EP 268: Stop Fearing Upsetting Other People, Especially A Parent, with Kylie

This call is about developing authentic relationships by being authentic. Today’s caller, Kylie, is individuating and is trying to figure out how to have a grown-up relationship with her mother. This call is useful for those of you who are wondering how to have an adult relationship with your parents and break free of the patterns that were set up in childhood.

When we become an adult, we start to step into sovereignty. Our parents, or caregivers, raised us and they were our authority figure. We were dependent on them. As children, we couldn’t care for ourselves and were not supposed to. We were subjected to whatever patterns our parents imprinted upon us. Since as children we are sponges, we absorbed many of the way they did things, the way they feel their emotions, and the way they relate.  We learned as children to adapt to those behaviors and be whoever we think we need to be, to be safe, to be loved, and protected.

Then, as adults, as we step into sovereignty and we are not dependent on our parents, and we are dependent on ourselves, we have to consider the relational dynamic that was set up when we were dependent and had no sovereignty, no power.

The patterns that were set up your parental dynamic, either with one or both of your parents when they were set up, you had no choice in the matter. Today, you do. Do you still want to keep playing out the patterns that were imposed and imprinted on you as a child, now that you are an adult? Or, do you want to individuate and have a healthy adult relationship with your parents?

If so, it may involve upsetting them. The other person being upset is often a side effect of setting boundaries. You cannot wait until you are sure the other person will not be upset to do it.

To create a vision for a relationship that requires another person who is not doing their work can leave you with a massive expectation hangover. I have a guided talk in the Calm app.

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Consider/Ask Yourself:

  • Do you walk on eggshells or have anxiety when it comes to one or both of your parents or anyone in your life?
  • Do you often feel yourself contorting into what you think someone wants you to be so you avoid upsetting them?
  • Do you feel like you are growing at a faster rate than your parents? Or, have outgrown your parents and you’re not sure how to have a relationship with them?
  • Are you authentic and sovereign in your relationships or do you tend to give your power away?

Kylie’s Question:

Kylie wants guidance on how to develop a more authentic relationship with her mother.

Kylie’s Key Insights and Ahas:

  • She rarely speaks with her mother even though they live close.
  • Her parents divorced when she was six.
  • She decided she does not want to follow her mother’s path.
  • There is some co-dependent patterning.
  • She is careful about how she communicates with her mother.
  • She does not want to disappoint her mother.
  • She is in tune with her body and working on her personal development.
  • She embraces intimacy with others.
  • She gives her mom a lot of power while disempowering herself.

How to Get Over It and On With It:

  • Be careful not to take the caretaking role with her mother.
  • Be unapologetically herself.
  • Let it be OK that her mother gets upset.
  • Ask her boyfriend to call her out when she rolls back into her previous patterns.


  • Stop editing yourself in relationships, especially the ones closest to you. It is okay to rock the boat.
  • No hiding, no avoiding. Embrace “carefrontations” and speak your truth.
  • Do not parent your parents.
  • Ask yourself why you chose your parents.
  • Look at the ways you are not sovereign. Where are you giving your power away?


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Parents can have an avoidant relationship with a child if the child triggers an unowned, unseen aspect of themselves. Click To Tweet Part of sovereignty and individuating is breaking the patterns our parents initiated when we were children. Click To Tweet It's important that we keep our rightful place in the family and avoid parenting our parents. Click To Tweet

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