How does your friendship group deal with drama? Are you able to set boundaries with your friends, and your friends will respect them? Why are boundaries helpful, healthy, and necessary for friendships?

In this podcast episode, Veronica Cisneros speaks about How to Deal with Girl Drama, Set Boundaries, and Cut the Gossip.

In This Podcast

Summary

  • Conflict in friendship
  • Becoming a different person
  • A boundary
  • What to do if there is gossip in your friendship circle

Conflict in friendship

When there is a conflict of some kind or an altercation amongst a group of friends, the best way to overcome that aggression is to practice empathy, let down your guard, and try to see their point of view.

However, when you have been hurt, that can feel like the absolute last thing you want to do, and you want to put a guard up.

When we feel unloved or attacked, we feel unsafe: our guards come up, and then the instinct of self-preservation comes roaring in. (Veronica Cisneros)

Becoming a different person

If you are in a group of friends that bring out a different version of you: a version without boundaries, without celebrating successes, with talking behind someone’s back and being insincere.

Often the best course of action to remedy this may be the hardest: you must become a different person so that those old habits no longer resonate with you.

It wasn’t until I truly started working on myself that I realized, “wait a minute, you’re trying to be everything you think they need you to be versus everything that you are”. How many of you find yourself in that loophole, where you are trying to be everything your friend needs you to be? (Veronica Cisneros)

Do you find yourself acting in the way you think your friends want so that they accept you? Is this way of living conflicting with what is important for you in life, and do you feel safe to be who you are without your friends ridiculing you?

Depending on these answers, it may be time for you to elevate yourself out of a friendship group that is no longer serving you and your personal growth.

Join my private free Facebook group!

A boundary

A boundary [is] telling someone how to behave around you, what is accepted and what is not acceptable. It’s a form of placing limits on what someone can say or do around you … when a friendship doesn’t have boundaries, the friendship may feel uncomfortable. (Veronica Cisneros)

Most of the time, boundaries exist but they are not enforced. Many women struggle with being assertive, but enforcing a boundary is not an act of selfishness or aggression.

It is an act of self-awareness and self-care, and if the other person has boundaries too, they will thank you for giving them guidelines on how to interact with you in the best way possible.

What to do if there is gossip in your friendship circle

1 – Seek to understand:

Seek to understand the situation and the person, not to win in being right. If your goal is to win, then you better prepare to risk losing the friendship entirely.

Listen to understand because more than likely something was misunderstood and lost in the miscommunication, or something was said in anger that the person did not really mean.

2 – Determine what is unacceptable to you when you set a boundary:

What is not acceptable to you in a relationship? Such as:

  • Shaming,
  • Manipulation,
  • Name-calling

And so forth. These are all valid things that you can put a boundary up against, and call people out on for.

3 – Why is this boundary important to you?

Because you are valued, and you are worth respect, love, and time.

4 – You must respect your own boundaries because you respect them, other people will:

If people do not respect your boundaries, there need to be consequences that follow in order to make it clear that these boundaries are not optional, and that you prove to yourself that you will protect yourself should someone overstep a boundary of yours.

  • Follow through with whatever you say.
  • You cannot set a boundary and go back on it because if you do, you are teaching people to mistreat you and not trust your words.
  • Enforcing your boundaries brings you confidence.

5 – Communicate your boundaries:

If something happens that you do not like or do not want a part of, say that you do not want to take part in the situation.

  • Someone is bad-mouthing someone else, you can communicate that you are not comfortable speaking badly about someone.
  • If someone phones you and it is a bad time for you, tell them that you will phone them again later.
  • When someone is talking badly to you, express that you will only engage in conversation with them when they can speak to you with respect and self-awareness.

When you set these boundaries, you are able to stand firm, build up that level of confidence and true empowerment. (Veronica Cisneros)

When you find yourself in drama, you need to evaluate what your role in the drama is, instead of absolving yourself of responsibility.

