Episode 119 – Being Vulnerable & Setting Boundaries – Solo

In this episode I discuss being vulnerable and setting boundaries.

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Michael 0:00
Hey what's up, gentlemen, this is Rising Phoenix podcast podcast about how to rise up after divorce. I'm your host divorce coach, Michael Rhodes. Let's get into it. Hello, and welcome to the show. This is episode 119. This is going to be another solo episode, and I'm going to cover being vulnerable and setting boundaries. Before I jump into that, I want to do a little bit of housekeeping. I'll put it in the show notes for episode 118. But in case you didn't see that, or you don't get it, from wherever you're, you're getting this podcast, I had audio issues I had. Initially everything was fine. I mean, clearly I had audio issues. Initially, everything was fine. And then my camera died near the beginning of the interview, and that caused everything to crash. And when I rebooted everything and set everything back up, I forgot to check which microphone was selected. So it was either the camera microphone, or more than likely, I think it was a laptop microphone and my laptop's closed, so I didn't notice it on obviously, until until after. So I used a, Adobe has an AI voice enhancer, I think I can't remember what exactly it's called. But I use that and it changes my voice, but at least at least it makes it like you can hear it versus it being pretty, pretty quiet and kind of echoey. So it sucks. Maybe someday I'll have a whole studio with people and an engineer and producers and stuff. I don't know, hold my breath. But but maybe. But in the meantime, those things are gonna happen, unfortunately. Hopefully, if it were to happen again, I'll be mindful to check in make sure that I had the right microphone selected. So it's happened a couple of times. That was the first time it's happened with this new camera, where the camera just I guess it just crashed. I don't know. Everything just disappeared. So I ended up changing the battery in the camera. And then like I said, when I came back, I cannot I just missed that little sweet little bond just that piece. Let me let me talk about a few other things. I do want to talk about a little bit about my my Dr. Glover interview as you can, as I'm sure you heard it does get a bit testy. And I think there's a part of me that just I kind of knew going into that interview that that was a possibility. But I didn't expect it. around the topic. And this is my issue with a lot of these. And he's he's a good guy. It was a good interview. I don't agree with everything that he says. And I rarely push back. But I really, that's one of the things that I get tired of hearing about is child support screws, man child support screws, man. Yeah, true statement also screwed women. It's a shitty fucked up system it and there's no rhyme or reason to it. And also, you know, my general stance is I don't think men are getting screwed as much as they used to. Does it still happen? Absolutely. There are some folks out there that have a really difficult story. But I think more often than not, I see positives. And I would rather talk about those than the negatives because I think if you're starting this process out, and everyone tells you that men are screwed, I don't know how hard you would fight to, to maintain custody or to or to get sole custody. These things happen. You know, I've interviewed people so it's, it's not unheard of, and I'd rather talk about those positive things. Now, that doesn't mean that you can just sit on your ass and hope for those positive things to come. But I do think it's more beneficial to put out into the world the positive stories than the negative ones. And so that's why I kind of and the other the other thing, as I indicated with that interview is the other thing that really bothers me is no one gets a solution. They just pitch and complain about it. Okay, what's your solution? And if you don't have one, then then what are you doing? You're just you're just throwing red meat to people. But the one area and I won't spend too much time on this and it's not to knock him he wrote a best selling book. I haven't wrote a best selling book. So who the fuck am I to talk but the one thing about his book and one thing about the people that are sort of borderline red pill, I would say is is this they find a way to blame women for shit. Just to make sure that it's enough red meat to keep people interested in buying their shit. it he says that essentially there's a lot of nice guys because women raised us. That's just Crockett horseshit. First of all, I'm a Gen Xer. So a lot of us Gen Xers raised our fucking cells. So this skills and the tools that I struggle with today, my father couldn't have given me if he was home 24 puking seven, the world has changed, life has changed. And our society is just much more difficult and stressful, I believe, than it ever has been on all kinds of different fronts. And I think that is our challenges is learning new tools and skills to to deal with these things. Life is really fucking stressful. And I think it's a different stress than making sure you have, you know, crops in the field that, you know, provide a good yield. But it's, it's I think it's a much more all encompassing stress. And I don't know exactly what all the answers are, but I don't think it's because women joined the workforce and, and or, or women raised us, which, by the way, doesn't make any sense. Anyway. So at a certain point, women joined the workforce. And so then nobody was home. Right. And largely, we raised ourselves as Gen Xers. And then of course, you know, daycare became much more of a sort of a thing. And we were raised by other folks. So it's just, it's this way that these guys, and I'm not trying to knock the guy, again, best seller, not a best seller here. But it just, why do we need that piece of it, you can just say, we need more skills and tools as men, you don't have to throw that piece in there. That's just my view. But anyway, I assumed that that