Marie Forleo introduction


I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

read more

Sometimes it feels like the world has conspired to knock you off track and suck you into a tornado of drama.

Whether you’re playing mediator for your endlessly bickering siblings or responding to yet another urgent crisis from a low-paying client, we’ve all been there.

But what happens when your heart says, “Enough is enough!” Can you simply opt out of the drama?

You’re responsible for the energy you allow in your life — yes, even from family. Click To Tweet

I say YES — even when it’s family drama and especially when that family drama is hurting you.

In today’s episode, you’ll learn three steps to set healthy boundaries and take some of the headache out of dealing with family conflict. You’ll also meet a special guest named Jersey Marie, who has her own unique approach to dealing with conflict.

I don’t know any human who hasn’t experience some form of family drama. So once you’ve had a chance to watch, I’d love to hear your perspective.

What’s an example of a healthy boundary you’ve had to set in your life — whether it’s with a friend, family member, or coworker — that could give some insight to Safa?

Leave a comment below and let me know.

In your comment, share as much detail as you can. Because thousands of incredible souls come here each week for insight and inspiration. Your story may be just what someone else needs to have a major breakthrough!

Important: please share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. may be removed.

Family relationships are some of the hardest we have to navigate, but know this: you can still respect and love your family (if necessary, from a distance) and take care of yourself and your needs.

All my love,


You may also like...
Add a Comment


  1. THANK YOU MARIE for posting this! Families can have the biggest drama queens and drag you down so far that you don’t even recognize yourself anymore. Sooo many people need to hear this, especially women small business owners. The pressures that are put on us are insurmountable and we don’t need to live up to their expectations – we need to live up to ours in a supportive environment. Hence, why B-school is so incredibly FAB!

    I, myself, have cut out 98% of my family completely because of their drama and abuse. While it hurts on some levels (I do miss my dad), the abuse I would have to endure would be worse than trying to maintain some semblance of ‘family’. Instead, I choose to surround myself with people that encourage me in my efforts, even if they don’t understand 100% – and that’s ok!

    • Am in the middle of having to cut my family more permanently – its just too much pain and nonsense. I am so much happier just living in my world and surrounding myself with people I like and who like me back in ways that work for me. It is painful though to let go of them – I feel sad that it can’t be better than it is, but it really is not possible. So bye family and hello wonderful fabulous life!!!

      • To be honest I can understand how you feel about having to part yourself away from you’re family I am pretty much the same some people like our self are just not made to deal with the pain we want more of a peaceful lifestyle I actually feel sad a lot of the time knowing the reasons why it’s best to cut them off even if it’s not forever and it’s only for a few year’s anything is better then been caught up in all the crap

    • Sara,
      Your experience sounds so similar to mine. Right down to missing my dad.
      In my case, I endured Narcissism from a family member for all of my adult life. After 18 years I walked away. There is family drama and then there is Narcissism; a whole new level of abuse.
      Just like any health issue, once you know the signs and symptoms and have a diagnosis you can start to look for patterns and build boundaries. When I understood a dominant family member had Narcissism it was much easier to do what I needed to do to feel healthy and be productive. I actually spoke to a doctor about this and after 2 quick stories the doctor said: “Kelly, your (family member) is going to torment you for the rest of your life. It’s up to you if you want to go back.”
      It’s amazing the huge impact opening up to others can have on your life.
      However, I wish I had just trusted my gut years ago.
      Thanks for another beautiful MarieTV.

      • Kelly! Oh girl. Reading this is like reading my life. My narcissist is my mom. Alas. Thank you. I just got the “this is going to be the rest of your life” speech from my therapist THIS morning!

        Marie, as always, thank you SOOO much for this.

    • Hello Sara!
      You hit home for me, I am a very compassionate person and I was always available to help my family when needed. I always found myself involved in drama when ever I said no to a task they needed me to perform. I have four siblings and they are bullies, I was the quiet one so they always tried to dominate my decision if I didn’t agree with them. When I started my business full-time, I had to make the decision to cut them off. They thought because I worked from home I should make myself available to them to help them out when needed, like pick up their kids grand kids from school, if their car broke down they would call me. If they needed to go to the doctors they call me. Mind you none of them supported me in my business, I realize its been one sided so I love them from a distance and I feel a weight was lifted from my shoulders.

    • Louise LoBue

      Hi Sara and A.Fitzgerald and Kelly…

      It’s a Sunday and for some reason I ventured over to Marie TV and just saw this video and read the comments. Talk about the message coming at the right time. I’ve struggled for years to deal with my family, and its affected me, my self esteem and my belief about who I was in the world (basically worthless and a waste, if you ask them) . For most of my life I wasn’t treated well by my stepfather or my stepmother and father – but I took it with a smile and kept going back in order to remain the Catholic School Girl “respect your parents” person, and honestly I did believe them that I wasn’t worthy of much more (which affected every other area of my life). About 1.5 years ago, I stood up for myself to my father. It was the first time I said what was on my mind – like ever. And he hasn’t spoken to me since. That part I struggle with because I miss my Dad…even tho they treat me like crap and don’t even invite me other on holidays…Just knowing he is up in age, and I won’t return my calls –(no doubt my evil stepmother put a stop to it)…..its been really hard for me. I never realized anyone else has the same issues. I don’t know much about psychology or narcism but I am convinced my stepmother has some kind of mental illness, and my father must also. I guess I just want to say that I feel better knowing there are other women out there dealing with the same thing. I have compassion for us — especially on Fathers Day when I see other women posting about being Daddy’s Little Girl….I long for that closeness to this day, old tho I am. I long to matter to him, I long to feel part of a family…and its been a hard realization for me — that it isn’t going to happen in this lifetime. I cry a lot. And it affects my stability – I keep worrying I’m the fuck up he thinks I am, I fear making mistakes …I just feel weak being so shunned (by someone who by all appearances is an upstanding citizen — businesses, buildings, goes to church). Anyway…thanks for sharing this. I don’t feel so alone, and your strength is giving me strength — to take care of myself and know I’m worthy of so much more from the people around me. Thank you and big hugs to all.

      • PS — and Thank You Thank You to Marie for posting this!!! Love U, xoxoxo

      • Katelyn

        Wow! That is my life! It was nice to see that I am not alone. I still talk to my stepfather but only because my mom is I’ll and if I am not nice to him he will not allow me to see her. He is an asshole who no one in his family or mine talk to anymore. He thinks he is better than everyone and that the issue is not him but everyone else. I am wanting to move away and never look back. I am just over everything.

        • Emma

          It sounds like your mum/mom may be in an abusive relationship with your stepfather. I hope somehow she can seek help if this is the case. I would call a domestic abuse helpline to ask for advice on what to do and then help her.

        • Bath

          Bridget Richardson. Is. A. Part. Of. My. Family

  2. Rahul

    Thank you – so on point and funny too. I would add loving yourself in the process. Keep up being you. I like to set boundaries in the morning and whenever the news is on tv, i turn up my favourite music on my mp3

    Lots of Love

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      YES, Rahul! Loving yourself is everything 🙂

  3. When my ex-husband’s Girlfriend inserts herself into situations she is not a part of. While she is coming from an act of love they have only been together for a year, these are my children not hers. I thank her for all that she does but remind her to stay in her lane:) My kids will resent her interference.

  4. Dori Cocoros

    I’m in the midst of a family drama saga … I’m the oldest of 5 with an 84 year old Mom with dementia/Alzheimer’s. For the past 2 years I’ve done a ridiculous share of organizing my Mom’s life from doctors to prescriptions to food delivery to home health care. It’s bad enough my siblings are “content” to be minimal contributors. One sibling brought toxic drama to every encounter with no contribution! I’ve recently blocked her calls/texts and I’m also in the process of stepping back from all the overwhelming responsibilities. It’s a very difficult work in progress.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      That sounds so tough, Dori. We’re sending so much love your way as you’re navigating these challenges. Your mom is so lucky to have you!

    • Nameless

      I second how lucky your mom is to have you. But don’t forget to love yourself above all.

    • Rachel Preston Prinz

      Oh Dori. Hang in there. Keep up the good work!

  5. Perfect timing as I have to go to JERSEY next month and spend a week with my mother-in-law who is great and her second husband who is an a-hole. I know it’s about me, not him but I have such a hard time letting go!

  6. Ally

    Hey Marie & Safa (I hope I spelt this right)

    I too have struggled with my family. This has been really hard especially when I came out to them (they are staunch catholic).

    What really helped was the power of no. Saying no to their opinions, saying no to their judgements and saying no to guilt/unresonable requests. It took some time and there were some teething issues, but now I have a really healthy relationship with my sister and my brother and it’s definitely getting there with my parents. They even came to visit my partner and I.

    I also chose to live in a different state to them, it’s far healthier for all of us. That may not work for you, but you can always set the boundaries as Marie said in terms of you setting the terms on how much time you spend with them, how often and where.

    Resetablishing boundaries is hard but they will not turn respect you a whole lot more.

    I hope this helps,

    Love, Ally xx

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Beautiful, Ally – thank you so much for sharing here!

    • Amber

      Thank you, this really helped!

  7. Lisa

    I turn off my phone early at night
    I take long walks and leave my phone at home
    When I am in the stress of a situation with my brother and definitely my narcissistic mother, I will start gently tapping – on my karate chop point under the restaurant table and then I move to my face points while taking deep breaths and imagining a golden light emanating from my heart.
    They actually don’t notice my tapping. Only my kids do because they know what it is – and it becomes a bit funny – when I feel a chuckle coming up I know I have unmeshed from the drama !!❤️

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      What a wonderful idea, Lisa!

    • This cracked me up! What a great way of dealing. Thank you for the visual and the idea!

    • LOVE your solution Lisa!

  8. Courtney

    The reminder that all acts come from love or cries for help. My father recently passed away and my mother has turned all her anger to me for some reason. It is extremely hard to show compassion when the other is treating you so poorly…your words truly did help reinstate that is really the only thing I can do.
    Thank you.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Courtney, I’m so sorry that your father passed away, and we’re sending our sincerest condolences. Grief is really, really hard, and approaching others (and, so importantly, yourself) with compassion is a beautiful way to move through what you’re feeling over time. Sending so much love ♥

    • Cathy

      Hi Courtney,
      I read your response and thought, “I CAN RELATE!” …. I have a similar but different problem. My 22-year-old son (in college) hasn’t spoken to me for almost a year, even though I am supporting him financially and trying to emotionally. It is so hard to be compassionate when I feel like saying, “you are being so mean to me, your MOTHER!”
      He is mad at life. There was no big fight or anything. He lives across the country, and won’t answer my texts or calls or emails. Everyone tells me to CUT HIM OFF, but I love him. I am his only supportive parent. But, I do feel bad. And it’s hard to know how to set the appropriate boundary, as with you and your mom.
      Good luck. I feel for you! You are not alone!

      • Tiffany

        Hi Cathy,
        Something in your story compelled me to write and I don’t generally write comments here. I don’t know if this helps at all but I wanted to tell you about my struggles with depression in years gone by and how I grew very distant from my Mother, too. If he’s mad at the world he could also very well be depressed, so I hope this correlates. You see my Mum has always been my biggest champion, said I could do anything and was such a positive person. But, when I was depressed I couldn’t bring myself to call her because all I could see was a conversation of ‘What have you been up to’ and me answering ‘Nothing’ and it was so hard to even consider that conversation because of how bad it made me feel. How could I admit to someone who had such great expectations of my life that things weren’t going well and that I was just going through the motions. That I certainly wasn’t making the most of anything and all her hopes and dreams for me were for nothing. I know that’s a very selfish way of looking at things, but depression is very self involved that way (or at least mine was). It can be like a grey fog you can barely get through and it taints the way you see the world. I was able to eventually explain when I came out of it, that it wasn’t personal. It wasn’t that I loved her less – It was a bit like putting an oxygen mask on myself first before I could help or interact with those around me. I should also add that my mother wasn’t supporting me financially and I was working with a trained professional at the time.

        • Cathy

          Thank you, Tiffany, for responding! My son does struggle with depression and he stopped his meds a few months ago, I found out today. Today, in fact, his therapist had the school search him out to see if he was ok. He had made some concerning comments to his therapist this morning. In addition to depression, he gets angry at little things- and blames others. And then feels like a monster ( he has said). Well, I guess he is ok now, but geez, I can’t talk to him cause he won’t answer, etc… this is so hard. Anyway, your response was timely and probably very true for him. I have been called Happy Cathy before. And he is anything but happy…
          thanks for your insights, Tiffany,

        • Hi Tiffany,
          Thanks so much for your story. My daughter has depression symptoms too and as a mum it is so hard to figure out what to do. Your heart breaks when they are hurting so much. But one day she said: I’m sort of ok and that is enough for now. If I have to feel better, it feels like failing again. That made me aware that my definition of how I would like her to feel is not important for her! She only wants to be accepted as she is and she’s doing the best she can. It’s hard in these (fake)happy-facebook-times when you can’t add all these happy moments, just because you feel like shit. Feels like this other side of life (could call it shadow) wants to have the right to be here too, be accepted that this is part of life too (we all have it!). I feel blessed that I can learn so much from her now. Somewhere there is a gift…? I do get that you have to set boundaries and some gifts are too hard to unpack, but in the end don’t we all want the same? be loved and accepted for who we are .

      • PJ

        Cathy — I read this awesome book by Allison Bottke entitled, “Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children.” It has some tough love advice in it, but it has actually helped me love my children more because they are not a constant drain on my time, emotional health and energy. I no longer feel so guilty about saying no to them (like dropping everything right now to help them kind of things unless it is a real emergancy). And they now know to try and figure things out on their own before calling me. Sometimes I still have to use Marie’s mother’s slogan — Everything is Figureoutable!! Hint, hint…you’re on your own with this one kid.

  9. tesa guevara

    thanks again for this episode that came along quite timely… helps to know that family dramas are a universal thing. this episode somehow helps me be more objective and get out of the rut from feeling crabby and angry at the world. I am slowly regaining my serenity and peace as i allow this incident to flow and push me to draw out some positive action from this. cheers!

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Tesa, they most certainly are a universal thing as you can tell from the comments here. Here’s to you feeling more peaceful and full of joy. xo

  10. An important thing to mention. I’ve dealt with some distancing myself from my own family at times when I felt they were impacting me in a toxic way. It can feel sad and difficult to do when it’s family but sometimes it’s needed to a) lead by example and show those closest to you healthy patterns of behaviour and b) preserve your own sanity.

  11. Lisset

    Great words of wisdom. I think every one of us has experienced family drama at some point or another. Marie you are on point when you mentioned to stop giving power to the other person! That stung a little, but in my daily meditation/prayer time I asked for this and it came thru you! I intend to speak TRUTH in a loving way as I strive to always do, but don’t convey at times. But the beauty of it all there is a chance to give grace as well as extend it.

    Thank you!

  12. Shannon Grosswiler

    I love you! B-school is changing my life, and Marie TV is fabu! Today’s episode speaks directly to my business model and blog focus. Apparently the opposite of a narcissist is a Shannonist. Friends, family and counselors, since I was a young chickadee, are always asking why I dig SO deep to find the good in people only to spend a huge amount of time “processing” people’s crazy for validation, which is straight up talking behind their back, and it just continues the drama cycle. OMG! Thank you for this week’s reinforcement. Today’s assignment is to write up 25 boundary-setting, prepared and rehearsed statements that establish healthy boundaries, and the best thing to do to avoid rumination and smack talk is to just verbalize the positive as often as possible Here goes!

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Love this, Shannon! We’re honored to hear that B-School has been a source of inspiration, and that this episode was timely and helpful. The world needs more Shannonists! 🙂

    • Meghan

      Where is your blog? If this is your blog focus, I really want to read it, because I, too, work really hard to always see the good and to brush off the bad with my Dad, because that’s who I am and I feel I’m in a place to show compassion, and though his “power” over me ended years ago, it still requires “processing” to shake off every encounter. I’m sure this comment isn’t making any sense, lol, but I repeat – where is your blog?

