Are you ready for a lesson in conflict resolution? An hour before I sat down to record this week’s episode of the Dear Gabby podcast, I was in the midst of a MAJOR conflict. 

I’m talking legit sh*tstorm. 

There was one woman crying, another person pounding her fist and screaming, and two little girls looking at me like I was nuts. And then there was me … the self-help author at the center of this chaos. 

It wasn’t my finest moment. 

I was even a little ashamed about it. 

But the minute I turned on the mic and started recording, I spilled all the details to the Dear Gabby audience—even the ones that weren’t so flattering to me.

Spiritual Tools for Conflict Resolution

You see, I knew that by being radically honest about what I’d just experienced, I’d be able to share a valuable spiritual lesson. 

So get ready. You’ll take away powerful tools from today’s Dear Gabby, including spiritual solutions for conflict resolution, some insight on Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS)…

And the reason why you should never, ever go to a nail salon with me.

Stop Denying Your Big Dreams and Unlock Your Calling, Dear Gabby Podcast

Apart from a wild personal story, today’s Dear Gabby contains so many lessons you can use to step into your highest self (also known as Self with a capital S). 

You’ll learn:

  • How to rebound fast from feelings of shame or blame 
  • The 8 qualities of Self, as taught in Internal Family Systems therapy (these are also known as the 8 Cs) 
  • How to quickly establish a feeling of safety for yourself and others (use this any time the sh*t hits the fan) 
  • A step-by-step guide to turning conflict into connection 
  • How to change the vibe of a whole room—just by being your Self 
  • The first step to setting clear boundaries (so many people have this backwards!)

The Eight Cs of Self Energy

In the Dear Gabby community, we make feeling good a practice. We lean into positivity whenever we can. We’ve done some awesome healing work together! 

But despite this, there are buried parts of all of us that feel burdened and overwhelmed. How could there not be? 

We live in a world of chaos and drama, and we’re hit with one negative story after the next. That’s why it’s imperative that we care for our internal condition. 

That’s where the 8 Cs of Self energy, a concept from Internal Family Systems therapy, come in. These qualities are always within you, like a self-care toolkit that you can open up at any time. 

Refer to this list any time you need to get back in alignment, see instant conflict resolution or come back home to yourself.

Use this list as a spiritual tool! And

When you tap into the 8 Cs of Self energy, you can turn conflict into connection, make anxiety and shame disappear and so much more. 

I’m psyched for you to experience the shifts that take place when you start applying the 8 Cs and the techniques of Internal Family Systems therapy to your everyday life. 

I’m going to leave you with some homework! Go out into the world, and practice the 8 C qualities. Check into what they mean to you, how they can show up for you and what those 8 C qualities feel like in your body. Then, see what happens! Let me know in the reviews.

Get More Gabby

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

Want more spiritual 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 inspiring lessons, guided meditations, community connection and so much more. Plus, it’s easy to access on your phone, computer or tablet. Click here to join.

In my latest book, Happy Days: The Guided Path from Trauma to Profound Freedom and Inner Peace, I dive into detail about Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy. Chapter 7 in particular will teach you more about this life-changing practice, but references to IFS are woven throughout the book. For more on IFS therapy, check out my Dear Gabby interview with IFS founder Dick Schwartz

This episode of Dear Gabby touched on relationships. We covered how to set boundaries with love and how to bring more compassion to people who activate your protector parts. If you want to go deeper with this work and gain a better understanding of your relationship patterns, take my FREE 2-minute What’s Your Attachment Style? quiz. When you understand your attachment style, you can start to undo any patterns that are keeping you stuck in unfulfilling relationships. 

If you feel you need additional support, please consult this list of safety, recovery and 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.

Transcript

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 ...

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.

I’m so psyched to start this show today. And in a lot of the episodes, we’ve been covering relationships lately. It’s a huge topic that’s up for me. Big, big news. I’m working on our relationship book! So it’s something that’s coming through in a major way. And that’s why I got really, really nerdy. And I began to get very excited about attachment science and all of the ways that our childhood experiences affected the way that we became attached to others.

