Continuing with the theme of liberatory practices, one of the most potent places to free yourself is within your relationships. When it comes to the people in your personal, familial, romantic, and professional circles, it’s important to check in with how they’re either nourishing or depleting you.

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In this episode, I’m sharing how I’ve determined which relationships are worth it for me and which ones aren’t at the moment. I also touch on strategies that have been helpful for maintaining and/or deepening the connections I want to keep in my life, and explore some thoughts on letting go of ones that no longer serve me.

In episode 414 of the Embodied Podcast we discuss:

  • (1:58) Details about my upcoming workshop, The Relationship Inventory 
  • (4:16) Unpacking some internet rhetoric around ghosting
  • (8:19) My practice for sending love to someone when I feel like I’m spending a lot of emotional energy on them
  • (11:46) How accepting people for who they are has softened my heart and my hard edges
  • (13:55) Dealing with situations where you just don’t like or vibe with someone that other people that you like and respect do
  • (16:15) Getting clear on your negotiables and non-negotiables in a relationship 
  • (17:50) The groups of people that I’m no longer giving time and energy to the way that I used to, and why 
  • (26:24) Examples of friendships that I’ve learned to step away from 
  • (32:48) My experience with deepening family connections and upholding boundaries 
  • (34:59) Knowing and honoring the scope of my professional practice
  • (38:18) Discovering what you need out of your romantic relationships

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Quotes from this Week’s Episode of the Embodied Podcast: 

  • When you’re the person doing the ghosting, sometimes there are circumstances under which it is actually the best, most accessible, and safest choice for you.
  • One of the things I have found to be profoundly healing and helpful, especially around clearing energy when I am letting anyone live rent free in my head, is to interrupt those types of thoughts 一 the overanalyzing, the questioning, the doubting, the having conversations in your mind that you’re not actually going to have in real life 一 and instead, send them love.  
  • It’s really important if we’re going to practice accepting people for exactly who and where they are that we extend that same compassion and grace to ourselves.
  • No one is above triggers and projections. But, there is a possibility of getting to a place where triggers and projections become the exception, not the rule. 
  • Two great questions to ask yourself: does the relationship feel like a heavy lift? And if it does, is it worth it?
  • It’s okay to not want the types of relationships other people want. It’s okay to stop wanting the relationships you have.

How was this episode for you?

Was this episode helpful for you today? I’d love to know what quote or lesson touched your soul. Let me know in the comments below OR share the episode on Instagram, tag me your stories @elizabethdialto, or send me a DM!

About the Embodied Podcast with Elizabeth DiAlto

Since 2013 I’ve been developing a body of work that helps women embody self-love, healing, and wholeness. We do this by focusing on the four levels of consciousness – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

In practical terms, this looks like exploring tools and practices to help you tune into the deep wisdom of the body and the knowing of the heart, which I believe are gateways to our souls. Then we cultivate a new relationship with our minds that allows the mind to serve this wisdom and knowledge and soul connection, rather than override it, which is what many of us were taught.

If you’ve been doing self-help or spiritual development work for a while, these are the types of foundational things that often people overlook in pursuit of fancier concepts that often aren’t practical or sustainable. Here, we will focus on building these strong foundations so you can honestly and thoroughly embody self-love. If you’re feeling it, subscribe to the show, and leave us a review wherever you listen from. You can also keep up with show updates and community discussions on Instagram here.

Transcript for Episode 414 “Liberating Your Relationships“:

Elizabeth DiAlto  00:00

Not making people wrong for who and where they are as a person who is used to being othered for many reasons, which often feels like being made wrong for all kinds of things like my energy, fierceness, and confidence to my body shape, ethnic ambiguity, my laugh, and the unconventionality with which I live my life, accepting people for who they are, has softened my heart and my heart edges so much, even when it’s not reciprocated. And personally, I’d rather come from a loving place and use that energy to decide how I want to engage with someone, rather than coming from a place of resentment.

Elizabeth DiAlto  00:43

What’s up everybody? Welcome to episode number 414 of the embodied podcast. I’m your host, Elizabeth DiAlto, and today we’re getting into liberating your relationships. Before we dive in, I have a funny story for you. Often during the show, I will invite people to, you know, slide into my DMs on Instagram or send us a message at hello and untamed. to share any insights or thoughts or whatever that came up during the episode. And this past week, I had an anonymous DM from someone who had to let me know that they agree with something I said, but don’t like all of my ideas. And they wanted to let me know that I’m not always right. And it cracks me up. Because if there’s anything I’m like a broken record about on the show, it’s that where I’m coming from might not be relatable, resonant or applicable for everybody. And to always use your own discernment and lived experience to get the gems that are for you. And it was not, not to mention, no one is right all the time.

