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I'm Marie

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“You have the right to say ‘no’ — without feeling guilty.”

Let that sink in.

Terri Cole, licensed psychotherapist and author of Boundary Boss, has worked with CEOs, celebrities, and supermodels around the world. She knows firsthand how the most successful and satisfied folks all have one thing in common —

Big. Beautiful. Boundaries.

That simple but profound opening quote came straight from Terri’s Boundary Boss Bill of Rights, a list of ten paradigm-shifting statements every human should read.

When you repeatedly prioritize the comfort of others and put your own needs on the backburner, it creates a cycle of overwhelm and exhaustion. That cycle ends now.

Watch this MarieTV and learn how to:

  • Break free from chronic people-pleasing.
  • Hold firm boundaries (without guilt or drama).
  • Deal with backlash when you finally ask for what you need.  

Whether you have clear boundaries or you’re a chronic people-pleaser, I guarantee you’ll walk away from this conversation with valuable insight.

View Transcript

Check out this episode on The Marie Forleo Podcast

Listen Now

DIVE DEEPER: For 19 word-for-word scripts on setting boundaries, get my Ultimate Guide to Saying ‘NO’, then watch this conversation with Luvvie Ajayi Jones, another inspiring example of a Boundary Boss.

Psst…. Terri Cole has created something for the MarieTV community. Grab your copy of Simplify and Do Less with Boundaries.

Now Terri and I would love to hear from you.

What insight, lesson, or aha will you take away from this conversation? Where’s one area in your life where you need better boundaries? In the comments below, tell me one action you can take to establish better boundaries in your life.

As Terri says, “Take baby steps towards establishing boundaries that are more aligned with the way you feel, and before you know it, talking true will become your new normal.”


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  1. you only want one insight,
    mmm might have a couple or three
    not my circus not my monkeys helps to keep myself from trampling others boundaries as much as not letting others trample mine.
    I am not my family’s fixer. Let them work out their own choices and path and support that.

    Is my irritability with others the start of the bitterness of having given too much too often for too long. Answer quite likely, so action – go softly and use the provided scripts as much as possible.

    • teamforleo

      Sharon, these insights are truthful and something you should be proud of. Keep going. You’re worthy of this work. xo- Heather

  2. Alison

    Terri has been a godsend in my life. Joining Boundary Bootcamp was the moment I finally started to take control of my relationships, energy, and over-giving tendencies. Can’t wait to read her book!

    • teamforleo

      Thank you so much for sharing this with everyone here, Alison. Her work has clearly impacted so many in such a beautiful way. We’re so glad it has been great for you! – Heather

  3. Thank you so much for this episode! It breaks my heart how weak the boundaries of women are. Terri’s work helped me tremendously, sometimes I just feel it in my chest that something is not okay but it is so hard to stand up for myself and protect my boundaries.

    • Lynne

      This episode has been so impactful! Thank you! I’m a recovering people pleaser. I know that setting and honoring my boundaries will help solve so much emotional pain. Thank you!!

    • teamforleo

      Katie, we certainly hope that the feeling you have in your chest loosens its tightness over time. We’re all worthy of boundaries- may yours serve you well. Hugs. – Heather

  4. Ara Noguera

    Wow! Terry’s voice is calm but full of truth bombs. The thing that stuck with me was that I have the right… THE RIGHT! to set boundaries.
    I do have a lot of work to do, from listening to myself to how I deliver boundaries, to stop going from saying “yes” to everyone, until I am running on empty, flipping everyone off.
    It was a very powerful conversation worth listening to more than once.

    • teamforleo

      You’re so right Ara- calm and full of truth. We’re so glad that you found it powerful.- Heather

  5. The most calming voice ever! Love you Terri 🙂


    • teamforleo

      Thank you for those kind words, Wayne. Pretty great one, right? – Heather

  7. This was marvellous and interestingly enough, very timely in my life. I was just thinking about boundaries the other day, the resentment I felt surrounding duty and obligation to certain family members that took me for granted. There were so many AHA moments. Thank you for such a great session Terri and Marie. I’ve ordered my Kindle version for the book and can’t wait to dive in.

  8. Caroline Buchan

    Brilliant talk Terri; thank you so much. I needed to hear this and wouldn’t you know it – my sister called and left a message asking for money while I was listening. Have shared this with our Mum! All too easy to get caught up trying to be helpful and getting resentful.

