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#67 You Don’t Want To Be Anybody’s Everything

As I was lounging at an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico, a profound realization hit me—that we are not an all-inclusive resort. We cannot be everything to everyone. This is not possible. I see this line of thinking cause so much pain for people, whether it's in romantic relationships, friendships, or family relationships.

In this episode, I offer you tips on what to do if you are someone else's everything or you feel like you are making someone else YOUR everything.   

Since you’re ready to become your favorite version of you, book a consult to learn more about working with me as your coach.

"Setting boundaries is not about controlling others, it's about stating what you will do if someone crosses your line."

What you'll learn in this episode:

  • How to maintain your own identity in personal connections

  • The concept of thriving versus surviving

  • Expanding your social circle and finding common interests with friends

  • How to avoid making someone else your "everything"

"Empowerment begins when you start treating yourself with the same compassion and respect you offer to others."

Mentioned in this episode:

Be sure to sign up for a consult to see if coaching with me is the right fit for you. Join me on a powerful journey to become your favorite you.

Listen to the full episode:

Read the full episode transcript

Hey, this is Melissa Parsons, and you are listening to the, Your Favorite You podcast. I'm a certified life coach with an advanced certification in deep dive coaching. The purpose of this podcast is to help brilliant women like you with beautiful brains, create the life you've been dreaming of with intention.

My goal is to help you find your favorite version of you by teaching you how to treat yourself as your own best friend. If this sounds incredible to you and you want practical tips on changing up how you treat yourself, then you're in the right place. Just so you know, I'm a huge fan of using all of the words available to me in the English language, so please proceed with caution if young ears are around.

Well, hello again and welcome back to Your Favorite You. I am coming at you today with some new year energy, so I hope you're prepared for it. We just got home yesterday from a week-long vacation in Cancun, Mexico at the Hyatt Ziva Resort. Jon and I took the boys and their girlfriends.

We joined my mom and my sister and her family, and we all had a great time. The resort had a little bit of everything for everyone. There was sunrise yoga. A spa where I had a massage by the lovely Fernanda and all the club soda with lime that I could drink. There was a gym, a huge TV to watch the Browns win and the Buckeyes lose in the sports bar, and a cozy lounger next to mine for Jon.

Jack enjoyed the gym and the large screen TV and all the protein he could eat. Owen loved the sports bar too, and the fact that he was finally legal to drink some cervezas and piña coladas. My sis had Pilates and yoga in the gym. She had time with me, her favorite sister, and her new favorite hard seltzer called Palmar.

My brother-in-law made lots of new friends, enjoyed the sports bar with us, and even found a casino nearby. My niece loved the daily shows, playing beach and water volleyball with some new friends she made. My nephew loved the abundance of passion fruit and mussels for breakfast. What a combo, oy. He also loved playing football on the beach and going to the teen club.

My mom loved the ability to order coffee and rolls to her room every morning, as long as they were chocolate free. She also loved that we were all able to be together for the week. I say all of this to let you know that you are not that. You are not an all-inclusive resort. Many movies and books, and of course, popular culture and socialization have you thinking that there will be one person out there for you that is your everything.

Which, of course, has you thinking that maybe you need to be another person's everything. This is not possible, people. And I see this line of thinking causes so much pain for people. Whether it's in romantic relationships, friendships, family relationships, it kind of runs the gamut in my clients.

My Lord, I certainly do not want to be anyone's everything. Think of the pressure that puts on me to try to control what that other person thinks about me. Think about how that could lead me to possibly spend all of my time people pleasing the other person. Think of how that would keep me from having other friends and interests outside of that one relationship where I am someone's everything.

And think about how that would make the other person dependent on me for their happiness. Contentment, peace, you name it, doesn't it sound completely untenable for everyone involved? It certainly would not lead to happiness, contentment, and peace for the person dependent on me. Because although you may be able to be someone's everything for a while, a period of time, it is not sustainable in the long run.

And then that person would be left without using the other people and resources available to them in their life. That they likely let go by the wayside as I was being there, quote, unquote, everything. I hate that I have to add a disclaimer here, but if you are the parent of a young child where they truly are literally dependent on you, this does not apply to that.

Or if you have agreed and consented to take care of an elderly or incapacitated loved one, this also does not apply to that type of relationship. There, disclaimer done. Well, dammit, I will add a disclaimer to the disclaimer. In both of these cases, you should enlist the help of other trusted adults that can help you to take care of your dependents.

There is no award for doing it all on your own. And I guarantee you, there will be a hell of a lot less resentment if you ask for and get help. But for truly any other relationship in your life, it is not possible to be anyone else's everything. So, what to do if you are someone else's everything, or you feel like you are?