And that attachment style really dictates the way we relate in romantic relationships, work relationships, friendships, familial relationships. And the more you know about your attachment style, the more freedom you have to express yourself to heal your relationships, to just change your life completely.

That’s why I created a free two-minute quiz. What’s your attachment style? You can go over to deargabby.com/attachment. Take the quiz for two minutes. You’ll find out your attachment style. I’ll give you a whole breakdown of who you are and why you do the things you do and give you a lot of insight that will really radically change your relationships and your life.

Go check it out, take the quiz and thank me later. Deargabby.com/attachment.

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’re ready to feel good and manifest a life beyond your wildest dreams. Let’s get started.

Welcome back to Dear Gabby. Welcome back. Welcome back. Woo. This show was inspired by something that happened to me an hour ago, and I’m hoping that my recollection of this experience and my full story journey. What happened, how I resolved it and where I am now helps me to reprocess the shit storm I got myself into an hour ago.

So here we are. If you know anything about me as a close friend, you know, that you never want to step into a nail salon with me because while I have done a tremendous amount of trauma work and I have done a lot of recovery, and spiritual conditioning, I still have one area of my life where I can really lose my cool.

And feel out of control and try to control—one main area at this point, which is pretty, pretty good, pretty good, but it’s still somewhat unmanageable. And that area happens to be when I go to get my nails done. Whew, this is embarrassing. It’s shameful, but it’s coming through. It’s gonna be… Here I am, radical honesty.

Whenever I go to get my nails done, the nail salon that I typically go to, they see me and they’re like, oh no, here she. Like, like lock the doors. Today, I decided to go to a different nail salon because I wanted to see if they had a different type of gel color. And if they did something more arty. So I show up, I sit down, and I’m really pleasant.

Hi everybody. I’m the only one there at the time. I have some calls I need to make while I’m getting my gel done. And I ask the woman to see a few different colors and we’re quite settled and it’s nice. So she starts to take the gel off and she starts to almost like file down really low to the point where my nail was starting to hurt.

And at that point, I started to get a little agitated and then I started filing my own nails because I was getting frustrated at which point I then asked the woman to really test out a bunch of different colors. Cause I didn’t wanna make the wrong choice because you have two weeks with this color.

This is a story that you’re gonna hear again and again and again on this show until I heal it. Because I haven’t healed this. So they’re testing the colors, testing the colors. And then finally I choose a color and sitting there in the nail salon. My hands are under the light and I have to take a call. So I’m on this work call and I don’t want my team on my work call to have to listen to the background noise.

So I keep going from the nails to the mute button on the Zoom to putting my nails back into the heating lamp, and then back to the Zoom to mute. And the woman who’s doing my nails is starting to get more and more and more frustrated with me. And she’s getting more and more and more annoyed with me from pulling my hand out to the point where the third time I pulled my hand out to, to put, press mute, she slams her hands on the table and starts standing up and starts yelling to her, her team.

And I, in that moment, start feeling really uncomfortable because I’m feeling her rage towards me. I know that I definitely pissed her off. So I understand my part completely, but she’s raging at me and she’s, you know, she slammed her hands down.

At that point, she continues to do my nails and then I start flipping out and I’m like telling the nail salon to switch her with me and somebody else. And I’m just getting so upset. So heated, so triggered. And it’s sort of when we get back into that place of that reptilian brain, when we’re just like we flip our lid, it’s almost this lasered focus.

So, oh my God, I gotta just fix this situation because everything around me goes numb. And I didn’t even recognize that there’s like two little girls getting their nails done next to me and another woman over there. And I’m just like, can somebody please switch with her? Because I am not comfortable. Like somebody has to switch with her.

I’m uncomfortable. So finally somebody switches with her and I look over to my left. And the woman to my left looks at me. She goes, you’ve ruined my day and she starts crying. She said, this is terrible energy. You’ve ruined my day. And she’s hysterically crying in the nail salon. Oh my God. Shame spiral. Oh my God.