  9. Lena

    Thank you Terri for sharing that story about your sister, it got me all chocked up as I am currently facing a similar situation with my sister who has a drug addiction. I have been feeling incredibly resentful because of having to go and “rescue” her and support her financially when I am trying to put myself through school in my thirties. Then I feel guilty for being resentful because my life seems like a vacation compared to hers. So your therapist gave you incredible insight because who says I or anybody knows what another person needs to grow? My action is to continue standing firm on my boundary of no more money give aways and letting go of the guilt. She has to make the choice to change.

    • I am witnessing you, Lena with so my compassion and understanding. Holding your boundary with your sis is the most loving thing to do- even when it may not feel like it. You got this xo

  10. This was the best interview! It touched me on so many levels. Took a bunch of notes and ordered Terri’s book.

    I’m telling you how it feels. I’m not asking your opinion.

    that is what I’ll be telling as of now!

  11. Jennifer

    I was lucky enough to be Terri’s course several years ago and consider her wisdom to be life-changing. Many of these concepts were brand new to me. Learning them set me on a path that really shook up and transformed my family relationships for the better, oftentimes with a clumsy, awkward start. So grateful to you Terri, for those lessons then and for the opportunity to dive back in and refresh and deepen this knowledge with your book now. And thank you too, Marie, for asking such great questions and bringing us this awesome interview!

  12. Couple big insights –
    1) “Why are we distracting ourselves from this one and only life this time around?”
    Using the phrase “I’ll wait ’til you’re done” starting today.
    2) Going to work my bravery and center how I ask for what I want without needing to know how the other person will respond.
    Thank you for this episode!

  13. Libby Espeland

    This. Was. MAGIC!
    Thank you Terri and Marie for this amazing and insightful conversation. I also am walking away with a well of insights and will be snagging a copy of Terri’s book. My biggest takeaway was “don’t mistake compliance for compatibility” – so applicable in so many areas of life. LOVE IT!

  14. Caley

    What about setting boundaries with yourself? Does this framework apply? I agree it’s beyond the time for us to realize as women that ‘being nice’ isn’t actually being nice if you’re just too afraid to say what you really mean. I think we need to reframe the ‘being nice’ concept in ourselves, first. Don’t kid yourself that because you just caved and did what they wanted you to, you get the gold star for being nice. You’re not being nice to the other person or yourself if you’re not truthful because you’re actually wasting everyone’s time. Time is the most precious resource anyone has, because we don’t get more of it, and we can’t ever replace it or pay it back. I understand the importance of setting boundaries and honoring them, but what if you come up against friction and you can’t just walk away or ignore the call? I can’t really ignore myself or just walk away from myself or choose not to “participate in the argument” with myself. If the problem starts with us, in setting boundaries, shouldn’t we start with setting those boundaries with ourselves? How can we expect other people to honor our boundaries if we are not honoring the boundaries we set for ourselves, and does the author speak to that?

    • Thank you Caley! This is very true! Most of us don’t realize that we have a relationship with ourselves. And if we’re not honest and authentic about it, nothing else really matters. I have learned this lesson the very very hard way. But at 56 years old I am on a new path and so grateful for it!
      Terri said in the beginning that we teach what we most have to learn…I guess that’s why I wrote a book and do a program about this very topic (our relationship with ourselves!)….good luck with everything! 😀

    • Yesssssss, Caley! There is an entire section of the book about, Internal Boundaries, as a pre-cursor to boundaries with others 🎉! You are correct, we gotta get our own “boundary house” in order before we can ripple it out into our relationships and the world. Thank you for your insightful question.

      • Caley

        Boundary House. I love that. I will for sure check it out. There’s so much space for what you’re writing about and it is so needed. I’m at the stage where I’m frustrated seeing so many women not owning to being kind to themselves and its honestly maddening because many operate under the passive-aggressive guise of being ‘the nice girl’. But I just think it’s so unthoughtful to waste people’s time and we need to wake up and realize that if we are going to make an effective lasting change. I am definitely checking out your book on boundaries. I think it would make a worthy gift when I finish it, too. Thank you for your reply, Terri!

        • teamforleo


          So happy you enjoyed the interview with Terri. Great jewels of information, we hope you enjoy the book and pass it along to friend.


  15. Krista Steenbergen

    Thank you both so much!

  16. Cath

    I took so much away from this talk but the big ‘aha’ moment for me is that over giving or people pleasing is dishonest and it stops me from being seen. I find that I sacrifice my needs for others way too often or go along with others’ preferences ‘for an easy life’ but to a point where I do so grudgingly or where my time, effort and energy is not spent on what makes me happy. I need to be a boundary boss and I’m definitely getting the book. Thanks Marie and Terri x

  17. Ann

    I have given boundaries to my family & they do not respect them at all. In fact my sister’s husband text me several very mean texts saying that I am selfish & have always been selfish amongst many other mean things. My mom is dying and my sister’s husband said that he was sorry, but I do not want to let him or my sister back into my life like I have in the past. I ordered this book on audible, I am hoping that it will guide me to create & maintain boundaries. Thank you for bringing this up.