Useful links:

Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic PodcastI’m a licensed therapist and women walk into my office every day stressed and disconnected. As a mom of three daughters, I want my girls to know who they are and feel confident about their future. I can’t think of a better way to help other women than by demonstrating an empowered and unapologetic life.

So I started  Empowered and Unapologetic to be a safe space for women to be vulnerable and change their lives for the better before she ever needs to see a therapist.

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook communityjoin the VIP community, or attend our annual retreat,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

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Empowered and Unapologetic is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Podcast Transcription

[VERONICA CISNEROS]
Mama, when you set boundaries, you are showing up as your true, authentic self; not perfect, the best version of yourself, because you are holding yourself to the next level and you’re doing it unapologetically. And what I mean by this is what you want, and it’s not that you’re going to compromise others, not at all, but you know what you want and you’re no longer going to compromise yourself.

Hey girl. Imagine a life where you feel supported, connected and understood. I get it. Being a mom is hard, especially when you’re spinning so many plates. We exhaust ourselves trying to create the perfect life for our family. You deserve to enjoy your family without the stress perfectionism brings. On this podcast, I provide practical and relatable life experiences. I teach women quick and easy to use strategies to help them reclaim their identity, re-ignite their marriage and enjoy their children. If you’re ready to be challenged, then pull up a chair, grab a pen and paper because it’s about to go down. I’m Veronica Cisneros, a licensed marriage and family therapist and this is the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast.

I’d be completely lying. Here’s why, because we’re all human and mistakes happen. There’s misunderstandings, there’s hurt feelings and for the most part, when we’re hurt, most of us don’t know how to respond to that. And I hate to admit this, but I’m guilty of it too. You know, I just went on a girl’s trip with a bunch of my friends and for the most part, it was great. We had so much fun. However, there was a point where I was irritated, frustrated, and overwhelmed. I’m not sure if it was necessarily that I missed my family, I missed my kids or that the trip wasn’t going the way I wanted it to go. It could have been so many reasons, but the honest truth was words were said, and my feelings were hurt. I’d like to tell you, I handled it quite well. I’d like to tell you that I totally threw on my therapeutic approach and I was able to seal the deal and make sure that there was zero conflict.

But in all reality, that’s not necessarily true. And although I have done a great amount of work on myself, it was still not enough. And it’s not that it will never be enough, but things happen. Things happen. So how do we deal with girl trauma? How are we able to set boundaries? How are we able to refrain from gossiping? How are we able to deal with gossiping? You know, back in the day, it was so easy to make friends, like ridiculously easy I had to do was share a common interest. That was it. You shared a common interest and then you played. I remember cheering my friends when they would play soccer or when they would try this new sport or whatever it was. I remember we were all on the same team.

I wanted to see my friends succeed. I wanted to see my friends take it to this next level. I wanted to be part of that support. But somewhere along the lines, I don’t know, I guess I would say like junior high that’s when a lot of things changed. A whole lot of things changed. Would you agree? Like literally when we’re in junior high, that’s when a lot of judgment happens, a lot of catty, little girls with attitudes come into your life. And maybe you are one of those catty little girls, who knows, but all of these things sort of shift. Most of us aren’t taught how to deal with these emotions or how to set boundaries or even what to say or how to say it when we’re put in uncomfortable situations. So what do we do? We’ll either put our guard up, shut down or even worse, we’ll go crazy.

What I mean by going crazy is we’ll say something we don’t mean, and we’ll let those emotions take over us. Anybody guilty of that? Yes, me too. I’d like to say that trip to Miami was easy. However, to be honest, it didn’t end so well. And I was a part of that problem and I was a part of that problem because I did do just that. I allowed emotions to get the best of me. And although it’s like, I’m saying it right now and I totally want to hold back, I want to give you guys some beautiful version of like what to do, what not to do and prove to you that I’m not flawed and as a therapist, I got all my together. I want to tell you that. I want that to be your perception. However, the honest truth, we all get hurt. All of us, we all get hurt.