Hopefully, I have no readers in this nail salon. Oh my God. I feel deeply, deeply upset and disturbed with myself. I am just grounding myself in that moment. Apologizing profusely, looking at the woman and saying, this is not my intention. I wanna show up wherever I go and bring positivity and good vibes and positive energy.

And I am so sorry that I ruined your experience. And I immediately went very quickly into self energy, which is what we talk about a lot on the show, Internal Family Systems therapy. And my training in, in IFS has helped me be very quick to apply it in my own life. And I’ve been in therapy for Internal Family Systems for a long time.

So I can jump in and this is what I did. I leaned immediately on the eight C qualities of self. There’s this woman next to me, the nail tech is irate with me. The little girls are looking at me like, who are you? You’re crazy. The guy doing my nails now is all mad. The woman next to me is crying. Like I have done an explosive dramatic thing and yes, there’s two people involved, but I’m gonna only own my part.

I created drama in the nail salon. So the woman sitting next to me is crying and she’s really upset and you ruined my day and this is my time for my self-care. Oh my God. Can you imagine me sitting there? This is my time for my self-care and I’m just thinking to myself, Gabby, you just did the opposite of what you are here to do in the world.

So instead of shaming myself, instead of blaming the other woman, instead of putting that shame, that I’m feeling out onto somebody else, instead of getting up and walking out. I gotta pull it together. I gotta remind myself of who I really am. I gotta bring my A game. I gotta show up for myself for this woman, for the nail tech, for the children in the room for everybody around, because I am not gonna live in that way.

And so what do I do? I lean on self and I start to assume the eight qualities of self, and these are C qualities. The first I lean into, which really helped me immediately was to calm down and I took a deep breath and I grounded myself in my own calm energy and that calmness, I said to the woman next to me, I said, wow, I am really, really sorry that this is your experience.

And she was still very upset and very heated and continued crying and saying, this is my ruining my day, ruining my self-care. And I said really grounded. “That was not my intention.” I am. I’m really in that calm space, that calm energy. Then I tap into compassion and I look over at the woman that’s the nail tech that, of course, she did have a part in this situation, but I can’t, I can’t blame her right now.

This is on me. I’m gonna take care of my side of the street, not hers. And I looked at her and I said, “I am so sorry if I upset you.” I looked at the mother to the right of me, with the children and I said, “Ladies, that was not my highest and best. I’m sorry if the energy wasn’t good in this room.” And then I went back to the woman next to me who was really struggling and I kind of got to the next C quality.

So we’ve already had calm and compassion. I leaned into that place of compassion, seeing the nail tech with a lot of love and compassion and apologizing to her, and then having compassion for myself so that I could show up in this way.

Then I leaned into the third C quality, which is creativity. And I looked over at the woman next to me and I said, “Listen, my intention in life is to make people feel good. And today I screwed that up. I am really, really upset about this. I wanna find a, a way to make this up to you. I like to pick up the bill for your nails.”

And she said, no, no, no, I don’t want you to do that. Please don’t do that. I said, okay, well, we’ll talk about it later. So I got creative. I started to think about, okay, how can I make her day a little better since I already started to ruin it?

What can I do to smooth this over with some creativity? And then I move into the next C quality, which is curiosity. And so the room is a little bit calmer now. We’re all a little bit settled. The woman was able to say, well, thank you for apologizing. The mom looked at me and said, we didn’t really even notice. Everything’s fine.

And that’s when I started to tap into curiosity. And I looked at the woman that had formerly been crying and I said, listen, do you live around here? And she says, yeah, I live on the lake. And I said, oh, that’s such a beautiful place to live. And I said, do you have any children? She said, yes, I have a three-year-old son. Connectedness.

This is the, the next C quality, connected. I look at her and I have a three-year-old son, and then we start just sort of laughing about how much energy they have. And we start connecting, connecting on the children. And I look to the woman to the right of me with her daughters. And we start talking about the fact that her daughter has a birthday in December.