Number one, get curious. How did this come to be? What, if anything, did you allow that you might not allow again in the future? Number two, ask yourself what boundaries need to be set. As a reminder, a boundary is not to be used to control other people. A proper boundary states what you will do if someone crosses the boundary.

To give a concrete example, let's say you have a friend who wants to walk for exercise with you every day and you don't want to participate in that. You could say I am available to walk with you two days a week, or you could say I'm no longer available to walk with you at all. Then when the person calls you on the phone, if they're old like me or they text and say they want to walk today.

And you've already walked with them for two days, or you've decided to no longer walk with them at all, you can respond with, no, thank you. The boundary is not, you can't ask me to walk with you anymore. The boundary is, if you ask me to walk with you, either more than the two days I agreed to or at all, I will say no.

You don't even have to communicate the boundary if you don't want to. You can just start saying, no, thank you. You don't have to explain yourself. Remember that no is a complete sentence. You can add the thank you if you like, but you don't have to. The third step, which sometimes is the hardest part, is to actually uphold the boundary, saying no, saying no thank you.

It's the hardest part. And then doing it over and over and over again. And then number four, remember you can evaluate or reevaluate this decision at any point. You might find that you miss walking with this person, and you can ask them to walk. Then they get to say yes, or no. Remember, everyone has their own agency.

Okay, what about if the opposite problem is happening? You are making someone else your everything. The first step is the same. Number one, get curious. How did this come to be? What if anything, did you decide that you might not again in the future? Number two, branch out and find things that you share in common with people who are already in your life, people that you already know and like.

You have a friend who loves to read the same types of books that you like to read or watch the same types of shows that you do. Ask that person to read a book or watch a show simultaneously with you and then make updates to discuss. Have a friend who loves to play tennis. It's not me. Ask him or her to join a league with you.

Have a friend that loves to shop or go to the spa. Make a date to go every six weeks together. Have friends that love to travel like you do. Plan a trip together. My girlfriends and I do this all the time. Have everyone invite their favorite people. The more the merrier. This is what we do when we go to Mirabal.

We all agree to do our own things while we're there. We plan some activities together as a large group. We break off into smaller groups to do more specialized stuff. Hopefully, you get the idea. Number three is, if you can't find many things that you have in common with people already in your life. Not a problem.

Branch out and make new friends. This is such a common problem that I hear about from my coaching clients. How hard it is to make new friends in the latter part of life. Basically, once your kids are kind of older and you aren't forced into proximity with other people because of sports or dance or school.

There are enough women who I know who have had this difficulty that I could probably form a very successful club just for women over 40 who want to make new friends. I actually have an entire podcast about this called making friends in midlife that we will link in the show notes. If you haven't listened to that one, go and listen.

If it's been a while since you've listened, go and listen. If you're wanting and desiring and yearning to make some new friendships. And then step four for this one is again, reassess after some time. If you find that one of the people you reached out to is making you their everything, go back to step one from the first scenario, get curious.

What did I allow that I wouldn't again? If you find that you're making any one person your everything, go back to step one in the second scenario. Get curious, what did I decide that I wouldn't decide again? I hope this is helpful to you if you are finding that other people are depending on you to be their everything and or if you find that you have made someone else your everything.

First step, just get curious. If you need help navigating this, I would absolutely love to be your coach. You can go to and click on the work with me page, then you simply click book. Now it'll bring up my calendar and you can schedule your consult takes about an hour of me and you talking, getting curious, asking questions, having fun.

If you're listening to this podcast on the day this airs, which is January 9th. You still have one day, one day to join my group that starts tomorrow, January 10th. In the meanwhile, I will be offering one on one coaching until my next group opens up. So, if you're listening after January 10th, 2024, lucky you.

You can work with me one-on-one. Okay. That's all for this week, folks. See you next time.

Hey everybody, don't go quite yet. I want to let you know all the ways that you can work with me. If you've been listening to this podcast, and maybe especially you have listened to episodes where I interview my clients. And you are thinking like the older woman in the diner in the classic Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal film, When Harry Met Sally.

In the film, Sally is proving a point to Harry by faking an orgasm while in public at a diner. Sally finishes, so to speak, and then takes a bite of her food. The older woman in the next booth says, I'll have what she's having. If you've been thinking I'll have what she's having, this is your sign from the universe to schedule a consult with me.

I have a few spots available for one-on-one coaching with me. This is a space where I am laser focused on you and your brain for six months at a time. I will also be doing consults with women who want to join my next group coaching cohort, which will likely start in the spring of 2024. The way to contact me is to go to my website,, go to the work with me page and click book now to schedule your consult. I will look forward to hearing from you.

Let's make 2024 your favorite year ever, as you become Your Favorite You.

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