Let’s talk setting boundaries. I’ll start with an example from my personal life.

Want to know what it’s like to work for me? 

I can tell you right now. 

Every one of my current team members has said this to me at some point: “Gabby, you’re super loving and kind. And at the same time, you have very clear boundaries in place.” 

It feels good to hear that. Because, trust me, it wasn’t always this way! 

I spent years being boundaryless in many of my relationships—especially in my work relationships. In the past, I had unclear or even nonexistent boundaries with the people I employed. 

I would often find myself in situations where I would override my own instincts just to be accommodating … but I’d only end up disappointing people in the end. 

Over time, I’ve learned that not speaking up, not creating clear boundaries, or doing something just to come off as “nice” isn’t actually supportive to the other person involved. In fact, the more boundaries you set, the more supportive you can be. 

So think of today’s episode of the Dear Gabby podcast as a little Gabby kick in the ass for you. I’m going to teach you step-by-step how to set boundaries and why you need them!

Setting Boundaries

If you’ve landed on this page today, it’s absolutely no accident. I’m almost certain that you, my friend, need to set some boundaries in your life. (Because, let’s face it, we all do.) 

Gabby photo - setting boundaries

You may be nodding your head in agreement right now … and you may also be a little uncomfortable! 

Trust that this reaction is completely normal, and that today’s episode of the Dear Gabby podcast will serve you greatly. 

Often, when we think about setting boundaries, we think about assuming a kind of hardcore attitude. 

We might picture speaking up for ourselves in a loud, assertive way. Or maybe we imagine calling up loved ones and rattling off a list of demands. 

But did you know that setting boundaries can actually be a massive act of love?

Boundaries of Compassion

That’s right! Boundaries can coexist with the energy of love and the frequency of compassion. In this episode of Dear Gabby, I’ll tell you how. You’ll learn:

  • The exact 4 steps you can take to set boundaries with love … including the “prep step” you CANNOT miss! 
  • Why setting clear boundaries can be soothing—not hurtful!—for someone who’s anxious 
  • An exercise to instantly connect with your heart center ❤️ (do this with me right now—as long as you’re not driving …) 
  • The #1 thing that holds us back from setting boundaries … and how to work through it 
  • How to use your attachment style to create boundaries that will strengthen all your intimate relationships (don’t know anything about attachment styles? Keep reading!)

Your Attachment Style Matters

As I write about in my book Happy Days: The Guided Path from Trauma to Profound Freedom and Inner Peace, most of us have one of three types of attachment style when it comes to relationships. Some of us are anxious attached, some of us are avoidant, and some of us are secure attached. 

Knowing your attachment style is KEY to cultivating love, connection and understanding. It will also help you set clear boundaries with love, and elevate your relationships in a major way. It may seem like setting boundaries can actually put distance between people in a relationship, but quite the opposite is true.

Understanding your attachment style is the first step to cultivating a lot more love (and a lot less drama!) in all your relationships. 

Here’s a quick overview of each style:

  • Secure: Being securely attached means you’re comfortable asking for what you need and sharing your feelings openly. You have high self-esteem and you enjoy intimate relationships.
  • Anxious: Being anxiously attached means you’re afraid of losing a relationship—even if that relationship is not right for you. Above all, people who are anxiously attached crave stability and security. 
  • Avoidant: Being avoidant attached means you shy away from closeness and deep emotional connection with others. You value your personal space and freedom and pride yourself on self-reliance—but this might come at a cost.

Check out this one-minute reel I made to further explain attachment styles:

Find Out Your Attachment Style

When I understood my attachment style, it changed my marriage—and every relationship in my life. It’s time you learned your attachment style, too. I HIGHLY recommend that you take my free, 2-minute What’s Your Attachment Style? quiz.

I hope today’s episode of Dear Gabby helps you feel elevated and empowered in all your relationships! And … stay tuned! 

On October 1, I’m launching my new 14-day Relationship Challenge. I’ll give you daily exercises to help you feel more love and connection in all your relationships. Get psyched for this!