Elizabeth DiAlto  01:48

So when I read that message, I wanted to be like, Yeah, I know. But I’d actually don’t respond. I’m about being in community, I don’t respond to people sending anonymous messages. So I also want to let you know that coming up on February 26, I have a new workshop. Actually, this is something I’ve been wanting to do for years, but I’ve never done a whole workshop on it on doing a relationship inventory. So back in January, we did the Holy consistency and life inventory workshop. And relationships are a category in the life inventory. But relationships make such a big impact and influence on our lives in so many ways. Specifically, I break things down into personal, professional, family and romantic. And so I’m going to do a whole workshop on liberating your relationships, essentially how to make sure your relationships are nourishing and supportive how to maintain and be in and navigate the relationships that aren’t that way. But in some cases are non negotiable, right? Because these people are family members, co parents, co workers or something like that. We’ll talk about figuring out what your dealmakers and deal breakers are with people and all kinds of cool stuff like that. If you could use help with that, check out the workshop at untamed forward slash workshops. And if you’re listening to this at a later date, that workshop might not be available anymore. That page is always where our upcoming workshops are listed. So if you get in sometime before or probably shortly after February 26, because we don’t always change the page over right away, you’ll be able to access the relationship inventory. So let’s dive into liberating relationships. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  03:27

The aspect I’m specifically going to focus on for this episode is determining which ones are worth it for you and which ones aren’t at the moment, as well how to maintain or deepen ones that are and some thoughts on letting go of ones that aren’t. So liberating relationships is about to the best of your ability, having a life full of relationships you enjoy being in that feel reciprocal, or supportive, nourishing and help you grow. As I mentioned, the four types of relationships that I really focus on our personal, professional family and romantic, which is pretty all encompassing, and sometimes they overlap. And before I dive into examples and stories with those four types of relationships, I wanted to share some of my favorite laboratory practices to use in all types of relationships, as well. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  04:16

I wanted to address something that I said I would address in an Instagram story a couple of weeks ago. One of those things is ghosting. So I know we live in a world where and I’ve been talking about this a lot lately, like Instagram and tick tock reels and videos that give little snippets of deep things, psychological things, therapeutic things in just a little soundbite that don’t include the nuance and complexity and the depth of those issues. What we get is a lot of people out here over analyzing over diagnosing self diagnosing diagnosing a There’s pathologizing people. And in a lot of cases that is really unhelpful. It’s good to learn and have awareness about things. But listen, unless you’re a frigging licensed therapist unless you have the deep training. And you know, it’s not always about having certifications, which were academia. And this is like a paradoxical thing, right? Because we live in this patriarchal worlds super colonialist. Still, and often those things are tools of oppression and supremacy. And also, often they are the deep training that people actually need to be able to work in a field, do something well, and do something responsibly. So both things can be true. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  05:46

And when it comes to the topic of ghosting, you see most people and these online platforms and forums, saying that ghosting is rude, in some cases mean, always inconsiderate, always unhealthy, always emotionally immature. But the thing is, it might seem that way in the direction of the person who’s being ghosted, but when you’re the person doing the ghosting, sometimes there are circumstances under which it is actually the best, the most accessible, and the safest choice for you. And I know a lot of people probably don’t want to hear that, because it’s what’s the word I’m looking for people enjoy getting on their high horse about things and being morally superior. And, you know, we live in a time where binary thinking is at an all time high. But that’s not what this podcast is for. So I’m always gonna invite you to consider when there might be exceptions or when there might be reasons, because here’s also the thing.

Elizabeth DiAlto  06:50

And I’ve done this to myself, certainly over years, especially in the context of dating and personal relationships, where I did not want to be the person ghosting on someone. And so I would say or share something to let a person know that I was no longer interested or available in connecting with them, which, depending on the type of person, in some cases, set myself up for like a violent response. And that is what really started having me question. Maybe sometimes it is just the better, healthier choice to Ghost. And we can’t always be positive, we can always be sure. Sometimes we just don’t have the energy or for engaging with people letting people know.

Elizabeth DiAlto  07:32

But listen, on the other end of the spectrum, I often will just send like a very kind note to someone. This is more in the dating context to be like, hey, appreciate our time together. I’m realizing Am I really feeling this, but I wish you the best. And I can’t even tell you how often I will actually in those messages often say ghosting isn’t really my style. So I just wanted to let you know. And I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve gotten a thanks for not ghosting, where thanks for letting me know or wish you the best also, in response, sometimes they get a non response. But more often than not, when my instinct is to send that kind message to someone that it’s going to be a worthwhile thing to do. The response is a positive response. And I ended up being glad I did it.