And so does my son and that connection of what it means to have all the birthday presents while we have the Christmas presents and the Hanukah presents and all that. And so I’m connecting, connecting, connecting. Self is coming forward. Then I went into courage. And the courage part was to really not just blow over the situation because while everyone was now settled, I still felt that ping of shame.

And I wanted to take care of that shame part of myself, for me and for the others. And that’s a lot of courage. And so I looked over at the woman and I just said, listen, first I want to acknowledge the courage that you had to speak up for yourself. That’s not something that comes easily for people. And I know that, I know that very deeply.

I know that not a lot of people would speak up for themselves in that situation. They might have sat there. They might have taken the whole energy negatively. They would’ve walked out. It would’ve ruined their day, but I’m really grateful that you had the courage to speak up. And I carried on with my own courage, which was to continue to own my part and say, you know, I’m really sorry that it happened like this, but I really appreciate our ability to resolve it right here, right now.

And then I looked at the little girls and I said, ladies, little girls, like sometimes people can get into a fight. And they can make up and they can create a better energy. And then I moved into more clarity, which was just to really clarify to the rest of the room that this was my scenario, this, that to own my part to, once again, look the nail tech in the eye and genuinely apologize to her and be very clear about the fact that this wasn’t who I am. And I choose to be a different way.

Now I’ve totally got the mom over here. Just like, wow, this is such a beautiful moment. And then there’s another woman in the corner and she goes, this is why a woman should be president because we can just talk it out.

And then I close with the final C the eighth C, which is confidence. Acknowledging that confidence in myself in the moment, the confidence I had to really show up for my mess up. To show up for my disturbance, to show up for this shameful, shitty moment in my life and have the confidence to have trust in self. Trust that when self is present, we can resolve these chaotic moments. When self is present, we can actually adjust the energy in the room. When self is present, we can apologize and have an impact.

When self is the energy that is the most present in the room, then miracles occur because there is no boundary that love cannot resolve. So in that moment, I felt really connected. I got up, I was really embodying all my C qualities of the calmness and the compassion and the confidence and the creativity and the connectedness to the other mama and the other mama and the, the laughing and that, that connection to the woman who wanted women to be president and feeling that clarity in the room.

And I got up and I looked at the nail tech in the eye and I said, I actually touched her on the shoulder. And I said, “Cindy, again. I’m so sorry if I upset you. I hope you have a blessed day.” I walked over to the cash register. I paid for the woman’s nails. I left a 30% tip for everybody in the room and I walked out the door feeling a lot better, feeling a lot more grace, feeling as though I had really turned it around.

Even showing up to talk to you right here, right now. I still have that lingering feeling of shame like Gabby, you can’t walk around like this. You can’t let yourself fly off the handle like that. You can’t, you can’t, you can’t, you know, you gotta work out this nail salon issue. But what I’m most proud of in these moments is not that I, you know, can be perfect in every scenario because I can’t, I’m a human being.

What I’m proud of is that I can really restore. I can create and reestablish a safe place in the moment quickly within myself and for others. I can rebound. I can come back fast. That experience of being able to witness the chaos and the drama in the room. The such an extreme, and it was so weird for me too, because I’m not accustomed to seeing people, strangers, cry because of something that I’ve done that is bad.

My whole life is witnessing people in tears because of their breakthrough, because of their grace or their, their gratitude towards the work that I’m doing and helping people be in that place. And so here I was sort of struck like, holy shit, Gabby, you just made this woman cry. And it was a gift to me to be able to witness that, to witness how palpable our energy can be even in those moments, when we think that no one’s watching.

And that I did in that same breath, have the power to tap into that self energy and resolve the situation and dissolve the boundaries and express love and compassion and celebrate her for her courage. Her courage to speak up, her courage, to be seen her courage, to cry publicly her courage to say, I’m not getting what I need. I’m not getting my needs met here.