Get More Gabby

The following are helpful resources and books I mention in the episode:

Do yourself a favor. Set aside 2 minutes to take my FREE What’s Your Attachment Style? quiz. You’ll get:

  • A detailed breakdown of your attachment style to help you understand your patterns (good or bad) in relationships—self awareness is your superpower!
  • Why you keep attracting the same issues in relationships and how to fix them
  • Clear direction on how to move forward in your relationships to feel confident and safe 

Don’t miss this opportunity to elevate all your relationships … including the one you have with yourself! 

Want to learn more about attachment styles? Listen to this episode of the Dear Gabby podcast: Transform Your Relationship By Understanding Your Attachment Style 

My book Happy Days: The Guided Path from Trauma to Profound Freedom and Inner Peace will also hook you up with information about your attachment style and how it’s affecting all your relationships today. It’s also available as an Audible audiobook!  

The 4 Steps

Here are the 4 steps to creating boundaries with love, which I talk about in detail on today’s Dear Gabby. Bookmark this page and come back to this guide any time you need to set a boundary. This takes practice, so be patient with yourself as you apply these steps. 

1: Center into love. 

2: Get crystal clear on the boundary you want to set, and with whom.

3: Let go of the other person’s reaction. 

Step 4: Be patient. 

Want even more support? I created the Miracle Membership to help you design a spiritual practice you can stick to—so you can feel connected, supported and inspired every day. Each week I deliver brand new workshops, guided meditations, community connection and so much more. Plus, there’s a different challenge each quarter … and I launch my NEW Relationship Challenge this fall! It’s easy to access on your phone, computer or tablet. Click here to join.

If you feel you need additional support, please refer to this list of mental health resources. I’m proud of you for being here. 

This podcast is intended to educate, inspire and support you on your personal journey toward inner peace. I am not a psychologist or a medical doctor and do not offer any professional health or medical advice. If you are suffering from any psychological or medical conditions, please seek help from  a qualified health professional.


The following podcast is a Dear Media production.

Hi there, Gabby here. This podcast is intended to educate, inspire and support you on your personal journey towards inner peace. I’m not a psychologist or a medical doctor a...

The following podcast is a Dear Media production.

Hi there, Gabby here. This podcast is intended to educate, inspire and support you on your personal journey towards inner peace. I’m not a psychologist or a medical doctor and do not offer any professional health or medical advice. If you are suffering from a psychological or medical condition, please seek help from a qualified health professional.

Chances are, if you’ve been listening to Dear Gabby, you are definitely committed to your personal growth and one area that I see consistently coming up for everybody on the show when I Dear Gabby folks and guests come on, is people feeling stuck in relationships, struggling in their romantic relationships.

Having power struggles in their work relationships, just lots of relationship stuff coming up. And I’ve been there in every relationship of my life. I’ve had different things that have come up along the way. And there’s one thing I learned that literally changed my relationships forever, and it is when I became clear about my attachment style, the more I knew about my personal attachment style, the easier it was to relate to others and to understand why people triggered me so much. And then to fix it, really get to the bottom of it.

And that’s why I created a free two-minute quiz for you to learn your attachment style. I want all of my listeners to have a clear understanding of what your attachment style is, so that you can then bring that awareness into your relationships. Head over to deargabby.com/attachment to take the free two-minute quiz and learn what your style is.

That’s deargabby.com/attachment. Take the quiz. Thank me later.

Hey there. Welcome to Dear Gabby. I’m your host Gabby Bernstein. And if you landed here, it is absolutely no accident. It means that you want to feel good and manifest a life beyond your wildest dreams. Let’s get started.

Welcome back to Dear Gabby. I am in the studio with my first fur baby Jimmy Blue. And what we’re talking about today is some big talk people, big, big talk. We’re talking about boundaries and how to create boundaries with love. Because often when we think about boundaries, we think about just sort of a hardcore attitude, an attitude of how can I tell people what I need and speak up for myself.

And it feels a little sort of low-vibe at times when we think about creating boundaries. But actually, boundaries can be sometimes the most loving thing that we can do. And boundaries can coexist with love, with the energy of love, with the frequency of compassion and that curious energy that gives us the confidence to really step out and say, yeah, this is what I need, and no drama, just wanna speak my truth.