Elizabeth DiAlto  08:19

Something else I want to share is there’s a phrase that I hear people using a lot more recently, which is letting someone live rent free in your head. And obviously this is when we’re just like giving a lot of mental and sometimes also emotional energy to people that were not even necessarily engaging with, right. This is when we get in the spinning over analyzing wonder if we could have done things differently, wondering what they’re doing or why or trying to guess at their behaviors and things like that. So if you’re letting anyone live rent free in your head, and it’s not really a person you can have a conversation with or there’s not really a conflict that is resolvable. I want to offer you something that I learned many years ago, two different ways, actually. First, it was in a book by Pema children. And I don’t remember which one because I read a couple of her books in like 2013 and 2014. But it’s the metta meditation practice. And I don’t remember her exact phrasing of it. But then in 2017, I was reading a book by Martha Beck called Diana herself. And I loved that damn book. And it was at a time in my life where it was like, you know, when you pick up a book, and you’re like, holy shit, was this book written just for me? And obviously, no book has ever written just for you. But on a level, it is exactly what you needed. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  09:38

So anyway, this phrasing that I’m about to give you is more inspired by how Martha Beck puts it and Diana herself, but I’m also not really sure it’s exactly what she says I think I might have improvised on it. So I just wanted to cite those two sources and let you know that I’m editing a little bit so that either you can go check and see what they actually He said, or create your own version, if you like it better. But the metta meditation is about sending love to people, essentially. And that’s probably a pretty reductionist description of it. But that’s what I’m going to go with today. And so one of the things I have found to be wildly and profoundly healing and helpful, especially around clearing energy, when I am letting anyone live rent free in my head, is to interrupt those types of thoughts, right? As I already mentioned, the overanalyzing the questioning the doubting the having conversations in your mind that you’re not actually going to have in real life, which I know a lot of people do, and said, to send them love. And the way I say it is, may you be well, May you be safe, may you live in joy, and peace. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  10:47

I’ve also used this during breakups when it’s really hard. I’ve used this when I’ve been ghosted by people, that it was like, wild to me that they would ghost after the level of personal engagement and interaction that we’d had. But again, I don’t really judge that, but we can all feel a way about it. So I love to like sit and if I’m going to be thinking about the person anyway. rather choose to pray for them and send this beautiful, may be well, May you be safe, may you live in joy and peace. And I’ll just say it, I don’t know, in the actual practice, if there’s a number of times they recommend or suggest you say it, but I’ll just say it as many times as I need to, to start to feel better in my body, right, rather than feeling like tense or anxious or agitated or angry. I’ll say it until those feelings either start to dissipate or completely dissipate. If that’s possible, right. Sometimes, we can’t dissolve something completely, but we can put a dent in it.

Elizabeth DiAlto  11:46

Some other laboratory practices I love for all types of relationships are not making people wrong for who and where they are, as a person who is used to being othered, for many reasons, which often feels like being made wrong, for all kinds of things like my energy, fierceness, and confidence to my body shapes, ethnic ambiguity, my laugh, and the unconventionality with which I live my life, accepting people for who they are, has softened my heart and my heart edges so much, even when it’s not reciprocated. And personally, I’d rather come from a loving place and use that energy to decide how you want to engage with someone, rather than coming from a place of resentment. And I can come from love when I have no desire for the person to be any different. And I have no expectations for a connection or relationship that’s not possible or available, or to even be seen or valued by people who just can’t see or value me. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  12:45

And I’m not saying it’s not a bummer sometimes, so that it never hurts. I’m just saying that even when it’s painful, contentment and equanimity are possible to both things can be true at the same time. It’s also really important if we’re going to practice accepting people for exactly who and where they are, that we extend that same compassion and grace to ourselves. We stop trying to like people we don’t like or try to understand things that you’re just never going to understand this has been huge for me, there are some things that I’m just never going to be able to wrap my brain around, like, for example, how people just straight up tell bold faced lies, I just don’t do that. I do believe which some people would consider omissions of truth to be lies. But I really believe that there’s nuance to sharing the aspect of the truth that’s appropriate to share with someone, but not necessarily sharing the entire thing.This is kind of like, need to know, like sharing with people what they need to know. And nothing more, which takes discernment, and could be a really valuable skill to have. But different people might have different opinions on that.

