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Podcast Transcript

Better Pigs Don't Change Wolves

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  0:10  
Welcome to Your Authentic Path To Powerful Leadership with Marsha Clark! And we are here today with guest Sarah K. Ramsey... First of all, Marsha, welcome!

Marsha Clark  0:23  
Thank you very much. Happy to be here. And welcome back to our listeners.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  0:26  
Yes! So Sarah, I'm gonna go ahead and kick it off. I mean, we've got a special guest. So Sarah, I mean.... Marsha, you introduce her!

Marsha Clark  0:34  
So Sarah and I have known each other actually a very long time. And so this is the the secret backstory is that Sarah is a second cousin. So, you probably didn't even know that. So we started a conversation several years ago now at this point about the kind of work that she wanted to do and look where it is all evolved in landed and love that. But what I want the audience and our listeners to know is that she is the best selling author of a book that's entitled "Becoming Toxic Person Proof." Now get that again... becoming toxic person proof. And she also does a podcast in support of that. And one of the reasons that I wanted to have Sarah on this on my podcast is we talk a lot about interpersonal relationships. And we all know that we have some toxic relationships and have had the may be in the middle of them now. And I wanted her to come in and all the deepened good work that she's done around that I want our listeners to hear about that, and know that she's a resource for them.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:38  
That's awesome. That's awesome. Well, Marsha, you've shared on other episodes how you and your team have done months of due diligence and deciding topics and research and who's going to be on guests. And so I'm understanding that Sarah is also a graduate of the Power Of Self program.

Marsha Clark  1:59  
Yeah. Well, I, here's what I will tell you.... Almost! So this is the "never-ending story" of our final class 20. So we had one session left to do, COVID hit, and we converted to virtual that which we could. And now every time we've rescheduled it multiple times. And every time we do something else happens, and people can't get on points and come to so she's an "almost graduate." But I will just tell you, she could run her own program. So we're all good. Sarah, you get to...

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  2:31  
Sarah, welcome!

Sarah K. Ramsey  2:33  
I'm so happy to be here! And I grew up hearing that I was like this lady named Marsha. And my grandmother would say, "Gosh, you're actually just like Marsha!" And I was like, "who's Marsha?" You know, five or six years old. And then I met Marsha as an adult. And she was just such a gift to me. I have so many women in my life who love being stay at home moms, and they just love it. And that's wonderful for them. And I was just had this entrepreneurial mindset and wanted to run these things and create these things. And I did not fit in with so many members of my family. And when I met Marsha I went, "Oh, wow! We have a lot in common!" So I'm so excited to be here.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  3:20  
Awesome. That's awesome. Well, one of the Power Of Self teachings is learning boundaries and living out your truth. So let's start diving into today's topic. And the title of "Better Pigs Don't Change Wolves" is the title of this episode. And I cannot wait to hear where we're going with that.

Marsha Clark  3:40  
So, yeah! And, I'd just like to say, you know, one of my, when I hear, I've learned a lot from Sarah about toxic relationships. And so when I think about how that ties in with my work, this boundary setting is clearly one of the significant ties, if you will, and I want our listeners to think about this phrase, this quote, if you will, that "givers need to set boundaries because takers rarely do." And so when I think about the whole story around how we stay in toxic relationships, and we give and we give them we give them we give them we give thinking that it'll.... And Sarah is gonna be talk to us a lot about that. But I, I want us to make that that connection. And that by hearing what Sarah has to say and listening to her podcast, reading her books, you're going to get a whole lot of tips and techniques and tools to help recognize it, manage it, get yourself out of it.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  4:38  
Exactly. Okay. So Sarah, tell us a little bit about yourself. What led you to this work? Define a toxic relationship for us? So three-part question.

Sarah K. Ramsey  4:50  
Obsession. Yes. My obsession with this conversation is making the language more simple. Okay? And I'm a I have my certification as an in NLP Master Practitioner. So it's a neuro-linguistic practitioner. Okay, so I'm obsessed around the language because toxic relationship that can be so broad What does that even mean? And is this a romantic relationship? Is it not? Is it this? Is it that? It just can get really confusing and it's too important of a topic to get wrong.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  5:28  
Yeah, right. Yeah. Right.