And boundaries are often a way to maintain that greater connection and that greater love in a relationship. We can create strong and powerful boundaries without having to hurt anyone or disappoint. And frankly, we can say really difficult things at times and create those really strong boundaries and actually have the other person walk away saying thank you.

Here are the four steps. The first step is kind of like a prep step. This is the step that we have to really engage in and we can’t create the boundary without this first step. In fact, if you do try to create a boundary without this first step, it won’t be met with love. It won’t be met with understanding or ease.

In fact, it’ll probably fall flat. It really will. Here we go. Step one is to center into love. Before you set your boundary and do any kind of communication, I want you to come to that centered, heart-opened, loving place within you. The self within you, the love within you, the God within you, that spiritual sense of calm, compassion, courage that’s inside. And the way that we can very swiftly connect to that heart-centered place of love is to do a heart hold.

We’ve done this a lot of times on the show and it’s featured inside of Happy Days as a way of really calming your nervous system. If you’re not driving, you can even do this with me right here and right now. You can place either your right hand or your left hand, whatever is more comfortable on your heart. And the other hand on your belly.

Connecting to your breath, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, and really closing your eyes, connecting to your heart, breathing in deeply and exhaling completely. Giving yourself permission to just relax and breathe. And connecting to your heart with your breath, in your mind’s eye, bring forth the image of the person that you want to create boundaries with.

And just for a moment, send them some love from your heart. Whether you say it out loud or silently to yourself, I create clear boundaries with love. You can even visualize sending them light from your heart to their heart. Create that centered energy and that loving connection. See them through the lens of compassion. See them through the lens of curiosity and tap into that courage within yourself to let love lead the conversation.

Say this again. One more time, silently or out loud. I create boundaries with love. Just send out that final prayer of love to that person that you are ready to create a boundary with.

Let’s take a quick break from our show. And I wanna share a little bit about a platform that has a very big impact on all kinds of businesses. One thing that I have learned is the importance of having strong systems—systems and platforms. And a platform such as Shopify is a major game changer for a business.

Shopify gives entrepreneurs the resources once reserved only for big businesses. So upstart startups and established businesses alike can now sell everywhere, synchronize online and in-person sales and effortlessly stay informed. Scaling your business as a journey and it’s something I’ve been working on for 20 years.

I just love how Shopify has the tools and the resources to make it easier. Any business to succeed from down the street to around the globe, Shopify helps power those personal connections that I am all about, personal connections, and it helps you reach more customers online and across all social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and more. And millions of brands use Shopify, not just as an online selling platform, but for marketing tools management.

Shopify works to promote small and independent businesses, helping you get over the scary or intimidating parts that come with starting your own business. To get started today, just go to shopify.com/gabby, all lowercase, and get your free 14-day trial and get full access to Shopify’s entire suite of features.

Grow your business with Shopify today. Go to shopify.com/gabby right now; that’s shopify.com/gabby.

Now just take a note, taking a deep breath and maybe opening your eyes. If you weren’t driving and you had your eyes closed, take a note of how that feels right now in your body. How are you feeling? Are you feeling more connected to the person? Are you feeling more compassionate towards that person? Are you feeling a new sense of clarity of what it is that you wanna bring forth? Cause that’s the next step.

Are you feeling more courage to take this step forward and make that clear boundary seen and heard? The next step is actually clarity. With that loving intention and that loving energy, you want to have a clear path forward. You wanna enter the conversation, the boundary-setting conversation with a lot of clarity, the more clear that you are about your desired boundaries, the easier it will be for you and for the other person.

Because if you start to sugarcoat it and you start to be like, well, you know, maybe it’s a little bit like this and a little bit like that, then you’re not giving them the full boundaried picture of what it is that you wanna create. And without that clarity and that directness and that honesty, you’re giving away mixed messages, which ultimately leave the person feeling even more frustrated. Of course then leaving you more frustrated because you don’t actually get the boundary that you desire.

When your energy is backed with love because of that first step, you can trust that whatever you say with clarity and love will come through you with ease and it will come through you with grace. And it will come through to the other person with almost a sense of relief because offering clarity with love allows people to fully understand the full spectrum of what it is that you are asking for.