Elizabeth DiAlto  13:54

I also want to speak to when you just don’t like or vibe with someone that other people that you like and respect do. That could be a little disorienting, and a lot of folks can’t fathom that not liking someone is it can really just be a neutral thing. It’s just like lists. I don’t like them. That’s it. They’re not for me. And a lot of people can’t fathom that because there’s so deep in the world of triggers and projections, and no one is above triggers and projections. But there is a possibility of getting to a place where triggers and projections become the exception, not the rule where they’re anomalies, not the norm. We also live in a world where some people really get off on being triggering like it’s a weird powerplay. You’ll see this when you’re upset bring up a conflict or set a boundary with people sometimes and they respond with I see you’re really triggered or I see that I’ve triggered you. And that’s just not the case sometimes, but you can tell that they’re like, enjoying it or getting off on it in a way. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  14:56

And again, I want to reiterate we cannot like things that be unsatisfied with something and even find things repulsive or intolerable, and also not be triggered by them. Again, we’re allowed to just not like stuff. And some things just aren’t for us. My friend, Hannah Tisa, who has been on the podcast before I forget her episode number, but we’ll put in the show notes, calls this emotional sobriety. And I love that emotionally sober people aren’t triggered easily. And don’t assume every upset as a trigger, or try to turn it into one. Dissonance is a very valid and real thing. Sometimes feeling again, disgusted, repulsed or simply turned off, or your soul’s way of letting you know that something isn’t for you. And that’s all it is. Also, your body will often tell you through feelings of uneasiness, inability to just relax. In some cases, feeling really agitated by the mere sound of someone’s voice or their mannerisms or expressions, these things can just let you know that there’s dissonance and the relational field, what you choose to do with that is entirely up to you. And again, that’s something we’re going to talk about more in the relationship inventory workshop. So definitely check that out at untamed, forward slash, workshops, if that’s something you’re interested in, as well

Elizabeth DiAlto  16:15

this next thing I’m going to say, we’re also going to cover in the workshop, which is I’m a big fan of always knowing what your negotiables and non negotiables are dealmakers and deal breakers are not negotiable. Everything else is. And I recommend holding these things lightly. Because inevitably, they’re going to shift and change over time, depending on what’s going on in your life and in the world. But it’s important to at least know what they are have a general idea and revisit them on occasion. In a post 2020 world, personally, I just don’t have the same energy or the same tolerance for engaging with certain types of people the way I used to. And again, doesn’t mean they trigger me just means engaging, or giving them my energy either at all or beyond a certain point doesn’t make sense for me logically, or intuitively.

Elizabeth DiAlto  17:05

And I’m about to share with you like a list of the types of people that fall into this category for me, of I just don’t have the tolerance for engaging with them anymore the way I used to, I’m not saying at all I’m saying the way I used to used to give these people a lot of time, energy and attention. In many cases, I had to learn the hard way why it wasn’t worth it for me. But if you fall into any of these categories, I just want to like give the little caveat. Don’t take it personally, right, I’m going to tell you why this is appropriate for me. And it doesn’t mean anything about you necessarily, unless I say so that you can relate to that you know, you do, in which case, you might want to think about that, and the impact that you’re having on people. But I’m not here trying to make anyone feel bad about themselves, right.

Elizabeth DiAlto  17:50

So for me right now, the people that it just doesn’t make sense for me to give a lot of time, energy or attention to the way I used to our men, white people, coaches, especially of the business variety, and what I’m going to call deeply identifying feminists, liberals, parents, and most recently, since I’ve embraced a lifestyle of non monogamy monogamists. And a lot of it, as you can probably guess, has to do with how I’m currently orienting in my life. Some of it is just inexplicable, I just don’t like it. And let me elaborate what I mean on by deeply identifying, there’s a difference between being passionate about something and building most of your personality around something. People who are deeply identified have built a lot of their personality around the thing, for example, there are certainly some feminist and liberal principles I fully support and believe in, but you will never hear me identify myself as a feminist or liberal though, because both of those groups are wildly susceptible to groupthink. And I’m not into that I’m into critical thinking, and always questioning everything, and reserving the right to change your mind about stuff. as new information comes to light. And as you heal, grow and change. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  19:09

Some people see that as hypocritical, especially in an online world, where anyone could go back, in my case to like old social media posts, YouTube videos, podcast episodes, and be like, well, in 2017, you said this, and it’s like, yeah, it’s 2013. Now, it’s been six years and like, 1437 lifetimes since then. And I feel differently about it. That’s a grace. I like to give people in fact, here and there. If I’m ever like, in conflict with someone or calling somebody in or whatever. I’ll be like, Hey, where are you at with this right now? Before I even say anything to include and consider that maybe they’ve changed their mind? Or maybe they’re looking at something or approaching something differently than when I last encountered them. Now, in case you’re wondering, by way, I feel like I have to say this on this podcast to the group of people who probably listen to my show, who are more than likely, more likely to be feminist and liberal than anything else. If you’re wondering why I’m pinpointing those two things, and not like conservatives, is because due to the nature and orientation of my life, I’m just not regularly engaging with that many conservatives. So it’s not something I have to navigate nearly as much. Although I do have a lot in my family, and I do have to navigate it there. But it’s just not really a primary experience in my life. Whereas people who identify as feminist and liberals all up in my space all the time. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  20:32

