#79 – Boundaries Quick Tips Episode #12: What’s In Your Circle of Control?

There’s a simple reason that this episode on what’s in our circle of control is a quick tips episode: our circle of control is pretty tiny! But confusion about what’s inside and outside of that circle is at the heart of many questions I get from listeners so the topic is worth reviewing. Tune in to learn how to stay in your own lane, and what to ask yourself when you’re tempted to control.

Biggest Takeaways From Episode #79:

  • Our circle of control includes what we have the power to make happen on our own. This means what we can say, where we can go, and what we can do. 
  • Most of us wish that our circle of control were much larger. You might find yourself feeling frustrated that your circle of control is much smaller than you’d like it to be.
  • Some examples of things that are outside of your circle of control include what your partner consumes or wears, how your partner drives, what other people think or how they feel, how much time a sibling spends with your parents, or how your spouse manages an addiction.
  • When you leave your circle of control, you move into controlling others. This means two things will likely happen: you’ll be frustrated, and you’ll create friction and disconnection with the other person.

Highlights from Episode #79:

  • Vicki welcomes listeners to a quick tips episode about what’s in your circle of control. [00:39]
  • We hear some examples of things that lie outside of our circle of control. [02:35]
  • Next, we learn what is within our circle of control, which is what we’re able to do or accomplish on our own. [05:46]
  • What happens if you go outside of your circle of control? [07:21]
  • Trying to get your spouse to change a long-standing pattern or habit that is not truly a serious issue, usually causes disconnection or a loss of intimacy. [14:08]
  • Vicki recaps the four questions that she has been talking about in depth. She also talks about what we can do when something is outside of our control. [16:17]

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 Teeters on January 22, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    What about the intimacy that is lost for the person making the request? The question was asked, ” is it worth the intimacy it would cost me with the other person?” Meaning the other person might not like what I have to say and therefore be upset with me and not want to connect with me. But what about the other person not wanting to connect with someone they feel is not safe because they are choosing to do things that put the other person at risk. How should we handle our feelings when we believe the other person is putting us at risk?

    • Vicki Tidwell Palmer on January 22, 2020 at 5:14 pm

      Hi Dawn, I hear you’re wondering what to do when you don’t feel safe or at risk. Is that right?

      When I feel unsafe or at risk, I get to decide what I want to do based on my feeling of being at risk or unsafe, which usually involves boundaries, limits, or an “I can’t.”

      At the same time, my experience is that most of the interactions I have with the people closest to me (including my spouse) are ordinary, everyday interactions that sometimes cause friction or irritation, and are not matters of safety or risk. These are the kinds of interactions I am talking about in this episode, and in those cases when I ask myself, “is what I want to say or request (asking my spouse to drive slower, for example) worth the intimacy it may cost me?” the answer is often no.

      Would it fit for you to take care of yourself by creating boundaries when you feel unsafe or at risk, and also take this new tool to support you for less serious issues when you know that what you want to say (or request) of another person may cost you intimacy or connection with that person?

      Standing for your thriving,

  2. Imazay on January 24, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    I also have the same tolerance for somebody else’s driving even when it matches the driving of my loved one. I have come to the conclusion that I am not concerned because the consequences of that other person’s driving is unlikely to affect me. (Except in the case of a serious accident.) My insurance rates won’t increase, a speeding fine won’t be taken from my budget, the value of my vehicle will not be reduced, and I won’t be inconvenienced by my car sitting in the body shop for repairs. Their consequences do not impact my finances, my property, or my time. Thanks for another great episode!

    • Vicki Tidwell Palmer on January 24, 2020 at 7:42 pm

      You’re welcome!

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