And feel that relief and freedom in knowing what’s up, knowing what your needs are and not having to figure it all out. You’re taking out the guesswork for them. So these first two steps alone have the power to totally transform your life and your relationships.

Now, the third step is crucial here. The third step in creating a healthy, loving boundary is to let go of the other person’s reaction. One of the main reasons that we avoid boundaries in creating boundaries in relationships is because we don’t wanna hurt someone else’s feelings. And maybe you’re like, yes, Gabby, that’s me. You’re raising your hand loud and proud right now, but that’s, that’s not something that we wanna stick to because we want to be able to take care of ourselves so that we can, in turn, take care of others.

So here’s the deal. They’re gonna feel your need for boundaries, whether you set them or not. You’re gonna have folks that are gonna be in relationship to you and if you’re not setting the boundaries, they’re gonna feel that disconnect. They’re gonna feel your energy is not as aligned as it can be. So it’s gonna create issues and drama in the relationship, whether you actually set the boundary or not.

So you’re doing yourself and the other person, a humongous favor by letting go of their response and bravely speaking up for your needs and trusting that once again, when you express that boundary with love and clarity, you will help them as much as you’re helping yourself. And they can let go of whatever preconceived ideas they had about your energy and your attitudes in the first place.

You can also release the outcome of what they’re gonna do or say, or, or feel because you can trust and know, and, and really trust me on this. You can trust and know that when you meet someone with boundaries from a place of love and clarity, that will always come through with grace. So let go of what you think the other person is gonna do, how they’re reacting, just, just let that go.

And step four, once you set that boundary, I want you to really be patient. You’re gonna set that boundary with love, clarity, and that released energy, releasing their reaction. And then it’s about really establishing patience. You wanna let people do their thing. They’re gonna potentially override those boundaries and make mistakes, but you can really patiently allow them to just show up and be who they are and who they need to be, and allow yourself to speak up for yourself when you need to and be free in the process.

Allow yourself to trust that when you set a boundary with love, it will be honored. And if it’s not, you’ll do it again. And if it continues, you will have the strength and the courage to walk away because that’s another boundary. Your loving boundaries that you create are going to establish such a beautiful dynamic in your relationships.

And we have a whole episode where we talked about attachment styles and in that episode, I identified the three different attachment styles that show up in romantic relationships. We also have a quiz on how to figure out what your attachment style is.

When you understand your attachment style, you’ll know why you need the boundaries even more. All three of them need boundaries.

Boundaries actually create opportunities for strengthening our relationships, and opportunities for relationships to thrive in circumstances where our fear and our anxious attachment style or our avoidant attachment style may make us run for the hills.

Instead, boundaries create opportunities for these relationships. Using these four steps, I believe will give you transformational opportunities for changing the throughline of a relationship, giving the relationship, grace, creating opportunities, relationships to be stronger than they otherwise would be clarity around whether it’s time to stay or time to go. And just an open heart about your desires, caring for your needs, having your needs met and met with love.

When you bring your desires to others with clarity, love, releasing the outcome and patience, you can trust that they’ll be received with love. These four steps I think are gonna be majorly transformational for you.

And I can’t wait to hear from our guests that come through so I can workshop these with them. I have a strong feeling that this is gonna be a very, very, very big episode. If you wanna go further with this work, I would really recommend that you take the attachment quiz because the attachment quiz that’s a free two-minute quiz at deargabby.com/attachment.

You can go through the quiz in two minutes, get your result. You’ll get to understand your attachment style and that understanding and that awareness of your attachment style will help you also understand how you are attracting folks that may be different, may be a different attachment style. With that awareness, you can bring that awareness to the four steps of creating boundaries with love and begin to take care of yourself and your attachment needs.

Now it’s my chance to listen to my guests, to bring them in on this conversation. I am so excited. Let’s take it away, Sam.

I hope you’re enjoying this episode. Now for a quick ad break from our sponsors. Do you ever feel tightness in your tummy sitting in that rush hour traffic? Or maybe you can’t sleep because your just never-ending to-do list just drives you crazy? Which is definitely my issue at times.