So to come back to why these categories of people fall under the people, I just don’t have a ton of energy for anymore list, the through lines across all of those categories, our superiority, a lot of people that fall under these categories, really think they’re better than other people really have intense needs to be right. And they’ll try to convince you that their way is better, which is like, so opposite of how I am, I always want people to be considering where they come from, what I’m saying, where what I’m saying falls into their context, if anything, illuminate something for them, to open up to it, consider it, roll around with it, and see how they might want to engage with it. But I’m just never gonna be out here, trying to convince people that my way, my thoughts, my ideas are the best or the right way. Especially when things are more rooted in opinion than fact, there are some things that are straight up factual, evidence based and, like tried and true and practiced, that we can actually say, this is right, and this is wrong, or this is the better way to do it. This is not or this way of doing it shows and proves and indicates that someone really understands and has gone deep in their work. And this way of doing it really shows that they’re not there. And again, none of those things are about making people wrong. It’s just identifying where people are with stuff, and then deciding using that information to decide whether or not you want to engage with it. And if you do want to engage with it, how you’re going to.

Elizabeth DiAlto  22:08

Again, coming back to this, as I mentioned already over identifying people tend to have big gaps in nuance reverence, curiosity, humility, and the ability to be with complexity, locate themselves into things and do honest self assessment. So these things are more what I’m not interested in engaging with. And for me, personally, in the context of my life, as I mentioned earlier, the people I mentioned men, white people, coaches, deep identifying feminists, liberals, parents, and more recently monogamists. Those are just the people that I engage with on the most regular basis or am more likely to that would be demonstrating these qualities.

Elizabeth DiAlto  22:52

And let me give you some more examples. In some cases, these types of people will think that they’re further along in their growth and evolution than they are when people have superiority complexes, or are deeply rooted in supremacy culture, they often can’t see beyond their level or their status. And they’re so attached to being better than others. They just can’t rise up to meet or even just acknowledge you, whether you are exactly where they are, or maybe even further along than they are. And other cases, these people just think their life choices or orientations, are morally superior or better in some way, and really just can’t manage to not be condescending about it. And to me, that’s an energy that is just like so unenjoyable. So don’t engage with that.

Elizabeth DiAlto  23:39

We see this in how a lot of parents, Judge childfree folks, and sometimes that judgment is coming from envy, right? They envy our freedom. And I know this is not apply to all parents, for sure. But I have heard this from a lot of parents, because plenty of humble people are able to admit it. And I’ve also seen some great posts and articles about it over the years. We also see this with how people in relationships even unfulfilling ones, will condescend to single or non monogamous people to validate their choice to stay in something that isn’t serving them. And sometimes people just can’t imagine other people wanting anything other than the things that they want. Whether it’s things that make them feel good about themselves, or things again, that they are deeply identified with.

Elizabeth DiAlto  24:27

This is a big one with business coaches who think that making more money is the ultimate indicator of success. I remember being in a mastermind back in the day was probably 2013 When I was only in business for a couple of years, and I was still really figuring my shit out. At that point, though, even though I hadn’t like figured out how to run an online business in a sustainable way and with generating like sufficient revenue to support myself. I distill already had a decade of sales and marketing experience in other industries. I was also excellent at building really friendships and community with people and connecting dots and seeing patterns that others couldn’t. So often my insight, even in things I hadn’t experienced or wasn’t doing well in, were spot on. And this man in that mastermind, I will never forget this blatantly said to my face. I’m not interested in advice from people who make less money than me. So short sighted, especially as you can tell, he was a fucking asshole.

Elizabeth DiAlto  25:25

I could have used some relationship building insights. But also, it’s that not everyone values, making money the way other people do. For some people, making hundreds of 1000s, or millions and millions of dollars is not the marker of success. And as well, we all have known people in our lives, whether it’s through the news and media, or places where we’ve worked, or people in our own personal lives, who make plenty of money, and are fucking miserable. So let’s dive more specifically into examples for each category. By the way, there’s nothing wrong with making money, I’m just saying the way some people act around it is ridiculous.