would be what would cause have caused some type of conflict between us. But I don't as you know, I think I don't bring people on for to have conflict. That's that's not my fucking purpose, not my point on my desire. But he did touch a nerve. So it is what it is. I think that's the only sort of housekeeping to discuss at the moment. I don't think there's anything else. So let's just dive into, you know, the topics at hand, you know, being vulnerable. And, and setting boundaries. Being vulnerable, I think is incredibly important in this journey, because you have to embrace these emotions. So that means you have to be vulnerable and you have to express it, you have to get it out. You have to talk to folks. It's it's an important and necessary step in healing. What I will caution you, and I hate to say this, normally, I'm not a very cynical man, at least I don't think I am. I believe that in general, people are good. However, I also think that in general, a lot of people are damaged by no fault of their own. And I think you're if you're watching this, you're looking at one or if you're listening, you're listening to one I think I'm a damaged person, in a lot of ways. Good, bad or indifferent. That's just a fact. I've been I've been damaged by life's events. And and I think all of us have. But I think where you have to be careful about being vulnerable is not doing around people who aren't going to be supportive, don't have your back who aren't going to use your vulnerabilities against you. Because it's sad it is, as it is to say this that exists in this world. Being vulnerable can sometimes fuck you. Sadly, and I don't even think that it's largely I don't know percentages or how often but I think a good bit of the being vulnerable backfiring on you is people's, it's not their intent. It's just their ability. They don't have or they have a pension for using your vulnerabilities against you and not even really sort of realizing it. I think some people struggle with self esteem so much so that if they can find other ways to make themselves feel better about themselves, and they will and that can be to your detriment, not only see your face, although sometimes sometimes behind your back. And that's sad, but that is a fact. So you have to be vulnerable, but pick your spots. That's why I think it's important to get into the Facebook group. I try really hard and sort of the guys that helped me out here to make it a safe place for us to be vulnerable. Yes, we get the occasional asshole and yes, we have too many we get the occasional asshole who will shit on somebody for being vulnerable. But we also have a lot of assholes in there just in general. People that quite frankly, don't listen to this podcast if I'm being honest. So just make sure that you're a good Good therapist, and be good supportive people. And I think this holds true

Michael 10:06
good supportive people that had been through a divorce. So they get it or or if they have, they didn't also pretend that it wasn't a big deal or just got married quickly right away or didn't do any work. You want to you want to surround yourself or be vulnerable with people who are also interested in the same sort of things, and also that that truly, truly are and that they also are so damaged, that they could use your vulnerabilities against you. In a way that is just because of who they are. I don't I don't think everyone is is ill intent, or has ill intent. But But I think, unfortunately, people will, the wrong people will use your vulnerabilities against you. So just just be mindful. And that's, that's tough to figure out that that can take some time. It can take some leaps of faith, I suppose. And trying to be vulnerable and see how it goes. It's tricky. I'd like to say that it isn't and and then this goes back to the last episode about, you know, men and friendships and how hard it is because I have seen it and I see it were being vulnerable with amongst a group of men can sometimes fuck you. And, you know, that's sad. But that's that's reality. But there are good men out there. And there are men that are supportive, and nurturing and loving and, and will not use your vulnerabilities against you. So I guess my point is, like I've said it like three or four times now be vulnerable. Just pick your pick, be smart about who you're vulnerable around. The other thing I wanted to talk about is, is boundaries, because sometimes when you're vulnerable, people will will crash your boundaries, so to speak. So they will do and say things that well, let me back up. Let me talk about what what is a boundary, because I think a lot of people use boundaries, or they think boundaries are a way to punish people. But that's not what a boundary is a boundary is a protection for yourself, it a boundary tells the world what you will and will not tolerate. That's that's the purpose. And the point of the boundary is not to inflict some type of punishment or, you know, it doesn't have to be an aggressive type of thing. The best boundaries are enacted, enforced, I should say, with silence. So if if someone treat you poorly, you don't have to confront them. And I know some there's some folks out there who will be like, well, you should, you know, you should you should talk to someone if they if they Yeah, maybe it really kind of depends on the situation. But one surefire way to to enforce a boundary is to walk away from somebody, it will send the message and more importantly, I think and hope that it sends the message that there is no more, there will never be any more or there's never going to be an opportunity for you to crash against them to crash into my boundary ever again. Because I've enforced it I've gave a consequence, and that consequences is I am walking away. And that's not always you know, if it's if it's a friendship and a relationship, and obviously you want to be able to mend fences and to talk. But if if the intent of that person was to harm you and and that's seemingly their only intent, then then walking away is a really great boundary or a really