And my prayer is that every one of those women that experienced me in that moment today will walk out feeling a little bit more connected, a little bit more open to the possibilities of change that can occur in the moment. That’s what I wanna talk about here on Dear Gabby today.

How we can completely change the energy of a room, apologize in the moment and actually have an impact, how we can take care of our side of the street and do it with self, do it with energy. How, whenever those C qualities of self are present, we can do anything. And I didn’t know how I was gonna get outta that one, but thank God I had self.

Feels a little less shameful to say it out loud. So thank you for listening. and uh, now I wanna hear from you. I wanna hear what that means to you and how I can use these C qualities to support you, my Dear Gabby listeners and, and the guests that are gonna come through today. So let’s go, let’s bring somebody in.

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GABBY: Nice to meet you, sweetheart. How you doing?

CALLER: I’m great. Thank you. How are you?

GABBY: I’m good. What’s your name?

CALLER: Jelisha.

GABBY: Jelisha. Nice name, nice tattoos. We’re feeling it here. Okay. How could I help you, my love.

CALLER: Yes. So, first of all, thank you for grateful for you, for holding, holding this space and having this space. My whole thing is I’ve been, I guess the, the Cs kind of applies to me because I have been in this space of kind of, um, not speaking up for myself as much as I should with my boundaries, if I feel that I need to, because I I’m trying to be nice in a way.

And, and which really is I, I kind of build resentment. Because, and it’s not about them. It’s all about myself, obviously. It’s about me, but it’s more so how do I start? When I wanna speak up for myself? How do I still hold space and come from a loving space where it’s not like it’s, it’s, I’m pointing the finger at them.

GABBY: Jelisha, this is the absolute perfect question for this topic. When you lean into the qualities of self, you can say and do anything. And the other person will be met with love. I have said some really hard truths even recently, you know, confronting a friend about something from this exact energy that you feel with me right here, right now, calm and connected and curious, said some tough stuff to somebody recently.

And they were able to really hear it. Honor it, feel into it, own it, take care of themself in the moment, not be, you know, defensive, not feel harmed to hear the truth.So you can trust, I’m gonna say this again and again, when you speak up and care for yourself or whatever the situation might be from the energy of self, you can say and do anything.

Because that self energy is the God within you. It’s the light within you. It’s the love within you. It’s the ever-present power of truth of who you are. So the big work is what you do before you come to the person, before you acknowledge what’s up. Right? So that’s about grounding yourself in the clarity of what it is that you wanna.

The calmness of the energy that you wanna bring, the creativity to seek solutions rather than harp on problems. The connectedness, right? Creating the connection. Sometimes that happens with empathy. Right? I do that with my son all the time. I wanna confront him because hitting mommy really hurts. And you know, one time mommy was little and she hit a girl at this playground, you know, maybe I’m making this up.

Right? And she felt so bad afterwards cuz the girl was crying, you know, empathy. Right? So that’s that creates that connect. That creates that connection. So seeing, you know, I can see why this might have happened because you know, I’ve been there before myself, whatever it might be, and then leaning into that courage to show up for yourself, my love.

CALLER: Yeah.

GABBY: The courage will come the more you do it. Right? So you’ve got the courage in there now, and you’ve had the courage to speak up and raise your hand and say, I’m not taking care of myself in these situations. I need help. You’ve got a lot of courage right here right now. So that courage is what’s driving this conversation.

That courage is what’s gonna make a movement in your life. And the more you start to bring these eight C qualities to any confrontation. So when you bring those C qualities to confrontational moments, there’s no more confrontation. It’s connection. It’s like the woman at the, in the nail salon, she’s looking at me going that’s why women should be president! Because we can just work it out, you know?

We have to cultivate and that’s not all women, you know, we have to all be the self leaders that we are as mamas, right? Harness that mother energy. How would you care for your child in that moment and care for your own inner child with these eight C qualities? And so one thing that you can do, let’s get this really just boiled down for you.