And in those moments of pain, sometimes we’re lost and we don’t necessarily know how to address it. We can have so much fun with each other or we can also enter some form of girl drama. And none of us want to admit that we’re a part of the girl drama. I mean, we do everything we can so girl drama doesn’t exist. We do everything with can so much so as now, we’re at this point as grown women where we’re literally interviewing potential friends. Do they have the same likes and interests? Will their husbands get along with my husband? What are they like? As a mom, what are they like with their kids? Like all of these things. I don’t know if it happens to you, but definitely it happens to me like what is going on?

I want to make sure that any future friends, any friends that come my way, their values line up with mine. And I definitely want to support and uplift people. Well, what I’ve learned is along the way, there are friends that I don’t want to say, I let go, but they just weren’t there at the end of one of my journey, at the end of a journey of mine. They weren’t, and it wasn’t anything against them, but it just didn’t play out that way. So were there hurt feelings? Absolutely. So what I’ve noticed is we tend to interview new friends with past pains, unhealed, and most of us do that because we want some sort of control. We want some sort of answers. We want to know that if I’m going to be your friend, right, if you and I are going to be friends, you’re not going to hurt me.

I need this sealed deal that you are not going to hurt me and you and I are going to be on the same team. And for the most part that does work. It does. I’m going to be honest, don’t get me wrong. There has been girl drama, but also on the other end, there has been amazing relationships with women that I’ve had drama with because we were able to come back from it. Because we were able to humble ourselves. We were able to set healthy boundaries. We were able to communicate. That’s not easy. It’s not easy at all, especially when you haven’t been taught. So I’ve been watching, I’m going to be honest, I’ve been watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and kind of watching the episode, I’m watching both sides of an argument. And while watching both sides of argument, one thing I realized is, holy moly, they’re saying the exact same thing, however, it’s just interpreted differently. Or this woman is completely out of line because she feels insecure or intimidated by the other.

And I wondered, wait a minute, does that play in everybody’s life? And I thought about my therapy sessions with women and how often they’re hurt by things people do and people say. And for the most part, the common denominator is when we’re hurt, we don’t know what to do with these emotions. So in turn we hurt the other person. I mean it kind of goes along the lines of hurt people, hurt people. And that is so true. I don’t think it’s intentional. I think maybe in the moment when you’re so flooded with emotions yes, the emotions get the best of you. But if we were able to sit back, just sit back and take on what’s going on and not be so quick to react and instead to understand, I believe that the girl drama would lessen and it wouldn’t be so heavy.

It would sort of lighten up this load. So that’s my goal for this episode. Most of us tend to be self-focused thinking about how others make us feel. Very rarely do we think about how we make others feel. Let that marinate for a minute. When I wrote that, it was like, that’s true. It’s so true. I’m more focused on how somebody has hurt me more so than how I’ve hurt other people. I see at my relationship with my husband. I see it in my relationship with my friends. And it’s more self-focused because again, being able to see it from a different perspective requires us to let down our guard and humble ourselves and really, truly listen. And when we’re hurt, that’s the last thing we want to do. We want to put that guard up.

When we feel unloved or attacked, we feel unsafe. Our guards come up and then the instinct of self-preservation comes roaring in. I’ve had friends since junior high. And there’s so much that has changed and I think about where they’re at in lives and I’m so very proud of them. But I have to be honest with you. I noticed while I was growing up, I wanted to do more, not more than them, but I wanted to do more. And as I started do more, I started to lose friendships. And again, it’s not against them. It’s just the way things worked. I started to lose friendships and I hate to admit it, but there are times when words were said about me and it was really difficult to hear, so difficult to hear, especially since during that time I had invested so much in the relationship and I was hurt.