Elizabeth DiAlto  26:05

So we’re gonna get into examples for personal, professional, romantic and family. And remember, the aspect I’m really focusing on for this episode is determining what relationships are worth it for you which ones aren’t at the moment, because it could change over time, as well as how to maintain or deepen ones that are, and some thoughts on letting go of ones that aren’t.

Elizabeth DiAlto  26:24

So we’ll start with personal, a handful of my friendships with white women did not last through the pandemic, I realized that if being in connection with white people feels like a lift for me, because they’re white, I’m out. Now, I also want to say, if being in a relationship with anyone feels like a lift for any reason, I’m usually out. But this was a time where I was doing a lot of ancestral healing, really reconciling with my own identity as a mixed race and multi ethnic person. And seeing as how part of my identity is of mixed European descent, which is considered white in the United States. Especially, I was in big inquiry around how am I engaging and interacting with white folks? How does it affect me and stuff like that? Now, there’s a million reasons why it can feel like a lift, which I’m not going to get into. But that’s a great point of discernment on liberating your relationships Two great question to ask yourself, does it feel like a lift, like a heavy lift, like it’s work and big effort? That’s exhausting. And if it does, is it worth it? And for example, my family is a lift, almost everyone in my family other than my little four year old niece is a lift for me on some level, but they’re worth it to me.

Elizabeth DiAlto  27:35

And I’ll talk about family after personal. I also want to say it’s okay to take breaks from friendships, circle back, or in some cases, just let them dissolve. This happens. It’s okay to not want the types of relationships other people want. It’s okay to stop wanting the relationships you have. Some people prefer transactional relationships, some people want to go all in and get super deep with folks. And 2021 and 2022. Once I got to Miami, and began to thaw out from the state, I’d gotten myself into being so isolated. During the most intense parts of the pandemic in California, which was super locked and shut down, I began to see some people that I’d gone too deep with, and I had to pull back with and the springs to mind. I know it sounds super cliche, but it’s just so relevant, that quote about how some people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. It’s just true. And we won’t always know why or be able to explain it, sometimes we can. But often, we’re just going to feel it. You know, sometimes we just feel complete with things. Sometimes something stops feeling good, and starts feeling pretty crappy most of the time.

Elizabeth DiAlto  28:41

So here’s a few examples, most of which have to do with not being seen, which I’m using that as an example, because it’s a pretty important cornerstone of deep friendship and deep relationships. One friend I had I realized I’d always felt off with, I was always like, trying to like her more. And there were many points of connection, but I could never fully relax or be my true self with her. as well. Her advice was typically always based on what she would do, not what she thought I should do, based on years of knowing me. She even tried to convince me on a few different occasions that I was more like her than I actually am in a couple of different ways. And listen, this is a wonderful, loving, super smart, high integrity person. But still was it for me, people can be amazing, doesn’t mean we’re always going to vibe with them or even like them, and we don’t have to like people to respect them as human beings, and regard them as lovable worthy, and all these things. Again, people can be amazing doesn’t mean we’re always going to vibe with them or even like them, and also we can have a lot of respect for people and still not really want to be that deeply connected to them. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  29:52

Another example is I had a friend who was talking about being white and said we And I had to interrupt and say, and this is a person I’ve been friends with for many years, you know, I’m not a full white, right? And she said, Oh, I just thought you identified as white. She thought that because she wanted to relate to me as a fellow white person, not because she had been listening or paying attention to anything I had been saying, or sharing about reconciling with, and in a full reclamation of my entire identity. And even so this makes me laugh. I’ve never identified as white a day in my life, not even by choice. Really,

Elizabeth DiAlto  30:31

the number one question of my entire life has been about my race and ethnicity, people asking me, What are you? And listen, this is a loaded question. It can be a question for connection. It could also be a question for othering. Sometimes when people ask, they’re asking, because they think you share some heritage, and they want to connect over that, or they think they recognize something in you because they’re familiar with. And they’re asking it as a way of trying to connect others. They’re just trying to decide where to place you in relationship to themselves or decide how to treat you. And others are just ignorant or sheltered. And I’ve never met someone who looks like you in real life before. And they’re really just like what’s going on here, which, you know, some people take offense to that, that tone or context, I used to used to really bother me, but I’m over it. Now. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  30:31