I want you to make a list of the eight C qualities, and I want you to really give yourself a moment of settled grace, where you look at those eight C qualities, and you can just respond to each one. You know, what can I do to make myself feel calm right here right now? When I think about compassion, who do I want to extend compassion towards right here right now? You know, and just allowing yourself to start to familiarize yourself more with those qualities, because here’s the deal we live in such a way where the primary voices that we listen to are the voices of the parts of us that are in protector mode, that are shut down, that are fighting back.

That are judging, that are, you said like resentful, these are all forms of protection, but when those eight C qualities start to be developed within us, the protectors can relax. That moment with the nail salon could have gone one of two ways. I could have gone right into protector. I have a big time defensive protector.

I could have really called on her in that moment and said, I’m gonna fight the good fight. I’m gonna, you know, tell everybody why she’s wrong and blame her. No, I had to really ground myself, remind myself that I am a self-help book author, remind myself that I do not wanna be this way in the world.

Forgive myself, compassion towards myself. And go in the direction of that self, C quality energy. So it’s a practice, it’s a practice. It’s a practice. What I want you to do is I want you to practice this with somebody that feels somewhat safe. So there might be some people in your life that’s like, whoa, the idea of confronting them is like not an option.

Okay. But maybe there’s somebody in your life that you can confront about something that’s a little, you know, less dramatic and maybe there’s somebody who you can play around with and just sort of like test drive this a little bit and it’s gonna be a little awkward, you know, you can be like, Hey, you know, you didn’t text me back.

And I just wanna let you know that that can, uh, sometimes just create some energy for what, whatever the confrontation needs to be. But remember, it’s not about what you say, but this is about how it comes out, because it doesn’t matter what you say you could look at somebody and say, Are a real, like, you’re acting like a real B I T C H you know, you’re acting like real.

Why am I not cursing? Cause I always curse here. You’re acting really awful. And I’m really having a hard time with it. That’s like, you know, you could say that in two ways, right? You could be like, I don’t like how you’re acting right now. Or you could say I’m noticing I’m really feeling upset. And I’m wondering if there’s a different way you could say that to me.

CALLER: I love. I love that. Oh my goodness. I feel like I have work to do so. I have homework. I’m taking this back away. It’s homework. I definitely wanna accomplish this and it’s for self, it’s all for me. And I wanna do better. And giving love to them is showing love to myself as well. So.

GABBY: I wanna give you a present. I wanna give you a little prezzy as my son would say. So in the Fall, uh, in October, we’re gonna launch a relationship challenge and in it, I’m gonna really talk about how we can create boundaries. That’s gonna be a big part of it and how we can really show up for our relationships with grace and speak up for ourselves.

This is a big part of it. So I’m gonna give it to you, the first one to officially have the relationship challenge.

CALLER: Thank you!

GABBY: I adore you and I, I, I just, I really appreciate you. I know that this is gonna be successful for.

CALLER: Yes. Yes. Thank you.

GABBY: Girlfriend. And just, just you’re a goddess. Go start practicing those self qualities.

Other thing is, is, you know, people say, oh, go create the boundaries, go create the boundaries, go out and create the boundaries. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Establish connection to self. And from the energy of self, create the boundary. Otherwise the boundary’s gonna feel like a brick wall that you throw in someone’s face. Rather than a gate that you can open and close.

CALLER: I agree completely. Yes. Thank you, Gabby.

GABBY: Beautiful love. So gorgeous. I like that metaphor.

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GABBY: Okay. Who is next?

CALLER: Thank you so much for talking to me today.

GABBY: My pleasure, my love. How are you doing?

CALLER: I am not doing well. Better than I usually do, but I just got done with a week visit with my mom. We have a very difficult relationship. and I’ve been in therapy for many years and I’ve been doing a lot of work to be more compassionate towards her.

And there were sometimes this week where I was compassionate, more compassionate than I’ve been in the past. And then there were other times when I devolved into this person that I. I used to be and I don’t wanna be that person. And I don’t like that I let her energy get to me in that way.