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This episode is sponsored by Better Help. And it’s a sponsor that I love to shout out and shout from the rooftops. I love having Better Help as a sponsor on this show because I’m always talking about therapy on this show. I’m talking about how therapy changed my life. I share all the different therapeutic models that supported me inside my book, Happy Days.

I’m just constantly, constantly just shouting from the rooftops. Go get a therapist. And, and we begin the work here. We begin the journey here, but to do the deeper. The life-changing work, the work that’s going to change the way you relate to others, the work that’s going to adjust your nervous system in really empowering ways.

The type of work that will change you as a human is therapy. And I know that starting therapy can be really scary for people, but Better Help takes so much of that anxiety away by being really convenient. Better Help is online therapy that offers video, phone and even live chat therapy sessions. So you don’t have to see anyone be on camera.

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CALLER: Hi, this is my first time being picked, so I’m very excited.

GABBY: Nice. Awesome. Welcome to the show.

CALLER: Thank you.

GABBY: There you go. There you go.

CALLER: One thing I wanted to ask you, I don’t think I really have any questions about the boundaries themselves, but I do have a question more about like intuition and I guess sometimes I’m not sure when to take an action based on a feeling I might have or to stay the course and just kind of like let the universe redirect me.

GABBY: Hm, the answer for you is this. In Super Attractor, inside my book Super Attractor, there’s a method called the spiritually-aligned action method and that method isn’t dissimilar to the boundary method. It’s really about really deciding what it is that you want, the action that you feel inspired to take.

And recognizing that when it’s backed with love and service and faith, that you can’t mess up. And when you take any action from that place of love and service and faith, you can trust that it unfold naturally. So we don’t have to question our actions when we’re in alignment with the desire. Do you have a copy of Super Attractor?

CALLER: I, I do not.

GABBY: We will send you one.

CALLER: Oh really?

GABBY: And I want you to practice this practice of this spiritually-aligned action method because it’s about—very similar to the boundaries—it’s about getting into that energy of love and that energy of faith. That if I make a leap and I do something outside my comfort zone, that if I’m doing it with faith and love and service to others I can trust that it’s gonna work out no matter what the outcome is. Doesn’t matter the outcome. I know that it’s gonna be met with more love, very similar to what we’re talking about with these boundaries.

CALLER: I mean in, in my case though, it’s not that I know a clear action that I want to take. It’s more of a feeling it’s more of like, just listening to my intuition, like specifically with my relationship.

There are times where I wonder if, you know, I think that it’s really aligned with me and it’s really, you know, the relationship that I should be in. And a lot of times I feel like it is, you know, a great relationship and it’s been bringing about so much positive change in my life, but sometimes I’m like, I’m not sure.

So I’ve been staying the course and just kind of focusing on what I’m manifesting instead of focusing on the relationship or the person. And so just kind of going back to the place of focusing on, you know, what I want to attract into my life.

GABBY: What kind of boundary though, do you wanna create today in this relationship?

CALLER: Well today, there’s probably a couple of boundaries, but one boundary is, you know, I’ve been working on myself a lot. And I think like sometimes my partner can be a little bit too, like on me about some of the things that he thinks I need to work on.

And so, I need him to understand that, you know, he needs to just trust me that I’m working on things and he doesn’t necessarily need to, like, remind me as much or point out everything or spend as much time discussing things that he thinks are a concern. And just kind of like allow me that space.

GABBY: Okay. So you are gonna create a boundary where you want space to do your work without judgment.


GABBY: So let’s do the steps really quickly together. Okay. Step one. I want you to put your hand on your heart and your hand on your belly. And I want you to just give yourself a moment to just breathe.

Maybe close your eyes, send some compassion to yourself and for all the hard work that you’re doing to grow and to change. Give yourself a lot of love. And just pride and courage, all the courage you have to speak up for yourself today. It’s so excellent.

Beautiful job, Lauren. You’re a rock star and just keep breathing into that space. And now in your own words, just say to me what clearly it is that you want from him today. What do you clearly want from him from this place of love?

CALLER: I clearly want him to be more selective with the things that he wants to bring to my attention that he thinks are, you know, a concern. I want him to be more selective and limited.