Sarah K. Ramsey  5:30  
So the way I define a toxic relationship is a relationship where both parties do not play by the same set of rules. One person makes the rules. One person enforces the rules. And that same person gets to break the rules or change the rules depending on what mood they are in. And and the other person is left trying to follow the rules. Okay. And you can see why they're definitely toxic people of both sexes, but you can see why the way culture has defined what being a woman is, and being a nice girl. And following the rules, you can see how this has had real consequences for women specifically, as they grow up, and grow into work and life and relationships.

Marsha Clark  6:26  
Well, and I also think about this idea of following the rules, being a good girl coloring inside the lines, those are all metaphors for all of that. And we get rewarded for being that exactly. And so when we have are in a relationship with another person who is setting and defining and changing and enforcing, and all those kinds of the rules, where we just think, oh, there must be something wrong with me, right? I'm not I'm not doing it right. And, and the other person can often whether again, it's a Basa, neighbor, a family member, you know, spouse, whatever it may be, it can get complicated, fast when you when you put that into all the social conditioning that women have long, you know, lived in.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  7:03  
Exactly, exactly. So, Sarah, I have a couple of notes here about a car blackout, and Emma, and how that made you start this work.... So tell us that story.

Sarah K. Ramsey  7:17  
So it's always a running joke. And people will say, you know, did you have a toxic relationship? And I say, That's so cute. You think it's just fun? If only I had been that smart earlier. So I was definitely a professional people pleaser. At other stages of my life, that good girl that drawing inside the lines that following the rules, man, I just really thought as long as I got everything, right, I could prevent bad things from happening or prevent my life falling apart or prevent pain, I can really prevent life from happening to me, which I know so many other females identify with, and eventually got to a point that I was people pleasing to such an extreme that I had three friends in the car with me. We were doing a girls weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina. And it was two in the afternoon. There were no, there was no drinking. There was no drugs, there was no prescription and prescription drugs. And I just blacked out from stress while I was driving the car. Oh, in downtown Charlotte, with three of my best friends in the car with me. Three of us were mothers. It was incredibly dangerous. And it was just my body had finally shut down from the stress of that people pleasing the stress of well, do you think I'm doing the right thing? Do you think I'm okay. Do you think this is the right decision? And I mean, to say that being a people-pleaser nearly killed me is a literal statement.

Marsha Clark  8:50  
Right. Right.

Sarah K. Ramsey  8:53  
So that was number one wake up call. Okay. And then in my local area, there is a beautiful young girl named Emma Walker. And she was a high school student who was killed by her boyfriend. Shot her, and it receives, you know, national attention. There's a Dateline about it. You know, it just blew up into this terrible story, obviously. But I knew him. It wasn't a story to me. It was a person. And I started a mental health campaign for teens after that, to try to teach them some of these relationship dynamics and healthy relationship dynamics and healthy coping strategies and emotional health. And every emotion I know, you will understand what I'm saying when I say everybody always wants to say, oh, we need to teach teens, right. Okay, and we do. But even more importantly, we need to show teens. Okay. And what I would see is a lot of people like well, I know I'm not Leading by example, I know I'm not making healthy relationship decisions. I know I'm depressed. I know I don't have boundaries. But I want my, you know, daughter or son to be stronger than I am. Yeah. Because we just an incredibly unfair expectation to put on a child. Right? Incredibly unfair. So, so I switched from helping teens to helping their mothers.

Marsha Clark  10:24  
Okay. Well, and I want to say this. You know, you've heard me say this, Sarah, is they you know, women at 45, 35, 55 ask me, "Where were you when I was 25?? Well, you know, we've got that we've got to have, I'll say, the fully developed brain in order to make good choices and good decisions. And that didn't happen until we're 25, 25-26 years old. So to think that a 15 or 16 year old is going to have all the answers and that they're going to take it all in and be able to process it as an adult would is a fallacy that so I agree with your point. And the other point I want to make around this... We did a mother/daughter program many years ago, and it was a pilot, and you know, it was it was working on both sides of that relationship. And you know, what, what I remember about that is the mothers wanted to do well, but they're humans too. And, you know, the things we learned are, why did girls have eating disorders? Because how many times did they hear their mother stand in front of the mirror and say, I got to go on a diet, or I've gotten too big or, I mean, our children are watching us. I mean, Sarah, you grew up in an educational field in, you know, knowing that those little ears and eyes take everything in. And people hear what you say, people believe what you do, right? I mean, that's that quote, and, and so we do have to be models, and we have to show them what it looks like to do hard things when you're in bad relationships.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  11:49  
Right? Right. So Sarah, what surprised you when you began helping people rebuild their lives after toxic relationships?