  13. Pam

    My sister and I have had a really bumpy relationship most of our lives. She has always treated me like an inconvenience. She is five years older than me, I live in NYC, she has lived in New Orleans since I was 12 and she was 17. We are now 32 and 36, respectively. For a long time I sought her approval and validation; she lives a very straight and narrow life. She is a CPA, works for an insurance agency, owns a house with her husband and two dogs. Kind of a textbook-American kind of life. I have had more of a roller coaster experience in my life. I’ve changed jobs often. I didn’t finish college because I was addicted to drugs and alcohol from the time I was 12, right around the time she left. I’ve been through severe depression and financial hardship as well. I’ve been clean and sober nearly 5 years and have been pursuing a career as a stand-up comedian which is gaining traction. I started getting paid gigs six months ago! When I got sober I took responsibility for my actions. I made amends to my sister and I took actions to be a better sibling, calling her more often to see how she was doing, sharing more of my life with her, but none of my efforts were matched. It was clear to me that I was still an inconvenience to her and that she would always judge my lifestyle against her own standards. So I decided to live my life based on my standards and values. I realized her negativity wasn’t serving me in ANY way and probably doesn’t make her feel good, either. I recognized that she has her own work to do on her own life and if she is going to continue to judge me, that’s HER problem! Realizing my sister didn’t have the capacity to be a sister to me in the way I desire was hard and sad, but at the end of the day it has been one of the most freeing experiences I’ve been through. I now live my life for ME. I don’t seek validation from my sister or anyone else. Only God can judge me, and I’m pretty sure that guy is CRAZY about me!

    • AFitzgerald

      I love this so much – especially the end where you say you are pretty sure God is crazy about you — that’s a really wonderful statement. I relate to your post for many reasons – the straight laced sister you mentioned could well be my own, other things as well which I don’t want to spell out. Glad to be happy joyous and free :).

    • Mosisa

      sure, you are right learn to live and experience self responsibility. On the other hand, family, friends are also important both at far and nearby for sharing happiness and sorrows in life. finally i’m happy if i get your address and contact you

  14. Whitney G

    All of this is so true. I am the youngest of 3. My brothers have drama! They have always been in competition with each other. I have my personal issues but chose not to act out of anger. Just let time heal or tell. We recently lost our last surviving parent. They’ve blamed my parents for their poor decisions most of their lives and now have no one left to blame. I, the youngest, have been charged with settling the estate and I don’t have time for their petty bs while trying to heal from griving myself and look for a new job. I choose compassion and choose to see their decisons as a cry for help. It’s much easier said then done bc I still get flustered when dealing with them. I help where I can but ultimately if they want to keep playing the victim then I opt out and set boundaries. When they call me to blame something on the other, I immediately ask what they are doing to help the situation. “Well M hasn’t called me.” Or “C hasn’t called me.” I respond with “Well have you reached out? You can’t control what the other does or their response. You can only control what you do and how you respond.” I leave it at that. If they want to lie and tell me something to make themselves feel better then that’s on them. I don’t let it bother me. I love from a distance. I will continue until I see consistent change, Accepting their past decisons, showing responsibility, and actions that point to making better decisions. They’re my brothers. I will love them and protect them fiercely to a point. My energy needs to be saved to move myself forward in order to better the world. I cannot expend energy I don’t have. It may seem harsh and even some of my family don’t understand and I know it’s coming from a place of love but, in the end, I can’t be a great sister if I get wrapped up in their drama.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Whitney, I’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you have such a strong approach in the face of dealing with family drama.

      Sometimes love is indeed saving yourself, and thank you so much for sharing this here.

  15. Inge

    Wow awesome video Thanks Marie! Healthy Boundaries… even though I try to preach them to other people I think I struggle with this the most, in my marriage, in my family and all my relationships. I’m such a softy and empath so it makes it so hard to set healthy boundaries, but I am learning slowly but surely. Thank you! xxx

  16. Alice

    I think the saying “Not my monkey, not my circus” applies here. I have adult children and often but my tongue rather then comment because it is truly not my issue and not my business anymore.

  17. Lena

    Dear Marie,
    This video actually came at the perfect time for me. I have been contemplating halting my personal projects and business out of guilt to step in for my sister who finds herself in another financial and personal crisis. Though I am younger both our parents have passed and I feel responsible for her given her depression issues. However I also know that there is no end to the need and chaos and I need to stay focused on my mission. I have worked my a$# off to make it this far and now I just feel that if I step in it will hold me back. This video reminded me that it is ok to set boundaries even if it is family.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Lena, we’re so glad to hear this episode was timely for you. I hope it helps inspire you to put these tips into practice and create a beautiful, healthy relationship with your sister.

      • Lena

        Indeed thank you for the reply Caroline it is so appreciated ❤️

  18. Laura

    Thank you Marie.
    This was incredible!

  19. Rebecca

    I’ve had some amazing results in my life this past year by setting boundaries; however, that’s not why I’m posting. Marie, and team, I was rendered breathless by those paint brush transitions. I don’t know anything about video but I absolutely love them! We can always count on the MF brand to deliver on impeccable style at every level and this little nugget made my creative heart sing.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Thank you SO much, Rebecca! We’ll definitely let our design team know. 🙂 We’re super excited about the new transitions!

  20. hey dear Marie!
    I hear what you are saying, because I have also had to deal with a lot of drama with family, and I must say what you say is true! sometimes loving a person is keeping distance, and putting some boundaries is the best to teach them to grow better. I has actually worked for me. Now I do have a great relationship with every member from my family without letting them to drain me! I am actually being able to help more people that do want to grow, than I was doing trying to help my family who just love drama!
    And if this happens at work.. I will just cut the BS and keep pushing my company forward, my assistant was being such a sneaky little ……….. girl. It does hurt when someone messes with your company. lol! Any ways, boundaries are a great first start. Distance to people who do not nurture, narcissism is her last name. I actually paid her to learn! And she was never thankful being half an hour late always, rolling eyes when correcting her…. etc. I’m sure you picture this type of person! thumbs down.

    blessings Marie.
    great job every day! EVERY DAY! even when you feel you don’t, you are doing a great job! thanks for inspiring all us!

  21. Jamie

    I can totally related. I’m unbeatable when I am working or face any challenges in my life. But family drams always make me super frustrated. And the worse is it is hard to shift my mind after those sh*t. Especially, emotional blackmail from my family .

  22. OMG NJ Marie is hysterical. Great wisdom but your personality m, wit and creativity are monumental. Laugh out loud moments today. Great job team Marie.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Thank you so much, Alisa! xo 🙂

  23. Sofia

    For me, I just limit the time for a visit with dramatic family members to 72 hours max. It’s usually not enough time to bring up any drama. And if you are leaving wishing you had more time together, you’ve hit the sweet spot.

  24. The only thing that can make this funnier… would be with Your Actual Sisters. One day when I am feeling bullet-proof, I think that I will try this one. (Just the thought of asking your sisters, to act like themselves… is Very, Very Funny!) ~L

  25. Leslie Nolan

    P.S. Yep’ we were all raised in North Jersey! I am the one who lives ‘down the shore’.

  26. LOOOOOOOVE this episode! Thanks Marie <3 I'm a strong believer of healthy boundaries, I know it's a huge key to health and well being. As a guide in people's soul journeys (I'm a professional energy healing practitioner), the symbol of healthy boundaries is something I use a lot! This episode has helped me on the personal level, and it will help my clients in their journeys too. So double thanks!

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Thank you so much, Paola! Boundaries are SO important, and we’re so glad you enjoyed this episode. I hope some of the tips and ideas we shared will help your clients too! 🙂

  27. Cynthia Nagel

    Thank you for posting this today! It definitely was helpful for me! I have an older sister-in-law who has known me since I was 8 yrs old. She very much exhibits passive-aggressive behavior over texting, and doesn’t even start with “hello”! So, I have found if I respond, there is hardly ever a good or final outcome unless I agree or give her what she wants, or simply not respond at all. Is that even a good boundary – to not respond? ? Thanks!!

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Yes, not responding can definitely can be a good boundary sometimes, Cynthia. By not engaging if she sends you something unkind, it sends the message that you don’t wish to discuss something in that tone, or in that way.

      Or if you do choose to respond, you could kindly say that you’d be happy to discuss this (in person, on the phone, through email, whatever works) at another time. And then of course follow through if you do decide to have a conversation, make sure to maintain boundaries there too!

      Just a couple thoughts, but I hope it helps!

  28. Marie – you are a GEM! Safa, I actually had to “divorce” my family for about 3 years. I was the youngest of 5 siblings, so everyone thought they always got to tell me what to do. You have to find your way and set your boundaries, not only for YOUR sanity – but for your FUTURE SANITY 🙂 I started small (baby steps). When I was around a family member that started being dramatic, I would say, “I love you, I gotta go.” And I would remove myself from the situation immediately. Even if its going into the next room, or outside or just leaving completely, it helped me to deal with my feelings and not get caught in the drama tornado. Did the drama stop? Oh Hell no, but it did let them know that I wasn’t putting up with that anymore and I would leave when the Telenovella started. Eventually, my mom started telling them to stop because she knew I would leave. I would always leave while I was calm and believe me, that was HARD. But people will only treat you how you allow them to treat you. You can’t change what people DO to you – but you can choose the way you REACT to it. Good luck, sending Love and Light to you on your journey 🙂

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      What a great example of setting kind, loving boundaries. Thank you so much for sharing this, Peggy!

  29. This is a very empowering approach. Lots of good reasons to ‘take the high road’.

  30. B.

    I find it more acceptable to distance yourself from a sibling than from your parents. My dad has been interfering in my life for years, and that in turn has affected how I get to interact with my mom. It’s hard to have a relationship with one parent and set boundaries with another. I have offered many opportunities to my dad to make things right but it’s a constant shame game whenever I enforce any boundaries. “The after all I’ve done for you…” drama. How do we continue to honor a mother and father while holding onto our power? I would love to hear anyone’s suggestions.

    • Kristine Pelkey

      B. – That is tough! What is your mother’s opinion of this? If she doesn’t want to upset him because it is so hard to deal with him, you are probably on your own. Otherwise, maybe your mother can help him to change his behavior toward you.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      This is so tough, B. Kristine’s suggestion is a really good one about possibly having your mom be an ally in enforcing boundaries – if that’s something your mom is willing and able to do.

      It also could be something that you might bring up with a therapist or trained professional. Since family, and relationships with parents in particular, can be extremely challenging, working with someone individually to help you come up with strategies to help you navigate this can be really helpful.

      If you haven’t already, definitely do check out our episode with Brené Brown here:

      It’s not geared just toward families, but her work is so incredible for showing up in life with even more courage, so you might find some helpful strategies there too.

      I hope this helps, and sending so much love your way!

  31. Big lesson the “either love or cry for help” – takes some muscle to step back in the middle of the heat. : )
    Thanks, Marie

  32. omg this was fuc*ing hilarious ??? I was roaring laughing at Jersey Marie. We all have our own version of her ?? I have 7 sisters and A Lot of family drama. I finally bowed out of it last year when they kicked off before my wedding and it was the best gift I ever gave myself. I’m now working my way through B-School and owning my power 100%. Everything in this is solid – it’s how I found my way out of the drama tornado that was 2017. Oh Gawd, still laughing though ??? Love, love, LOVE it

  33. Meredith Fountain

    Allow your children to carry their own burdens. When I allowed them to fix their own issues/dramas they matured and I relaxed. I came to the understanding that I can’t fix everything. I am not Olivia Pope!

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      You made us laugh right out loud, Meredith. It’s handled 😉 Here’s your white hat. xo

    • Stephanie

      Great lesson!
      I took on many of my kids burdens for years, however, my daughter got herself into a mess at 23 and she was living in Hawaii where I couldn’t possibly step forward physically or financially. We were both shocked that I said no, I couldn’t help this time. As it turns out, she called me 3 hours later with a solution she came up with herself. She’s 33 now, a fabulous success in her field, and so confident that she can handle anything that comes her way.

  34. To be honest… as an Intuitive Counselor who has gone through childhood trauma, sexual and relationship abuse, and the myriad of symptoms that go along with that. I don’t think having compassion initially is always a good thing or the right thing… or perhaps it’s about understanding it correctly. People often do the spiritual bypass thing and skip to compassion and forgiveness to fast…. before they’ve actually acknowledged and processed the truth within. Too often “the givers” or “overly compassionate” people get themselves into abusive relationships by allowing the narcissists, the takers, the selfish ones into their life. They usually are the pleasers in this world because of their upbringing. It is incredibly important for their spiritual WHOLENESS to not be a doormat and to cultivate moment to moment self expression even if it means hurting someone’s feelings. Often anger is an act of love for all involved. Think of the women’s liberation movement. That didn’t come from mrs. nicey nice. Sometimes having a voice before you step away is essential to spiritual growth and being fearless. If you are tuned into energy… you know because the energy cummulates in the throat and face. Feeling the need to please and be compassionate is often what keeps people in these abusive relationships in the first place because they don’t feel they have permission to be upset, emotional or to even have needs. Let’s just say the SUCK IT UP generation created an army of ultra respectful, kind, compassionate folk, that have a deep seated fear of being punished and unworthy of receiving love for who they truly are. Allowing someone to experience the healthy consequence of their behaviour is important for growth. Anger deserves a space in this world just as much as sadness does. It is about deciphering when you should react with the feminine or the masculine by tuning into your heart and body vs. what your mind is dictating. Marie I would LOVE to talk to you about this. This work is beyond important for the world. I was able to heal ptsd, alcohol addiction and abuse by embracing these concepts. I can actually drink in moderation because I healed the root of my pain. And part of that was about HONOURING ANGER, making it a cup of tea and asking it to stay for a while. I had to learn how to protect myself before I opened my heart. I like to call it fierce / fearless vulnerability. Marie…. I just adore the work that you do. Thank YOU soOOOo much for sharing your bright light with the world. Words cannot express. I would be delighted to chat about this!!! Or give you a session as a part of giving back to you. Susan Stephens

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Susan, thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and expertise here. We absolutely agree that being too “nice” or being a doormat is not the goal, especially when there’s been a family history of drama or if the situation involves abuse.

      By suggesting that compassion can be a helpful response to difficult situations, we definitely don’t mean that we encourage people to continue staying in a situation or relationship that is harmful.

      The goal of compassion in this particular context is more of an internal process, such as in the case of Safa who wrote in with her question, remembering that her sisters may be going through something difficult themselves can help her approach how she might think, feel, or react. However she can still establish boundaries, let them know that what they’re doing or saying to her isn’t acceptible, or take other appropriate actions to best protect herself.

      Thanks again for sharing this here, and being a part of this conversation!

  35. Mari

    I LOVE Marie’s sense of humor 🙂
    Good point, all. I’m already 46, and starting to fully realize only now, how much unnecessary energy I’ve given away playing other people’s games. Find Your inner peace, harmony. Support those who suffer compassionately, if possible and use equanimity to unharmonious and aggressive ways, by also not participating! The moment You start using the aggressive energy, You are already part of it, You support it and You are giving away Your… well… power! Only if You have enough energy maintained, not scattering it here and there, You can create inner peace! Then it emerges naturally.

  36. I had to set my boundaries with my mother. My parents split up when I was 19, but not until I’d heard my mother complain about my father for years. People considered him such a saint – he was devoted to his job as a church minister, and was indeed a fine person, but, as she pointed out, that fact invalidated any complaint she might have about him not spending time with the family and not giving her the attention she needed, which was also true. He wasn’t terribly romantic, and she needed that. She remarried happily, but carried anger towards him for the rest of her life. I was very close to both my parents, and to preserve my piece of mind and my totally comfortable relationship with him, I had to tell her that I didn’t want to hear the “broken record” of her complaints about him anymore. And she obliged. Occasionally it would come out, and she would correct herself, remembering my stated boundaries. Especially once they became grandparents, both of them would be with us for many family events, and tensions eased. But even after he died, she would catch herself wanting to complain in front of me, continuing to respect my stated limits.

  37. Kattia Chavarria

    OMG! Marie, you’re a mindreader.

    Just last night I had this family situation and I’m getting tired of that.

    thank you, thank you, thank you!