I also have a confession about that related to this, I actually had no idea until my 30s, that that was even possible. Having like, never seen a person who looks a certain way, having grown up in a borough of New York City, literally the melting pot, surrounded by all the types of people. And then, you know, after college living in other diverse places, like Baltimore, Washington, DC, and then back up to New York City throughout my 20s. It really wasn’t until I got to California, which is still pretty diverse in some parts, but not really integrated in a lot of areas like the cities I was used to living in, like, you know, you go out in most areas of like New York City, Baltimore, actually, let me not include Washington DC in this because DC certainly has some parts that will be less, less integrated. But also I haven’t been there on year. So who knows what it’s like now, but I’m just remembering from the past. But there really are some places where you just will not see any diversity whatsoever. Aside from service employees, which doesn’t help broaden people’s perceptions at all, it just reinforces a lot of stereotypes, and prejudices. So that was just I felt naive. And I felt a little ignorant when I realized I’m like, oh, there really are some people who have never engaged with or interacted with different races, genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, all these types of things, outside of like TV, media, and movies like that really blew my mind.

Elizabeth DiAlto  32:48

So family, family is the area for me, where I’ve really had to learn how to keep people in my life because I want to, not because it’s easy or necessarily enjoyable all the time. And listen, some years are better than others, as I’m sure some of you can relate to. I’m just not someone who’s going to cut off or give up on my family. They’re tough. But the deep love and history really matters to me. And while sure they have their toxic behaviors and dysfunctions. At least in my case, none of it is so cruel, harsh or abusive that it is intolerable. I’ve also gotten great at not being codependent with them, which has made a world of difference. And I also learned to stay connected with them by really focusing on the points of connection that are enjoyable between us. And then setting boundaries around the things that are not in my family.

Elizabeth DiAlto  33:37

Some of these things are food, TV humor, comedy, since my niece came along talking about my niece all day, we could talk about how she’s growing the funny, silly, smart and interesting things she’s doing and getting into exchange stories about hilarious and adorable things she says when we talk to her, so my little niece has given us a new point of connection, which has been lovely. We also love to play games, you know, card games and board games. There’s also different members of my family, I can call with questions about certain things. And I really try to do that when I can get an opinion from someone when I need it. Who has experience or expertise or even interest in something that I really don’t, with my cousins who I’m very different from and not super close with. It’s fun as adults now to talk about our parents and what it’s like to be in our family. And to hear from them what it was like growing up how we each perceived each other’s parents and stuff like that. And you know, those are things when the opportunity presents itself to connect that are fun or funny or entertaining to connect about. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  34:39

The bottom line is this just doesn’t apply to family. If you want to be in relationship with someone you have to find points of connection and it’s obviously going to be easier and more sustainable to find some points of connection that are enjoyable. On the other side of that again, I just want to reiterate set boundaries around the things that you do not wish to connect on

Elizabeth DiAlto  34:59

getting in to professional, the thing I want to focus on with professional today is about knowing and honoring my scope of practice. Now, this will be more applicable in your field, if you’re some kind of healer, coach, guide, advocate. If you work in human resources, or Hello, like law enforcement, this is nuanced. This is so nuanced. And I’m going to keep it pretty simple here. So please hear everything I’m about to say with that in mind, I promise you, there are layers to this that deserve way more attention that I can give it in just a single section of a podcast episode. But I personally am not the best fit for people who are really struggling with unresolved trauma, intense mental health issues. And especially as I’m coming to understand my own neuro divergence, not only is there a lot that I don’t know that I don’t know about neurodivergent, but I really need to suss out my own experience before I could ever imagine helping others with theirs. Does it mean I can’t help these people at all, of course not. But if they’re working with me, only if they’re only working with me, and not getting the deeper support they need, that’s when it becomes a non ideal situation as well, if they’re in a particularly rough patch, with whatever they’re dealing with, a higher level of more qualified support will always be best. And that’s because everyone deserves to be met, where they are, um, trauma informed, but I am no trauma expert, or therapist.

Elizabeth DiAlto  36:21

And while I’m a big fan of energy work on alternative healing modalities, I also think it’s important to acknowledge that there are times when those things are more appropriate as complementary forms of support, and not the main form of support. What sucks is sometimes it takes a while to realize we’re not the best professional fit for people. But once we do, we need to take appropriate action to ensure that we don’t cause them harm, or in some cases, further harm if we already have and a note here, this is nothing to feel badly about. It’s a good area to check your savior ism, and check your ego and because this is really about being humble, being accountable, being curious, taking responsibility, being self aware, and also congruent enough with your values to say, I am not the best person for you, as well to be willing to repair where possible or warranted and apologize when we realize we’ve stepped out of our scope.

Elizabeth DiAlto  37:14

We all do it. It’s impossible not to from all sides from both sides, our own side where we don’t know what we don’t know. And then the other person’s side where people are really good at hiding what’s actually going on with them. Often that’s because of shame. And also because of complexity. Sometimes they’re not entirely sure yet, either. Any of you who have had any kind of like later in life diagnosis with something, you know what this is like, you could have struggled with something your whole damn life and not knowing what it was. And so you weren’t getting the appropriate support or help you need it, because you didn’t know what that was or even looked like.