GABBY: Got it. Totally. So what’s happening is the moments when you were in compassion towards your mom, you were in self energy, big work.

If you can establish that connection of compassion, even for a fleeting moment, that’s a big deal. And I wanna applaud you for that, Sarah. Okay. And the moments when you were, as you said, falling back into these other ways of being, those are protector parts of yourself. Those are ways that you have established a form of protection as a young child, Sarah, as a young child, because this dynamic has been going on since you were in utero.

So the ways that you act that you don’t want to act are the protectors and you have done, you’re very young. So you’ve done a tremendous amount of beautiful work at this. I don’t know how old you are. How old are you?

CALLER: 32. I love that.

GABBY: 32 baby. 32. So proud of you. So at this ripe young age of 32, you’ve done so much self work, so much spiritual work.

It’s so clear to me that you have the ability to witness the difference between self and protector part. That step, that curiosity, that awareness is like the most major step combined with your willingness to come on the show and get some help is like epic. Like you are a rock star, you’re gonna transform your relationship with your mother and every relationship in your life.

I’m just so proud of you. So let’s first extend a lot of love and compassion to the child part of you that’s like activated and then the protector part of you, that’s doing things that you don’t like. Let’s, can you say something to that part? Like, do you feel compassion towards that part of yourself or do…?

CALLER: I definitely do. Cause I, I feel like it’s, you know, either the seven year old version of me or the 14 year old version of me, that’s just trying to like get back and like stand up for herself, but she doesn’t know how, so she just kind of acts out instead of using her words in a loving way. So I definitely have a lot of compassion for her because she hasn’t learned yet how to communicate well enough.

GABBY: Beautiful. So let’s acknowledge that she’s doing the best she can to stay safe in those moments. And she hasn’t fully developed direct access to self yet, but we’re there. We’re starting. You’re here right now. And let’s be really freaking proud of her for being able to be seen as a part. Right? Like a lot of people just believe like, well, I have this part of me, that’s just really protective, you know?

Or I’ve got this part of me, it’s like super defensive or I’m just, I’m just really defensive. They can’t see it as something that’s, uh, a pattern and a way of protecting and so, bravo. Let’s have a real nice clap for that beautiful part of you that’s been so protective and also thank it for its extraordinary service because that part of you that acts out has been working really hard to keep you safe for 30 something years.

CALLER: Yeah, for sure.

GABBY: Okay. So what we just did right there was extending a self to part connection. So your ability to witness that part of yourself that’s defensive and that’s, that’s acting out through that lens of compassion is compassion is one of the qualities that’s self to part, and you created and established, a self to part connection.

Do you feel that? I mean, I even saw you smile. I saw your whole body lighten up. I saw like, oh wow. Like I don’t have to blame myself anymore. Like I’m doing, I’m doing a good job. I’m doing the best I can.

CALLER: Like, I was feeling like an incredible, I know shame doesn’t serve you. But I was feeling shame for the times when I didn’t show up well this week.

And I know that doesn’t help me, you know?

GABBY: Right. And so that shame is another protector. That shame is protecting you from having to face, you know, other feelings, right? So the moment that we extend that compassion, what happened with the shame?

CALLER: It disappeared.

GABBY: It disappeared! So the beautiful, gorgeous work here, this is all Internal Family Systems founded by Dick Schwartz. It’s just my, my, and I’m so blessed to have had the privilege of continuing my education with this. It is so transformational to be able to just extend that compassion towards the part of yourself. I want you to get a little bit more curious about that part, you know, just ask it in any moment you could ask, you could notice it, you know, notice in the moment, where is this in my body?

What is it? What is it, you know, is there a color? Is there, you know, an energy, whatever I need to notice, what do I know about it? I know that it’s young and it’s fiery and it’s, you know, what do I know about and what does it need? It needs to step away. It needs some compassion. It needs, it needs a hug. It needs to write it out in the journal, you know, what does it need?