great enforcement of a boundary, it sends a strong, strong message. And it will protect you. That is the purpose and point of a boundary. But you also you also have to make sure that not only do you have the boundary, but you have to give a consequence you have to enforce it. So I think I'm guilty of this. Sometimes I will let things go and hopes that will maybe it will change or maybe that person won't say that again. Or you know, maybe it's just a one time thing. Because Because confrontation can be hard. And so you sort of hope for the best but that never works out what does that what does that saying shit in one hand wishing or hoping the other I guess? You can't you can't I've been guilty of this and it's something I need to work on. And instead of hoping that the person will stop what they're doing. You actually You have to let it be known that that's not appropriate or or you don't appreciate that, then that is hard. And I get that that is hard. It's one of those things that I think we all need to improve on is, is our ability to have difficult conversations. You know, Dale valor, who was on a couple episodes ago, and I know some folks have their opinions of Dale, I like Dale, obviously, he's been on the show twice. I've been I was on his show that and that's my point. I was on his show. And I was talking about I think he was asking me like, what, what is the one thing that a guy who's in a relationship needs to do to ensure or set himself up better? I forget what this exact question was, but essentially avoid divorce? And the answer is the ability to have difficult conversations. If you could have difficult conversations and still have your boundaries, it is hard is very hard. It is very hard to know what triggers you, it is very hard to when you're triggered to be able to enforce a boundary that is level headed and because when we get hurt, our feelings come into things and we get out of our thinking brain we get in a fight or flight. And so we can say some mean shit that doesn't need to be said we can be nasty, and my mechanism or strategy for avoiding that it has typically been, I don't say anything in hopes that it'll go away. Well, that just doesn't happen. And then I think when when you let things go, and then you enforce a boundary, I think the enforcement of your boundary will will say a lot about the person you're enacting, and giving a consequence to so what am I saying so if you, if someone says something that hurts your feelings, and you cut them out of your life, because of that, then watch, and I'm sure if you are if you get a response, or if you happen to hear, you know, through the grapevine that this person is saying this and that or or whatever, usually, if someone talks shit about you, someone's gonna let you know, because unfortunately, people love the gossip. I'm a bit guilty of it myself. And I really don't want to, that's not something I'm interested in anymore. Me, I've tried to avoid it, because I think it's just a petty way to be, but it does happen, of course, you get pissed off someone, and you want to tell somebody about it, because you want to vent, but the solution is to go straight to that person. And I've been guilty of not doing those times kinds of things, myself, so it's hard to to, to enforce these these boundaries, hard to protect yourself in a way that doesn't come off as shitty and causes more conflict and drama. And that's, that's what I try to avoid. But but by trying to avoid that it's kind of like what I did with the whole lawyer situation, like, I was tired of paying money for a lawyer and I thought we had agreed to, to a, you know, a number or numbers or or, you know, we had a an agreement in place. And I didn't think a lawyer was necessary. Well, it, it fucked me because then I had to pay another lawyer, another retainer, and if I just would have sort of had one the whole way through and let it finish out. You know, I probably would have been okay, or, you know, I would be hopefully that this shit will be wrapped up by now. But anyway, I'm getting off track. But it can be very hard to to enforce a boundary and a calm. And, I guess maybe even respectful manner, it's very hard. Because again, someone hurt, your feelings are going to put you in fight or flight. If someone touches a nerve, and that's why I say be careful who you're vulnerable to. Because when you are vulnerable it this, this speaks from rings. Very, very true for me. And then you are open into people that you think are there for you. And then they're not it's very, very hurtful. And it can really make your ability to remain in logical brain very difficult. This is this is the challenge of our lives, to be able to remain in logical thinking brain. If you think about any dumb fucking thing you've ever done, or any mistake you've made in your life, it's either because you're pissed off, or, or scared or drunk, right? Or any kind of other intoxication, right? You don't generally I mean, mistakes happen, but I'm talking to the big ones, the ones that stick with you because you think, oh man, if I just wouldn't have been so mad or man if I just want to drink so much or whatever it is. And so the challenge of our life is to remain in this logical thinking brain but Wilmer our feelings are hurt. It's really fucking hard. And so then when you try to take a step back and you do an act of boundary

Michael 19:58