    • Chris

      Hugs Ann while you figure this out! And you will…

  18. Susan Colket

    GREAT interview!!! Two things…I’ll be using the sentence, “I’m telling you how I’m feeling not asking for your opinion.” And the difference between compliance vs. compatibility…that really hit home. Ordering the book now. Thank you so much Marie and Terri!!!

  19. Tegan Sterk

    Loved this. Ordered the audible book instantly. Thank you😍😍🙏

  20. “not my circus – not my monkeys” LOVE THAT!!
    Brene Brown says there’s only 3 kinds of business:
    Your business
    My business
    God’s business
    I feel like both thoughts are expressing the same thing…and they are SO helpful for me!!
    I also like the though about “NOT using the bullhorn, but learning to deliver our “message” cleary, calmy and decisively.”
    I have a TM (territory manager) that can be really irritating, but really I think he is helping me with both of these alot!!

  21. Great conversation. Asking for what I really want, regardless of how others react or think, is something I’ve been working on in recent months, and it was great to hear Terri say the same. There is huge power when you finally get the courage to do it! Thanks Marie – Laura x

  22. “You know that you have a right to the way you feel.”
    So many good points but mostly — much like with Glennon’s experience and mine as a MH supervisor in children’s mental health — we are taught to be nice, to be polite, to be quiet, and then we are pushed into this world with no clear idea of how to set boundaries, or what is ‘acceptable.’
    I also love the reminder that we can say yes or no or make a decision WITHOUT A ‘GOOD’ REASON. Damn Right. If this is important to you, then it’s important.
    “What does matter to anyone whose going to be in my life is the way that I feel. You need to care, whether you understand doesn’t matter. If this is causing someone pain, I will try to stop it.” – Yes. So much Yes.

  23. Melissa Sylvester

    Marie and Terri
    Thank you so much for this! Will be ordering Boundary Boss, because I need it. I look at my mother and mother-in-law and both have major martyr syndrome and I don’t want to end up like that. My favorite was “I’m telling you how I feel, not asking for your opinion.” Will be using that one along with setting up boundaries that preserve my mental health.
    Marie, you are as always, amazing!

  24. Wow! This was one of my faves, Marie! Soooo relate to your perspectives and advice. And this is not a “one and done” kinda thing. You really have to experiment with the words and the process because it’s a new way to be in the world. And we’re not going to do it or say it correctly or effectively out of the gate.
    If this helps anyone out there, I’m a songwriter and I wrote a song when I was in a bad place (I say now that I wrote it for “future me”!)…it’s called “A Way Will Be Shown”….when we take the time to actually listen to ourselves, deeply and truly….amazing things start to happen. I’m pretty sure I’m not allowed to include a URL here so if you go to my YouTube channel (Sheira Princess of Empowerment) scroll down and look for “A Way Will Be Shown”, you’ll find it.

  25. Rebecca

    It’s freaky how this popped up in my email at the exact time I was feeling overwhelmed, and it has helped me to say no to a couple of commitments, and make my life more manageable. Thank you!!

  26. Ginny O'Leary Dichupa

    This is amazing – I totally resonated with the message – have started drawing firmer boundaries a few yrs ago and now I need to keep going so this is perfectly timed. Thank you! Buying the book!

  27. Audrey Segura

    I really loved this episode it was eye opening for me. Really saw where I don’t set boundaries and I really related to what Terri said about once you set them you will feel like omg what have I done and will want to go back on them. I just bought the audible! Can’t wait to listen to it. One thing I have got to say is that you two made me laugh so much in this episode, omg it was awesome ! Loved the Notorious Big lines dropped in there ! I will watch it again because it was that good ! Thanks Marie and Terri! One more thing, the pace in which Terri speaks, very soothing and makes me want to slow down my own!

  28. “What makes me think I know what peopleI love need to learn in this life? I want them to get it together so my pain can end.” It’s so true. I’m still pondering on it. And I felt an instant relief. No more pressure to be the perfect role model. Who’s ready to see my example will see it. I can’t rush it for them.
    Thank you so much, Marie!!

