Right! So, just as I announced last week, I’m going to be switching to a much more video-heavy format. I can’t even tell you how jazzed I am about this. Since I’ve made the decision to begin shooting videos again (despite the heat!), the juices have been flowing.

As soon as we get into the rhythm, we’ll be able to do Transcripts in time for each week’s vlog, but for this week, it’s going to be a bit late (that’s my fault, I didn’t finish the edit until today). Thank you SO MUCH to the oodles of you who offered to help with the transcribing. You totally rock. You truly do.

Today’s Burning Question!

Awesome Melissa wants to know:

How can we decipher the difference between needing to set a boundary with a person versus just having our focus on the things we find less than awesome about them? Case in point – I recently started dating a man who has a lot of really great qualities, but I keep feeling like I have reservations with him because he has a habit of making underhanded and passive-aggressive remarks. I’ve brought it up now a few times and just said basically that I find his comments hurtful and I would like if he stop. He is recently separated and I feel like he is projecting his resentment toward his ex-wife onto me with these remarks. I know this is something I have attracted, I just don’t know where the line is between ‘I need to set a boundary and let this person know what is and isn’t okay in how he treats me, and if he isn’t game, then this is no longer a thing’ and ‘okay here is an opportunity to work through some shit.’ At this point, I feel like I already have momentum going in the ‘I need to cut this cord’ direction, I just don’t know if I’m being premature, although I feel a sense of relief when I think about my life sans this person.

Here’s my answer.


Well awesome Melissa, this is a great question and one that I get a lot! When we’re setting boundaries, how do we know when it’s time to walk away? How do we know if we need to set a boundary or if we’re just needing to clean up our own vibration a little bit?

What is a boundary?

Well, here’s the thing: when you’re setting boundaries, the thing you always want to remember is that it’s not about controlling the other person, it’s about protecting yourself and speaking your own truth, and even though those two things are miles apart, they often get confused.

So here’s the difference.”You don’t get to do that.” That’s trying to control the other person because you can’t tell them what to do. “You don’t get to do that to me.” That’s a boundary. “You don’t get to talk to people like that”, is control. “You don’t get to talk to me like that”, is a boundary.

A boundary is only a real boundary if you’re willing to enforce it, up, until and including, walking away from the person. Think about it this way – if someone is punching you in the face in the playground and you tell them to stop and they don’t, you’re going to want to remove yourself from the situation instead of just continually telling them to stop doing that.

Your Emotional Response

Now having said that, whether or not you decide to stay or go – because he hasn’t respected your boundary, you’ve told him you don’t want him to talk to you like that, and it may be time to leave –  but whether or not you decide to go, here’s the thing you want to do either way. You want to sit yourself down (by yourself) and feel what it feels like when he talks to you like that. So when he’s making his passive aggressive little barbs, when he’s throwing those out at you, you had a negative emotional reaction to that and this is what you want to honor.  So before you even try talking to him again or do anything – Do this Work.

Sit down with yourself and take about 20 minutes of quiet time to do this. Think about the last time that his passive aggressiveness came up and don’t worry about if what he said is true or not (it probably isn’t).  But you’re going to have an emotional response and you want to feel that emotional response. You want to let that come up and go ahead and just surrender into that a little bit. What will happen is thoughts, memories and ideas will start to manifest that will give you information about what this is really about, what you’re really upset about because you’re manifesting this into your world for a reason. Now that reason may be simply for you to stand up for yourself, but you’ve already tried that and it didn’t clear it, so that’s probably not it.

Raising your vibration

Once you’ve done this work, once you’ve figured out what this is really about and let that go, then one of two things is going to happen.  He’s going to stop making passive aggressive comments… or he won’t. And it might even get worse because as you raise your vibration, if you shifted this and he does not come along with you, then he may start to gravitate away from you.  If you try to then hold on to him, what will happen is, he’ll get worse and worse and worse.