And there were times where I wanted to go out and, I don’t want to say fight, but I wanted to argue my stance. Like, why aren’t you still my friend? Why did it have to go this way? Why can’t you be happy for me? Like, honestly, why can’t you be happy for me? Have you ever asked that question? Like, why can’t I have friends that support me and love me and want to cheer me on? Why is that? Why can’t everybody do that? Well, I found myself there and it was so difficult. And I found myself being in this place of not necessarily wanting to share anything with anybody, because I didn’t know how they would react. I didn’t know how they would respond to what I would say. Like, what would it be, what would they say? Would they applaud me or would they shame me? Would I be judged? Would I be criticized? And this small group of friends that I have, it’s now down to three and we’re very, very close.

Don’t get me wrong. We’ve done things. We’ve done things to each other with regards to arguing and hurting and at the same time, we’ve also been there. And I’m very thankful for this group that I have, very powerful, amazing women that are going to change this world. But I also think about the other relationships where there was a whole bunch of drama. And what I learned was I had to be a different person because when I was in those relationships that were full of drama, I didn’t want to set boundaries. And I was so busy trying to be what they needed me to be versus who I really was. And I carried resentment. I didn’t know that that’s what I was doing. It wasn’t until I truly started working on myself, that I realized, wait a minute, you’re trying to be everything you think they need you to be versus everything that you are. How many of you find yourself in that loophole where you’re trying to be everything your friend needs you to be? You’re trying to impress her. You’re trying to make sure that she sees you as this amazing mom, this amazing wife, this amazing friend versus someone who has boundaries.
[PROMO]
Ladies, are you ready for a new challenge? I’ve heard you. I know a good amount of you want to work on your marriage. However, before we start there, let’s start by building up that confidence and so forth. I’m going to help you reclaim your identity. Starting August 1st, I’m running the reclaim your identity challenge. I will be live every single week in this group, teaching you skills on how to reclaim your identity, which will make you an exceptional mom, an exceptional wife and a complete bad-ass. For the entire month of August we are all doing a challenge together. The lady who is the most interactive will be our winner and will receive a one hour private coaching call with me.

This is a $300 value. How awesome is that. All you have to do is join my private free Facebook group. Go to facebook.com/groups/empoweredandunapologetic, and be sure to invite your friends. Coaching calls will be every Wednesday at 2:00 PM. Pacific Standard Time. You do not want to miss this. This will only happen for this month and only the women in the private free Facebook group will have access. So don’t let anybody else take your seat. I want to see you this Wednesday live.
[VERONICA CISNEROS]
Most of us feel uncomfortable setting boundaries. Our initial thought might be how’s this going to change the relationship? Will they still like me after the boundary is set? I can’t set boundaries because I don’t want to hurt their feelings. What if they don’t understand? What if they don’t agree? Can I stand firm or will I break? Mama, when you set boundaries, you are showing up as your true, authentic self; not perfect, the best version of yourself, because you are holding yourself to the next level and you’re doing it unapologetically. And what I mean by this is what you want, and it’s not that you’re going to compromise others, not at all, but you know what you want and you’re no longer going to compromise yourself. That’s the biggest difference.

When you set boundaries, you’re not being this authoritative figure. You’re not being this hard person that nobody can talk to. That’s where a lot of us, that’s the biggest misconception about boundaries; is people are under the idea that once you start setting boundaries, you’re this aggressive person, nobody likes you because now you’re stuck up. That’s not true. When you set boundaries, you are showing up as the best version of yourself. The truth is boundaries can set your relationships up for success. This eliminates resentment and builds true connection. And that’s something I learned early on, and I’m not going to say I’m totally had this epiphany and it just happened. No I learned it while I was going to school. I learned it when I was sitting across from a patient. And I was noticing that boundaries were not at all enforced. If anything, people were walking all over them. And once I started to truly learn this and implement it myself, I was then able to teach others.

Now, let me go ahead and define what a boundary is. Boundary; telling someone how to behave around you. What’s accepted and what’s not acceptable. It’s a form of placing limits on what someone can say or do around you. I hope you have that pen and paper girl, because you’re totally going to want to take notes. When a friendship doesn’t have boundaries, the friendship may feel uncomfortable. There’s so much that’s unspoken. Boundaries are usually unclear or unsaid and most of the time unenforced. A lot of women struggle with this. So mama, you’re not the only one. Like I said, I struggled with this myself. When you set a boundary, you are giving yourself space to assert yourself, identify your needs and honor yourself. So let’s go ahead and put this into action.

