Episode 140 Ask Me Anything (1)

Ask Me Anything – listeners questions answered

Questions sent in by listeners. There were some really great questions asked in this episode – ones that most people can relate to.

The answers to these questions are a starting point. We will often get stuck in a situation and not know how to do something different. The answers to these questions are a starting point for you to begin thinking differently about your circumstances.

Questions asked in this episode:

  1. My adult children are exhausting and I don’t know if I want to choose to be around them.
  2. I don’t keep my word to myself.
  3. My sister-in-law is mean to me and I don’t know how to let go of what she says and not let it bother me.

If you would like to submit a question to be answered on the podcast, CLICK HERE

The Difficult Conversation Guide

In this guide, I’ll help you know what to do before, during, and after the conversation. You’ll also learn some amazing, and easy to learn emotional management skills that you can use long after this conversation is over.

Click here to download:

Have a difficult conversation with your husband

Have a difficult conversation with your adult child

Full Transcript


If you’re struggling in your family relationships and nothing you do makes it any better. Maybe even gets worse. You’re in the right place. My name is Tina Gosney, your host as well as your family relationship coach, and positive relationship strategist. When you make peace with what’s happening inside of yourself, you’ll begin to find the peace you’re looking for in your relationships. This is the coaching your family relationships, podcast. Let’s get started.


Welcome back to the podcast today. I’m Tina. I’m your life coach and host for the episode. And this is another Ask Me Anything series while asked me almost anything series.


I did a few of these episodes a few months ago and have had a lot of feedback about them that you guys really liked them. And so I’m doing another one. Here it is, this is a really good episode too. You’ll want to listen all the way to the end, there were such good questions asked this time. Actually, I think there’s always good questions that are asked, but I really did love the questions that were asked this time.


If you want me to answer one of your questions, I, I will do another episode soon. So you can submit a question, there’s a link in the show notes that you can just go and it will take you to a place where you can enter your question. It’s super easy. So if you are listening to this episode, and you have a question that you would like me to answer on the podcast, please go and click that link. And I will be answering your question soon the next time I do an episode like this.


And I want you to know that when I’m doing an episode like this, and I’m answering these questions, and it’s not a back and forth conversation. I’m giving you an entry point into working on the question that you’re asking, because of this format, because we don’t have you know, follow up as like we would in a weekly coaching relationship, and we don’t have a conversation back and forth. This is just a starting point for you to begin working on, on this question that you’re asking me on this situation that you’re giving me. So I’m giving you something to think about, and one or two things that you can do on your own.


When I am working with my clients, we would dive much deeper into these situations. And we might explore them from every angle, like many different angles. And we would have so much discovery through looking at the looking at these things from every angle. But I know that a starting point can make a lot of difference. Sometimes we just need to have someone help us see what is that first step, we get stuck in our own brains and get stuck in our own situations. And we just need to have someone show us like what’s the first step that I need to take to be get out of this loop to just start thinking about this differently to start making some change here. And when we take just that first step, and we just see things differently, that can just really lead us to a lot of self discovery. I think self discovery is so important. So vital.


I want to remind you, before we get into the questions today that I do have a free guide for you. It’s called the difficult conversation guide. So if your emotions take over when you’re trying to talk about things, maybe you just have like a normal conversation even maybe sometimes your emotions take over, does your brain go blank? And you can’t think of what you want to say. But then two hours later, you could think of all the things that were would have been good to say at that time. Are you avoiding a conversation that would help you to get some things out in the open, but you don’t want to have it because in the past, it’s gone very badly. And you don’t want to do that again. Or maybe that other person just railroads right over you. And you get left feeling so small when the conversation is over?


If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this guide is your guide. I’m going to walk you through how to prep for the conversation, what to do during and after the conversation. I’m also going to give you three emotional management tools that will be so helpful to you way after the conversation is over. If we can learn to be more in control of our emotions and less reactive, more in control in difficult situations, which is what these emotional management tools help you do. Then we have won half the battle of our lives. It’s just are so many times we are reacting from our emotions. And if we just knew a few emotional management tools, we would cause ourselves so much less suffering so many less problems we would create for ourselves and others if we could do this. So go download the guide. It’s going to be available for a limited period of time.