Don’t judge someone else’s negative reaction

Now when you go to set a boundary remember the difference between control and setting a boundary. So what you want to do is talk about how you feel; you do not want to shame him or judge him or negate him. It’s not wrong for him to be angry at his ex-wife, but he shouldn’t take it out on you. It’s not wrong for him to be bitter.

Even though you want to be enlightened, you want everyone around you to be enlightened, people aren’t always going to be.  People are going to have their own triggers, their own responses.  So do not judge the fact that he’s being like that. Do not tie how you feel to how he feels. So if he’s feeling miserable or angry today, that doesn’t mean that you have to join him in that to keep him company out of the goodness of your heart. You’re not helping him, you’re not helping yourself, and you’re certainly not helping the world by doing that. And you’re not going to resolve the situation by doing that; you’re just going to perpetuate it.

Bottom Line

So you want to get into a space where if he’s having a temper tantrum, you’re ok with that. You can walk away from that. You might need to physically remove yourself to make it easier, but that’s ok. So just be ok with the fact that he’s in this moment having negative emotion. But it’s not ok for him to take it out on you and if he doesn’t want to respect that……it maybe time to walk away. And really Awesome Melissa, this is what I’m feeling from you: I think you’ve already kind of made up your mind on what you want to do.  You just wanted me to give you permission. But you don’t need me to do that.  Your own permission is good enough.

That was my A to your Q.  If you like this content please consider sharing it with somebody who would find it valuable as well. And if you’ve had any kind of issues setting boundaries, knowing when to set a boundary, or knowing when to walk away, joint the discussion by leaving a comment below.

Huge happy shiny puppy hugs to all of you, and see you next time.


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  • I like how Melody is keeping some distance from the Camera.
    This is much better than trying to fill up the whole screen with her face.
    no one looks good too close.
    even news reader are stepping back these days.
    We have big TV and Monitors so you don’t have to worry about the picture appears too small. Hell, even our phones screen are bigger.

    oh…. and the message is good.

  • Okay the long or the short…
    Control has nothing to do with it. When it is chosen, it simply
    becomes what it is, meaning, you are the creator in your world.
    Starting from the left, you wore borne, then from the right, suddenly you wore
    grandparents. In between some where about center, you just simply watched your
    whole existence pass,but this time you could not do any thing about it. Now this is
    control, simply because now you only realized that you are indeed the creator !
    Now blink once, okay blink twice…okay who do you think you are.

  • How do you set boundaries with a teenage child who stomps all over any attempts at boundaries with hobnail cleats? I understand that teenagers can be tough, but I don’t see this behavior even from the most dysfunctional TV families. I love her dearly, but I can’t take her verbal abuse and temper tantrums. I can’t just walk away because she is still legally dependent on me. Obviously I have a lot of energy to shift here, but it is so painful I don’t know how to start. She has repeatedly stated and demonstrated that she has no respect for me, as a parent or as a person. I feel like a horrible failure with her. She is the extreme opposite of her older sister who considers me one of her best friends and a great mentor (both before and after moving out of my house and into her own apartment).

    • Hi Judy:

      I do not have an answer for you. I am writing simply to say that I have had the same issues with my daughter, who is now 18 and still living with me. She is an only child, and she even has some “good reasons” to “act out” as she has done, because her mother make her transition to Nonphysical when she was 15.

      I, too, feel many times that I have somehow horribly failed my daughter. I have made every effort to make lists of positive aspects of my daughter, and she does have many positive aspects.

      However, I am in the midst of deciding what I have to do, for my own sanity, with regard to some recent behavior on my daughter’s part.

      It is certainly not easy, and my situation is a little different than yours because my daughter is 18.

      My main reason for making this reply is to let you know that you “are not alone.”

    • I too don’t have the answer for you.
      instead, let me share a story with you.

      my child was a typical rebellious teenager. He would talk back, would argue and told us he hated us. He tried to break free – he demands to live his life his own way. This surprised me because he has been an easy going and agreeable child up to 6 months before that.