Sarah K. Ramsey  11:58  
Well, I don't have to tell you guys that our world is changing in regards to stereotypes. And we're very trying to not just view someone by what their name is, or where they grew up, or what color their skin is. And that's wonderful. But there's such a stereotype around toxic relationships, that they only happen in maybe certain neighborhoods, or with certain personalities. And I have had clients graduated from Harvard, I have clients in the upper echelons of Microsoft, my most prominent job that I've had in my clients has been female lawyers. Okay. And I've worked with people from all over the world. And so there is just these people who are like conscious, and they're wanting to play inside those lines and follow the rules. And so I really want to point that out. Because sometimes we can assume, and hope will toxic relationships will only happen to other people, they don't happen to people like us. If I'm educated, if I, my parents stayed together, if I go to church, I'm not, I don't have to worry about that. And that's just not what my work has shown.

Marsha Clark  13:14  
I remember the first time I ever went to the women's shelter in Dallas, after I started doing some of this work and finding out more about what that what they did and how they did it and all that kind of stuff. And I remember coming back and it was the first time I'd ever heard this statistic that two in five households have domestic abuse. And so I it was a heavy weight to carry when you begin to see the stark reality of all that's 40% that's 40% that's 40%. So what I did is I went back on my back porch, and I lived with the lived on a golf course and it had houses that I could see. And so I just went out there and just within my visual sight counted, okay. 12345 Okay. 12345. And there were 12 houses within my vision that had the potential and and it was an excellent neighborhood. It's not a socio economic issue. And it's not an a geographical issue. It's not a race issue, it is an issue. And this idea of breaking down those stereotypes and thinking that I'm toxic profile ready is a fallacy that we have to we have to acknowledge and there's degrees, there's degrees of toxicity, but we want to figure that out sooner rather than later.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  14:31  
Mm hmm. So I can see how both of your work both of your sets of work are connected to each other because both of you point out this idea of there's different sets of rules for different groups of people. I mean, sometimes for you, Marsha, it's okay, the men have this set of rules versus the women. And Sarah's pointing out, okay, this issue of toxicity has no group of people that it lands hands on, right? Yeah, yeah.

Marsha Clark  15:02  
Well, here's what I'll say, Sarah, I'd love to hear from you. The idea here is that, whether you call it their stereotypes about people, but there's also the social conditioning that comes along with all of this, right? There are also organizational systems are institutions who either don't believe the woman when she tells you what she tells you, or tells you that, you know, you've got to stay in the marriage no matter what, either because of pride, ego, standing in the community, or the nature of the institution itself. I was part of the task force here in Collin County, Texas. And it was the a taskforce on on family violence, and we had churches and police and hospital and different factions represented. And we discussed a lot about and, look, I'm all for religion and spirituality. And yet churches convince women to stay in relationships long after they need to be out and induce all the guilt feelings associated with it. And then they guess, like, well, it's not that bad. Well, it happened to me. So if it happened to me, I'm justifying my own decisions. You know, you can live through it. You know, I mean, so there's all of that kind of stuff. And so Sarah's fighting to help people recognize it, understand it and do something with it. And that's what we're doing in our work my work as well. So that there's my connections here. I don't know, I'm sure you have lots of other things to say.

Sarah K. Ramsey  16:31  
Well, one thing I would like to say is, mean... Well, nice people don't pretend to be mean. Right? So if there's someone who is nice, I don't think I'm going to pretend to be mean today and see what happens and see. You know, we don't do that. And so within the conversation of who's telling the truth, which is what you were addressing with when churches and that kind of thing. Nice people don't pretend to be mean. Mean people pretend to be nice.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  17:02  
Yes. And ususally they are very, very good at it.

Sarah K. Ramsey  17:08  
Especially, especially if you have a belief system, what people are fighting against when they come out and say, this happened to me, okay, is this filter of if this person had been toxic, say it's a church situation, and a woman in this case comes forward and says, My husband is toxic. There's a huge belief system that these women have to get through. Because the pastoral staff, whoever, by friends and family members, so but if they had been acting that bad, I would have seen it.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  17:43  
Exactly right.

