Curious & Curiouser Podcast, Episode 38: Socially Decluttering Family, Grey Couch People, & Managing Expectations in Relationships

This week on Curious & Curiouser, Tracey and I are answering a follow-up question sent in by a listener in response to our recent episode (#34) about navigating the holidays in the face of challenging family dynamics.

A curious podcast listener posited the following:  How do you know when it’s time to end a relationship with a family member?

Although Tracey and I have talked around this topic before, we tackle it head on in this conversation. We also talk about our own experiences of distancing ourselves from family members and ending relationships altogether.

Tracey revisits the idea of grey couch people and we discuss ways of knowing if someone in your life is capable of change.

If you enjoy this episode, head over to the show page in iTunes and leave a 5-star rating or review. Tracey and I would really appreciate it!

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Highlights from this episode:

  • Tracey’s experience distancing herself from her own mother and what that relationship looks like now
  • How Tracey knew it was time to stop communicating with her mom
  • Grey couch people revisited
  • Why being the one who sets the limit can sometimes make you the “bad guy”
  • How do you deal with a family member who disagrees with your values?
  • Cayly’s experience with a family member who didn’t approve of her life choices
  • Do Tracey and Cayly ever feel guilty about cutting ties with family members?
  • The challenge of mother/daughter relationships and Episode 3 about Motherhood
  • Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents by Lindsay C. Gibson
  • How do you know if someone is capable of or will change?
  • The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge, MD
  • Don’t Be A Jerk on Tracey’s website
  • Can a partnership work if only one person does the work of personal growth?
  • How sibling relationships can be different from other familial relationships
  • Is everyone capable of change?
  • Options to explore outside of completely ending a relationship; Episode 34 about enjoying the holidays
  • Adjusting your expectations when it come to family relationships
  • And more!

Piquing Our Curiosity:

BIFF:  Quick Responses to High Conflict People, Their Hostile Emails, Persona Attacks, and Social Media Meltdowns by Bill Eddy.


Remember, if you have any topics or questions you’d like us to address in a future episode, comment here or email us at our joint email account: We’d love to hear from you!

Finally, one more request for you to please head over to iTunes and leave us a 5-star rating and/or review if you’re enjoying the podcast. Please note that you have to search for Curious & Curiouser in iTunes in order to leave a review — even if you’re already subscribed. Thanks so much for the support and for taking this annoying extra step to rate us. We really appreciate it!