      That freaked me out.
      I resisted his change and this new development.
      I put great efforts into doing things to try to control him and bring back his old “self”.
      the result was a lot of tension, arguing, screaming, and walk outs.
      i had long talk with my spouse, we tried some more.
      it just didn’t work.
      this affected my relationship with my spouse too.
      we didn’t know what else to do.

      until one day it dawns on me.

      we’re not a human doing
      we’re not here on earth to do things.
      we’re here to just be human.

      we’re made up of energy and emotions.
      The nature of energy and emotions are to flow.
      I can’t imaging life with stuck energy and stuck emotions – that’s not living.

      I started to look around and observe.
      and became convinced life just flow.
      There are plenty of examples where some tried to control the flow or stop the flow altogether. They ended up feeling stuck and miserable.

      so I mustered all my courage to organise a family meeting.
      I tell my whole family about my “life flows” theory.
      We propose that we will give my son 3 months to be himself. If he can prove to us that he can take care of himself, be comfortable and be caring toward others, we will stop being too strict on him.
      failing that, we would go back to the strict parent rules we grew up with.

      we all agreed to that.

      1st month: He was just as rude and moody as before. May be a bit worse than before. I was scared shitless and kept waking up in the middle of the night. I kept thinking I was making a big mistake.

      2nd month : still scare, still nervous about whether he will turn out ok.
      however, we notice a small change in him. He seems to be somewhat more comfortable with himself, communicates his feeling a little more naturally and there is a hint of confident in his eyes when he talks. He still hated us and still rebellious. Some days we worry less, some days we worry more.

      3rd month: little by little, he is becoming more comfortable with himself and more confident. He is more direct and upfront about how he feels inside. And somehow that made him more accepting of the world around him, including us. We felt less pressured and our mood were better. We are beginning to see a positive change. That somehow affected him in a positive way too.

      we decided to extend the trial period to 6 months.

      by the 5th month : he became comfortable with himself and accept his flaws. He cared less about being number one by competing with others. He became more physically active and motivated to play sport. He trained with his friends. He treated us better, he became more caring towards others around him. He made new friends who seems honest and sincere. We have no idea how he managed that but we were happy to see the positive change. He didn’t have a girl friend but that didn’t seem to bother him much. We scored him 7/10 according to our standard but we were happy enough to just let him grow naturally by himself.

      Of course we still keep him close and keep him safe. We gave him more space and time to be himself. When we started, we did not know if it would work out and spent first few months worrying. But as we found out, the more we are worry about him, the more we try to control him, the worse he became. The less we worry and let him be himself, the more stable he became. The best of part was how he found the internal resources to mature – by himself.

      • Awesome story, SK! It really is amazing to see their behavior change before your eyes, isn’t it? Good luck!

    • Hi Julie,
      I think if you start by remembering that the behavior you are receiving from her is an exact vibrational match to the behavior you EXPECT from her it will take a little pressure off of trying to control her actions. The Universe always matches it to show us the frequency we are emitting and the negative response you have towards her behavior is also showing you that you are looking at the situation incorrectly.
      Something you can try now is to find a quiet space and start focusing on all of your blessings for a few minutes. Think about easy stuff like how good it feels to take a breath, how lucky you are to be able to walk and see the world around you. Focus on the amazing relationship you have with other your daughter. Once you feel that your vibration is back up a little, get a pen and paper and right out some of the nice qualities you can think of about the younger daughter. Remeber how she was as a precious baby and the a little girl. Realize that she has the potential to be a wonderful and caring person and the only reason she’s being a “sh*thead” to you is because SHE is coming from a place of pain, and you are the closet, easiest person around that is attracting this behavior out of her, only because that is the part of her that you’ve been focusing on for so long.
      If you can, right out a thank you note (that she will never read) thanking her for reminding you that you’ve been focusing on the wrong part of her. That precious soul of hers wants to come out and be with you, but not until you are able to focus your own energy to attract that kindness from her and try to come to an uncondional happiness within yourself. Deep down, you said you feel failure. That is exactly why she is appearing in your reality that way.
      Remind yourself that you can’t control her, you can only control your reaction and decide to be happy whether or not she loves and treats you right.
      Do your best to ignore her when she’s being awful. Tell her that you love her and in order for you to keep loving her, you need to not be around her right now.
      It’s not your job to fix her or make her happy, she has her own spirit/energy that is guiding her and she is always safe in that aspect. Be hopeful that she will find her way.
      Find ways to picture a new story in your mind of the two of you loving each other and respecting each other and bask in those feelings. Let that be enough for now.
      If you practice this enough, then law of attraction has no choice but to deliver you more feelings of love and respect as well as a reality that is a vibrational match.
      Think of that positive love you have for her as a powerful magnet rap that wants to suck that nice behavior out of her!
      You are a wonderful parent in that you have a strong desire for her happiness, but you have to put your own happiness first.
      I hope this isn’t too vague or weird, but at least changing your thought pattern a little is something you can take control of now!
      Hope this helps. :). Xoxo