Sarah K. Ramsey  17:46  
Who's... Who remembers Bill Cosby?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  17:48  
Yeah, exactly.

Sarah K. Ramsey  17:50  
Who remembers Bernie Bernie Madoff? Who remembers Jeff Epstein? I mean, these people... Mel Gibson, I think, is it's been in trouble for, you know, these are all people who at one point, we really admired. Right?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  18:07  
And, they presented a face that we all fell in love with. Which, which, honestly, if you're the woman in that situation, you're even more isolated. Because you know that no one's gonna believe you. Because he's so charming around everyone else.

Sarah K. Ramsey  18:25  
Yeah, absolutely. And if anyone is in this situation, and they think, Oh, I know someone who was in a toxic relationship, how do I know who was telling the truth? Because both people are saying the other one was toxic is really normal. Really look and see who's getting the better end of the deal.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  18:43  
Please go further with that.

Sarah K. Ramsey  18:46  
Okay, let's go back to playing by the same set of rules. Right, right. If one person is making the rules, breaking the rules, enforcing the rules, it's pretty obvious to see they are getting the better end of the deal. Yep. And it's really easy when when you pointed out that way? That's why I'm so obsessed with making this language more simple.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  19:05  
Yeah. Yeah. So I have a note here about the phrase toxic person encounter. Is that the same as a toxic relationship? Or is this something different?

Sarah K. Ramsey  19:18  
I talked to someone recently, and they were trying to decide about a babysitter for their children. And there were several warning signs. This person didn't answer their phone, they were taking a nap from 12 to seven. So they were kind of asleep all day. You know, these are some warning signs and red flags. Okay, that this person may not be most functional adults are not sleeping all day, right? She didn't she didn't work a night shift. She wasn't a nurse. I mean, she was just like asleep all day. Right? So that's a red flag. That's a concerning behavior that I would when she asked me about it, I said, you know, I think that's weird, which Just a phrase that's really important in this in this work. That's, that's kind of weird. You think that's weird? And and that's the way to keep yourself safe. And I love that's a very recent example in my life. But when you talk about a toxic relationship, people assume they shouldn't marry an abuser. Okay, when you talk about a toxic person encounter, this woman is able to keep her children's safe.

Marsha Clark  20:26  
Yeah. Okay, well, well. And I think to Sarah, in the work world, I'm going to choose the sitter not chooses that, or I'm going to choose a mate or not choose a mate, I don't always get to choose my boss, or my co workers, or the culture that my organization represents. So that's like I'm being put into a situation that I didn't choose and and that has yet another set of things to consider.

Sarah K. Ramsey  20:52  
So my next book is about what problem you're trying to solve? So there's a very distinct strategy on choosing a babysitter or choosing a mate. Right? There's specific strategies needed. And it's a different type of strategy. If you are at work, where there's a toxic co worker, a toxic boss, so most of the time within that conversation, you're going to need coping strategies to get the stress, protect yourself, obviously, HR type of situations, and then also some real stress reset, that can happen very quickly in the work setting. So if you get that toxic email, you're not carrying it home to your kids that night.

Marsha Clark  21:37  
Yeah, yeah. And I think about that as another kind of encounter windy rise, where I make that connection. So it can be a one time interaction that I have with someone never met him before, you know, don't know them may or may not ever see them again. And yet the encounter here was extraordinarily toxic. And, and so there's the what choices can I make, initially, and then in the long run, but then how do I respond in the moment? Right, you know, is another place that we need to need to search? And, Sarah, I know, you often quote this, and I do as well, it's that I want to go back for a minute to the how do you recognize it? So to me that Maya Angelou quote of "If someone shows you who they are, believe them." Right? And I think that, you know, we don't want to believe them, because they have this persona that presents itself differently. And then I think the other thing is women trusting our intuition, because if we're feeling that, you know, this isn't quite right, or it's weird, or, you know, this is not normal behavior, or I didn't do anything that would warrant that kind of reaction, or whatever it might be. So I go back to listen, listen to your body, listen to your instincts, listen to your intuition. Listen to that, you know? Notice that red flag that's going up.