  38. Kristine Pelkey

    I have had to stop communicating with my sister. All she ever did was tell me how awful of a person I was to her – unless I played along and accepted her lies as truth – which, unfortunately, I did for a long time before realizing that she was out of her mind. Marie is right – it comes down to the fact that I was giving away my power just to be accepted into other people’s lives. I did it to everyone, not just my sister, she was just the one I never got away from. I believe that she taught me a very important lesson though. Now, I realize that my reaction to a person’s snide comment or even criticism are a result of giving away my power. It still hurts, but I am working on standing in that pain. Compassion for the jerk helps a lot too, maybe they are going through something. However, a lot of the time, they are just a spoiled narcissist who has no idea of their impact on others. In that case, I try to remember that they won’t remember this in a week, so why should I waste my energy thinking about it. Habits die hard, though. Good luck and I know you will become a strong, compassionate doctor because of this.

  39. Jenn

    I just had a chat with my sister-in-law about this today! We both have felt extremely judged by her mom/my MIL for many things, but especially there’s been a lot of shaming for not keeping our houses up to her impossible standards when she visits. I reminded my SIL that a lot of women from that generation don’t know how to have a close connection with their children and that maybe what we’re dealing with is actually some jealousy. Despite everything my SIL and I juggle in our lives, we DO have great relationships with our kids. Emotionally crippled people like my MIL just don’t know where to begin, so they hyperfocus on things like housekeeping. When I think about it in that light, I definitely have more compassion. But for my sanity’s sake, I keep a sign in my house that says, “Dust is what gives a home that warm & fuzzy feeling,” to remind myself that a little dirt is a small price to pay for being able to focus on what truly matters in my life!

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Jenn, this is such a great example of reframing and approaching your mother in law with compassion, even though it sounds like the relationship is difficult.

      Thank you so much for sharing, and of course I love the “dust” sign in your house! I think I need one of those myself 😉

  40. Laura

    My mother does NOT have a key to my house, although I have a key to hers.

  41. Cory

    I used to think that my family problems were unusual, that I was the only one who had these struggles. I have been the ‘toxic’ friend, always living some kind of drama. Often, we learn these ways of ‘coping’ (not really successful) at home and it is SO difficult to play a different role in these relationships. I am learning to reframe, to use a different language in my own head, when I look at what my life looks like. I call it the kindness cure and for me, learning self-compassion and true self-love has helped to see ‘difficulties’ much differently. In my family, there was a lot of ‘poor me’ talk. Now I see how really truly blessed I am! Everyone has challenges, if we didn’t, how could we rise?
    If we truly want to love others in a healthy manner, we have to step back from these interchanges and be honest. By buying into the drama, we lock ourselves into these behaviours and reinforce the drama. By drawing our boundaries, we open doors for ourselves, and sometimes, for others as well. Big fat hug of gratitude, for you Marie and your team (I’m loving B-School!!!)!!!

  42. Thanks! I’ve been turning new pages and starting new chapters all month and it’s all in favor of creating boundaries that protect our immediate family from extended family drama. I really enjoyed this one.

  43. There’s been a hundred of your videos I wish I would have commented, but as a therapist I feel this one definitely hits home. I really like your digital friendly “opt out”. ITS definitely attune to my life practices. In my experience giving this energy to something that matters makes ALL the difference in the world. Not at home but my working culture over the last 12 months I’ve found giving space provided all the breathing room I needed to focus my energy on what I care about. In turn I have created opportunities and read books to better my practices instead of solving problems that really don’t deserve my attention.

  44. Great advice and I, for one, truly believe that distance is sometimes for the best.
    I had to move from Australia to the other side of the world to get away from the alcoholic dramas, specifically from my mother, even though I came to the U.S. to marry my husband and start a new life with him.

    The big issue for me though, is guilt. I was always the buffer for other family members, whether in person at family get-togethers or from a distance. Without boring you with all the nitty-grittys, I went through quite a traumatic childhood and as an adult (with a split family, who continuously bitched about each other to me) I was used as the ‘wailing wall’ and found myself in the role of mediator.

    On the one hand, it helped me develop compassion and to see situations from all angles, but on the other hand, I was often exhausted and privately simmering with anger. The guilt trips were extreme and after I realized that my concerns barely registered on their radars, I knew that I had to break away.

    Even though meeting my future husband online was a ‘god-send’ – I never knew that it would lead to me extricating myself and forging a new path away from all the drama. One thing I continue to battle with is the nagging bitterness versus the guilt. Therapy, meditation and reasoning with myself helped, but it’s an ongoing issue.

    My husband is a great well of wisdom for me and in my darkest hours, he’s always there – which is so much more than I can say for my family. Of course, they’d listen for a while, but then it was always turned back to them. My pleas would fall on deaf ears and I think they couldn’t face the fact that I too was flawed or needed help.

    I was always supposed to be the strong one who always had a smile on her face and if I hit a rough patch, I was told “chin up” or was either ignored or offered a drink!

    Once I got over here, I tried to maintain contact, but my mother would call at all hours of the morning drunk out of her skull and accusing me of abandoning her. My brother took to social media to blast all my personal details (which were based on manipulative lies from my mother) to anyone who cared to listen. Luckily I was able to intercept the post and deleted it, after I blocked him and told him to get the facts before attacking me.

    I know that they were lashing out at me as they were in pain over me leaving and there’s so much more to the story but that’s for another time. Over the years, I’ve tried to extend olive branches – out of guilt – but also love and compassion. It fell on deaf ears.

    It’a an ongoing process, but at least I am not immersed in the tornadoes of torment and I’m not exhausted with all the dramas and having to take sides. Life has been good to me since I left and while I still deal with pockets of grief and remorse, I don’t regret it.

    • Patricia

      Your story really resonates with me on a lot of levels. Although, the alcoholic in my life was my narcissist ex, whom I left 18mths ago (as hard as it was, I have now realised it’s easier to leave husbands than families).
      I’m still in touch with most of my direct family and are still constantly trying to reinforce boundaries with certain members all the time – I’m the youngest (at 47) and have always been the fix it girl. My world is so much calmer, but I unfortunately still feel a lot of guilt when I reinforce my boundaries and depart from listening to their drama.
      All the best to you!


        Hey Patricia, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one dealing with guilt over these kinds of issues. At the end of the day, it’s all about perspective and the only way I can move forward is to reason with myself rather than punish myself on their behalf. Good luck to you and thanks for the comment!

  45. phil

    i do not think the first binary is a fit for this scenario.

    just because you have a past with someone doesn’t mean you have to have a future with them. and just because you were shot into this world out of the same birth canal, does not mean you need to maintain obligatory relations…especially if they are toxic.

    this nonsense that ‘family is the most important’ is patently absurd. look who most people spend the most time with… it usually is not their family members.

    so why feel obliged to visit? even the twice or once a year? (yet more anecdotal evidence to disabuse idealistic folk who think there’s stronger bonds there)

    when you have communicated your issues to no avail, and subsequently excommunicate yourself from their lives for a considerably longer period of time than normal, they may get the hint that their behavior needs to change, even if 0nly when they are around you, so as to have any semblance of a siblingship.

    if they are still incapable of even that…i would suggest accepting these creatures for what they are…self absorbed megalomaniacal narcissists…and move on with your life without them.

    • Diane

      Yes yes yes!!! Well said.

    • Liz Charpleix

      You’re so right, Phil. Why stick with a bunch of people with whom you have nothing in common except a shared childhood home and a love of books?
      I was always the black sheep of the family, and while, as a child, I felt sorry for myself for being the oddball, I grew to be grateful that I didn’t fit this horrid family.
      After my father died when I was 30, my siblings started a project to oust me from the family, which my mother went along with, because, as she then admitted (something I’d always felt), she’d never wanted to have me in the first place and never grew to appreciate my place in her life.
      Throughout this period, outsiders (including extended family members) were horrified at me for ‘causing’ my siblings and mother’s atrocious behaviour towards me. They were seen as perfect, so it must all be my fault.
      At age 51, I divorced them. Changed my name – my brother asked why but didn’t wait to hear the answer, which is his normal behaviour. No-one else mentioned it ever.
      But it wasn’t until last year (when I was 57) that I finally attained what you might call my decree nisi.
      I asked my brother if he knew why one sister refused to speak to me (the other had told me firmly, ‘If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you’).
      He erupted in a stream of self-obsessed, irrelevant, irrational abuse which finally made clear to me that none of them actually know why they hate me.
      Ever since, I’ve felt utterly, to my core, absolutely free. I do feel compassion towards my siblings (my mother died 12 years ago), because, for one thing, as there was never any love in our family, how could any of us learn how to give and receive love? My siblings, being close to my mother, all learned to be completely self-centred and selfish like her, with a blind capacity for blaming others for anything and everything. (I’m sure I learned to be selfcentred, too, but the difference is, I recognised it as a flaw and have worked all my life to minimise it.) None of us have married or had children (the only thing I ever did that pleased Mum).
      My father confessed on his death bed that he had hated being married to Mum, which I see as the main reason behind the mysterious lung disease from which he died at 61 (Mum was convinced that the cause was a live-in relationship I’d had at age 19).
      I regret, a bit, that I waited 27 years before asking why I was being pushed out of the family. The relief I have gained is so profound, I wish I’d asked the question on the very first occasion when I was told, ‘We’re having a family lunch at our brother’s house on Saturday. Sister 1 doesn’t want to see you, so please make sure you don’t come near.’ It might have saved an awful lot of counselling and medication costs!

  46. I set boundaries around my sleep. Discussing serious topics after 8pm is a “no” for me. It’s tempting to engage in challenging discussions around current events, family challenges or financial plans. I find that trying to solve delicate problems at the end of a long day does not lead to good decisions. And it is unsettling before bedtime, when I want to wind down. I say to my husband, “Is this conversation going to lead us toward a good night’s sleep?” My husband gets it and stops.
    I also set boundaries around someone wanting me to look at a video, picture or article/post from FaceBook or other media….even during the day. Some things you can’t “un-see.” I choose what I look at. I say “I’m busy right now.” People usually get it.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Love these boundaries, Leah!

  47. Very timely, Marie! Reminds me of a Wayne Dyer quote I posted on Facebook, “You get treated in life the way you teach people to treat you.” That’s an impactful way of saying … set your boundaries! Another good one by Dyer, “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” Lotsa knowledge in those two quotes! Your video and these quotes will help me deal with a person at work who is a control freak and has substance abuse issues. I will no longer let this individual steal my joy … I am now the Queen of Boundaries who takes lessons from NJ Marie! 🙂

  48. Good insight with good results.

  49. Great topic, Marie!
    I have had to distance myself from a few family members, freeing myself to move on with life. It sounds selfish but after the compassion exercise it truly was the best move. Setting boundaries is something I learned to do in my mid-life season and it has been invaluable. A lesson that’s never too late to learn.

  50. Awesome video. It sets boundaries without completely cutting family out.

  51. here’s my advice: call Jersey Marie. Just kidding! I have dealt with difficult family members in the family I grew up in, and here’s what I did: I moved far away and only visit seldomly. I don’t spend much time on the phone with them either. It is a bit sad, but that’s what has worked best for me to protect myself, be at peace and not feel judged all the time. I am not connected with any of them on Facebook either. I have sometimes gotten into stupid arguments with one of my siblings, and have found the best thing is just to pull out of the argument and not try to explain my I have sometimes gotten into stupid arguments with one of my siblings, and have found the best thing is just to pull out of the argument and not try to explain my point of view.

    The man I married is narcissistic and can be a real jerk at times, and my best defense when he becomes verbally aggressive is to simply not participate and walk away. I tell him, “ I am not participating in this conversation.” I am in the process of divorcing him.

    They say the best thing to do with toxic people is to stay away from them, and I have found that is so true.

  52. L

    Wow this was right on time! Call from folks at 9:28, email to link arrives at 9:30 ?

    I love my family but the need for boundaries to protect myself and my space is beyond critical. It always seems at the exact moment I’m making some inroads and progress the drama train comes barreling in. It’s gotten so bad at times… when hints and more polite ways don’t work I have to be direct… once I had to say you’re not welcome to come visit. It really breaks my heart each and every time. But they are toxic and it’s already a miracle I was able to break their mindset and set out on my own path. I keep my distance because I love them and if I’m not in a good place or don’t feel like I have the grace to navigate. Not keeping my distance out of obligation or guild is a recipe for disaster. Still working my way to being able to be present and not have it bother me so much.

  53. Lindsay

    New intro and graphics are awesome! I love watching the continuing evolution and refreshing of your brand, never gets old and dusty. So fun!

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Thank you so much, Lindsay! ♥

  54. Katlene Geerinck

    Hi Marie,

    love your clear water sharp watcher and your humor ! Powerful mix !

  55. Lori

    OMG, I LOVE this episode! Talk about drama! I recently adopted 4 grandsons out of foster care…just think about the family drama that preceded this! While taking a class, the instructor said 5 simple words that I have carried with me since then. “Don’t pick up the rope.” That’s it! It has certainly given me the ability to walk away from drama, personally and professionally. No tug of war happening here. And look, no rope burns on these hands!

  56. Since returning ‘home’ a couple of years ago, I’ve had to cut a few people from my life to avoid drama. I have an aunt that I cut out of my life after she was extremely obnoxious and disrespectful toward me. I later had to unfriend her on Facebook because she wrote something racist underneath a post that I had shared. To some, my actions may have seemed extreme but to me, I simply have no room in my life for this kind of person. I’ve also had to leave a childhood friend behind after admitting to myself that she hadn’t been a good friend ever – either bailing on plans regularly or bailing on me during an emotional or difficult time – I decided that I don’t need or want a ‘lazy friendship’. The point is that with both of these people, I often ended up feeling frustrated, angry and hurt and after a few ‘breakups’ with them over the years, they always ended up acting the exact same way, creating even MORE frustration with myself for allowing them another chance. They were being assholes. I’m not saying I will never speak to them again but right now, the best thing for me is to avoid them.

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Space can be a beautiful thing, Michelle. May protecting your space and environment be as peaceful as you deserve. Congrats on taking action right away.

  57. This was very valuable because it’s clear and indeed, everything starts from ourselves. It’s important we take care of our own energy. I loved the reminder of the first step: always a good reminder, such as the other 2 steps as well. Thanks great energy too! It’s inspiring

  58. Perfect timing!!! Just going through some boundary setting right now! It’s hard to cut things that we’ve allowed to happen for so long, but it’s necessary sometimes!

  59. Remember myself everyday that I’m not always available for everyone at every time.

    First my priority, not rush in other one mess, false SOS, when I’m not in order with my mood, my business, my closest ones.

    Setting boundaries is an every day discipline and the more you are in connection with people, the more work, awareness you need to have.

    Some NO TRAIN philosophy is a good thing too.

    For my parents due to my story and our characters ( yes I share the responsibility and the fruit don’t fall far from the tree) setting boundaries is not a “problem”.
    But when I was young I had to clearly make a choice go my path or try to fix, please my family, and live under their judgment and standards.

    It’s a long work, it doesn’t happen in a minute.

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      The No Train is a great tool, Hadda. We love seeing you referencing it and weaving it into your life. Brava to you and your heart. xo

    • a man

      So, please tell- what you choose that time did you go on your path or fix your family problem?

      • We can not fix other one problem.

        We just can be some gentle presence.

  60. I can do identify with today’s episode of MarieTV and Safa’s situation. So much family drama that I am not a part of anymore. I have learned that it is in them, not me. I have given up the guilt trip of not constantly being around people who bring me down. There is a reason we don’t visit, call, fb, or text certain people on a regular basis. We can love but don’t have to like. This is true if anyone, even family. There are no obligations or requirements with blood, it’s what is best for ourselves and our own being that counts most! I am better without so much drama and I hope this helps Safa!

  61. Oh my gosh!
    This is my favorite video so far. I love Jersey Marie.
    I’m planning content for a youtube channel and I would love to incorporate another level of my personality into my video. This is such a genius idea. Thank you guys for all of your hard work. I look forward to your email.

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Jersey Marie is a special lady, that’s for sure 🙂 We love her and her heart, Scarlett. Here’s to you adding your personality in wherever you can. The world needs it. xo

  62. First of all, you’re hilarious!! ? Secondly, this is so timely as I just had (another) not-so-fun time with my fam. I’ve resolved to opt out of family gatherings in the future. I think I can handle each of them one-on-one for short periods of time. Boundaries, bitches!!