          • No worries, John! 🙂 I have my own to little girls right now ages 6 and 3 and they are so easy to love at this age. I can’t imagine the pain you must feel with your own child. I guess there comes a point where you just have to care more about the way you’ve been feeling and focus on your own happiness and the universe will take care of the rest! (Easier said then done, lol. )

          • Hi Abigail:

            Thank you for your very supportive response! Your response to Judy causes me to realize it is time to take out my list of positive aspects of my daughter (a list I have not added to in a long time), read over it and do my best to add to it. And I love your idea of the thank you note.

            There is some stuff going on with my daughter now that is very scary for me and it has become incredibly hard to back off. I am doing my best to back off and I have struck what feels like an appropriate balance between control and guidance. There is actually very little control that I try to exercise now because my daughter is 18. And my daughter actually does pay attention to my guidance in many ways, which is a positive aspect I need to add to the list.

            Thanks again for taking the time to jump in with your supportive comments!

          • Thank you so much to all of you for responding to me. She has had a difficult time adjusting to my divorce 5 years ago and subsequent remarriage. She is one of 6 children (ages 4 to 19) from three marriages, and she resents having so many siblings. She resents my finding happiness without her father. She resents all the changes that have happened since she was almost 11. We can both acknowledge that deep down, we both do love each other, we just drive each other crazy. She has decided to spend the summer with her dad instead of me, and I think this will be a very eye-opening experience for her. Her godmother and I don’t think it will last as long as she thinks it will, but I think a summer break apart will be very therapeutic for both of us (and my poor husband who is a favorite target of hers). I will try the positive aspects exercise. Thank you for reminding me of that.

          • Much love and light to you, Judy! I certainly agree that a summer break apart will be wonderful for both of you!

          • That is great that you are to spend some time apart, Judy as it might help you to be able to more focus on good energy. See, in a way, you can tell that you’ve been changing your vibration for the better as the LoA has already sort of put you too in different places. You are already doing a great job and always have faith that everything will work out. :).

  • “And it might even get worse because as you raise your vibration, if you shifted this and he does not come along with you, then he may start to gravitate away from you. If you try to then hold on to him, what will happen is, he’ll get worse and worse and worse.”

    So the thing is you will lose what you want and have to start the boring pointless dating game all over again. Sounds like a no win situation and when you are my age (50) there ain’t many options the so called the universe has something better in store may be years away and well, LOA or not, won’t be here. Sad.