  29. Elisabeth Lind

    I just listened to the conversation you had with Terri Cole, and I could easily relate to what she said about getting to the train station and her partner were not there. But if I had said the same thing to my wife, she would have answered somthing like: You know honey, I love you, and I try to be on time picking you up, but I cannot garantee it, and actually it is your problem, and you better try working it out. And if we went to a party and I wanted to leave before her, she would say: Bring your own keys, take the car, and I will continue enjoying myself, get another glass of wine, and take a cab.
    Sorry, I feel both examples tells about co-dependency, which I do need to work more on myself, and to really enjoy it.

  30. Love it.
    So important.
    Know I now that I still have a long way before me. There so much work to do in this important topic (at least I have).

    Best wishes to you all.

  31. Alies Snijders

    Loved this interview. Even though I know Terri’s work already for a few years (and appreciate her down-to-earth-ness and wit), I did find new insights in this interview. The one that struck me most is the confusion between complience and compatibility.

  32. Kathi

    Hi Marie, thank you and Terri SO much for this! My personal experience (and I think many of you can agree) is that becoming a boundary boss is a lifelong journey. For me, a healing people-pleaser, everytime I thought I really learned the lesson (you know like „yeah, thank you Universe, this time I really got the point and understood what setting boundaries means. From now on I will not let anyone cross them anymore“, my life challenged me again by making me pass the next-level-test (just like „um, well, you think you got this? Let‘s see about THAT“). And I realized that it’s always just the next step in a neverending process, and that‘s great! The past months my life challenged me so much in standing up for my boundaries in so many ways after being blessed with the most wonderful gift, the love of my life, because I will protect what is so true and beautiful to me, no matter what. And I am so grateful for this big next-level-lesson in setting strong boundaries and in not giving a shit about other peoples judgement anymore!
    Thank you so much for you and your work, Marie! I LOVE Marie TV and I’m always looking forward to your Newsletter!
    Sending love and wishing you all the best from the bottom of my heart,

  33. My mom is an opioid addict. I offered for her to move in with our family when her husband with Alzheimer’s passed and then my 99 years old (and very with it!) grandpa passed. My mom cared for both of them for years and I thought if she was out from under that stress, living in our inlaw suite overlooking the BlueRidge Mountains with her two amazing grandkids to hang out with she would sober up. Over two years later she’s still in the denial phase. She’s an amazing woman when she’s sober. I hate her addict personality. It wears me down and makes me want to drink! Thank you Terri (and MF Team for your great picks!) for reminding me my choices are broader than 1. fix mom or 2. live with an addict

  34. Awesome talk! great profound advice! fantastic teachers! Thank you ever so much for sharing your wisdom and teaching us how to become better human beings.
    My insight was ” This is not my circus, you are not my monkeys” I love this funny phrase! It will help me a lot, as I love using my sense of humour to say no, or when I don’t like something in general. Now I’ll carry Terry wisdom with everywhere I go… ahahahaha.
    Let it be, fly like a Bee and extract the honey that will set you free.
    With love and laughter from Colombia,

    Carolina De Arco

  35. This is exactly what I need in my life right now, especially because my husband and I (with our 2 kids) have been living with my parents for more than 6 months. You can imagine the tension that’s in the house, and it doesn’t help that my parents don’t understand boundaries, especially when it comes to jumping into arguments I’m having with my kids (or how I choose to approach discipline). As a definite people-pleaser, I struggle putting my foot down and having authority over my own well-being and my personal decisions. I find that every step I take, I need approval because my boundaries have been overstepped and I don’t know how to take control back. I’m definitely going to buy this book, it’s a must in my life!

    • teamforleo


      We know that you will enjoy Terri’s book. So happy to hear that the interview resonated with you.


  36. Haley

    This was so inspiring I want to send it to my sister with boundary issues… but then will I be missing the point of the video? 😅

    • Helen

      I have the same conundrum..! Where is the line between “sharing is caring” and trying to give something to another that may really only be for me and may be received as interfering or be breaching her boundaries..? We were both raised by a boundary bulldozer and have had conversations about it before, however i’m more inclined to go for youtube or book therapy, whereas she has an actual therapist to help her. What works for one sibling may not always work for another. I think if it comes up in discussion again i will recommend it, otherwise i’ll have to trust that she’ll find the information herself… 😊

  37. Emma

    I recently had to stand my ground and voice my feelings in an intimate relationship where I felt I was being subtly manipulated and controlled – it was a pattern I identified had been going on for some time and I realised that I was being compliant to avoid conflict. So your message about not making mistaking compliancy for compatibility was such a lightbulb moment.
    Long story short, I stood my ground and ended my relationship 3 weeks ago. I felt so empowered and liberated afterwards which was the complete opposite of how I would normally expect to feel after a relationship ends. So I knew in my heart that I had done the right thing even though it didn’t end pleasantly. But the insights I gained about myself afterwards and how I was enabling these situations was such a gift.
    I’m going to order Terri’s book right now so I can work on becoming my own boundary boss in my future relationships both personal and professional. By the way, I love the title and thank you for your valuable work. 🙏

    • teamforleo


      Thank you for sharing your story with us. So wonderful to hear that you gained the necessary strength to do what’s best for YOU.