GABBY: What’s a very empowering, positive way of saying that?

I appreciate the role he’s playing and kind of helping me through my growth and bringing my awareness to things that I had blinders on before, and it’s been very, very like helpful. And, and I know it’s coming from a very loving place, but right now I just need time to, you know, work on things without being like reminded of them as much.

GABBY: Okay. That felt a lot better. So I appreciate your interest in my personal growth. And I just wanna create some space to do it without the reminders and you know, and I’m gonna challenge you to, and then the third step of course is to let go of his outcome. But I feel like you’re pretty confident there. And then the fourth step is to be patient because he’s gonna probably mess up, you know, he is gonna mix up the boundary and you wanna come back and just say, hey, let’s do that again.

You know, but I, the one place I wanna tweak is the love part. Before you meet up with him today, I want you to spend about a half hour meditating in with your heart. Holding your heart and being in deep meditation and sending him love and compassion and thanking him for being the most divine, spiritual assignment to bring up all your shit so that you can heal and thanking him for his interest in your recovery.

And just getting into that full-bodied place of love because hearing you speak about it right here, right now, with clarity, the clarity’s there, but the love is missing. I feel a lot of resentment in that.


GABBY: And I don’t want you to do this until you’re in that place of love. Like I said, from the top of the show, if you’re not in that love-centered place, don’t create the boundary because all you’re gonna create is more drama.


GABBY: So just keep at it with the love. Keep grounding in the love. Trusting in the love.


GABBY: If it doesn’t come forward today, tap back in tomorrow. Right? But don’t, don’t deny the boundary its possibility of a miracle by not giving it the backbone of love.


GABBY: That makes sense?

CALLER: Yeah, definitely. And, and probably even in this conversation, I didn’t like necessarily bring all the love that I might have brought if he was like here, but I think it’s really good that that was like how it came through right now. So I probably will do like a, a love, like…

GABBY: And also, like, the part of you that’s defensive and the part of you, that’s a little bit like, you know, Hey, I don’t want you to do it this way. That’s just a part of you that’s protecting you from the feeling of being judged or the feeling of being not good enough or inadequate. And so I want you to also send a tremendous amount of love, heart-centered love, and compassion to the part of you that feels defensive.


GABBY: And when you step into this conversation from that heart-centered place, you can just say to that part of you, that’s like, you know, the, the like I’m gonna fight for myself. You know, the part of you that feels like defensive, I guess. You know, what do you mind taking like a break for the next 20 minutes and just like, step aside, maybe you go outside and have a coffee. I’m gonna just be in love right now.


GABBY: And like, cuz that part has a role, you know, like protecting you, but is not helping the relationship. Does this make sense to you? This is internal family systems therapy that we’re talking about. Okay, cool.

CALLER: Yeah, no, this makes a lot of sense. Yeah.

GABBY: Excellent. And the way to relax that part of you that’s defensive is just to be compassionate towards it. Be like, oh, there’s my defensive part.

Okay. I wanted to give it some love and I’m gonna ask it to take a little break this afternoon when I go and meet up with my partner and just ask it to not show up during the conversation. And if I just keep coming back to compassion and compassion and connection and calmness, I’m gonna be able to deliver this message in a way that will be heard.

CALLER: You like really hit the nail on the head. Like, I can be very like defensive and like, apparently it came through and you picked up on it. So thank you so much for that. Honestly.

GABBY: It takes one to know one, Lauren. I can, I can do so much great Dear Gabby work with all of you because I recognize myself in all of you. Right. So we’re doing we’re all in this together. And try it out. You might fuck it up. It’s OK. Try again.

CALLER: Okay. Awesome. Thank you so much.

GABBY: If you’re in, if you’re in a place of love, though, my love, if you’re really in love and you’re really in compassion and connection, you can trust that you can’t fuck it up.

CALLER: Yeah. I can see that. Yeah.

GABBY: Beautiful work, Lauren. Thank you. Good luck. Let me know how it goes.

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GABBY: All right, next one.

CALLER: Hi, Gabby.

GABBY: How are you?

CALLER: I’m good. I’m presently anxious. Um.