Okay, time to get into the questions today, we have three really great questions.


Here’s number one:


1. My adult children are so hard to be around, I feel really guilty for saying this. But sometimes it’s just easier to choose to not be around them. I try so hard to be understanding to listen and to not offend them. But no matter what I say, they will always find a reason to be offended, and I’m exhausted. Is it okay to choose to just not be around to them?


Okay, I think there are a lot of parents, from what I’m the people I’m talking to a lot of parents can feel the same way. So they’re relating to this? It’s such a great question.


And to the person that asked this question, here’s your answer, you say that you’re exhausted, I’m going to guess that this is coming from the way that you are thinking about your children, I’m guessing that you’re probably not out there, like running a marathon, or doing some lot of physical work, that’s exhausting you, I’m guessing you’re more mentally exhausted from the way that you’re thinking.


So you’re probably thinking things like, why are they so difficult? Why can’t things be the way they used to be? Why does everything have to be so hard? Why did they take everything I say, and turn it around on me? And maybe I don’t have the energy to deal with us?


Do you have any thoughts like that? Do you have those same thoughts or similar thoughts? If you do, you’re feeling exhausted, because you’re thinking exhausting thoughts. When you’re feeling exhausted, you’re probably seeing more of the behavior that is exhausting you.


This is what our brains do. They latch on to a thought. And then your brain says, Oh, this is what we’re looking for. We’re looking for ways to be exhausted. So we’re looking for kid ways, our kids are exhausting us. And then we’re seeing more and more ways that our kids are exhausting us. So we’re looking for evidence that that thought is true. That’s what our brain does. And that’s one of our brains jobs.


And I’m not saying that your kids are easy to be around, or that you shouldn’t be exhausted, we just want to know, and make sure that we know what’s in your control, and what is not in your control. And the way that you think is in your control, it’s hard to see that that is in your control. Because when you don’t know that you have a choice to think differently, your thoughts will always go to default, your brain is just automatically going to take you to those exhausting thoughts.


And you know that your kids are exhausting, and it would be easier to not be around to them. In actuality, maybe for you, it would be easier to not be around them. Some things in your life would be easier if you didn’t have a relationship with them, and you just chose to stay away from them. There might be other things that you haven’t thought about yet, that wouldn’t be get harder. You don’t have to choose to be around people that you don’t want to be around. There are plenty of people, plenty of parents who don’t have relationships with their adult children.


But those are their people. You want to know if this is what you want for yourself. And I don’t know what you should do. Because you are the expert in your own life. I am not the expert in your life. One thing I do as a coach is to help you see your own blind spots. So maybe you choose to be around them sometimes and not around them. Other times. Maybe you take a total break for a few weeks or months. Or maybe you don’t, the choice is up to you. But whatever you decide to do, I want you to know the reason that you’re doing it. Don’t do something just because it’s easier, do something because you’re making an intentional choice. And you know why you’re making that choice, you know, what is behind that intention.


And I will give you something, just something to think about. Sometimes we get caught up in what our relationships look like today. And they’re painful, and we’re suffering today. And we forget that over time, we can change a lot of things. Because our brain is looking at the difficulty of the relationship today. And it’s projecting that into the future, thinking, Oh, it’s always going to be this way. That’s not necessarily true. We can change a lot of things over time. So I want you to grab a piece of paper and do some brainstorming.


What do you want the relationship with your children to look like in five years? Or maybe 10 years? Write down everything that you can think of from what does a text or a phone call or a conversation look like? All of that from what is chat grandchild’s high school graduation or a wedding or a family reunion look like? What does that relationship with maybe a specific child or your children in general, what does it look like then?


The things that you do or don’t do today will determine what that future relationship looks like. And you have a lot more influence on that relationship than you think that you do.


Okay, here’s number two:


I will always fulfill my word to someone else, when I promise, I’m going to do something, I always do it. But I break my word to myself all the time, I’m just beginning to notice that I do this a lot. I promised myself I was going to stop eating sugar, but it literally lasted for one day. And then I was like, eating all the sugar in my house. How can I be so trustworthy towards other people, but not towards myself?