  • I love the video approach and so glad you brought it back! Something definitely shifting in me when you mentioned the difference between control and boundaries…it’s like “you are perfect the way you are, but this is how I want to be treated when you are with me. Do whatever you want to anyone else, lol. “. I have also found by listening to Abe though, that it really, really is about cleaning your vibration because he is showing her basically what she’s vibrating at (so you can throw some appreciation in a sense to him for bringing it to light. ) in my own life I had been dealing with the same situation and just by focusing on his positive qualities as best I can, I have noticed his behavior towards me become sweeter and kinder and it’s really sort of amazing. For people that can’t as easily walk away (that have kids, etc) definitely try this! Anytime he is rude or disrespectful to me, I am much quicker and consistent to let him know it’s not acceptable for me and then let it go. The momentum seems to stop much faster. If I catch myself mulling through negative emotion towards him, I get off the subject and then when I am back in the vortex I focus on his positive qualities. Sometimes I put on upbeat music (like Sky Full of Stars) and visualized us dancing together and smiling, having fun, etc. Another technique I do to take the victim-ness out of myself is to visualize him making the negative comment and then him giving me a little wink afterwards. I pretend that we are actors in a play and he’s just reminding me where my vibes are. It helps me remeber that it’s not about my unworthiness, it’s about his momentary unhappiness and I just happened to be vibrating at that level to receive it and then I appreciate being reminded that my vibes need some tending too! Abe said something once to the likes of “everyone wants to be a happy shiny puppy on the inside and have the potential to do so and if you remain in the vortex, you will bring that part of them out.” This has really helped my marriage. I don’t think I will be with this person forever and that’s ok, but one a daily basis as we raise our little girls, I am appreciating this contrast as it is making me a much better focuser and “vibe raiser.” I am really looking forward to how it will all play out as I give it over to the Universe and loa. :). Good luck, Melissa! Just keep your thoughts on feeling happy and everything will just work out. :). Xoxo

  • To me setting a boundary meant not doing something to please other people which would of made me feel worse, keeping myself in a lower vibration, and instead doing something that made me feel much better and liberated even though initially it felt uncomfortable and a bit scary.

    • You got it Action Woman, that’s exactly what it means. The only disadvantage can be, but not always, losing the thing/person etc.

        • I should have added, it’s not always about losing or someone/thing better comes along, it’s more when the boundary is up and constantly practiced the nasty stuff, just my term, does not happen and bounces off. I know sometimes I miss certain people, jobs, places but when I look at how I allowed a lot of abuse etc I go ok I can see now I changed so therefore they gravitated out in that way even though they are still on earth or wherever.

  • This is an interesting and liberating topic to me. Setting boundaries (not controlling the other person) and walking away.

    Truly, setting boundaries is often confused with controlling. This could precisely be the reason for a big misunderstanding!

    Definitely an educational post. 🙂

  • I find the video is the way to go for me. Great Melody, this sinks in more, more personal and more easily remembered. I have been setting more boundaries lately, this is relevant to me right now, things syncing up as they go wow! And what a freaking feeling it is when you set your boundaries, gives you power, or your just using your power that`s already there instead of giving it away. Yep this is good.

  • I love this! Sometimes I take these topics and apply them to something else going on in my life. I was thinking about my job while watching this and I’ve noticed that despite the fact that things outside of work have been getting better and better for me (Dude I am so close to my BIG goal for this year. I can FEEL it!!!) things AT work have been getting worse and worse (as far as people tap dancing all over my boundaries). Despite this, I have been trying my best to shake it all off when I leave each day (and succeeding quite nicely I must say). 😀
    But anyway, now…….I know what this means…….SQUEEEEEEE!!!!!
    Thank you SO much Melody!!! 😀

  • Setting boundaries and teaching another person how you want and should be treated in just any relationship, including career and personal relationships are an important part to your overall success and happiness.

  • Hey Melody!

    I am SO happy to see your videos again! Actually, I prefer listening to your voice as I find it more “personal” than just reading your blog posts.
    The way you speak and the tone in your voice give more clarity to what you are stating, and the subject matter to this video is very relevant to what I have been wondering for some time now.
    I think the real issue in a relationship is that we always tend to think we need one person in particular, and ONLY this person. But, in fact, there are other people around us who can give us what this one person cannot. In my case, I’ve been in a 1 relationship, I love my boyfriend, but these days I feel like he doesn’t give me the best of him. I talked to him about it, and he seems to be aware of he is doing but doesn’t know how to stop. So I decided to wait patiently for the moment, to see if we can move to a different place TOGETHER. In a relationship, as long as you evolve in the same direction at the same speed, you are really suit to each other. If not, then it is time for you to find someone else who runs at your pace and wants to evolve with you.