And that self topart connection. That’s all this needed here for the future of your relationship with your mother and every woman in your life. Because the more you can lean into self, the easier it will be for you in those moments when you’re triggered. This is a lifelong practice, you know, I’m 42 years old.

I’m calling on self every time I get together with my mom, you know, and that self energy has really allowed me to witness her with compassion, to witness her with curiosity, to, to connect with her in the ways that are safe and good, you know, and also to be boundaried, but be boundaried with love.

Right. Having self energy doesn’t mean you let somebody walk all over you. Having self energy means you could set a real clear boundary. Like, you know what? I actually don’t wanna have you in my life. That’s happened with me with some people in my world. I don’t want you in my life, but I love you. And I forgive you and I’m gonna send you so much love, and I’m gonna pray for you every night, but I don’t wanna see you. But I love you, you know?

So it doesn’t matter what the outcome is. It matters if it’s coming from self or not.

CALLER: Got it. Yeah. And I definitely. I used to have this part of me that was like, just cut her out. Like I had a therapist once just be like, just get rid of her. And I was like, that doesn’t feel right to me. But what feels right to me is not a lot of time together, but the time that we do spend together, it’s intentional and I, you know, do what she likes to do and be more compassionate toward that feels better to me than like more time together and not being nice.

GABBY: And how about this young 32 year old woman? Here you are. You’re on, first of all, God bless that therapist. We don’t wanna just there’s times in life when we wanna cut, you know, cut the cord because it’s not safe or it’s not, you know, but in this instance, based on the limited information I have, so I don’t, I don’t know the full story and I’m not your therapist, but in this instance, I’m seeing you as a young woman who is on a path of personal growth and spiritual development.

CALLER: Of course.

GABBY: So who’s your greatest freaking teacher? Your mom.

CALLER: Yeah, for sure. I like washed everything she did this week and I was like, oh, that’s why my husband doesn’t like it when I do that. Crazy.

GABBY: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. And she’s your greatest opportunity to practice being in self.

CALLER: Absolutely. Yeah.

GABBY: So let’s say thanks mom. Thanks mom. For, for all the beautiful opportunities you’re providing me.

CALLER: Yes, absolutely. Thank you, mom. Love you.

GABBY: Exactly. Sarah. I’m so proud of you. You’re just super, super, super, super rockstar at 32 years old. It’s just, I mean, wow, great work. My love.

CALLER: Appreciate you.

GABBY: I appreciate you, sweetheart.

This might be one of my favorite shows on dear Gabby. Wow. What a nice one. First of all, I feel so much better now after letting out, telling the truth, telling my story, reminding myself of the eight C qualities we have to practice what we preach. That’s how we master it. You master it by practicing it by living it by, by owning it, by being authentic, to tap into those eight C qualities, those eight C qualities of self calm, compassion, creative, curious, connected, courageous, clarity.

Be very clear and confidence. When we assume those C qualities energetically, and we let those C qualities be the louder voice in the room, which takes practice. But when we practice and we connect and we ground, and we re-listen to this episode, maybe five or six times, just to really start to understand it.

We can start to establish that self to part that self to protection mechanism connection. And when self connects to that protector part of ourself that protector can relax, that protector, the anxiety, the fighting back, the judgment can disappear. Just like we heard with Sarah can disappear. So I’m gonna leave you with this guys.

Go practice those eight C qualities. Check into what they mean to you, how they can show up for you; feel into what those eight C qualities feel like in your body and see what happens. Let me know in the reviews. I wanna hear from all of you. I wanna hear particularly on this episode what this was like for you.

If this Internal Family Systems therapy content is really serving you, you can go back and listen to our episode with Dick Schwartz and you can also read, uh, chapter seven in Happy Days. Really does a deep dive into this content Happy Days – The guided path from trauma to profound freedom and inner peace.

My latest book has a lot of Internal Family Systems therapy inside of that chapter, chapter seven and throughout the book, actually. What a beautiful show. Let’s all practice those eight C qualities today. Thanks for joining.

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 of 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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