  63. a topic I can speak to… My immediate family and I do not have an easy relationship for me at least. Very often in the past I found my buttons pushed, with their views/comments on politics, race, life, expectations etc – and this is just via skype/phone thousands of kilometers away. The only way I find I can cope with things that frankly offend me, is just to refocus – either refocus the conversation, or just refocus internally on something else. Otherwise the irritation, and hurt grow and overwhelm. It took me a very long time to recognise this. It does not mean that in life there are not situations which take energy from us at times, but I find it really important to remember that negativity, either our internal or external are like bottomless pits, the only way to prevent the fall is to take a breath and catch another thought, and refocus our attention on something else, something that reminds us that this situation is just a situation, and not the whole of our life.

  64. Anonymous

    So true and an important lesson – prioritize yourself or it will drain your energy. My sister and I work together, and she uses her PMS as an excuse to demand things instantly and berate me and criticize me when I am already doing my best and finding solutions on my own. It is more of a hassle to ask her questions and work with her so I try to find answers and business on my own because it is affecting me and my family. Good luck to you!

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Wishing you all the best in your search. Thank you for sharing your words and heart here. xo

  65. Midge Constantino

    OMG Marie, how did you know that I needed this episode? It’s so funny, I grew up thinking that I had a normal family and realized that no family is, hahaha. I unfortunately have always had a conflict with my brother-in-law. We never really got along and I just didn’t think he was good enough for my sister. I remember when he proposed to her on her 30th birthday, I cried so hard not because of excitement, but because of despair. Since then, I’ve made an effort to better our relationship for my sister and nieces’ sake and it went well for a while, until Father’s Day last year when he jumped in on a conversation my sister and I were having and he was so rude to me. I really want to be the better person, so thank you for the pointers in this episode. But for now I’m choosing to not attend gatherings at my sister’s that involves most of his family. Maybe that will change in the future.

  66. LK

    I used to feel so guilty when i tried to set boundaries with my family, so i would allow them to encrouch, and let their fears and judgements seep into my life. Unfortunately, that only suceeded in me being miserable and resenting them. One day, i sat down and really thought about the type of relationship i wanted with them. I love them profoundly. They are not perfect, but underneath it all, they have good hearts. I realized that to have healthy and positive relationships, boundaries were a must, and i had to get over the guilt. I taught myself to say “no” with compassion (i’m not always perfect) and now i am very firm on my boundaries. My relationship with them has definitely improved as a result. Is it always perfect? Nope – my parents still complain on occasion that “If i really loved them i would [insert demand here].” But i like them so much better now that i can respond without guilt “no thanks. The demand Doesn’t work for me, but i love you anyway.” ?

  67. What happened to Allow & Accept? … lol
    Seriously though … we get to a point where we feel we have no other choice … disconnect or get drained. The way I understand it, drama happens because people are not matching vibrationally. Any other vibration that does not serve our happiness will interfere with it. But the thing is, that which we do not go through and process will rear its ugly head time and time again until we do. More times than not people seem to want to be right than happy rather than agree to disagree. That is a decision …

  68. Yumi

    After I moved out and moved to a different country I had to set the boundary of how much I talk with my parents ( my mother in specific). She always speaks from an act of love, but in a suffocating way. She never learned to respect my boundaries, and whenever I asked her to respect them, she expected me to erase them because it’s her house, so it’s her way. This didn’t stop after I moved away though. Whenever she would visit, she would criticize me, my husband, our life, our house, everything. Even when we talked online, she would use every opportunity to tell me how I’ve gotten fat (not “put on weight”, just fat), checking what clothes I’m wearing, asking me if I’ve been to regular doctors visits, comparing me to other peoples children (in good and bad ways) and so on. She is in part responsible for me always being late for school in the past and for developing OCD, so her suffocating love was not only annoying, it caused me to be bullied by teachers (yes teachers) in school and to develop a mental disorder. The day I decided to speak to her once a month, was the day when my life started to change. Not only did my OCD get better, so much that it’s making minimum impact on my life, but my stress levels have gotten down, I started eating better, sleeping better, and I have noticed that I was finally allowed to grow up and to find my inner peace. I know my mom very well, she misses me a lot, she cares about me a lot, but that does not mean I’ll allow her to take my boundaries away, to take my adulthood away and most importantly to take my inner peace away. I’ll have to sadly keep putting up this wall between us for the rest of her life, because she is not capable of changing, no matter how much time passes. Support your children, do not smother them, and most of all respect them.

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Yumi, may you continue to honor you and your heart. Be proud of the life that you’re building for yourself with healthy and happy boundaries. Your inner peace is worth all of it.

  69. Amy

    I’ve had strained relationships with my parents and two siblings for years, on and off, leaving me feeling empty and tired from doing all the work of creating a relationship with depth, true connection, respect and real love. A spiritual teacher finally pointed out my stumbling block: “Amy, why do you assume that, just because you spent your first 18 years with these people that you have to spend the rest of your life with them?” WHAT??? It took me twenty more years of frustration before that sunk in: If i’m not feeling honored and this relationship isn’t honoring me, then I can let it go, with love. I finally did that two years ago and haven’t talked to my sisters since. I love them and wish them well, but I no longer drive myself crazy trying to create a healthy relationship with them. I finally realized – they didn’t have one to give. I honored myself by finally removing myself from their orbit and I’ve felt sadness, but mostly I feel at peace and complete. My parents and I have healthier boundaries now – we focus on our relationship – and I don’t ask about my sisters. What they do is not my business. Yes, there’s been fallout, but what I’ve learned is, “when you stop people-pleasing, people stop being pleased”…AND THAT’S OK. Because now, I’m pleased and more balanced and filling my life with people that honor and respect me in return. LESSON LEARNED!

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Amazing lessons and boundaries, Amy. Good for you. xo

  70. Last year, my sister and her family were struggling with making ends meet, so they moved in with my mom. When I first spoke with my sister about her situation, she shared that she was unhappy with her marriage and the financial situation they found themselves in. However, soon after that, she began taking out her frustrations on everyone else in the house, to the point where I visited less frequently. When I did, I ignored her nasty comments and pretended like she was a ghost. I asked my family to stop calling me to vent and just address the issue head-on. This went on for 8 months and when they moved out, my sister had to finally confront the real issue she was facing: her unhappiness. I’m happy to say that she and her family are doing just fine now and we have all patched things up. It was a cry for help. I showed her compassion by setting strict boundaries. In doing so, she realized her behavior was pushing others away. If you’re coming from a compassionate place, most of the time they come around. If they don’t, that’s their journey.

  71. Mio

    Grateful for Marie addressing this topic which is a true reality for so many & myself. Family relationship issues are really the most complex out of any relationship you will encounter in the world. It’s the one that makes you & breaks you & molds you into adulthood – unless you are lucky to catch the toxic patterns early in life.
    Thank you for stating the point of creating healty boundaries.

    I have started this process & still working through it & can honestly say it’s ruffled some feathers but the family members involved have started showing some small steps of progress while some others are too consumed in their own selfishness to even be aware of any possible change. That’s okay – because it’s not about them it’s about me wanting peace & epic joy in my life.
    I chose to break the cycle, let freedom reign. 😉

  72. Emanuela

    I am really feelin this episode! I recently had to BLOCK my own sister on my phone because she was trying to bring me down with guilt laden texts and flat out meanness. She is super religious so it’s a constant battle as I’m not. I have recently unblocked her but it was a really empowering way to say “no, I won’t let your energy ruin my day”. It’s hard to set boundaries with family but we are all grown up now and either we accept one another for who we are or we have to go our separate ways.

  73. D.A.

    “Don’t give away your power.” cheers, applause, approving laughter.
    Okay. Since calling Jersey Girl is off the list could you give a “how to” for that?
    I’m sure it’s obvious for someone who grew up in Jersey…but for someone from Southern California who checks all the boxes on every Highly Sensitive Person and Empath quiz… I’m not sure what that means or how to do it. Forget family and friends, I feel the suffering of strangers and want to help. Being in a place of deflation prohibits my being much help. An inaccurately judgmental quip from an ignorant stranger still deflates me and preoccupies my thought for long after.

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Great question, D.A.

      When we give away our power that can look like a persons negative comment lasting and replaying in our mind. A counter point to that may be positive affirmations or mantras that you truly believe about yourself that you continue to recite in your mind.

      It’s a beautiful thing to help others, and it’s how we make the world a better place, yet it’s important to ensure that you’re not being used as a dumping ground for someone else’s issues, to which you hold on to them for them. Stay in your power and help them without taking on the hard parts of their life and personality.

    • Bethany

      Yes, I was wondering this as well! Heather, your answer makes a lot of sense.

  74. Brandi W.

    Hi Mari and team, I don’t usually comment but this one hit close to home and hopefully my story can help. I apologize for the length.

    Years ago, when my brother and I were in our twenties, we had both moved out from our parent’s home in central IL. He went to New Orleans, LA with a girl friend and I followed a job to Milwaukee, WI. I would visit my parents, often, about once a month. My brother on the other hand, had broken up with the girl friend and could not make his rent on his own income and had to return home to live with my folks. As you can imagine, he was not a happy person at this time and he took it out on my mom constantly and when I would visit, he would also be a rude asshole to me as well. I had talked to my mom until I was blue in the face about how she continued to put up with his behavior and treatment of her and me and she would do nothing. One night, as a family we were playing cards, and I made a mistake and my brother called me a F’in B and an idiot in front of my folks, who neither of which said or did anything. I sat there stewing, pissed, this was the last straw for me and I realized I had my own place and could leave at anytime…so I excused myself from the table, told my brother I would no longer put up with his behavior and went to pack my suitcase to leave. I had to walk my dog before the long car ride, so as I was getting ready to go outside my mom figured out I was serious about leaving two days early and she started begging me to stay. I told her no, that I would no longer put up with his behavior and that I’m going home. My mom followed me on the walk trying to convince me to stay and about a block from her house, we were screaming at each other and I realized it wasn’t just my brother I needed to confront, I needed to let my mom know also that I would not put up with her doing nothing any longer. She started to cry (which she never does), and said the reason she put up with it was because she was afraid of losing him and she knew she would never “lose” me. I felt pity of course, but I had to stand my ground and I told her the only way I would stay is if my brother apologized and told me he would never call me names like that again. Mom set out for home and I walked a bit longer to “cool off” and when I got back to her house, my brother asked me to stay and apologized for what he had called me. I could tell he was not happy about it but whatever my mom said to him finally got through and from then on, his attitude and behavior, at least when I was around, was much better. In some ways, my situation is similar and I would encourage her to not only confront her sisters but also her parent’s willingness to “put up with it”. She might find that her parents will do something if faced with not seeing her as much as they would like.
    Last, my brother and I are in a good place now and my mom and I are closer than ever. He actually stayed in central IL and I still live in Milwaukee. He goes out to dinner once a week with my mom and treats her with much more respect. We actually have a lot of fun and we’ve supported each other through a few hard times including our parent’s divorce and issues with our respective partners.

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Brandi, thank you for sharing your words, heart, and experience with all of us. Your lesson and example show the rest of us what’s possible. That is so appreciated. xo

    • Sarah

      Wow, thanks for sharing that Brandi W. I too have a delinquent brother who is 11 years older than me and has dragged my mother (who is also an enabler) through his poor life choices. He lives with her while she raises his daughter and it’s hard to watch as her adult daughter. I like the way you handled that – that must have been hard. You’re “lucky” (use that term loosely) you had an instance of behavior you could confront in the act. I think my struggle is there is no “single” behavior – just using my mother and being neglectful of my niece. I have had talks with her to try and convince her to stop enabling him, but it’s ultimately up to her. I will say that the day I moved out- it was due to an escalated fight over something ridiculous where he completely lost his temper and was a complete monster. Instead of setting a standard- my mother shut me out of it and let it go. I left that day and it was the best thing I could have done (boundaries!).

  75. I love Jersey Marie!

  76. ROAR!!!

    I need Jersey Marie in my HEAD!!

    Best episode ever!

  77. OMG! LOL!
    Looooove Jersey Marie! She wakes up italian Marina!
    Loved this episode!

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Jersey Marie meet Italian Marina. A match made in heaven 😉

  78. Dear Safa,
    when it comes to family there are usually no shortcuts … however, when you can shift your perception from being angry or frustrated I found that awareness is the key … here are 3 questions that might help you out being more aware (I found them in a book) …

    1. Notice when someone tries to make you guilty
    2. Notice when you try to make someone feel guilty
    3. Notice when you try to make yourself feel guilty

    I found with family especially there is so much emotional blaming … so just notice it and get off the wagon. I know it isn’t that simple but it all starts with awareness. Then you are able to do something about it, like voicing it out or stop doing it.

    A really empowerment quote that I hear over and over again lately is “you are responsible for your life” … when you really think of this, that no one but you has an access to your brain, it really is an empowering thought.

    Best of luck … and remember, this too shall pass 🙂

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Barchi, these 3 questions are super helpful and insightful. We’re so glad that you shared them here. Thank you.

  79. Tha Keo

    LOL 😀 you are the best Marie! crack me up all the time soo funny and Jersey Marie’ is a silly biscuit cool! Like all comments on here, YESSSSSS very glad this is on your T.V. Now I totally get it or I should say I almost thought I was the only B school newbie that need a boost from family dramas. Someone once told me ” Im sorry Tha u feel helpless.”
    Then the next day, I was picking orders at work and a message on a necklace says “I am powerless not helpless.” Hit me so hard! NOW I can say I have my powers protected from keeping boundaries build a bubble and I no longer feel helpless BC Marie and her teams are just an email away!:) B-school is da bomb is dee way (hehe) my son would say))
    Thanks Xoxo

  80. Trust yourself with love and compassion. Drop the name calling, that seems ego talk,
    drop profanities. Bow down to your Ego to get rid of your ego. How: This meditation is the best you can ever do to completely kill your ego which is your greatest enemy.
    Aloud but gracefully and with a flow when you are alone. Silently when you are around people.
    Do it in this order: “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.”
    Why is this the greatest mantra? It cleanses you from all that has a hint of ego and everything else you were taught to believe, in thinking and believing, you are are doing or saying you are doing good and that your purpose is to save the world.
    Your purpose is to shine the brightest and come home a radiant star.
    When regular with this with conviction and authenticity over time you must connect with your inner source for you have humbly tuned in the the frequency of your Source, you have come home to the TRUTH.
    My book is to be published soon and it may be titled “I”.
    There is much love, with thanks, gratitude and appreciation dear Marie.

  81. Meghan

    Thank you for this video Marie! Last summer my (classic narcissist) dad sort-of-maybe-disowned me over a facebook post in which I said “Happy Father’s Day,” and then a grudge-bearer from his past started a flame war and he didn’t like my response, whatever, it’s complicated, that’s not the point. The point is that this is the first year of my life (I turned 39 last month) in which I’ve had NO DRAMA from him, because I just never responded, and he hasn’t followed up. And it’s been amazing and liberating! And also really sad, and I’ve felt a lot of guilt – what if he dies while we’re not speaking to each other? Etc. I’m still considering re-establishing contact, because he’s my dad and that’s who I am, but you’ve lifted a huge weight off my shoulders: I get to decide when I’m ready for drama and how much, and I don’t need to waste energy on guilt in the meantime, because I’m not the one responsible for this nonsense.

  82. Dave

    Excellent advice, as usual. Really enjoyed Jersey Marie, and will definitely avoid calling her. 🙂

    Just a quick note, the email you sent out had two links (the video link and the link to your site), both of which lead to a blank page. I had to manually come to your site and look for your newest video (didn’t want to miss my Tuesday with Marie 🙂 ). So I thought I’d let you know of the issue. Don’t know what caused it, but thought you should know.

    Anyway, great video, and priceless lesson. Fortunately, I don’t have too much drama in my life at the moment, but great advice to carry in the event some sneaks into my life in the future.

    Keep up the great work. Really love Marie TV. It’s awesome. 🙂

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Hi Dave! Thanks for being here and your kind heads up about our little technology blip. All is fixed now in the email and those links should work now in case you ever want to head back here from there. We appreciate you being here.