the reaction to Do your enforcement of your boundary is telling. If you enforce a boundary because someone said some shit that you didn't like, and then they continue to say some shit about you, well, then that's you have all the information you need. The reaction to your boundary will tell you that you did the right thing by by enforcing by setting and enforcing your boundary. And is any of this easy? No, if it was easy, I wouldn't need to talk about it. I don't do episodes on brushing your teeth, because that's how easy fucking thing. So this is hard. This is hard work. And I think what we have to remind ourselves is, who do we want to be? Do we want to be a stand up person, an ethical person? I don't know a good character. And that's not someone that either badmouth someone behind their back or lets people get away with saying hurtful shit about them. But it's that peace, that part of, of setting those boundaries of speaking your truth of standing up for yourself, of potentially creating conflict. By sticking up for yourself, it's really fucking hard. I struggle with it probably more than I should. My I shouldn't say that. I struggle with it. I don't know if I should or shouldn't or whatever. But I think what, what I have learned, or what I'm learning, I think, is that a couple of things, one, be more choosy about who you're vulnerable with. And I'm talking to myself, be more to I need to be more choosy about around who unbearable with because, because I put myself out there and I tried to do in this you can, I don't give a fuck what you say about and you can call me whiny and go fuck yourself. I'm just expressing myself. But I mean, I think part of me don't call myself whiny. But I put myself out there. And I'm very vulnerable. And I'm very open. And I think sometimes that that has fucked me. And and I don't know, going forward how much. I'm always going to be honest. But I'm not sure how much how vulnerable I'll be going forward. As I go through and put out more of these episodes and continue to be who I am. I don't know. I will say that I think when I have successes and wins, you're going to hear them. And if I have I don't know, I don't know. I don't know what I'm going to do. But I think I'm going to be less vulnerable. But I don't know exactly what that means. I think again, you'll hear my victories for sure. I'm not so sure you're going to hear about my losses anymore. Now, those of you that are close to me, if you're in the discord server, which I am going to talk about that here in a second, too. You may hear more of that than you would otherwise. But um, I don't know, I'm being honest, I don't think so. I hate to sound jaded, or cynical. But I think unfortunately, that there are a lot of people out there that either knowingly or unknowingly will take advantage of your, your weaknesses and your vulnerabilities. Not always because they're nefarious sometimes because they need to, or they feel like they need to because they struggle with things themselves. And it's a lot fucking easier to go through life pointing out everyone else's problems and mistakes than it is to focus on your own. And again, I'm probably as guilty as anybody is of that. So anyway, on to the discussion of this discord. You know, we have weekly meetings in the discord I have not been attending. I need to stop that I need to start attending meetings. I'm going to look at either Wednesday or Thursday nights Wednesday night, there's a standing meeting already. I don't know that I would. I don't know either Wednesday or Thursday because those are the nights that I don't have my children obviously travel can fuck with that, but I need to recommit to doing meetings again. I have I was talking about this the other day I have a bit of a sort of a PTSD with meetings. And I again I won't go into details, but I've struggled with wanting to be in these meetings and and I need to take a closer look at that and and remind myself why I started all this shit. And that is to help. And I think when I tried to do all these different things, sometimes things have to take a backseat. And perhaps at times, it's time to move and shuffle some things around and and changed some of my focuses and or focus a little bit. So I think what I'm going to do is not just do standard meetings where we just bullshit I think it will be sort of themed meetings, and we'll probably go through my program. Week one is this, and this is our Wednesday night meeting. You know, next week, we're going to cover Michaels, we week one of his program, and we're going to talk about narrative therapy and how you can help it to or how you can use it to help you. I, I need to, I feel like I need to get back to some of my roots, and why I started all this. And, and I just wanted to help and that's all I want to do. And I feel like maybe I've tried to do too many things, or I focused on different the wrong things, perhaps or again, I think part of it is, you know, being so open and vulnerable. And I don't know if backfiring is the right word, but having it maybe backfire is the right word. And so I need to make sure I'm I'm surrounding myself with folks that have the same intent and goal as I do, and no other agendas or ideas. So, so I think that's it. I thank all of you again for listening. I will continue to to put these things out as as best I can. I was planning on putting the Dr. Lauren episode out last week. But then I realized the audio problems and I had to do a whole bunch of editing and trying to fix it and it just took a while. I think I actually finished it. Friday night, Saturday night. Not sure this weekend went way too fucking fast as they all do, but as you can see, I'm wearing my Steelers jersey. Sorry for those of you that aren't Steelers fans. I don't say sorry, because I'm sorry you're not a fan of the greatest football team in history of the NFL. And it was a victory victory Sunday is always a good thing. So that's all I got. Again, if you need anything hit me up. If you're interested in the discord or working with me as a coach just hit me up. You can find me on Facebook or Rising Phoenix podcast 20 twenty@gmail.com. Until next time, take care of yourselves and take care of each other. Thank you so much for watching and or listening. Since my separation in July of 2019 I have done an incredible amount of work on myself. I've had many different therapists life coaches and went through different programs. I've taken all that I've learned and put it into my own program called forged by fire. If you are interested in having me help you navigate your divorce, please hit my website Rising Phoenix divorce coach.com I look forward to working with you

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