GABBY: We lemme tell you something, we looked at the attachment style that we’ve sent out. We sent it out to a lot of people. The majority of our listeners and my audience are anxiously attached folks, which I hope makes you feel and know that you are not alone.
And also that I am a, I’m a, a recovering anxiously attached human as well. So I really understand.

CALLER: Yes. Thank you. So awesome. So what this brought up for me is let’s see if you can make some clarity out of this. So I presently, like I said, I’m anxiously attached and with that comes, I’m also a people pleaser. So boundaries is really hard for me.


CALLER Yeah. It’s, it’s more, I’m starting to work on it. I’m getting back into therapy. I get my self-worth from being, you know, a people pleaser. I do a lot of volunteer for, for the recovery community.

GABBY: Good for you. But yeah, you’re on the fence, but you’re overriding yourself, it sounds like.

So here’s the deal, Jen, often, often when we get clean and sober, our other addictions can start to come to the surface. For many of us, including myself who have chosen a sober path can quickly be met with the codependent behavior of needing to be seen, needing to feel good enough and doing that at the expense of ourselves.

Right? So caring for others so that we can feel good enough, so that we can feel adequate, lovable, so that we can feel safe in the world. And while that caregiving is such an amazing quality, and it’s a beautiful part, we don’t wanna lose that part, but we don’t want it to be so extreme that we override ourselves.

And in many cases become sick as a result of it, I’ve seen a lot of people, you know, burn out from people burnout. Yeah. Yeah. Big time. And I’m seeing that you’re, you’re just, you know, really showing me here clearly. So let’s start small and simple. Okay. And we’ll use the steps that I shared with you today. So let’s pick a relationship in your life.

You don’t have to say it here, if you don’t want to, but a relationship in your life that feels safe, maybe it’s with a member of your sober community, somebody that you trust more than others to practice with.


GABBY: Okay. Cool.

CALLER: Yeah. Awesome.

GABBY: And then think about like a very simple boundary. Maybe it’s just like, can’t come to that breakfast next week or, sorry, I can’t pick you up tomorrow or whatever it is. Something that feels like it’s not the biggest deal in the world. Okay? And I want you to use these four steps with this seemingly insignificant request of a boundary with somebody who feels somewhat safe. For someone who is really defined by people pleasing and is addicted to it, this might even feel terrifying. What I’m asking you right now might even feel terrifying and I’m looking at your face and you’re like, yes, it is but I wanna practice. Right?

Because it’s, you know, progress, not perfection as you know. So let’s do something slow and let’s just start to build the muscle. So what would you do? You would get into that heart-centered place and you can even put your hand on your heart and your hand on your belly with me right now and just breathe and just ground yourself and just continue to affirm to yourself as long as you need to, to get to your, that place of safety.

And doesn’t have to be here. It can be all throughout the next week, even if you need a week to do it, just affirming that I can indeed care for myself. And create boundaries with love in this situation. Maybe just keeping it very clear and simple. In this situation that feels safe for me, I can create boundaries with love. And really grounding yourself and relaxing yourself in that sense of safety.

Then the second step is clarity. Getting really clear. Maybe you journal about it. Maybe you talk about it with a friend that you trust, getting really clear. What is the boundary that you’re gonna practice? I’m not gonna pick you up at three o’clock cuz I’ve got something I need to do for myself, whatever it is, getting crystal clear.

And then the third step, which is gonna be the hardest for you is letting go of the outcome, letting go of what they’re gonna think of you, okay? And sometimes you have to just fake it til you make it, and trust me, okay? Trust me in that if you meet somebody with that energy of love and clarity, you speak to them with that energy of love and clarity, no matter how disappointed they may be in what you’re asking for, they’ll be met with love. And they’ll react and respond with love.

It’s a leap. It’s a risk you take by stepping outside your comfort zone, the same way it’s a risk you take by not picking up a drink that day and deciding to stay clean and sober. And then the fourth step of being patient. In this case, I want you to be patient with yourself, Jen. Because this is a new behavior that is a sober behavior, right?

In sobriety, we talk about radical honesty and just truth-telling. And when we don’t have boundaries, we’re not telling our own truth. We’re not offering up our truth. So by really living these practices, you’re actually becoming a more sober woman. You’re strengthening your recovery as a next-level in your recovery. Okay, love?