  83. La

    I have to say, I always love your stuff. Professional, pretty, and yet still very pleasing to see and hear. I don’t always get the chance to watch your material, but every time that I do, I am very inspired and validated. All that you have mentioned, I have done. When starting up my new net working business I had so much shit from my family and a lot low-key from my family so one of the best things I learned to do, was set boundaries. My decision? They weren’t the ones to pay my bills nor were they helping contribute into my life in terms of mental, emotional, and intellectual health. Often group text and messages were very toxic and filled with hate language, bullying, and blame. In the past I’d put myself in the middle and try to calm everyone down only to realize we were all grown adults and that each person had to learn how to deal with their own emotions and communications with each other.
    So with a few years in, I left the group message and blocked the ones who were the most toxic and I’ll have to say, it was the best decision of my life ever. I am surrounded and filled with loving and supportive people who actually do care for my hopes and dreams. I see the toxic family members, but don’t involve myself in them, for I believe life is meant to live freely and positiviley. I don’t know every detail of what goes on anymore, but ignorance, is bliss, and I like bliss ❤️❤️❤️ Thanks as always for your beauty and charisma. ???

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Celebrate your decision and action to remove yourself from a situation that was no longer serving you, LA. We have a belief that you know the information at the exact moment you’re meant to know it- no group text needed 😉 xo

  84. Sarah

    Where do I START?! This one is super special to me because for the past 3 years I have been dealing with family drama and it was in my 30s & a totally new concept to me considering my tee-totally perfect childhood growing up. We, my mother and sisters got through divorce, addiction, small family owned business. It was such a safe enviromnent, that I felt free to go travel th eworld and make something of myself! At the height of everything when I decided it was a safe time to leave corporate bureaucratic work and explore entrepreneurship & artistry- everything hit the fan family-wise. Ultimately, it was a land dispute that brought it all down. My mother developed diabetes, needed help in the business, grandmother had a stroke – and guess what I did? I put it all on me. Big mistake, huge! I have been on a personal development journey through it and here’s my biggest take away (& bonus: it works for non-loved ones, too): “You are not responsible for their results.” Yes, absolutely be compassionate. Yes, create boundaries. Absolutely don’t get into the drama. And do not give your power away. The head-trick that helped me was that phrase. May seem selfish at first, but you are not responsible for them. As adults, we are responsible for ourselves. Whether we aged with them through childhood or not. Same goes! As long as you are being responsible for yourself and keeping boundaries in an amicable loving compassion ate way that is also compassionate toward yourself and your needs- you’re good!

  85. L W

    Family must earn a right thing be in your presence. If there is unacceptable behaviour going on then it’s time to give them a break for a while. Sometimes family can be the worst because of the expectations that are or have been in place for decades of other family members. Blood is definitely not thicker than water. In some cases it can take one family member to completely destroy one members relationships with the rest of the clan asbin scapegoating and the illustrious act of pouseno S rumours.

    Really…..take a break even if it’s to re-establish your boundaries and yo get a clear vision of what is best fo you.

  86. L W

    Sorry for the spelling mistakes.

  87. I use a phone number ID on my phone so I can be mentally prepared or make a decision about when I want to communicate with a certain family member. I also have a script I’ve practiced and when all else fails, I do hang up. When I gotta I gotta, it’s self preservation.

  88. Short and simple mindset to inbrace: “You don’t have to like what you love”. One can love and dislike siblings at the same time.
    Ego has the destructive behavior of removing or hating what is not of its liking. Love embraces and let be. When in relationships one must operate an choose love not ego. Dont forget free will its your blessing or spell. Be courageous and vibrant so you can always choose love.

    • Kitty

      Very true!!!

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Beautiful perspective, Cristian. Thank you for sharing it here.

  89. Ellen Silverman

    I am loving “Jersey” Marie! So much fun!
    And yes, I do slip and give my power away. I need to stop doing this.
    Thanks for the great reminder NYC and Jersey Marie!

  90. Katherine

    Great timing on this episode! I have successfully set a few boundaries in place lately with my own family, and appreciate the shoring-up & techniques as we go into the Mothers Day weekend!
    My SIL is a high maintenance drama queen. She has an epic history of picking fights with my fiancé, her older brother, and then running to their parents & playing the victim. He wasn’t a saint, but he also generally wasn’t starting anything.
    She would often lie openly to her parents about her life, and let the truth “slip” to us, and put us in an ugly no-win situation. His parents demanded we “keep an eye on her” on FB, and report back, which was off-putting & inappropriate. (They didn’t want to get FB accounts to do it themselves. Then how would they keep us involved?) At one point, she got married to a man she claimed she wasn’t dating (her landlord/roommate), & then posted pictures all over FB, but didn’t tell her parents. We gave her almost a month to tell them, but she didn’t, & we caved.
    My in-laws can bring the drama, but they are also loving, supportive people who don’t deserve her cruddy treatment.
    Once the Mr. & I got into therapy for our own stuff, we became aware of these dynamics, & the Mr. decided he wanted out. We both wanted out. We declared & signed the “We’re Not Playing This Stupid Game Anymore Act of 2007.” It involved walking away & declining to get involved, no matter what any of them pulled.
    It was tough. The Mr. had to repeatedly get up & walk out of the room when she baited him, or his parents tried to hook us in. We refused to discuss the crises du jour, and changed the topic. We both unfollowed her on FB, and told his parents we wouldn’t be checking up on her, and held our ground.
    My SIL was infuriated. She barely spoke to us for a decade, as she had no use for us if we wouldn’t play the game. It was sad, but also quiet & peaceful.
    We saw her for the first time in 5-6 years last fall, for the death of their step-father. She had grown up a bit, had some therapy, and we spent a week in each other’s company, in the same house, without any serious issues. It was incredible. At the end of the week, she did start pushing buttons again, & I politely shut her down when she started dishing out racist commentary out of nowhere. (I was shaking, but I did it. I need a bit more Jersey Girl attitude, maybe.) She walked out of the room & took a quiet time herself. I got a big kiss of gratitude & relieved smiles from the family for standing up to her.
    All things are possible. Be strong. Don’t play the stupid game.

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      What an evolving situation and perspective, Katherine. We’re so grateful for your words and certainly that are many people who can relate and will learn from your experience. Thank you.

  91. Cara

    Great video Marie, it’s helped me feel more confident in what I’ve had to do – I’ve had to set boundaries with my sister-in-law by blocking her number to my phone. She would send random messages accusing me and my husband of not doing whatever she thought we should be doing. The messages would get abusive and as much as we would like to help, it was like she didn’t really want help, she just wanted to vent to us. It was a hard decision but so much better for my mental health.

  92. Yo Jersey Marie, you’re killin’ me! Thanks for putting a smile back on my face today 🙂

  93. Nameless

    Drama requires boundaries. We love our friends and family but bottom line above all love yourself. Everyone has drama, my best answer to it is mind your own garden or it will not grow. We are all so uniquely different with are own challenges we need not delve into others lives. We all go thru shit to learn shit. Let it go and concentrate on YOU. peace and love.

  94. This was so golden. Thank you Marie and Team Marie it was funny too. lol.. My family has come with lots of lessons and well Karma too… As I take accountability for the energy that I may have created in them.. possibly in another life, (which helps reduce the resistance), I also only take their calls on days I am not scheduled to be “on” . I also take a full day to unplug from all even friends. This healthy boundary has been a life changing habit that I believe has helped me improve my relationships and even listening skills. It an act of self love first and foremost but I do it has rewired by capacity to hold space when I am in there to. namaste love to you.

  95. Loved that Jersey hair Marie!!
    Yep, have been setting more boundaries with my Mum because she so super negative and unsupportive. This has mainly involved me working on my own mindset and not absorbing her energy and also just not organising to do so much with her. Much more peaceful that way!

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Keep protecting that energy, Beatrice. It’s so important.

  96. Kenya

    Although I live away from my family, when I visit there is a high level of anxiety for what they will think or say(especially my mom and grandma). The last time I visited my mom began to verbally attack me and my daughter and the first time I set a boundary with her. I told her that if she couldn’t say something nice to us, then we were leaving. She immediately dismantled her armor of disrespect and began to having a normal conversation. I really felt that it was a win for me and our relationship

  97. Sue pearson

    I have set boundaries with friends in a few ways: if they want to call and vent,they need to ask for it, ( is it ok to vent for a few minutes?) and if. Say yes (which is not guaranteed) we set a time limit on it. If it is an issue that continues to come up and has not been addressed (really, you are complaining about so and so again?) I say hey, this is yours to sort out, and I prefer not to hear about so and so again. Do something about it besides complaining, I.e complain directly to them and or get your power back by setting bOundaries yourself!

  98. Charlene

    Hi Marie,
    Well my mother is one of the most challenging people I have ever dealt with in my entire life and I’m forty-three. She has so much drama with her. She has tried to put a wedge between me and my daughter, thankfully it didn’t work. After I realized she caused so much riff raff between me and my daughter, I made a very difficult decision so simply love hee from a distance. That means I don’t call to check on her. I don’t try to spend time with her. But when I see her I put on a big fake smile and I speak. I say hello and ask how have she been. I will have a very short comversation with her and then I leave shortly after. My family have the same issues. I treat other family members that are full of drama the same way because I was tired of crying or being angry. I am glad I love my mother and some of my family from a distance because now I am more peaceful.
    Life is way short for anyone to come and steal your peace and your joy.
    When you notice this issue pull out a long handle spoon and life your life.

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Keep protecting your peace and joy, Charlene. You’re setting a beautiful example for your daughter how to live. Bravo.

  99. Daniela

    A really healthy boundry I had to set with my family, specially with my mom is that I am not a garbage bag for their problems. She use to come to me to talk me about their problems, their worries, about people and things they dislike. I used to think I was a negative person, but I realise that I was surrounded by negativity all the time. It turned out, I am a quite positive happy person :D. Now, I spend just quality time with my mother. I call her three times a week to know how she is doing but I limited the time I spend with her. I have seen some positive changes in her attitude but I have realised I cannot change people and I have to focus on improving myself.

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Hooray for positive people like you in the world, Daniela! You’re an example of how beautiful life is and the people in it. Keep shining your light- the world needs it.

  100. Deb

    Okay lovin Jersey Marie, lmao.
    I am the youngest of five and it was assumed by my siblings that I would take care of organizing all of our family celebrations. Well I did that for a long time and then after being criticized for the last time about how I didn’t do it “right” I finally stood up for myself. I made the statement that I wasn’t willing to do this alone anymore and that we should all take turns and if that didn’t work for them well, so be it, I was going to celebrate with or without them. I finally stood up and told them I was not the baby of the family anymore, that I was a grown women with a life and a career and that now was the time that they were going to either treat me with some respect or not have a place in my life any longer. I was prepared to live with whatever the outcome was.

  101. Jeff

    I sold my kids to a Russian circus…. lol
    Just kidding…. don’t phone the authorities….

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Your secret is safe with us, Jeff 😉

  102. Marina

    Someone spoke about Narcissism and I have to say that I have also had this experience. My mother. Clinically Narcissistic but has no idea. I put up with the emotional abuse until I was 40 and then said I am a grown woman with four children and my own family – it’s time to stop giving her all my power. With the help of a therapist I established boundaries like communicating only by email handmade a break. 5 years later on, she no longer has power over me and I even have developed compassion towards a sick old lady, a little bit anyway. It starts with the first step and holding tight to your resolve. Good luck everyone! x

  103. Jennifer

    Thank you Marie for this Episode LOL!! Safa needs to let her sisters Live and Learn. Keep it moving!! Love and appreciate herself for not wanting that Energy in her life!! I have no sisters . I have two brother’s with no Drama !! My Drama was with my two oldest daughters who keep DRAMA. I Let Them Go!!!

  104. Marie, thank you! I am currently studying to be a health coach at IIN and it has taught me to be a MUCH better listener. Unfortunately, this skill has attracted people competing for my open ears left and right!! Family, friends, clients, strangers… I have never in my life known how to kindly back out of a conversation that was going nowhere. A couple of months ago I started practicing the art of interrupting and gracefully excusing myself. I now use it with gusto and have found 99% of the people I interrupt don’t mind! In fact, they quickly apologize for dominating the conversation! It feels SO good to say no to things that aren’t working… even conversations.

  105. FR

    One of my daughter’s-in-law
    is the most undermining character I’ve ever met. Although my son does everything to please her, she has been mean and disruptive
    to me and has divided my family almost beyond repair.
    After 15 years of her abuse and my son joining in with her in hurting me, I just recently stopped aggravating myself.
    I realize that she will always be an a-hole. That realization (bc I always thought she would improve) was almost an epiphany!! I look forward to each new day and feel blessed. I love my son but he has to live with her or leave her. I hope he leaves her because he deserves a great girl. It’s his choice. I had
    My roots and highlights done today and I feel like 35 years old again.??⛄️?
    Thank you Marie. ?

  106. Jen

    This really resonates with me, but i am curious….what does being empathetic look like when you are being treated like crap over and over? I am naturally a caring and empathetic person (hence being the one bullied in the relationship) so i want to have empathy if there is a cry for help, but what does that look like in conjunction with boundaries? and is just pulling away setting a boundary? or just wussing out? Can you set boundaries without a confrontation? this is tricky terrain to navigate!

    • Melissa G

      Hi Jen,
      Empathy girl here. Usually people with empathy have a combination of thoughtful imagination, and experiences that has made them this way. Empathy is a good thing. And it is possible to have empathy and not be treated like crap. If someone needs to talk, you can say “Yes! I will listen”. If someone wants to use you for something, or wants you to feel bad about not doing it, it is okay to say, “I’m not available for this.” Empathy and confidence sometimes come hand in hand, but are not mutually exclusive. And it sounds like in your case, it’s more an issue of confidence.
      Marie has talked about that gut feeling, or the physical pull back when something isn’t right. I’m not saying it’s easy, but the more we let that feeling be our guide, then it’ll get easier saying no to people who would use us. The more you balance the ‘being there for others’ thing, other people will realise that you’re not at their beck and call. If they are good friends, they will stand by you, if not they will move from your life, making things a lot easier, for you.

    • FR

      Jen, Some people don’t know what empathy means, they can’t spell it and if they look up the definition, they won’t care either. They’re not on your level, yet, hopefully they will be in the future. Until then, you don’t have to confront – just make yourself scarce. It’s difficult but breathing becomes easier.

  107. Just thank you Marie so much for this…

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      You’re so welcome, Elizabeth. We’re so glad this episode resonated with you. xo

  108. Elizabeth Peterson

    Just thank you Marie…

  109. I know people who believe the whole ‘blood is thicker than water’ quote is justified excuse to treat other family members like crap. Those who don’t think like that have a better chance at growth, and breaking negative habits.
    The good news is that the brain has 28 years to mature, so there is still a chance for younger siblings to improve mindset and attitude when another family member is showing them how it’s done.

  110. I had to tell my mother I was not going to have children and that I did not believe in the religion that she raised me. These are two things she loves most about her life and it was very hard for her to understand why I wouldn’t want these in my life. It was one of the hardest conversations I ever had with her and my dad, but there needed to be a boundary there. I am so different from both of my parents and it has made for a difficult relationship, but living in my truth makes it easier for others to understand.

    • Good on you Sophia, always live in your truth is what I believe in.

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Keep living your truth, Sophia. That’s how you’re meant to live. xo

  111. Families and relationships are the best ‘Mirror’ for us to grow.. We need to view them as a positive and not a constant battle, because they are teaching us to make conscious ‘choices’ based on WHO we wish to become and not what ‘they’ wish for us…

    What they wish us to be is for their best interests, we need to FINALLY DECIDE to make the ‘tough’ decisions based on our best interests.

    Focus on health, joy, exploration and abundance ….

    Not petty B.S because it is who ‘they’ wish to remain being 🙂

    Peace out – love ya Marie

  112. Tatia

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Marie!!!!!!!!!