Elizabeth DiAlto  37:50

So one other thing I’ll add on this part is we live in a culture that is not set up to educate or support folks around mental and emotional wellness, trauma and neuro divergence. And some of those things go hand in hand sometimes often they do. So we’re automatically set up to miss the mark a lot of the time with stuff like this, which is why I say don’t beat yourself up about it. But as in all things once you realize that you’re fucking it up, or that you’re making mistakes, like it’s time to do better. Gotta do something about that.

Elizabeth DiAlto  38:18

So let’s wrap up with romantic we all want and need different things from romantic relationships, somewhat nothing to do with them which listen, I respect, and I’ve gone through periods of my life like that. And those periods of my life were some of the most joyful periods of my life. Because romantic relationships can be a lot of work. They don’t always have to be and they’re not they aren’t always but they can be. Some people want deep monogamous partnership. Some people want freedom, but intimacy and companionship too, and turn to non monogamy like I have, for the most part unknowingly since 2018. And more intentionally since June of last year 2020 To someone their romantic relationships to be sexual, other people don’t. There are so many ways to be satisfied in romantic connections. monogamy is just the big time norm in our culture. So much so that there are financial benefits and rights attached to legal marriage, which you know, that’s a conversation for another time. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  39:14

But personally, I love love and enjoy sex, intimacy and companionship so much. But merging my life with someone else’s and a monogamous partnership I have come to learn really isn’t for me, at least at this point in my life. Now, just because that’s my preference doesn’t mean I’m out here evangelizing non monogamy to other people. I’m certainly talking about it more, because it’s more of an experience in my life. But I can still respect and totally understand why monogamy is the best choice and is totally for so many people. And I also see how non monogamy is of course, not even a reasonable choice or idea for some people. It just just wouldn’t be for them, especially people who have a tendency to be jealous It’s really hard if you’re a person who tends to be jealous or feel really insecure, or perhaps has an anxious attachment style, although again, I’m not saying it’s not for you, if you have any of those things, I’m just saying it will likely be more challenging, more of a lift for you as life choice. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  40:17

So this also kind of relates back to what I was talking about not really giving much energy attention to people who over identify things. Because there’s not a lot of room for connection there. The biggest thing I’ve come to after not being in a monogamous partnership for a little over what I will call six glorious years now. And I say that now which by the way, it didn’t feel glorious the whole time as I was deconditioning. myself from wanting monogamy by default. But the biggest thing I’ve come to is how important self honesty is. I had a massive realization recently that I’m going to share with you, some of you might take this the wrong way and judge me for it. And I’m cool with that, like, one of things you got to get used to when you have a platform like this is letting people be wrong about you, or letting people misunderstand or misinterpret you.

Elizabeth DiAlto  41:00

But here’s what I’m going to share. As I was beginning to live a more non monogamous lifestyle beginning in 2018, I would sometimes feel like men didn’t actually want to be with me, like in a committed, monogamous, long term relationship, they just wanted to have sex with me. And sometimes I would feel really shitty about that. Turns out, that was a projection, I was the one who didn’t want to be with them in a long term committed monogamous partnership, and was more interested in sexual friendship than an all in relationship. Now that might sound objectifying. And for me, it’s not because it’s not about a conquest or using people or anything like that. I’m actually not capable of those things. I’m too sensitive. And I have too much reverence for humanity and for humans to be that way. It has more to do with being super satisfied and fulfilled, and the other relationship areas of my life, that I just truly don’t need that much from the romantic category, other than the things that you can only get from the romantic category in unique ways romance, sex, affection and intimacy, again, specifically, in the romantic way, right. And this is something else I’ll talk about more in the relationship inventory workshop. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  42:14

But there’s a way to look at your relationships to identify where they’re nourished, where they’re not, where they’re deficient, and where they’re in surplus. So again, if you want to check out that workshop, you can do that at untamed forward slash workshops. If you want to check out anything that I referenced in this episode, you can find the show notes by going to untamed forward slash podcast. This is episode number 414. So just search for episode number four into 14. Hope that was useful as always hope it was helpful. Feel free to share the episode. Again, you can DM me on Instagram at Elizabeth D alto, or send us an email at Hello and a team If you have any thoughts that you want to share, then that’s it. I’m loving doing these shorter solo episodes. This one actually went a little longer today because it’s so juicy. But that’s it for today, folks. We’ll see you next week.