to meet your emotional and relational needs, because you’re not going to get them met here. 

Early Warning Signs That Someone is Selfish

You can save yourself a lot of frustration and heartache by avoiding getting entangled in relationships with selfish, self-absorbed people from the get-go. When you’re getting to know someone new, observe how they relate to you, and other people too.

When you’re dating, take self-centered behavior extremely seriously, and do not make the mistake that too many people do (especially women) which is to “date optimistically.” Optimistic dating is thinking that behavior / personality / values / life goals will change in response to how much someone cares about you or how committed they are to the relationship. 

A lot of women take selfish behavior on their new boyfriend’s part to indicate that they should work harder to be more loveable because then their boyfriend would treat them better. This is not true: The guy is being self-centered because that’s actually who he is. If you want better, cut them loose. 

Furthermore, remember that the way people do small things is generally a microcosm of the way they do big things. Not taking five seconds to text you back all day “because they were busy” implies that your needs are actually secondary to theirs, in their mind. Pay attention to that, especially early on.

A great way to test someone’s generosity vs. tendency towards selfishness is to say no to them when they ask you for something. A generous person who is capable of having empathy for your feelings will understand and respect your boundaries. A selfish person who struggles to understand and prioritize the feelings of others sometimes will likely get upset, “hurt” or even angry with you. 

A fantastic and very reliable way to prune self-centered people from your life is to get good at saying no. Expect that they’ll get mad at you, and stay the course. If you set a new expectation for the relationship — that this is a two-way street — they’ll either have to do some important growth work, or the relationship will self-destruct. Win – win, either way.

How can someone break a cycle in which the selfish person in their life frequently asks them for favors or time, without reciprocation?

Having Compassion For Selfish People

If you’re navigating a challenging relationship with a self-centered person, it can help you to hold on to empathy and compassion for them. Keep in mind that the self-centered person really has no idea how off-putting their way of relating is, and that the origins of their selfish behavior are in their own unmet needs for emotional support. These ideas can help you stay in a compassionate place when dealing with these types of people. 

Remember that they just want to be loved too, and they are also doing the best they can with what they have. They got dealt a crappy hand in the supportive family department (OR they are on the autism spectrum, which we have not touched upon, but which is also very real).

All of the above can help you be patient, but also manage your expectations so that you don’t find yourself getting hurt, disappointed, or resentful when they don’t behave differently. 

Until they discover that the way they’re relating to other people is pushing them away, and decide to get help for this, they’re unlikely to change. That’s not your fault, but it’s also not your problem. You can be kind to self-centered people, but knowing who and what they are will also help you set healthy boundaries for yourself and invest your energy and attention in people who can love you back.

Wishing you all the best,
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Have you had to develop boundaries with similar relationships in the past? Share with us your suggestions in the comments section!

 

 

 

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

Let’s  Talk

Amanda Schaeffer, Happiness, Self Improvement / Personal Growth, Success, Amanda Schaeffer

Financial Counseling For Couples

Why is money such an uncomfortable topic? How do you have a conversation around finances with your partner? When should you start talking about money in a relationship? Relationship coach and marriage therapist, Amanda Schaeffer, M.S., MFTC answers these questions and shares her top financial counseling tips for couples in this article on the Love, Happiness and Success blog! Read More

Becoming Emotionally Healthy

Becoming Emotionally Healthy

Self Improvement / Personal Growth

Balanced, Healthy Emotions: Learn to Ride the Wave

BECOMING EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY: Feelings. They happen to everyone, all the time. And yet, we don’t always acknowledge them or talk about our feelings, much less take guidance from our emotions.

Particularly in our culture, individuals and couples on a quest of “Happiness” can come to believe that being happy means being relatively free of dark emotions, like anger, sadness or fear. In fact, the opposite is true: Research shows that the happiest, most emotionally healthy people are actually the ones who are most comfortable with the full range of their emotions.

Emotionally healthy people tend to be both self-accepting and self-aware: They know how they feel, and they have a great deal of tolerance and self-compassion when they’re not feeling so great emotionally. They don’t try to avoid bad feelings, and they also know how to (gently, appropriately) support themselves through challenging times. 

Emotional Health: Finding a Balance

Emotionally healthy people tend to be attuned to their emotions (and those of others). They know how to “lean in” to hard feelings with acceptance and without judgment. However, even though they’re fully connected with their feelings they may not always react or take action from their emotions. A core component of authentic emotional health is knowing which feelings to listen to and which feelings to leave alone.

It can be hard to develop emotional health and learn how to stay in balance between taking wisdom from your emotions, but not always “obeying them. Learning how to tell the difference between helpful and unhelpful feelings, helps you develop self-compassion, self-understanding, and self-control. 

Becoming Emotionally Healthy is a Personal Growth Process

A key aspect of holistic personal growth is learning how to have an authentic, self-aware, and sensitive relationship with your own emotions. This kind of powerful personal growth work often addresses: 

  • The life experiences that shaped your emotional reality and core beliefs
  • Acknowledging any unfinished business with the past
  • Identifying and understanding your unique emotional triggers
  • Figuring out which feelings are guiding you helpfully
  • Using your emotions to connect with your hopes, dreams and values
  • Pinpointing the emotions that are getting in your way
  • Developing self-compassion and acceptance of feelings without judgment
  • Learning how to cope with big, dark emotions in a healthy way
  • Learning how to stay in balance emotionally, no matter what’s going on

It’s a lot! While this type of personal growth work often takes months (if not years) of focused attention in therapy or life coaching, it’s so worth it. Becoming emotionally healthy is a foundational life skill for anyone on the path of self-actualization. 

The Benefits of Cultivating Emotional Health

Learning how to manage your emotions skillfully allows you to have better relationships with others, feel happier, improve your self-esteem, and also create a meaningful, values-based life for yourself. It’s worth talking about, and that’s where we’re going together today on The Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.

In addition to talking through all of the above, I’m answering some specific listener questions like:

  • “How do I get my emotions under control and stop being so reactive?”
  • “How do I stop allowing my anxiety to get in the way of my relationships?”
  • “How do I feel less numb and ‘blah’ and more engaged with my life?””

All for YOU, on this episode of the podcast. 

See you there!

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

PS: Resources I mentioned on today’s show include the “Happy Heart” unit of my online Happiness Class, as well as a self-soothing breathing technique I shared on IGTV.

 

PPS: Once again, I recorded this episode LIVE on Instagram so that I could answer some real-time listener questions. If you’d like to join next time, follow me @drlisamariebobby and you’ll see me LIVE in your stories (almost) every Monday at 12pm MT. Hope to see you there! LMB

 

 

Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast

Becoming Emotionally Healthy

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Enjoy This Episode?

Please Rate, Review and Share The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast

Enjoy This Episode?

Please Rate, Review and Share The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

Google Play

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

Feeling Judged?

Do you feel apprehensive about spending the holidays with family or in-laws who judge and criticize you? On the latest podcast we're talking about how to deal when you're feeling judged, but also how to use this as an opportunity for YOUR growth and personal evolution. Read More
Feeling Judged Family Holidays Boundaries Inlaws Denver Therapy Online Life Coach

Financial Counseling For Couples

Why is money such an uncomfortable topic? How do you have a conversation around finances with your partner? When should you start talking about money in a relationship? Relationship coach and marriage therapist, Amanda Schaeffer, M.S., MFTC answers these questions and shares her top financial counseling tips for couples in this article on the Love, Happiness and Success blog! Read More

Growing Self Counseling & Coaching
Growing Self
Loading...