  113. Just seen this pop up in my email now Marie and Team Forleo!!! 🙂 Woop woop your emails still remain #1 in my inbox that I look forward to opening because I just know that I’ll always get GOLD no matter if relevant to me or not and now that I think about it 9.5 x out of 10 they always are even when I think they aren’t like this one!!
    Safa, Q asker of todays episode 🙂 Thank you for asking a question that I’ve felt pretty competent in for the past few years. I’m 35, Mama of three and wifey of one, for the most part we’ve never had anyone to rely on for child care for our babies 11, 7 and 1 despite being surrounded with my Mum at times, my younger sister three years my junior who has six kids of her own and a WHOLE BUNCH of extended family in the same small city we’ve chosen to raise our babies in. My family on the whole unfortunately have fall outs that result in YEARS…..DECADES even of (silence) my last one was when my eldest was only one year old after being betrayed by those who I truly had my back. I had my own mother and close cousins and aunties who I’d always been available for (emotionally, financially, physically and spiritually) absolutely hate on me when they found out I’d been gifted enough money from my step dad and a very good oversea’s friend of mine and my husbands – both individuals who’s financial contributions had zero to do with any of them to help me and our then eldest baby reunite purchase our return tickets along with my husbands return ticket that his family could not afford. My American husband was helped with what money a friend of the family could afford to fly him back to the states urgently on a (one way ticket) for their beloved mothers funeral following her sudden unexpected death.
    The most vulnerable, heartbreaking time I’ve ever experienced. He had just started his new job in January before this happened and our goal was to save and travel to the states as a family in December to surprise his Mom as she just adored our baby via her skype chats. She died suddenly in February, we had 0 savings in the bank and I was working full time which I had no choice but to continue in order to pay all our bills and my employer at the time told me I had no rights to bereavement leave over three days as it was not my immediate family…….. My hubby was the one who took care of our baby during the day while I did the nights when he worked.
    No offers for child care support came and then I found out shortly after he left that the haterade gossip about me being gifted the funds I needed, had been brewing for no other reason than them spewing out what they only had in them to give – toxic, unhappiness and frustration of what they didn’t have in their own lives and feeding each other with all those toxic feelings.
    I was obviously none the wiser and have confronted all of them since after a few months of silence to which they’ve semi-apologized for but my main thing was for them to acknowledge how they hurt me and why I now set my boundaries for them and anyone else who dares attack the well-being of my family.
    I’ve learnt from that situation and others within toxic work environments since, that people give what they have in them to give so I’ve learnt not to take anyone’s bull shit personal, especially when I know it has absolutely zero to do with me which is why I’m very mindful of what I put out to the universe and to the world through everything I do online and offline. Forgive, set boundaries and never take peoples shit personal unless you did something to attract it, then I say take ownership, apologize, forgive yourself and MOVE ON – Life is too precious! 🙂 X

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Thank you for sharing your heart and experience here, Erena, so that others can see their truth in yours. What a gift.

  114. Sonali

    Happens all the time – with different ppl in the family – sometimes I cry my heart out in the night – morning I’m good to go – Sleep has been the biggest boon – if you can’t deal with it anymore – Go to sleep , babe ?

  115. My regrets have stemmed from not remaining true to my decision to cut certain family members out of my life. Each time I let them in it’s for fear I’ll be alone if I don’t, and the reality is being alone would be less painful. Both of my parents passed away recently (two years apart). With all the issues we had between us, I still miss them terribly. To do it all over again, I would simply be myself, speak my mind openly and honestly, then let them choose to make changes and dismiss me if they couldn’t alter their behaviors to come into a harmonious relationship with me.

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      We’re so sorry to hear of your losses, Dahana. Sending you lots of Team Forleo love. xo

  116. Jess

    Thanks for posting on the subject. Currently going through a hard time where my mom has chosen to not talk to me anymore b/c she can’t accept the fact that I got divorced last year. It’s hard, but I know it’s her own issues she’s hung up on and I have to live my own life .

  117. OMG LOL at “Jersey Marie” ! I have a “Philly” girl inside me that comes out from time to time. I did move away almost 26 years ago but she’s still in there! Awesome video and so so important. My father is a challenging narcissist but I took him in because he was dying of cancer and he had no money and no family other than me. It was the most challenging thing I have ever done but after many many struggles I surrendered to compassion and became a “grey rock” where I just didn’t get caught up in the drama anymore. It was still hard but I had to see it through.

  118. Chalyn

    Marie Darling,
    I saw this in my inbox just after getting off the phone with my Mother who has stage 4 Cancer. She has just returned home after 6 weeks of visiting family. She walked inside her home to find no linens, beds gone, washer gone, furniture gone, dog pee everywhere… DRAMA feels like an understatement for this situation. It’s more like devastation. Being there for my Mom through this process has kept me soupy focused on her. I have lost my way in caring for myself. This video reminded me that it is my responsibility in how I let people effect me. I’m still chewing on this… My family is in a world of hurt right now. I luv ya Marie. Your Jersey Girl made me smile. I needed that the most.

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Chalyn, we’re sending you and your Mom so much love during this very difficult time. So much hurt and devastation for her, and you. Wishing you strength to hold your sacred space while supporting her in the way that you feel is best for you. Hugs. xo

  119. Hi Princess Marie and Jersey. One can be a bullet proof to an asshole by firing his round of ammunitions. What everyone say or think might be true or false about me, but yet, ” external force”. It’s of no effect if you debunk or discard it mentally or verbally. It’s will be effective if you hold on to it. “Internal Force” is our individual thinking and perception. This is who we are. Thanks.

  120. Susan

    Great episode! I have gotten a lot of grief from my parents-in-law (may they be healthy) over the years. Eventually I noticed that when there are “buffers” around, they behave a little bit better. Whenever I found myself alone with either of them or both of them, their fangs came out and they were judgmental and insulting to me. I felt picked-on and abused, like a punching bag. On the other hand, they live very close to us and we frequently meet them on weekends and holidays. They have also been very good grandparents (in their own way), and are very generous with their time and money, so I realize I also need to be grateful to them. What to do to protect my sanity and dignity but not cause a rift in the family and put my husband in an impossible situation? I decided that I would keep on attending the family gatherings, but never, ever meet either of them or both of them alone, without my husband or kid or others. I try my best to treat them with respect and politeness while keeping some emotional distance in order not to get hurt. If they start getting nasty, pick on me, or start a loud argument with each other, that’s time to get up and go to the buffet or the restroom or whatever. So far it seems to work well for me and it keeps the family together. I don’t know if this compromise would work for everyone, but I have found it a life-saver.

  121. TRISHA

    Jersey Marie ROCKS!

  122. Hey Safa and Marie,

    The best way to set boundaries for me was also with a sibling: my brother’s life was always hectic and chaotic. Bad relationship, young child, divorce – all the drama you can imagine.
    That drama was always the talk of the day/hour. But we as a family couldn’t solve anything, because we weren’t in control. And we worried a lot about it.
    After being sick of worrying and being upset about it, my boyfriend told me that my brother’s life was not within my circle of influence. I didn’t have any influence whatsoever, so why worry about a life that’s not mine? It took me a while to really life by this, but eventually made me much more rational towards my brother instead of being this emotional sister all the time. Saved me a lot of bad energy as well, a burden fell of my shoulders.
    Hopefully you can save the (negative) energy you put in your siblings and try to use it positively. The way they live their lives is up to them. Your opinion is your opinion, you can’t change them. You only feel a lot of negativity around this. Let them be and focus on your own life..

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Michelle, thank you for sharing your ‘circle of influence’ concept with all of us. It’s a beautiful perspective to support your own needs while acknowledging the power that is present in the situation.

  123. Stacey

    Thank you, Marie, for this week’s video. I have had a lot of trouble in the past as I was too afraid to set boundaries with family and friends. This year I finally got the courage to, one of them being my housemate. She would constantly want to socialise even though I came home for quiet time. Eventually I had to set it straight and told her our lease agreement wasn’t working out (there are other factors that are too long to explain here), and thankfully she’s moving out in a few weeks.

  124. I’v reasently started to say stop to the crap that my mom is predicting for my future. If she says something bad about my future with my fiance i say STOP like a traffic police, you will not predict this I wont alow you. Lets see if it works ?

  125. Michelle

    Great episode Marie. Im crazy sensitive to other people’s emotions and therefore find myself getting caught up in their drama at times when I don’t want to be anywhere near it. Last year I noticed my dog was taking on some of the stress I was holding for others!!! And my intuitive dog sitter (yeah I’m one of THOSE dog moms) had some great advice that has helped me create a sort of invisible shield when I’m getting sucked into the vortex of other people’s emotions and drama. Her advice… say out loud (or in your head if in front of others) ‘Whats yours is yours. What’s mine is mine.’ Such a simple mantra, but its been quite powerful for me (and my dog). x

  126. Benson Modie

    Great advice….thank you so much!

  127. truth Marie.
    I had to set a number of boundaries over the years as I grew.
    Mostly, not allowing my sister to scream, yell and abuse me on the phone whenever she was having an issue.
    I simply an calmly asked that she speak in a normal tone or I would end the conversation. I will not allow anyone to mistreat me, especially family. Boundaries are the answer.

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Great advice and action, Maria. Keep honoring your boundaries. They’re sacred.

  128. I want to see more from Jersey Marie!!! She could be a recurring character!
    As for my healthy boundary, I have set client email hours. This keeps me from burning out, replying when tired, or letting someone take advantage of my services.

  129. Valerie


    That drama comes from my mom. In our relationship, I feel like I am never enough and every time she comes at my house for diner, everything needs to be perfect around her.
    So I stress out 2 days before, during the diner and after. My husband gets angry because of that and my kids are acting like monsters all night long.
    So one day, I had enough of that and I decided to stop playing her game. I change the rules and that’s change the game.
    I used to do things like she does and that was my major problem because I gave her the power to judge and compare myself to her.

    Now, I am cooking food she doesn’t Cook, dressing the table in a way, she don’t and telling her that this is the new way of cooking and that is trendy. She loooves trends.
    Guess what? Who is imitating who now?
    Yes, You’ve got it. I am the one who know better now.

    So to answer the question, Changing the game and thinking outside the box help me to set my boundaries and protect myself. Now I don’t judge her anymore and I have compassion for her. She is a anxious person and She’s scare of everything that’s why she’s so control freak.
    The funny things is that now she’s starting to try new things. She told me that I gave her the courage to do so.

  130. Love this! Conflict in families is such and energy drainer yet so often brushed unde the carpet. It’s a shame we invest so much resource in our businesses yet rarely take the time to invest and develop our family life.

    A thriving family takes just as much understanding and investment as a thriving business does. We accept that colleagues will bring different strengths and personalities to the table yet we fall into believing we must be more similar than different to our relations. It’s simply not true.

    Often miscommunication comes from a lack of appreciation of difference.

    Obviously narcissism is a distinct disorder and many people do have it…yet rather than go to self diagnosing and labelling our family members as disfunctional (which is the easy road) it could be useful to get curious about each other values & personality types instead while working on improving our communication.

    I say this with love and from experience having been raised by a mother who had schizophrenia and depression, an emotionally unavailable dad and one bipolar brother. It fell victim to buying into their labels and not seeing th person beyond that….and believing there was nothing I could do to improve our relationship.

    Like others, I had to detach myself physically and emotionally to create space to get perspective. After learning about strengths and personality and values and all that gorgeous personality development stuff I got curious about who the humans in my family were….parents are people too after all.

    I could talk all day about this so I won’t bore but leave you with my learning which was that family is what we make it…and letting go of my expectations that the people I grew up with ‘should’ fulfil particular roles in my life has been the most freeing thing ever.

    Huge love to everyone!! Xxx

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      We’re so glad that you shared your perspective, Colette. You’re so right- investing in our family relationships takes time just like businesses. A great perspective that many people in our community can relate to. Thank you for being here. xo

  131. Cynthia

    Hey girl! I know your struggle. I also have a younger sibling that blames a lot of his own circumstances on our parents – he’s 30! I’ve done all the things Marie suggests, but I’ve taken it one step further. When I’m around and I catch him talking to my parents disrespectfully, I simply say “Don’t talk to my parents like that.” For him, it’s a reminder to keep himself in check, and find another way to deal with his stuff that doesn’t involve shi**ing on other people. Other people might blow up over this comment, but it works for us, and stops the drama before it builds. Good luck!

  132. SO I am kinda going through the same thing. My son and I moved back to the states after an immigration battle in New Zealand a few months ago that means I need a bit of help from the mom.( had to really hold back on the ego trip I could have played into my ego got bogged down on not only having to move home but having to move home with Mom… but I didn’t :)) But we back up to August, Houston (MY hometown I moved back to) had a really bad flood hurricane, Harvey. My 45-year-old sister was living with my mom and they had to relocate and move to a smaller location. I had been gone for 6 years, my sister was one of the reasons I stayed away for so long she was not only physically abusive growing up she is Mentally abusive. Sadly being gone has not changed anything. I am all about focus on the energy you invite into your space and I am finding it difficult every day. I won’t go into the details because there really fucked up but I am creating a conscious community to go alongside my business because as we see with most successful entrepreneurs they have created a community and with that is where I have my blog. I did a post just last week on this very comment call ‘ meet my besties’ to summarize I talk about how if we are in situations we have not much control over we should make the most of what we can control… What we put in our mind. So I go into the people I follow ( Marie being one) and I just inundate my self with podcast youtube videos books to make sure I am in control of the content I am feeding my mind. I am working on my business while homeschooling my son and that is what keeps me going. something keeps coming up with her and I am sure they will continue too but it is so cool to have such awesome mentors even if they do not necessarily know the impact they are making in my life.

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your life, Brittany. We’re sending you so much love and gratitude for sharing your heart with us. We’re cheering you on every step of the way. Keep imagining us like a flock of cheerleaders standing behind you. xo

  133. Melita

    I love this, thank you so much for talking about this subject. For the dear girl that brought up this question:

    I’ve been there, done that and I can tell you from my heart that you have already made the first step to improve your situation at the same moment that you recognized what is happening to you. Don’t worry, the World won’t end… every single family on the Earth has some problem, that is what multi-member families are, but they also evolve and change like everything else on this world. I am telling you this because when that very moment when I found out that I have problem with relationships in my family, every other family but mine seemed just perfect to me…

    As for my advice to you, you should understand that setting boundaries isn’t something you can just do today and be over with it, it is a process. The first time you do it everyone will react as you just ended a world or worse and that is perfectly normal as humans don’t like the change, especially when it touches them. Only important thing is that you don’t feel bad about yourself. For setting boundaries with your family (I must say this should not apply on your business relationships, at least not at first) you have to monitor how you feel, and the moment you are having interaction with some of your family members and you feel bad that is sing you should react, use your inner you as compass for setting boundaries. Tell your family how you feel, how they make you feel and why, just don’t let them attack you and do nothing…they will just do it again and again. Once more, setting boundaries is a process don’t forget it, maybe you will need months or maybe years to succeed it but you will, trust me. Be happy for what you are, and be aware how special you are as you are the one that will help your family to evolve. I wish you all the best luck!

  134. I have two of the most negative brothers. Everything that comes out of their mouth is negative. It just upsets me and my Mother. I have come up with an idea to put on the front door “If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it!” or “You are entering a Positive Environment”. I’m trying to train my mind to just ignore them and stay positive; it is taking my energy. This episode helped a lot. Thanks Marie

  135. Marie,
    You are adorable!! I love your playfulness.
    Thanks for breaking this difficult topic down and making it more manageable, normalizing the fact that we all go through this and giving us a light hearted and compassionate way to respond. The compassion part, I believe is the most important because as you said, this keeps you connected to your heart. Wow! Powerful.
    Thank you so much!
    Shelly Lang

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Thank YOU, Shelly, for being here. This work isn’t possible without the amazing people, including you, in our community. xo

  136. This is spot on, Marie. I’m really lucky that my family and I are usually on the same wavelength.
    Having said that, I seem to attract friends who are ‘dramatic’. Where I’ve had to set a boundary recently is with one friend who has been a successful freelancer for decades but now I’ve launched my new copy/content writing business has done her best to find out who my clients are and exactly what work I’m doing for them. Last year, I fell for this and she greatly annoyed a client of mine. This year, I’m not falling for it again so I calmly told her that client confidentiality prevents me from sharing any information. She still keeps asking but I’ve stayed firm.
    Thanks for sharing this Q&A.

