A listener asked for an episode specifically dedicated to the practice of the listening boundary. As I started working through what I wanted to talk about, I realized there’s too much to fit into one episode, so this will be a series. This is the first part; the second part will air in two weeks.

Biggest Takeaways From Episode #37:

  • The listening boundary is how we take in, filter, and ultimately respond to incoming information, whether verbal or written. This is the most difficult, challenging, and complex of the boundaries, but it’s incredibly important.
  • When you’re filtering information as part of the listening boundary, you have three options. First, you can take the information in as true for you. Second, you can decide that it is not true for you, or that you don’t have the same perception. Finally, you may need more information or realize that there is no way to determine whether or not it is true.
  • As you work on improving this boundary, constantly remember that you are going to practice the boundary imperfectly. Also keep in mind that the highest purpose of listening to another person is to know and understand who the other person is.
  • Here’s a simple assignment to practice: notice how many times you listen to someone and have the temptation to begin your response with the part of what they said that you didn’t agree with, or like. Instead, pay attention to the things that you agree with.

Highlights from Episode #37:

  • Vicki introduces the topic of today’s episode: the listening boundary. [00:48]
  • What is the listening boundary? [02:34]
    We hear about an instance in which Vicki had to practice the listening boundary recently. [04:38]
  • Vicki talks about exactly how the listening boundary works, and explains the three options for filtering information. [07:31]
  • How can you prepare for having a better listening boundary, and what are some of the things that you need to know as you’re working on improving this boundary? [12:29]
  • Vicki shares another point you should remember as you prepare to use the listening boundary. [19:22]
  • We hear about what can happen when a person’s listening boundary is not working. [22:10]
  • Vicki covers some of the common pitfalls around the listening boundary. [24:39]
  • Vicki gives listeners a simple assignment to practice before part 2 of this series on the listening boundary. [29:38]

Links and Resources:


Hi, I'm Victoria!

I love guiding my clients on a journey of Returning to the authentic truth of who they are, Reclaiming what is theirs, and Receiving everything that is meant for them.


  1. Dawn on December 31, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Love! Love! Love! your podcast. It has helped me so much! But I’m so bummed you didn’t finish the scenario of what to say when someone responds to your request with an incorrect perception. I was waiting with bated breathe to find out what to do. This very thing has happened to me many times with my spouse and I’m at a total loss of what to say. I’ll keep listening to future episodes to hopefully find out what to do when my spouses perception goes haywire. I know I can diffuse allot of conversations if I can respond correctly and kindly but it’s super hard when your being accused of something you’re not doing.
    Listening with anticipation,

    • Vicki Tidwell Palmer on January 2, 2019 at 9:22 am

      Hi Dawn, so glad you’re loving the podcast!

      Can you give me a little more detail about your question? When I read it, my first thought is that when you make a request, unless it’s just not clear to the other person what you asking, their perception about your request is simply their opinion. They are entitled to it, but it doesn’t change the request. You could simply hear their incorrect perception and go back to the request, and how they want to respond. Does that help?

      • Ari on December 24, 2021 at 10:44 am

        Same comment as the person above! I was waiting for the explanation of what to do when the mismatched perception arises. You noted you would talk about it in another video, could you link it by chance? Also, thanks for the info. I listened to the mother enmeshed man podcast and wow. Just wow. It was both validating and horrifying.

        • Robin Miles on December 28, 2021 at 10:11 am

          Thank you for your comment! Vicki is out of the office until January 3. She will reply when she returns.

        • Vicki Tidwell Palmer on January 4, 2022 at 8:39 pm

          Hi Ari, without knowing the exact situation you’re dealing with, the simple answer is when you make a request of someone and they misunderstand the request, it is either a matter of clarity (for example, there was a true misunderstanding or a lack of information to comprehend the request) or the other person is responding from their perception of your request rather than the contents (actual words) of your request.

          We cannot do anything, ever, about another person’s perception or misperception.

          If you make this request: “Would you be willing to text me if you will be more than 15 minutes late?” and the person responds, “Why are you trying to control me?” (and you are not trying to control them) you can simply repeat your request, “Would you be willing to text me if you will be more than 15 minutes late?”

          You do not need to respond to their misperception or argue their perception. It is a losing strategy, always. This is the most common mistake people make when another person has a misperception about what they said or did. If their perception doesn’t match yours, there is no need to argue. They have a right to their perception and you have a right to yours. And if their perception becomes a deflection from the topic you raised (for example, the request I mentioned before), you can simply continue with your “talking points.”

          If this is difficult for you, you probably need to explore why you become defensive or feel threatened when a person has a different perception than you.

          I highly recommend taking a listen to Episode #24: The Politician (No, Not That One).

          I hope this helps.

          p.s. I didn’t see the reference to me doing another video on this. If I missed something, please let me know.

  2. […] Tidwell Palmer, V. (2018a). The listening boundary: Part 1. Beyond Bitchy. Retrieved on August 6, 2019 from: https://beyondbitchy.com/podcast/37-the-listening-boundary-part-i/. […]

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