This week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions is about the importance of entering into relationships and situations with a mutual mentality. I delve into what a ‘mutual relationship’ means, why power imbalances and not being yourself indicate that you’re not in one, and how to use fear of recognising your equality to acknowledge where you need to be more boundaried.

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5 key topics in this episode

  • In mutual relationships, you’re equals, and it’s not because you had to make a big-ass announcement about it. Instead, it’s about how you treat and regard yourself, how you’re showing up and the boundaries, which create the expectations for the relationship. You’re coming at things, at life from a place of equality. 
  • Mutual relationships require each party to have access to the same rights and responsibilities. This is so that you each have the freedom to be yourselves and to know what’s going on. When we engage in people pleasing, perfectionism, overgiving, overthinking and overgiving, we behave as we have less rights but more responsibilities than the other party or parties. 
  • Power imbalances can be real or imagined. A person or organisation might exert, flaut and abuse power using implied and direct threats and negative consequences. But you can also create a power imbalance by entering into situations and relationships without agency. With agency, you feel as though you have a say and impact over at least some of your circumstances. When you don’t, even in situations and relationships that could be mutual, they won’t be because of your mentality and lack of boundaries.
  • Don’t treat people like parental replacements or your oxygen supply. Show up equal anyway. Embodying a ‘mutual mentality’ means showing up valuing yourself and wanting your relationships to be equitable and mutually fulfilling. You have awareness of yourself and are boundaried. When you chop and change to suit the situation, person or what you’re hoping to get out of it, your actions, choices and relationships cannot be healthy.
  • If trying to show up equal or thinking about it makes you uncomfortable, you’ve just highlighted where you need to be more boundaried. That discomfort exposes the emotional baggage of old habits of thinking and behaviour.

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Are you ready to stop silencing and hiding yourself in an attempt to ‘please’ or protect yourself from others? My book, The Joy of Saying No: A Simple Plan to Stop People Pleasing, Reclaim Boundaries, and Say Yes to the Life You Want (Harper Horizon), is out now.

The Joy of Saying No by Natalie Lue book cover. Subtitle: A simple plan to stop people pleasing, reclaim boundaries, and say yes to the life you want.
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