CALLER: Be more authentic, you know?

GABBY: Abso-freaking-lutely.

CALLER: And it’s like the rational part of me knows, like if I start doing so much stuff at my own expense, then I’m gonna start getting resentful.

GABBY: 100 percent.

CALLER: That’s when my friends are gonna pick up on that, pick up on that energy.

GABBY: So it gives you the opposite, the opposite result of what it is that you’re ultimately gunning for. Right? Like you want the relationship and the connection. And the thing that we forget is we don’t establish a relationship and connection by overriding ourselves, doing everything and showing up for everyone at our own expense, to the point where we feel resentful. That actually, that just weakens the connection.

I, I think about this with how we parent and how we, how we love and how we, how we relate. Right now in my job, in my company, I offer radical honesty and I’ve said some really tough shit to people like, you know, this ain’t working out and I do it with a lot of love and clarity and clear boundaries.

And I often have the person hearing me go through a list of things that aren’t working and they come back around and say, Gabby, thank you so much for your clarity, it’s really supporting me. Thank you. And so I think this is also just a little bit of, for you, I want you to practice with someone that’s, that’s easy to practice with. Okay?


GABBY: And somebody that you can, maybe even, you let them in on it, like I’m practicing, creating boundaries. It’s so uncomfortable for me, but let me share this with you.

You know, you could even do that. Like in that clarity step, like you don’t have to be perfect at this. You can say this is super uncomfortable for me, but I’m gonna try to do it right now, you know? And, and it’s, it’s just, it’s cute. And it’s like, and it makes you just so, so awesome. There’s nothing cuter than somebody being like I’m kind of practicing this thing and it’s freaking me out, but I really wanna do it. And it’s good for me, you know? So give yourself a chance to start to play with this as scary as it may seem. Okay, my love?

CALLER: Thank you so much.

GABBY: Take it slow, slow. Yeah. You know, they say in, in recovery in sober recovery, I wish you a slow recovery. And as it relates to this boundary creating, I wish you a slow recovery because I know that the slower you take this, the less likely you will be to blow out your nervous system, freak yourself out and then never do it again. Right? Don’t take yourself out. Go slow.

CALLER: I got it. Oh, thank you, Gabby. That was awesome.

GABBY: Thank you. It was so good to be with you. This has been such an amazing show. I’m so grateful. I just wanna emphasize the power of love. I gotta emphasize the power of love when we create a boundary with an energy and intention and full-bodied experience of love, we can say anything. We can be heard. We can be seen.

We can create great change in our life and our relationships. Awareness of our patterns and our behavior. As we saw with Lauren, her awareness of her judgment, that’s just a part of her that’s protecting herself. That can come with understanding your attachment style more.

Heading over to deargabby.com/attachment for the free two-minute attachment quiz will give you a greater understanding of why you are who you are and why you get defensive and why you act the ways you do. And that awareness will be a big first step in establishing that compassion towards yourself.

So that you can start there creating that boundary with a lot of love. This topic is a topic that I believe will support you in many endeavors. I’m gonna do another show on it because I love it so much. It’ll help you with your relationships and your marriage and your relationship to your coworkers, your boss, your employees, your children, your children. I have seen such miraculous results of practicing these steps with my son because I respect him and I give him love and I create a clear boundary, but I can still do it in a loving way.

Wow. Practice these four steps. Step one center into love. Two, get clear about the boundary clarity. Three, let go of the other person’s reaction. And four, have patience. Practicing these steps. We’ll put them in the show notes so you can reference them. By practicing these steps, you can trust that whatever boundary you create will be met with love and grace.

Expect miracles, my friends.

If you made it to the end of this episode, that means you’re truly committed to miracles. I’m really proud of you. If you wanna get more Gabby, tune in every Monday for a new episode. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of the guidance or special bonus episodes. Your experience at this show means a lot to me.

So I really wanna welcome you to leave an honest review and you can follow me on social media @GabbyBernstein. And if you wanna get in on the action, sign up for a chance to be Dear Gabby’d live deargabby.com. See you next week.

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