This is such a good question. I think everyone has their own version of the same question. Maybe it doesn’t have to do with sugar. But we’re all trying to you know, change habits all the time. Somebody we want to start doing or something we want to stop doing. And we get stuck in these kinds of situations with ourselves. But I’m looking at the way that you phrase this question.


And it looks like there’s some all or nothing talk that you’re doing to yourself. Because you said, I promised myself I was going to stop eating sugar. Well, how long? Were you going to stop eating sugar? For the week for the month for the rest of your life? Was it all forms of sugar or, or only sugary treats? What does that mean? I’m going to stop eating sugar? Did you define what that looks like to yourself? Or did you just say to yourself, I’m just going to stop eating sugar? Well, we all have the propensity to tell ourselves, we get exasperated and fed up with our own behavior. And then we say I’m never going to do that again.


And then we do it again, just like you said, you were eating all the sugar in your house. And then we beat ourselves up because we didn’t keep our promise to ourselves. And want you to think about being less all or nothing here. And what would that look like?


Maybe at first, it would look something like, I want to break my habit of eating sugar every day. What are some of the things that would help me break this habit. Or, I’m going to notice, I’m just going to notice today how often I’m wanting to go eat sugar.


Or I’m going to see what happens I’m going to choose to not eat sugar for a day. And I’m going to see what happens inside my brain. And what times of day when I’m like wanting to go get some sugar, and what’s happening in my life. So we start gathering some information for ourselves.


When we start becoming more aware of why we’re doing things, then we can start changing things, we can’t change things that we’re not aware of. We want to stay away from the all or nothing mentality because it doesn’t work. And if it does work, it’s usually short lived. And then we go right back to old habits, because we only beat ourselves up into doing something different, we didn’t actually change the reason for the behavior in the first place.


Another thing that I want you to think about is that we promise ourselves things all the time. Like I’m going to get up early and start working out. And then the alarm goes off and you push snooze and you go back to sleep for another hour. Or maybe you say okay, I’m gonna promise myself, I’m going to lose 10 pounds this year. And then before you know it, you didn’t lose 10 pounds, you actually gained 10 pounds.


Well, if you made plans with a friend to meet on Tuesday, to have lunch at noon, would you just not show up? No, you’re going to be there Tuesday at noon, and you’re going to meet that friend? Why? Why do you do that for your friend? Because you like them, because you respect them because you don’t want to hurt them. Because you want them to think nice things about you and you want them to like you. You show up for that lunch date. You have a relationship with that friend, you also have a relationship with yourself. What kind of friend are you being to yourself? When you think about the your inner dialogue, the way that you talk to yourself inside your own head.


If a friend talk to you, the way that you talk to yourself, how long would you be friends? For most people, they would never tolerate another person talking to them, the way that their inner voice talks to them.


What you want to do is start building the relationship you have with yourself and being a good friend to yourself. Start noticing yet that inner voice, the voice that only you can hear. Start noticing how you are talking to yourself. And if you wouldn’t say that to another person, then don’t say it to yourself. Start talking to yourself more than you listen to yourself. When that inner critic starts up, tell yourself hey, I am willing to


You will listen to what you have to say. But you need to say it to me nicely.


We tend to think that if we talk nicely to ourselves, that we’re going to let ourselves get away with a lot of things and would be really indulgent. But actually, the opposite happens. We do not need to beat ourselves up to try to get ourselves to change doesn’t work. It’s been proven time after time after time to not work. So let’s try something different. Let’s try having a good relationship with yourself. building that trust and the relationship that you have with yourself, then I think you’re going to the change that you want to see is going to start happening a lot more naturally.


