Ep #25: Our Expectations and Manuals

Our Expectations and Manuals

Loves, we’ve reached 25 episodes here on the podcast, and I’ve decided that every 25 episodes, I’ll be giving you ladies a bonus teaching on something other than just weight loss, because that’s not all our lives are about, right?

So today, I’m going to be introducing you to a concept called “the manual.” Our relationships are such a key part of our lives, and the manuals we have for other people bring us so much suffering and drama when we don’t understand how they’re playing out in our daily lives, which I guarantee you that they are. Letting them go can be so freeing and help you feel more love for the people around you, and who doesn’t want to feel more love?

Join me this week to gain a better understanding of how you can make your relationships healthier and happier. Practicing this concept is going to free you of unnecessary drama and it has helped me in so many ways, so I’m excited for you to start seeing how you can apply this in your own life too.

And here are this week’s transformational questions:

  1. What manuals or expectations do you have for the people closest to you?
  2. How would you benefit if you dropped the manuals?

If you love this work and you want to go deeper, take my free mini-course. Click here for more information.

Jumpstart opens today for five days only! If you want more information, come to one of my free trainings. You will learn about the three things that kept me stuck on the diet rollercoaster and how I got off. Click here for the registration link! 

Don’t forget to grab the bonus worksheet that goes along with this episode. Click here to get it!

What You’ll Discover:

  • What manuals are and how we all have them. 
  • Why you suffer when you have manuals for other people.
  • What boundaries are and how to use them. 
  • The difference between boundaries and manuals. 

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:


You are listening to the Weight Loss for Successful Women podcast with Shannan Christiansen, episode number 25.

Welcome to Weight Loss for Successful Women, a podcast for women who are ready to break the diet cycle and end their struggle with weight for good. Here’s your host, Fortune 100 executive and Certified Life Coach, Shannan Christiansen.

Hello loves. Oh my goodness, episode number 25. I just can’t believe it. I am so excited. I want to thank all of you who have been listening and supporting the show. And also, today is the opening of Jumpstart, my program that is helping ladies get off the diet rollercoaster. I’m also doing a few free trainings over the next couple of days. We will place the link to sign up for the free trainings in the show notes.

So loves, this episode is also going to be extra special. Every 25 episodes, I’m going to share a teaching that is not completely about weight loss. So things like relationships, money, your space, and time leadership. In my programs, I always have a bonus area with these kinds of materials. I like to help my ladies in every area of their life. Not just weight loss, because we show up as a whole person.

In today’s episode, I’m going to share a concept called the manual. It has helped me tremendously in my relationships and my clients’ relationships. There’s also a bonus worksheet for this episode, so you can go to bflycoaching.com/manual to get it. And we’ll put it in the show notes for you too.

So I was thinking back to when I signed up for Martha Beck’s life coaching program. And then loves, I returned all the materials and I dropped out of the program before it even began. Yes loves, I did this. This was about seven to eight years ago. I knew I wanted to be a life coach but I was scared. I was unsure about becoming an entrepreneur.

I went to coach training almost two years ago through the best school in the world, The Life Coach School, and I can’t believe how much has changed in the last two years. I still have a ton of fear about being an entrepreneur, but now I have the tools to overcome my fear. It is such a difference from seven years ago.

I love that we keep learning and we keep growing and that we keep pushing ourselves to want more, to be more. I think that’s really it. We want more. We know that we’ve not reached our full potential, and we do have a ton of fear, but we just keep showing up, even though we are imperfect.

Losing weight is not a perfect journey. You will have failures. You will have times that you backslide. I did. But as you learn the tools I teach, you will also have the tools to keep overcoming the fear. So loves, just keep showing up. Keep pushing and your future self will be here before you know it.

So let’s get to our listener shout-out. I love that you ladies are listening and reviewing the show. I read each and every one of them. Today’s listener review is from MindGeek1. She wrote, “Shannan’s podcast is quick, kind, and informative. I enjoy listening every week.” Thank you so much MindGeek1. I so appreciate you taking the time to leave a review of the show.

So, the special episode today. I want to talk about all things relationships. Relationships are such a key part of our life, from spouses, family, friends, sisters, mothers, coworkers, kids, relationships play a huge part in how we think and feel. I want to teach you a concept called the manual. I learned this from my teacher years ago and it has helped me in so many ways.

We all have this list of expectations for the people around us. How they should act, behave, what they should do. We believe if they could just be better, that would make us happy. I mean, how many times have you thought, “If my spouse or my sister or my mother, if they could just be better, everything would be better. And you know, if they could just be on time, if they could just love us more, if they could be more understanding, if they could not judge us, if they could call more or spend more time with us,” I mean, we have this whole list.

This whole list of expectations, of rules they must follow. And remember, we’re talking about rules for adults. Not our children. I have a family so I want to tell you a story. I have this family member who I invite to family dinners. And they are mostly late and sometimes they do not even show up.

I had this dinner once where they showed up late and then did not even eat what I made because they had already eaten. Now, I could go into how I think that it’s rude, how they don’t respect me, how they don’t care about me, but those are my rules and expectations for them. They are adults and they get to show up however they would like.