  137. Cindy

    Hi. I’m going through a really bad time with my sister. My whole life she has been a control freak. A narsasist. Guilt spewing…. My story is too long to type here. If you want to hear it let me know. I will email it. I am not talking to her any longer.

  138. Kathy

    Hi Marie and everyone!
    I find that the more I grow as an individual and an entrepreneur, the more that I dive deeper into my own evolution of self and relationships. I’ve recently learned that some of my adult patterns of wanting to please everyone and make sure everyone is happy stem from my relationship with my older brother. I recently invited him on a work/pleasure trip with some new friends in my industry, and my brother started to exhibit some of his tantrum-ish behavior (when he doesn’t get his way) that I’ve regularly seen growing up. I realized what was happening and although it was quite uncomfortable for me – I calmly and firmly communicated to him that I would no longer accommodate his mood or behavior, and that he would have to wait until the rest of us finished working before we could do what he wanted to. It seems so simple and childish, but I realized that I’ve been catering to my brother’s needs and wants for as long as I can remember. I knew that I wouldn’t accept his behavior in my adult life with my own chosen family – friends and community; and I no longer would accept the same behavior in my own biological family. For some reason I had separated the two and thought “Well, you can’t choose family.” This is true, BUT you can choose how to interact with them and what is acceptable to you and what is not. This simple realization and small action that I took not only helped and protected me, but also sent a message to my brother that his behavior would no longer be tolerated, even if it were catered to in the past.

  139. Ivonne

    Hi Marie,

    Thanks for this video. My family has a lot of drama, my sister and my parents are always fighting , my sister says they loved me more and they gave me more, and my parents say she is ‘crazy’. I moved out of town for so many years now and they still have all the drama. There is a lot of blaming and judging and I get involved in the judging as well. for my sanity I try to stay away and don’t ask for details because I don’t want to suffer. But I do feel extremely guilty because I am ok, and they are still in the drama. The guilt is so bad that sometimes I don’t enjoy life because I don’t think I should. My constant inner work is transforming guilt in love and compassion for myself and my family, it is sooooo hard to achieve!

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Keep doing the work and loving yourself, Ivonne. It’s so important for us to seek joy in our own lives and we’re the only ones who can do that. Sending you so much love and support for this journey that you’re on.

  140. Paula

    Thank you for this video. It couldnt be any more timely.

  141. trina

    I love your high energy Marie. It inspires me to express mine and stop suppressing it to make others comfortable, or so I thought and I loveeeee your Jersey girl share. You are good at that~ and relieving to see you’re not perfect,,,inspiring opening new possibilities. You are the bomb!!

  142. Wow Marie, you ALWAYS send the right video content at the most perfect time. Creating & following through with boundaries restores & generates genuine power from within, which is what is compromised in the face of unworkable family dynamics.
    Our relationships are a direct mirror of information that reflects to us our own self-love. The more boundaries we set the greater our self-love surges through us & and our planet directly rises from the source of love.
    I love B-school & The Copy Cure!!
    Thank you for WHO you are Marie.
    Deep appreciation, Janet

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Sending you so much love and appreciation right back, Janet. We’re so honored to have you and your beautiful heart in our B-School and Copy Cure family.

  143. I had to set boundaries first to family drama when I choosed to work as a fashion designer and follow my heart instead of following my fathers advice. I was seventeen and too young to live on my own in a city far away from our families home. I had to argue three days and refused to discuss my choice again and again. Finally I left home and went for finishing high school and were accepted to study Fashion design in a city that I´ve never been before. It was a great time, although it was hard work and a tough time to earn the extra money after school in restaurants and bars that I needed to finish my diploma. I finished with exellence and had a great time and support with my fashion collegues working as a team. Some of them are friends till today!
    The second boundary was the hardest and biggest one for me. I quit my high paid job that I really loved in a fashion company. Although we were very successful regarding financial growth I was constantly critizised and felt more alone than ever. My paychek was more than enough, and the people around me loved the lifestyle and loved to be around me and my boyfriend and our luxury life. I could´t sleep that time, my private life was a constant problem solving talk about what I should do better and better. After two years of inner conflict without any support of friends and family I gave notice and finished working there.
    The third boundary followed soon when I decided to leave my boyfriend and start all over a new life leaving behind the dream home and all the stuff attached to it. I started meditating and looking for all stress releasing techniques available and was surching for deep inner healing.
    I tried all possible methods, and to emphasize is the very powerful scalar energy healing that had super beneficial effects on my health. Today I am 59 jears and I am feeling healthier, calmer, more peaceful than before.

    Monika (from Germany)

  144. Corina

    I understand this perfectly! but if it’s the behavior of your son of 15 almost 16 years I don’t know how to do this. Such a big behavior change in the house, terrible also for my younger son. How to do it, when it’s your child?

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Thanks for asking your questions, Corina. As the Mom, you know your child best. As people, our behavior changes often when something in our life changes. Maybe he’s experiencing something that he’s not talking about, yet his behavior is the indicator that it’s going on. His teachers and school leadership may be a source of insights as our kids spend so many hours of their life there and they oftentimes see what we don’t see.
      Trust your Mom instinct- she’s usually right.
      Sending you a big hug during this tough time. xo

  145. Giovanna

    Hi Marie,
    Great episode! Loved seeing the Jersey girl in you 🙂
    I’ve been the go to for fixing everything and everybody for way too long and in the process, lost myself. After the drama and the pain of being hurt by those that were close to me, I learned to put me first by not responding to phone calls or text messages when I was busy and completely ignoring the drama messages all together. I found that once I put my 2 cents in, it wasn’t worth it since many don’t follow it and I refuse to be pulled into that anymore. Once you get used to this practice, it really does work and bye-bye drama! FYI, both my parents are deceased so the drama was with my sisters.

  146. Ooh, great question. My story is that my parents split up before I was one year old and neither of them had the slightest interest in me. Now, they are both old and frail, both pretty much bed bound, they both want my help. My mum wants my love, care and attention and my dad wants money.

    What do I do? Nothing.

    Not because I’m heartless but because there’s just nothing in the bank between us. When my grandma got to the stage my parents are at now, I took great care of her, I could feel her love for me and it felt natural. With my folks though, there’s no movement towards caring for them, so I just can’t do it. It’s not a happy ending exactly, but they are both quite literally lying in the beds they made.

  147. Elena

    Thanks, Marie, as always, your answer is relevant. I limited my communication with many of my relatives. It took me some effort and work to make my well-being a priority. I learnt to reject the invitations when I want to and I learnt to send my love, likes and positive comments through social media. (this is where the technology is so helpful). I abstain from personal involvement in any drama and choose to be happy with my life.

  148. The best advice I heard this week–before your podcast was, “Not my monkey, not my circus.!”

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      You’ve got that right, Joyce! There’s no big top here. xo

  149. Farah Gopaul

    Hi Marie,
    Hope you get all the kisses I blow to you when I feel totally inspired by one of your pep talks. I’m just about to embark on a new career with some awesome women whose vision is to create a space for Wellness and empowerment for women.
    However,,,recently the stress of my old job coupled with the family pressure has me forgetting what street I live on some days.
    I find it suddenlyfficult to set boundaries and have been babbling away about my new plans until I realized that the closest people around me seemed less than enthusiastic about all this new found opportunity.
    So, hard lessons this month for me as I learn to keep the details to myself and focus on preparing for my new role. I will be the head chef and Culinary manager of a cafe designed around women’s health and the Arts.
    For anyone out there feeling the weight of negativity, I say spin the entire situation around and confront those naysayers with insight.
    I,m in the pursuit of a Life that’s Meaningful and that will add Value to myself and others. Can they say the same!!!

    Lots of Love,

  150. Karen

    Relationship is one of the ways I’ve gotten to the heart of myself. I’ve trained myself over many years and close family ties and lots of intimate relating to choose any or all of these responses. When faced with drama I:
    1. Pause and breathe before responding.
    2. Don’t take the bait. I literally don’t answer and let the person be with themselves while I sit there quietly holding space. I do this with email and social too.
    3. Leave the room. Or the town. Or the state. Or the country. I’ve done all.
    4. Pause, breathe and consider if my input is energized in any negative way and if so, I shut my mouth. I check in with myself and ask, would I rather be right or free?
    5. Believing that everything is also a reflection of me in some way, I look to see what I can learn from the person or situation. That’s the “love or crying out for help” part.
    6. I practice compassion and gratitude. Drama is life and life is a gift.
    7. I practice being the friend, sister, daughter, mother of myself. It’s a lifelong journey of trips and falls and ever-growing composure. It’s exhausting, but worth it when I can walk away with the knowledge that I’ve done my best with love.

  151. R

    Thanks Marie. I came across an immense family boundary for myself yesterday. In this case, it’s not about dealing with unnecessary drama now— it’s about my responsibility to heal the wounds from the past so they don’t continue to hurt the generations younger than me. Trigger warning: this is serious stuff about sexual abuse. You see, we’ve known that some of my wonderful aunts married child abusers for some time. Weird, when my grandparents are so great right? Well last year it finally came out. My grandfather, (long passed,) was a sexual predator too. My mother, sister, and I decided that everyone of my 60+ cousins and their spouses should know the details, so that they can examine themselves and their mates, stay clear of other cousins who refuse to see their own abusive patterns, and stop the cycle once and for all!
    It has been nothing but triggering and painful for me, a survivor, to be part of all these hard decisions. It will be awful and possible unhelpful for many of my cousins too. But, it’s not about us anymore. It’s about helping and protecting the kids- point blank.
    Whew. All to say, yesterday the letter went out and I firmly stepped out of the loop. I shared that I don’t want to know about any fallout, or be a part of any processing. I still feel guilty, but my responsibility has been met (to the best of my ability anyway.) It’s time to give myself every space to heal!
    Thanks for being a place to share. I guess sometimes, family drama can lead to real compassionate action. If you’re addressing root causes and not symptoms…sometimes the only way out, is in.

  152. I feel your pain. I recommend 2 audio books that were difficult to face, but so SO helpful. “Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers” and “The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists” – If you need to go no contact, then do it. Boundaries that help me: 1 hour at family events, and only seeing the narcissist in my life ONLY at those family events (so 4-6 times a year.) It also helps knowing that it’s a disorder and their reality is just that…their “reality.” If I’m completely honest… I speak to the person in my life, like I do to a 4 year old, as well as not feeding into the drama tantrums 😉 – Best of luck and much love.

  153. KG

    Thanks Marie! Yes, I opted out of family drama years ago. Being free was my priority. Opting out aka ‘ignoring’ can be applied to any life drama, not just family. It works!!

  154. Hilary

    Oh my. I just dealt with this. Went to visit my grown son and his fiancée last weekend. They are both SO overwhelmed with life,work,school, the wedding,money…you name it! Tensions were so high and I was right smack in the middle of it while visiting them last weekend. My son had a couple of meltdowns and panic attacks. He also got rather nasty towards both his fiancée and me. For me, very reminiscent of my ex, his father and I have a bit of PTSD over that. Long story short: I decided to leave early, get a hotel by the airport and leave on my own the evening before my planned departure. They are now not speaking to me. I wrote a kind and thoughtful email explaining my departure and why I left and also thanked them for the visit, listing some of the fun things. Anyway, I stand by my decision to leave – for me and for them. The wedding is nearly a year away, so hopefully with a little time they will come around. But it was a nightmare at the time. Thoughts? Advice?

    • Liz Snell

      Oh Hilary, that must have been difficult. My only advice is that it may have helped if you explained to them before leaving why you were leaving early, re-assuring them of your love and caring, but that the stress they were under was putting a strain on your relationship. Even during the visit, speaking openly and assertively, about your son’s behaviour may have helped and may even open a pathway of communication with his fiance that may not be there at the present moment.
      I’m sorry he’s not talking to you right now but you have to reassure yourself that it’s his problem and not yours. You did what you need to do for your own well=being and you should never apologize for that.

  155. I’ve had to set boundaries with my friends. My work requires me to be on my phone all the time and that has changed the way I communicate with those closest to me. Phone calls only when it comes to conversations. Also, I have stopped saying YES to every single coffee date or “brain picking” meeting I have been asked to. These little moments of energy loss had huge impacts on my business growth and I will not let that happen again <3

  156. a man

    My parents don’t wanted me to study masters degree.
    They wanted me to settle.
    But by my will power, determination I managed to started study Masters(of course with financial support from my parents).
    I have a dream for my future, but they try every time to settle me. But I’m not born to settle. Of course I am doing every responsibility to them now and also I’ll do in future.
    I think increasing my positivity is a way to keep boundaries from them. And focus to my goal helps me.
    Hope everybody will overcome their difficult situations. There is always a ray of positive light.

  157. Hi Marie,
    I really really really loved this video – I love how your passion comes out and I found this really helpful.
    I have been setting boundaries with not talking on phone in the evening or having intense conversations in the evening as I really need the evenings to me – I’m sensitive and an introvert and my mind is so easily stimulated.

    Katie 🙂

  158. Allison Fink

    This is classic!! I have had to set serious boundaries with some of my extended family members, which means…I don’t go to their house anymore for “family get-togethers” or holidays because my cousin is ALWAYS dramatic, has a new boyfriend every month, and continues to tell me that my “standards are too high,” WHAT? So, I have chosen to lead the life that I want, by not caring about what she says and not letting her judge my life. I am currently super focused on my goals/business goals and I don’t have time for the negativity. Set your boundaries, because if you don’t, then you are miserable and no one don’t deserve that.

    • Liz Snell

      thumbs up to that!!!

  159. Gina

    Thanks Marie for addressing this. I think most, if not all of us, have been through this.
    I have been exactly ‘working on this’ for the last three months. Bullet proofing is definitely needed for those of us who have amazing empathy and compassion which is sometimes misunderstood. People think they can walk all over us or that we truly want to listen to/deal with their BS (your word, lol!).

    I did get angry the other day, though, when a friend said, “But she’s going through such a tough time at the moment and you’re such a lovely friend. Give her a call.” Really? I’m such a good friend yet I haven’t heard from her, even when she knew I was ill! Any advice fellow Marie followers or Marie?

    • Liz Snell

      I think the key is that if a relationship is not nourishing you in a healthy positive way, like food, you need to cut it out. This does not have to be harsh or hurtful in any way. this friend you mention has not reached out to you, even at a time when you were in need, so it sounds like it’s a one-way relationship. this person, and clearly others around you, expect that you will always be there for support, but where are they when you need the support.
      I have had the opposite situation where I had to let friends go who were only there when I was in trouble and needing their support. I look back now and realize that they needed that affirmation of being needed, but I needed a balanced two-way relationship. This friend never had time for me when things were going well but I knew if I needed a shoulder to cry on, she would be there. At first it looks and feels really supportive, but in hind site its actually a little creepy that she needed me to be in a bad place to feel good about herself as support system.
      Anyway – self-reflection always. If the relations does not benefit you in some way let it go or at least keep it at a distance and don’t expect to get anything you need from it.

      • Gina

        Sound advice, Liz. Thanks.

  160. a man

    In addition to my previous comment:
    To walk in the path of my goal my one friend help me a lot, he is also a guide and philosopher to me.
    And to move forward with your life you must forgive 1st your parents and then everybody who did some wrong to you, if u hold on the anger on your parents then you will be child forever.
    Actually they are in a state of old limiting thoughts, not you so focus on yourself and fly with your life.
    ?Wish Positivity for everyone.

  161. Love this one, Marie.
    Dealing with people who drain your energy is a bummer, especially when it’s family. Learning how to take space as needed is key.
    I love the idea that Saffa take her parents out, and meet them on neutral ground, and without the siblings. This same concept can be applied to Saffa’s siblings. Meet with them individually and away from the home. Part of the drama stems from the fact that the siblings are still living in the home with the parents. Not knowing their ages or circumstances, it’s difficult to provide completely relevant advice. They may be too young to leave. Nevertheless, spending time with each sibling to ‘hear them out’ can create an opportunity for you to provide common sense advice plus a reality check. It also will create that sibling bond that you’ll appreciate in the future.
    Introduce the idea of what your parents have provided, and what this sibling can do for themselves to create a future that they want. Helping them tease out their plans may provide a gateway of understanding, and return peace in the home.
    Growing up is hard. Maybe Saffa can be a guide on this journey. Either way, it should be done out of the house. If they are not learning and growing from these interactions, then space and time is advised.
    Especially for Saffa as she needs to concentrate on her future.