  38. Janet Hilts

    I love Terri’s perspective that overdoing for people is a disservice to the relationship because of the resentment or bitterness that inevitably will result from my martyrdom. I will (and have SOOOOO many times) blame them for my unwillingness to set and maintain my own healthy boundaries. Beautiful reminder! Thanks, Marie and Terri. I know the book will be a juicy addition to my library.

    • teamforleo


      So happy to hear that Terri’s book will be joining your home library!


  39. Helen

    Hands up who needs this book…! 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️

    • teamforleo


      Yay! Glad you enjoyed Terri’s book.


  40. Anna

    loved this call! I’m starting by honoring what is ok and what is not ok for me.
    how I feel, my preferences, dealbreakers). Also, I just bought 3 copies of your book. One for me, one for my sister, and one for my sister-in-law. excited to read it! I need this.

  41. I love this topic. Yes I agree that it’s good to say No, Cuz if you always going to say Yes, People will always ask anything because they know that your going to say yes. Even though they can do it themselves. That’s why I always keep my boundaries and say No.

  42. Thanks for sharing it.

  43. Kathy

    I loved this episode and got straight onto Terri‘s website and mailing list. Very inspiring! I have now also ordered the book. I started looking into boundaries about two years ago when I totally identified with the term „highly sensitive person“ and started researching… I have been improving in leaps and bounds ever since, learning many new things from lots of great women like Marie and Terri. Thank you very much for this great interview, it was wonderful how much Terri shared in it!

  44. creece rubia

    Oh my! I learned all these boundaries and more about the beauty of enjoying my rights as a woman and as a person when after a long extensive and intensive soul-searching, in serendipity, I found and embraced Islam as my religion in 1998 and started to become the star in my own world :)! Because I was such a loser and sucker even though I thought I was a good, kind, generous, understanding, compassionate person. And there’s no turning back! As the saying goes, my right begins where yours end and vice-versa.

  45. Great advice. I’ve always keep that in mind.
    I’ve gained the strength. I need to accomplish my best 🙂

  46. Wow! I take several insights. One that really surprised me about boundaries was the one on intrusive questions… I’ve generally felt uncomfortable with some questions, and there are always nosy people around who haven’t built that trust with you. I was one to answer anyways and then feel kind of violated and angry with myself for sharing something I didn`t really want to share. I guess with maturity (or hanging out with more mature people?) this happens less, but until now I didn`t have a name for the situation, or thought about how to handle that better. So thanks for naming it and clearing that I don’t have to answer Bob or Betty! It was also a useful reminder that this is a process and that it’s normal to feel kind of bad o rigid at first when you’re not so used to setting BIGGER boundaries.
    It was funny when Terri mentioned “now don`t go around walking like there`s a new Boundaries Sheriff in town, waiting for someone to try cross one” (’cause that`s just what I was thinking! LOL). So another big insight is to take it one situation at a time an listen to my intuition. Looking forward to checking out the scripts! This will be useful for me and my coaching clients. Thanks Terri and Marie! What’s with Terri’s smooth voice? OMG, beautiful, hypnotizing.

  47. Linda Kuo

    Too many insights to list, need to buy the book NOW. I watched 3 Marie TV podcasts in a row and the universe has spoken. Erin, Gary, Terri. I LOVE Terri Cole too. OMG her voice, so soothing and then she’s so damn funny. I’ve been on the other side of the street so much it’s crazy, and the phrase she ended with “You don’t always have to be utilitarian”. The need to over explain is chronic in me, and I have taught people how to treat me.

    After “Time Genius” I underwent a complete transformation as a result of that course. Claiming my time, and myself in the process and as a result, creating boundaries that I never had. I had 0 boundaries AND I’m an empath. So I’ve suffered greatly. I was hoping that she’d touch upon the reactions you receive once you set boundaries when you didn’t have before. I’ve already experienced the fallout from one friend who Ive enabled, who feels completely offended. I suppose it’s begins to reveal a lot about your relationships as well.

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