When you find yourself in this space where there is girl drama, here’s one thing I want you to do. I want you to seek, to understand. Seek to understand, not to win a trophy. Here’s what I mean. If you’re looking to win, get ready to lose a friendship. Instead, do your best to understand her feelings. Don’t get me wrong. I know this is hard. I know this is hard, especially when you’re flooded with emotions. However, it will be so much harder to end the relationship than if you were to go ahead and listen to understand. We’re all going to have a difference of opinions. More than likely something was misunderstood or even worse something was said out of anger. You are capable of listening to others. You are capable of that. I know your emotions tell you different because your emotions want to go for the juggler and you want to say something or do something that will hurt the person the same way it hurt us.

Like I mentioned, I have been guilty of this myself. However, what I’ve learned is when I go there, it is so much harder to rebuild the relationship because now the relationship has, I don’t want to say it’s been severed, but it has been in some way, shape or form damaged and it’s very hard to come back from that. Remember, short-term discomfort, sitting in your emotions, allowing yourself to get it together or lifelong resentment. We don’t want that. We don’t want lifelong resentment. So instead short-term discomfort, allow yourself to seek, to understand, not win a damn trophy. That’s all you’re looking for as to when you are going to be all alone mama, because I’m going to tell you right now, as a therapist, I struggled with this myself and I teach this and it’s probably going to be a struggle that I’m going to have for the rest of my life.

Not to say that I won’t come back from it quicker. I will. I will come back from it quicker as I continue to practice this skill over and over. But I will say in the beginning, oh girl, it took me some time. It took me some time. Maybe it was like a week or two before I was able to talk to the person or I just lost the friendship. And I still missed some of those people to this day. I don’t want to live in regret.

Two, when you set a boundary, determine what is unacceptable to you. And this is not something where you ask people, huh, well, what’s unacceptable to you and then I’ll go ahead and mimic that. No, I want you right now determine what is unacceptable to you in a relationship. You know, let me give you an example. Somebody manipulates you, somebody shames you, name calling. Those are all in my book, unacceptable. So if somebody is manipulating me, purposely manipulating me or shame me or calling me names, that is a hundred percent unacceptable. I will not tolerate that.

Number three. Think about why is this boundary important to you? Why is it important to you? Here’s why boundaries are important to me. I don’t deserve to be named called. My time is valuable. I am worthy of respect. I am worth more. I’m worth so much more. And if I’m not being treated again, I’m not looking to be treated as a queen, but if I’m not being treated fairly, then the relationship is not for me. It’s not. And one thing I’ve noticed is when I started to set healthy boundaries, this beautiful thing happened. My friends respected them. And here’s why. We’re going to go to step number four.

You must respect your boundaries. If you respect them so will other people. Nobody was able to cross my boundary. Here’s why, because I respected them. There were consequences if people did not respect my boundaries and the consequence might’ve been me terminating the relationship if it had gone that far or maybe it was something along the lines of me not talking to them and ending the conversation. So when you respect your boundaries, what I want you to do is I want you to follow through with whatever you say. Whatever the consequences you must follow through, you cannot set a boundary and go back on it because the minute you do, you’re teaching your friends that I’m not going to stand true to my boundary and you could walk all over me. And while you’re at it, you can manipulate me, you can curse me out and I’m not going to do anything about it.

And that’s not where we’re going mama. When you set boundaries, you actually start to build up confidence. Do not make any exceptions. I don’t care who it is, your mom, your dad, your brother, your sister, your best friend, your sister from another mister. It doesn’t matter. When you set those boundaries, do not make any exceptions.