They get to decide how they want to act. Now I want to say that again. They’re adults and they get to show up however they would like. The crazy part is when they were late or did not show up, I would be upset. I would go through all of this drama about how they didn’t care about me. I would say, “Don’t they know how long it took me to prepare or the money I spent on the meal?” But who is suffering there? Me.

They are doing their own thing somewhere else, and I’m at my party upset. I suffer when I have a manual for someone else. I have the drama. I think if I get mad about it that it solves it. But it does not. It just keeps me in pain and suffering.

I am missing out on my own party because I’m thinking about them. Loves, I’m going to say this, and this I just want you to hear this. Come back to me, this is really important. We cannot control anyone. Not anyone. Not one single person. The only thing I control is how I think about it. Let me say that again. The only thing that we control is the way that we think about it.

Byron Katie says, “When you argue with reality, you only lose but 100% of the time.” I can think about my family member any way I want to. So now, if they show up late or they do not come, I don’t make it mean anything about me or them. I just love them anyway. I don’t hold dinner for them. I don’t make extra. I just have dinner. And if they come, awesome. And if they don’t, awesome.

And I can feel disappointed. I can let that come in for like, 90 seconds, and then I can change the thought. I can move forward and have a great time. I have left the manual for them at the door and that keeps me from suffering and keeps me from having the drama.

When we have manuals for others, it just causes us drama and pain. Now, I know that you’re like, “Shannan, I’ll get walked all over.” So let’s talk about boundaries. Boundaries are consequences you set and then you follow through on. They are for you. They are clear requests with clear consequences, and most of the time, you don’t even have to tell the other person.

Because this is not about them. This is about your space and what you will allow and what consequences you will have. I find my clients struggle with this and mix boundaries with manuals. So let me give you an example. Your husband not taking out the trash, it’s a manual. You think he should, and so you have that manual for him.

Now, someone coming into my home and smoking, that would be a boundary for me. They’re coming into my space. So if someone came into my home and started smoking, I would kindly ask them to take it outside. That is my boundary. No drama. I make the request and that it is. The request is if you start smoking in my home, the consequence, then I will ask you to leave.

Now the important part with boundaries is if you have one, you must follow through with the consequence. So let’s go back to my family member who shows up late or sometimes does not even come. I have a boundary. We will wait 15 minutes. And if they’re later than that, we will start dinner. We will not wait more than 15 minutes.

It’s easy. I don’t have to make a big deal about it. I just told them, “Hey, if you’re more than 15 minutes late, we’re going to start dinner without you.” And the best part is I just get to love them. I don’t have to think that they did me wrong and all this drama. I get to think about all the amazing parts of them.

And when I think loving thoughts, then that is what I feel. I get to feel love. Instead of all the pain and the suffering of that they did me wrong and they were late and they don’t respect me, instead, I get to change the thought to all of the amazing things about them. And then I get to feel the love.

You can make requests, but if someone does not follow it, that is where the work is. Let’s go back to a husband taking out the trash. You can request it, but if he does not do it, you have the option to get mad, and then you are suffering, or you can do it and decide to think, “Wow, it took me five minutes and I got some fresh air.”

You get to decide what to think about it. When we have manuals for other people, we suffer. We suffer because we cause all of this drama in our heads around what they should or should not do. My husband gets to be himself. I do not have any expectations of him. He gets to show up as Paul and I just get to love him.

How cool is that? And guess what? I get to show up as Shannan. And that’s what I want too. We have all of these manuals for others and they could have all of these manuals for us, and we don’t like it when someone has a manual for us. We want the right. We want to show up as ourselves.

I mean, we don’t like it when someone else wants us to change, wants us to be different than who we are. Chucking our manuals for other people is really a gift for ourselves. We are all humans. We are all flawed and beautiful. And we get to just love the people in our lives no matter how they show up.

I want to say it again because I think it’s so important. We get to love the people in our lives no matter how they show up. Think about that. You get to love the people in your life without expectation that they should be any different than they are. Because love, we are all 100% lovable and love is always the best option, and that is where the magic lies.

So the transformation questions. What manuals or expectations do you have for the people closest to you? How would you benefit if you dropped the manuals? And you can also get a free worksheet to go along with this episode at bflycoaching.com/manual. Alright loves, so much love to you.

Loves, Jumpstart opens today for five days. If you want more information, come to one of my free trainings. You will learn about the three things that kept me stuck on the diet roller coaster and how I got off. You can register for the free training at bflycoaching.com/register. I hope you’ll join us. Bye for now, love.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Weight Loss for Successful Women. If you love what you heard today and want to learn more, come over to bflycoaching.com. That’s B – F – L – Y coaching dot com. See you next week!

Enjoy the Show?

3 thoughts on “Ep #25: Our Expectations and Manuals”

  1. I love the podcasts. I usually listen to the new ones at work every Wednesday. They are a great midweek pick me up. I am so glad I found Shannan Christiansen and the Bfly Society.

  2. This podcast is simply amazing! I have dropped the manual I had for my husband and the results are remarkable. I feel more and more in love with him. Thank you Shannan.

  3. This podcast is amazing. I have listened to Shannan talk about this before. I have dropped the manual I had for my husband and I feel more in love with him. Thank you Shannan, so much love. Diane

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