Therapist Nedra Glover Tawwab also appeared with the three women on the episode about how to establish boundaries in life. The therapist shared with London, Smith and Norris how to set important boundaries such as telling people “No.”
A friend of London and Smith’s told them about Tawwab’s book, “Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself,” and wanted her to guest-host “Red Table Talk.”
The New York Times best-selling author specializes in healthy relationships and also discussed how to deal with other issues such as co-dependency and advocating for one’s self. London said setting boundaries is new for her.
“Recently, someone called me and their conversation was toxic,” said London. “And, um, I didn’t wanna indulge in it and I stopped it mid-sentence. ‘You know, I’m really not in this space. I wish you peace and love.’ … A week later, I hear that they’re talking so bad about me. … There I am creating a healthy boundary, and it felt like it went to slap me in my face.”
Tawwab replied that we can’t control how people will respond despite how politely they are told. Challenging their behavior can cause resentment but it’s important to find your own peace.
She told the ladies that people should create boundaries considering their wants, needs and expectations and to communicate those things to others.
“I think of it as a preference,” advised Tawwab. “You might not know what my preference is for something, so it’s my job to communicate to you that this is what I want, this is what I need, this is what would work best for me. But just assuming that they should know because they’re your friend … is unfair. It does put us in a space of feeling resentful or upset at them for having to do this, but their boundaries are different.”
The therapist also noted that people have the right to change their minds about what is healthy for them as they grow and evolve. “You can change your mind at any time, you can have a new boundary that you didn’t have yesterday,” said the author. “We grow and evolve, it makes sense to shift when we need to.”
Smith added that listening to what people feel is important and it helped her to establish boundaries with her own behavior regarding others. The actress also noted that she needed to stop trying to fix everything and everyone.
“You’re saying that what we should do is we should really be able to listen to what people feel,” said Smith. “I gotta stop trying to fix every damn thing. That’s not my job either.”
Norris said that she’s also had to set boundaries recently for someone in her life.
“As you grow and change, your boundaries are gonna grow and change,” she said. “I had a situation recently where I was like, ‘For right now, this is what works for me. It doesn’t have to work for you.'”
You can watch the “Changing Your Life Through Healthy Boundaries” episode of “Red Table Talk” with Laura London here.