Lastly, communicate your boundaries. Let me give you some examples. I don’t agree with your opinion and I would appreciate it if you don’t involve me. I’ve had to say that a couple of times, especially whenever somebody would talk poorly about someone else. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to be a part of it because I knew them and if I was a part of it, it was going to hurt somebody. And my goal was never to hurt anybody. So I had to let them know, listen, I’m not the one. You can not trust me with this information. You might as well tell somebody else because I’m not going to be involved.

Another one is I had a long day. I can call you later. Now is not a good time. I highlighted this one because most of us, the minute our friends call us, we will answer the phone. We will drop whatever we’re doing and we will answer the phone. If you are busy, it is important. You can answer the phone, but make sure you let them know, “Hey, you know what? It’s not a good time. I’ll call you later.” Or don’t answer the phone at all straight up. Don’t do it.

Another example is when you speak to me that way I will remove from the conversation until you can respectfully talk to me. Ooh, that one deserves a snap. That one totally deserves snap because it’s a hundred percent true. I’m not going to be mistreated. I’m not going to be talked inappropriately. So when you set these boundaries, you are able to stand firm, build up that level of confidence and true empowerment, unapologetically, of course.

So I want you to think about this, why is it that I allow girl drama into my life? Or why does it follow me? Where did this come from? Is it because I’m not setting boundaries? Is it because I have a difficult time communicating? Is it because I let my emotions get the best of me? What is it truly that keeps me from being able to be in a healthy relationship? Like I said, if you’re met with girl drama all of the time, then we got to look at what you’re doing and I’m going to bring it back to you because you’re the one listening. Your friends aren’t listening. You’re the one listening and I’m on that, but I can’t ask your friends permission to be nice to you or not involve you in girl drama.

It starts with you. It has to start with you. And the reason why it has to start with you is because if it doesn’t, then you’re going to be waiting a very long time for somebody to give you permission to stand your ground. And nobody’s handing that out. So mama, when you find yourself in girl drama, I want you to think about what your role is in this situation. Like I admitted earlier on this episode, trip to Miami, there were words said there was an argument that happened and my emotions got the best of me. Instead of setting a healthy boundary my emotions got the best of me and I wasn’t communicating effectively. That’s the truth. Looking back now, kind of reassessing the situation, what I would have done is I would have recognized where I was at emotionally and taken a time out because that was not a time for me to talk.

Let me tell you why, because it happened to be shark week. That’s where my husband calls it when I’m on my period. He calls it shark week. It happened to be shark week and I was flooded with emotions and it was hot. It was hot. I’m not going to come up with excuses. It just wasn’t the right time. So for me doing a full assessment on myself, a self-assessment I realized, okay, a couple things happened. It wasn’t the right time. You were already flooded with emotions. You weren’t really willing to go out and listen to understand. You weren’t like, let’s just be honest and then in addition to that, when something was said, the minute it was said, girl, you use that as ammo because you personalized it. And it was an insecurity that was exposed. That’s the truth.

So instead I want you to set boundaries for yourself and your relationships so that you don’t run into these issues. You’re able to go ahead and address the situation, not as a therapist, because that’s not what we want, but you’re able to handle these situations in a healthy manner versus this dysfunctional cycle that we all know goes down this rabbit hole and never ends and then we build up all of these stories and then we’re talking crap and then you know where it goes from there. It doesn’t end good.

So, mama, what I want you to do is I want you right now to look at your last girl drama moment. And I want you to identify some key things. Was it not lack of skill where you weren’t able to set a boundary? Was it the fact that you were overwhelmed with the motions? Were you trying to win an argument versus listen to understand what was going on? What I want you to do is I want you to tag me. I want you to tag me and if you haven’t already join our girl gang. It’s a private free Facebook group. And I want you to post it. I want you to post your comment or your self-assessment. I want you to post it in the group and be sure to tag me.

Many women lose their own identity in the shadow of being a mom and a wife. We are a community of women who support each other. We leave perfectionism behind to become empowered and unapologetic. I want to personally invite you to join our girl gang. It’s a free Facebook community for women just like you. Go to www.facebook.com/groups/empoweredandunapologetic. See you there.

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This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guests are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.