  162. You have a very interesting site
    Your site content is awesome
    I use a lot of content from your site
    Thank you very much

  163. I agree that we’re responsible for the energy in our life, including with family. However, breaking old energy habits is very difficult. In a sense, we continue these patterns because they are somewhat comforting (on the subconscious level) so we must consciously be aware of these tendencies.

    • Liz Snell

      Theresa, you are right. It took me almost 20 years to see the abuse I continued to accept from my brother and his wife and finally remove them from my life. A great saying, I can’t remember from whom, but its something to the effect that real family is who you chose to be in your life and not who was born into to your life. Blood may be thicker than water, but water is essential to all living beings, including sustaining our blood supply.

  164. Peter Christiansen

    Well, MARIE FORLEO, the worst battle to over come is the conflict/drama within the family. Things could get nastier when BITTERNESS, HURT, DISAPPOINTMENT, HATE, LIES, OR DISHONESTY kick in.Bitterness often enters through a family wound, hurt, a perceived injustice, a relationship disappointment, an offense or a loss. However, if you allow bitterness to remain, it will eventually destroy your life and your relationship with the Divine Presence of the universe.
    The best thing to do is to eliminate any words of bitterness in every conversation.
    Someone once said that bitterness was the poison you swallow, while hoping the other person dies.
    Bitterness in any relationship is inevitable if you focus on the flaws of others rather than the Goodness of the the unseen eye.
    The disappointment in any relationship is one of the hardest emotion to overcome.
    When others disappoint us, it is usually through dishonesty, lyingreeks of betrayal and disloyalty
    Betrayal can be cruel, but that is not the worst thing that can happen to us.
    Betrayal is external
    Bitterness is internal
    Betrayal is something that others do to you.
    Bitterness is something you do to yourself.
    Doubtless, many have experienced these tragic situations in their life.
    You may be experiencing indifference developing in a relationship right now, or you may be struggling to overcome the pain of a broken bond in your past…forgiveness and reconciliation.
    Just Unleash The Conqueror Within You.
    Finally, the best alternative is to continue to love them from afar.
    With much love,

  165. I am the youngest of 6 and when one of my brothers passed away my oldest brother and I had to manage his estate. This brother was micro managing, critical and down right mean throughout the process. Even though he has, in the past, been my closest sibling and best friend, I had to let him go out of my life. He had no interest in hearing where I was coming from or accepting that none of my actions that he viewed so negatively were intended that way so I had to make the very difficult decision to let him go. We have not spoken in over 2 years. I was difficult at first, but reassuring myself that I acted with the best of intention helps me separate his reaction and accept that how he perceives things is only on him and does not reflect on me.

  166. Jillian - Team Forleo

    Liz, we’re so sorry that you’ve been going through this with your brother. It sounds like you’ve been taking some steps to ensure that you’re supporting yourself through this time, and we’re all sending you so much compassion and healing energy your way. We hope this episode helped in some way.

  167. I’ve had to recently set some very specific boundaries in my communication with my parents. I love them but ever since I moved from my home country, they became dependant on me giving them a call every morning and every evening. Not necessarily to speak with them, but just to have the cell phone ring once so that they know I am alive. And of course, if by any chance I would forget or God forbid I would really have a life, they would get angry. Mind you, this might be a reasonable concern if I was a teenager, but I’m 29 and I can take care of my self and my life. I noticed all these calls were giving me so much anxiety, that I had to just leave them a voice message (I tried to have a conversation on the topic but it would always end up in emotional blackmailing) and I said to them I love them, but they have to trust me more. Now I call them every day, but only at the time of day of my choice and it feels natural if I want to speak with them. Healthy boundaries are key! Thanks Marie for the video!

  168. I felt inspired to comment on this blog post when I saw the actual video on YouTube. My family rejects me because I just don’t fit in and my way of thinking is different. I look to the future and have an entrepreneurial vision while most of my family members settle for sloppy seconds and feel good about tearing others down in the family to build themselves up.

    So I took the family name and started a website and haven’t given up since. Family members who slandered me in the past continue to look the website from time to time to see what I posted and allegedly feels stuck on stupid that I haven’t given up on myself and take entrepreneurship seriously with the intent on becoming a future “side hustle millionaire.”

    I’m really glad that Marie Forleo understands the entire concept of side hustles, blogging, and going from employee to entrepreneur by working “bridge jobs,” and enduring family drama to become a future [side hustle millionaire], by using family drama as indirect motivation to go the extra mile.

  169. Jillian - Team Forleo

    Drewry, it can definitely be challenging to be working towards your dreams and not feeling supported by your family. It sounds like you’re doing the best you can to stay true to your own ambitions, accepting that it takes time, and taking advantage of a good bridge job. We’re wishing you all the best, both in your personal family relationships, and your professional pursuits.

  170. Amanda Jane Sloan

    I just last night had to set a boundary with my father, when he gave several family heirlooms to my brother and not to me. I told him how I felt and asked him to be careful in the future. Not really a strong boundary however, I acknowledged how I felt and I will be taking another big step back.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      I know that wasn’t an easy thing to do, so we’re really proud of you for making your feelings known. We sincerely hope things will be better in the future.

  171. Megan

    I love this topic, Marie & team! Thank you SO much! My mom has been judgmental my entire life (I’m 41 now…), and it’s been rough. She’s always very wrapped up in what other people will think, and it’s exhausting.

    The best example lately — my hair was mostly pink for a few years and I LOVED it (it was AWESOME) — would turn her into Little Miss Judgy-Pants. She told me I must be having a midlife crisis, and would out & out LAUGH about my hair to my face, basically trying to shame me into changing it back to a “normal” color immediately. My hair was super cute too, and I received compliments on it everywhere I went, and even empowered others to do something fun w/their hair, as well.

    I’m currently blonde & would love to go back to mostly pink, but since I live so close and see her once a week or so (we get together for family dinner with my cousin & her adorable little kiddos, so I can’t really avoid her), I’m holding off because I don’t want to deal with her making fun of me. I’m hoping I can just tell her that I understand she’s saying this because she loves me, but that I’d like her to stop commenting and just live with it or else I won’t come home and I’ll see the kiddos on my own time.

    It’s hurtful and exhausting and I’ve said as much but she still does it. The pink hair is who I am — edgy, fun, rebellious — and I think that’s part of what scares her is that I’m not “normal” (whatever the hell that means) and I have the guts to buck the system and do things my way, while she’s lived her whole life with self-esteem issues.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Thank you so much for sharing, Megan – I’m sorry to hear that your relationship with your mom has been challenging over the years. We hope that the tips shared here help you establish clear boundaries with her that will allow you to fully express yourself.

      Pink hair is SO fun, and if it’s something you love, definitely listen to that! ♥

      • Megan

        Thank you, Caroline! It definitely has been, and I know it’s due to issues from her own childhood, but I know that’s not my problem to work out, it’s hers. The tips from this video were extremely helpful!

        And thank you! I am for sure. 🙂

  172. Jackie G.

    Lol. Thanks for the laugh today and reminder.

  173. Veronica Reitz

    Marie this was absolutely fantastic as always. I LOVE Jersey Marie!
    When I began growing my business, I was so impassioned and happy to really give it my all! I’d always been the type to answer the phone whenever a friend called or pick them up if they needed a ride. Not saying I’m perfect, but I certainly expected my friends would be understanding of how much time it takes to run a business and be HAPPY of the fact that I’d finally discovered my purpose! But it was a lot trickier then that. I ultimately had to learn how to set very clear boundaries (something I’m not always comfortable doing because it makes me feel “mean.”) I had to make it crystal clear that while I love my friends, I need a lot of time to focus and get sh*t done! It’s not my responsibility to talk for hours on the phone every day or drive around like taxi service. It doesn’t mean I’ll NEVER help again, but there’s a time for everything.


    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      I know that wasn’t an easy conversation to have, so we’re proud of you for following your dreams and not being afraid to set boundaries.

  174. Drama happens in all families, especially in extended families. My and my cousin’s thinking does not match and cause drama sometimes. So, I always avoid talking to him. 😉

  175. Kathy Sullivan

    Today was it for me. When a 20 yr old can successfully turn each one in the family against one another then it’s time to put the brakes on. This same one accused my brother and I of killing our father. He was the biggest instigator of drama in our family prior to his passing. He died from COPD among other things. I decided to cut her out and now you would think I’m the bad one. So today after being screamed at because I refuse to make peace with her from my brother and my mother…I decided I’m done. My whole family is a bunch of drama queens and she has succeeded once again to drive a wedge. I wish them luck.

  176. People love you today, but tomorrow can be far away from you. Friends can be with you when you’re rich, but when you’re poor, nobody is with you. But the family is not, always with you and where you can return all the time. Cherish your family when you can.

  177. Gina Sanchez

    Hello!!! I have issues with my family currently and it between me and my brother and sister in law. It’s always about the kids and they blame my kids for everything. I teach my kiss to be kind and to share. They are very materialistic, hypocritical and they think there shot don’t stink and neither does there girls. I have 2 girls and 1 boy and they have 3 girls. There kids love to play with my kids but as soon as someone don’t give them there way they whine, cry or even lie about the situation. So they have the need to just jump on my kids without getting the full story and for me I ask my kids and try to solve the situation fairly. My sister in law like to comment about every little thing and point out why her kids don’t do this or that but she don’t see how rude and selfish they are with my kids. I just tell my kids to just play with something else or go where they are not. It’s so hard to always have to have the kids play because it’s always something. I hate arguing and having confrontation. I love my nieces but I can’t stand the parents.

  178. Joanne Cain

    I am a caregiver for my mom…my narcissistic slothful hoarding brother lives here too. Its been years of situational personality. I try to leave the room or keep my mouth as he will defend and jump any comment. Boundaries are shot as he is moms baby boy. I am focused but when I signed up to be helping hands I did not sign up for this. i can not move out and help. he is a total case and will not move…its made me angry and off my game health wise. I am in counseling but I need a plan for when enough is enough.

  179. Julie

    I have a narcissistic mother and have cut off contact with her for five months now. She was manipulative to me and my brother growing up. Until recently I believed I had to just accept it because she’s my mom. But now that I’m an adult and have a family of my own. She’s tried to place a wedge between my husband and myself and say things that were way out of line. She Bought a dress for me at the beginning of the year to wear for this wedding and said later I would take attention away from the happy couple. To keep her and my husband close to beat away anyone that comes near me while in the dress. Husband was mad! And said I should dye my hair for this special day because it’s to dark with my fair skin. But of course we just “misinterpreted “ what she meant. She never apologizes for anything. There is so much pain and anger built up that mentally and physically I cannot hold on to the relationship with her. My dilemma is my brother is getting married soon and I really don’t think it would be wise to attend. I love my brother dearly but our mother likes to gossip about family things to the family, while I rather not. She even saw me out in public and turned around and walked away. She was out shopping with my aunt and cousins. Those are the ones she uses to try to contact me. Funny thing is I’ve caught on to that months ago. Never hear from them unless there are family issues. Do I go to the wedding and ignore her my aunt and cousins? Or stay home send a nice gift to my brother and hope he can understand? It’s a destination wedding and we are all suppose to stay together. My husband says there’s no way he’s going.

  180. I so relate with Safa and thank you so much Marie for the advice. I curently opt-out from the drama but I was questioning myself if I did the right disisions.  The 3rd device of stop giving your power was exactly what I needed to hear :)!

  181. Ashley

    This has been the story of my life. I come from a very divided family. I was raised by my grandparents, in which my grandfather was very mentally abusive and was the sole cause of why my family is divided in the first place. He likes to push everyone away. Recently, he put a restraining order on my father because it was the easiest and quickest way to get him out of his house making false allegations of elderly abuse. Due to that, I completely cut ties with them and stayed by my fathers side, since him not I have anyone else really.

    Now my dilemma is dealing with my DAD’s drama. He recently got into a relationship with a 33 year old woman (he’s 48, I’m 30) where everything moved EXTREMELY fast and they moved in together after a month. Now they’re having major issues and I’m the one that’s getting an earful of screaming on my dads side and extra drama that I don’t need. He mentioned wanting to stay with me for a few days, but I work full time, go to school full time, and have my own relationship of a year and a half that I need to stay attentive to. I feel bad, because I know my dad doesn’t really have anyone else, but at the same time, I feel I shouldn’t have to stop whatever I’m doing to deal with his relationship drama.

    Another perspective on this would be nice.

  182. Mary

    I need someone’s help. I recently moved in with my daughter and my four grandchildren. They went through an ugly divorce. My daughter tells me when they come back to her house, I should let them just decompress. If I ask them to do anything I am nagging. I just found out they told there father they don’t like coming back to their moms, because of me. Please tell me what to do. How do we have a peaceful household with no stress?

    • Jenn

      Mary, don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone is upset and depressed right now, so nobody is really happy and peaceful. I would not shoot for peaceful right now or you will set yourself up for failure. All the kids want is probably to have their parents back together in the same home. And any other home situation is depressing for them. I’m sure they love you. But since you’re not their dad, its’ sad for them to come home. You know what I mean? It’s not you, it’s the situation. Please don’t take it personally.
      I think all you can do right now is love everyone and support them as best you can. Be there for them. But don’t expect anyone to be completely satisfied and happy. You are all going through a rough one! It will take time, but everyone will be OK. Maybe suggest counseling — for your daughter, for the kids — if you have not already. But just be there to love them and support them. That’s all you can do right now! And give yourself credit for doing that. You are not a super hero and you can’t fix this. But you can love them. : )

  183. Jenn

    Marie is SO right that everyone has to deal with family drama at some point. Look at all the comments! I grew up in a really loving family. I never even knew what family drama was… until I met my husband. His family is on another level! It’s been really hard to make this adjustment since I did not grow up in the midst of adversity. I see all of the fighting and blaming and bragging and boundary-crossing as just a bunch of unnecessary bullshit. But I’m in it now.
    The healthy boundary I set is that I have opted out of family events that I know have 100% potential to go haywire. I skipped my husband’s daughter’s graduation after his sister’s wedding turned into an emotional shit pit. I did not need to be in the same pile with the same people again. Oh sure, they all talked about what a bitch I was, but their opinion’s don’t count in my world.
    When I can’t opt out, I walk away from the drama when it inevitably arises. So when the snide comments start at Christmas, I go to the other room. I also ignore the texts, emails and other forms of harassment. For years I tried to make my point, but I finally learned that in their eyes, I don’t have a point. So, like Marie said, I stopped giving them the power. I just let them fuck with each other and spin out in the crazy. I’m out.
    None of this is easy, because it will be going on all around me for the rest of my life. And I have a son to raise in the midst of it all. But I plan to teach him to opt out too.
    : )

  184. MGS

    I am binge watching this show while my children sleep snuggled next to me and I wonder yet again why I am surrounded by such toxicity. Every summer my sister brings her three children and we ( my two children and I) stay with my parents. What should be a time of connection is a reflection of jealousy, strife and anger and typically ends in an explosion of me being told I am a terrible parent.
    The context is that I am strict, neat, on a budget and trying to teach my children some resiliency. I also work full time in an ER and a divorced mother with full custody. I have a new relationship with a nice man and despite homeschooling and work, managed to complete an advanced degree.
    My sister is a slob, subsists on takeout, her children are grossly overweight and she is lazy. She doesn’t work and spent most of Covid at the pool not social distancing.
    She tells me I am not grounded in reality and spends most of her time planning to get hair extensions.
    Our other sister died of a drug overdose and even before my parents went into shell shock
    mode, they were emotionally unavailable our entire lives.
    Our children love each other and while I want to pack up and just go home, I don’t want the cousins to suffer. They only see each other once a year and treasure this time. There is little hope for reconciliation as I have apologized and there is no insight on behalf of my sister so I am relegated to be the black sheep. I am ok with this; I have a loving network of friends and a stable life.

Comments are closed.