Okay, here’s the third question for today:


I was listening to Episode 136 on forgiveness, and it really resonated with me. I’ve been struggling to let go and forgive my sister in law for a long time. She’s been married to my brother now for decades, and she’s just not a nice person. And she hasn’t ever been nice. She always does and says hurtful things even up till last week at our family dinner. At this point, I tried to not have any relationship with her and I just avoid her. But she always seems to get to me one way or another. And I leave our family dinner angry. Sometimes I’m angry at her because of what she said. And sometimes I’m just angry at myself, because I let her get to me again. And at this point, I want to stop going to anything that I know she’s going to be at. But then I miss out on time with the rest of my family who I love being around. I’m not sure to how to handle this.


Well, I’m so glad that you listened to that episode. And that resonated with you. I’ve had actually quite a few people tell me that they really liked that episode, because it was a different view on forgiveness. So I’m glad that you found some value in that episode for yourself. And if you’re wondering what I’m talking about, then go back and listen to episode 136 on forgiveness. But to the person that asked this question, please know that you are not alone here.


I’m going to do another episode on boundaries soon. And actually, it’s going to be a different look on boundaries. And I think that that episode when it comes out, is going to really be helpful for you. So I want you to be on the lookout for when that one comes out. But so many times we get upset at people because we have expectations of them. We want to be treated well. We want people to talk nicely to us to say nice things to us. We don’t want to be criticized or how people do mean or spiteful things.


We have expectations of the way people should treat us. And then when they don’t meet those expectations, we get upset. Our expectations are not met and we get upset at them. You said your brother has been married to this woman for decades, and that she’s always been this way? Well, she has shown you now for a long time who she is. You need to believe her when she shows you who she is. We should not be expecting her to be different at this point.


It sounds like you’re going to the family dinners without the expectation that she’s going to do or say something mean to you? What if you just did the opposite? What if you expected her to do or say something mean?


What if you did just had that expectation? And then when it happened, you said to yourself? Oh, yep, this is the time when sister in laws mean, I know what’s going to happen. And tonight, this is what happens. Yep, this is what I expected.


No matter what she says it probably has more to do with her and what’s going on inside her own head than it does with you. And if that’s the case, then I want you to picture this in your mind. I want you to picture yourself standing at your family dinner, and you have your arm extended all the way out. The palm of your hand is facing her. Okay. And then she says something to you and her comment splats right on your hand. You don’t have to let that comment in. You literally don’t have to stand there. I don’t You don’t have to do this actually at family dinner, you can visualize and just imagine yourself doing this. But if you can practice this ahead of time, picture it and practice it ahead of time. It’s going to let you feel more protected when those types of comments come at you.


I know that the things that other people say can really greatly affect us and hurt us especially when it comes inside from inside of our own families. If we can start practicing pausing when something like this happens and we picture that splat against our hand like that comment it just splattered against the palm of our hand. Then we have time to ask ourself, is it true what she just said? Is this something that’s true about me? Or is this just her being her? This is have more to do with her than it is with me.


Because if there’s something that she’s telling you that you are doing that is hurtful, then maybe you do want to look at it. But it sounds like it has a lot more to do with her than it does with you. And so we can practice pausing over time, we can decide what to allow in and what we don’t allow in. Because the way that we treat other people, most of the time, it has much more to do with going what is going on within ourselves than it does with the other person. So we can practice pausing and just asking yourself, Is this something I need to take a look at? And if not, then we’re going to let it stay with her, right.


So try letting sister in law, be sister in law, expect her to say something mean? pause to see if you want to take in what she’s saying. And then if you don’t just let it bounce off. And also expect yourself like, let’s have reasonable expectations of yourself, that this skill is going to take some time for you. Like you’re not going to do this perfectly at first. At first, you’re going to have to think a lot about it about picturing yourself with your arm out and letting that comment splat against your poem. And then it might just seep in. And you might say why did I do that? I didn’t want to let her get to me. Well to keep practicing over time, you get better at doing this. So give yourself a break. Be reasonable about your own expectations of yourself.


Those are they asked me anything questions for today. I’m going to do another episode in a few months. So just a reminder, if you want me to answer a question for you, there is a link in the show notes and you can send that in just click on that link and it will take you right to a page that lets you submit your question. Don’t forget to download that difficult conversation guide it’s available for a limited period of time. So get it now before it goes away. And I will see you next time.


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