    Haha, I still remember having a call with you about my relationship issues 2 years ago. At the time you gently told me that I should be focusing on myself and what I really wanted, than what the guy I had a crush on wanted me to do. Now I have a “real” relationship, but I’m still working on knowing what I want 🙂 But I also have to admit that I have made a huge step forward since then 🙂

    Thank you Melody! You’ve helped me with so many things…

  • Dear Melody,
    Thanks you so much for this wonderful vlog. Looking great !
    Challenges is a must in our daily lives but, clarity is so there
    with your idea to do vids !

  • Melody! That was like a lightening fast response!! Thank you so much. The issue of ‘boundaries’ has been something I’ve been wrestling with for some time now so I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my Q with an awesome A. I’m still feeling a little foggy about the whole thing but will be using this coming weekend to do the work you have mentioned above and going from there 🙂 Thanks again!

  • Great message! And this fits nicely with your Hay House Summit interview, since you talk about the importance of setting boundaries at the end of that interview! Also, I love the peppy music at the end of the video!

  • Great video! I love the thumbnail/preview image, I think the lighting and black background are awesome, I love your delivery, and the outro video clip was great too. I’m going to borrow these ideas from you in future videos of mine. 🙂

  • Melody, you looked great, the background was fine. I am always blown away at how much you know. I’ve been with you for many years and have learned so much. Thank you for your encouragement. You have made life so much better for me. I would love to meet you someday when I go to Barcelona. Cheers.

  • “Don’t do that”… I love it when you say that…. this in itself has been huge for me, brilliant Vlog Melody I danced away very happily to the music at the end!! Love and huge hug Bernie x

  • Melody, you look so young and so beautiful!

    This video is so great for me. Like many women, I’m in the midst of shucking off old ideas that aren’t useful to me anymore about How Women Are Supposed To Be (“nice”, often)… I’m going to try this technique right away. Thanks for sharing!

    Now I’m going to listen to this call. I have a big issue I’m ready to either figure out how I’m blocking, or make peace with letting go – weirdly, at this point, either one would be fine with me. Just so long as there’s more peace about it.

  • Love the post! I recently got out of a tough situation with someone who was very negative and took out their anger and frustration on me. It took two years to stand up to him and say, “no, this is not okay,” and I removed myself from the situation. I feel so much better and stronger.
    The metaphor of someone punching you on the playground hit home, no pun intended. For a long time (and in past relationships) I kept saying, “Don’t do that,” trying to control that person, yet I held myself in the harmful situation.
    Can’t wait to see more videos! Keep it up!

  • This is the exact question I’ve been wrestling with for the past few weeks, to the point of exhaustion. Part of me has been waiting for external validation that it’s ok to walk away, and part of my work has been to realize that the real issue is that I need to feel confident in validating my own perceptions and impulses and stop being a freaking people pleaser once and for all! This is one of those big hairy beliefs for me, and I think I’m finally making some headway on shifting it, and thus, I’m finally ready to surrender to my own good judgment. Thanks for the awesome post!

    • hey
      Your story so resonates with mine.Even I don’t feel confident enough because I have always felt daunted by the external factors that I have been looking for a validation, not particularly from others but maybe with clarity from my head that I”ll be able to pull it off. A ‘freaking people pleaser’ at that, me too and know not how on earth can I be so considerate of others than me!

  • Hahaa…love it…great to see you and hear your voice again…the black background somehow made the video quality great…looking forward to your book.

  • Oh Melody!! Yay you! Answered with perfect clarity, as always! Very excited for you as you share your wisdom using vlogs!!



  • Perfect timing on this post/video. I love the last part about not needing permission. That’s where I am in a relationship … looking for permission to walk away from 5 years simply because I don’t want to hurt him. That’s not reason enough for me to stay.

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