Sarah K. Ramsey  22:51  
Bill Eddy, he talks about the five types of people who will ruin your life. He runs the High Conflict Institute... brilliant man in this work. And he says, if 9 out of 10, people wouldn't do that, then there's your... You know that that can be some data around if you're uncomfortable at this time, trusting your intuition. That can be a question you might ask, like, that woman asked me, she said, Do you think this person is safe to have around my kids? And I said, you know, 9 out of 10 people aren't sleeping all day and then not answering their phone when they were supposed to babysit. That's odd behavior. And it starts to become a pattern of behavior. Marsha, you have a three dot quote... What is that?

Marsha Clark  23:37  
Yes. yes. A dot...  Two dots is a line. Three dots is a trend. So if it happens, it's a pattern.

Sarah K. Ramsey  23:44  
Exactly. And so if the "That's weird... Something's off." Huh? And then, you know, 9 out of 10 people wouldn't do it. That's a real framework that you can kind of clamp down on sometimes trusting your intuition can feel scary or feel like, I don't know what that looks like, right yet. But if you notice three, that's weird. Or then there's that line. There's that pattern that you can start to make decisions from.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  24:13  
So Sarah, how do we balance protecting ourselves and yet still giving people the grace to make mistakes? Because none of us are perfect, but...

Sarah K. Ramsey  24:24  
We're absolutely and really coming with a clean slate. There are some people who assume everyone's horrible, that's the framework that they see the world from, and go, everyone's terrible, and they assume everyone's bad, and they're looking for what's bad. And then there's some people who are like, oh, la dee da, everybody's nice. Everybody's good. Everybody's doing the right thing. And both are equally dangerous for different reasons. Yeah. Okay. And I like to have obviously that Maya Angelou quote is so important, and I think about is a framework of a healthy person can crack open a door and see what's on the other side. An unhealthy person never opens the door because they're afraid. They're protective energy. They assume everyone's terrible. And another type of unhealthy person has the door swung open all the time, whoever wants to can come in, no matter what your behavior is, I'm going to assume that you didn't mean it every time you do, you know, whatever that behavior is, until if you can really think about cracking the door and just looking outside. What does your behavior say that you are? Not a one off bad day... Remember with that pattern? Trend... everybody has a bad day. But there's a very distinct difference in a dog who bites you once and a dog who bites you daily.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  25:52  
Yeah. Yeah.

Marsha Clark  25:55  
You know, I want to tie this back to our trust work, because what, what Sarah said harkens back to that. So some people interest building trust. Some people start at zero and trust no one. And they have to prove cumulatively over time that I can trust you. Others, and they're the ones who don't open the door or man, it takes a long time for them to open that door. Yeah, they're the other people that are one, they start at 100. I trust you absolutely, until you demonstrate elsewise. And so that's the subtracting factor. And that's the people that leave the door wide open. And it's like anything strength taken to an extreme can become a weakness is when I trust everybody, I can get burned. I can, you know, that can be viewed as naive or pollyannish. Or man, you're a trusting soul scarcity versus abundance. I mean, all of those are words to your NLP point. All of those are words that we can connect to and recognize. And so whether it's how much we trust others, how much how little we trust others, and how does that show up in how I move forward in a relationship with anyone?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  26:58  
Right, right? Well, I know that some people in toxic relationships are often given well-meaning advice... "Just put up some boundaries, honey!" You know? And but it sounds like it's way more complicated than that. Because especially if you've been if you're if the toxic relationship is a marriage, and you've been married for 10 years, 20 years, you can't just undo that with a simple, you know, a couple of couple of Oprah shows and Eat Pray Love book, like really goes beyond that. So, Sarah, talk to us about that. How do you how do you help someone? Or if someone is listening and saying, hey, yeah, I've got a toxic relationship going on in my life. What are some steps?

Sarah K. Ramsey  27:45  
So I think the conversation on boundaries is so important, because what I see is women, going to counselors going to therapist and they say, Well, you should be more assertive. You shouldn't be a doormat. You should have boundaries. Who is at fault in that conversation?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  28:10  
The woman 100% always

Sarah K. Ramsey  28:13  
Absolutely right. And so yes, she should have boundaries. Right? I hate the "should" word. But yeah, we all need boundaries, right? It's like, we should drink water. You know, we all should have boundaries. But what I don't want is to blame people who have been hurt by toxic people and say, Oh, I know, the toxic person has said everything your fault is your fault. And let's say let's add something else. That's your fault, too. Okay, exactly. Can I add something else to make you feel bad? Um, and Marsha, you talked about both and statements a lot, right? So it's both having boundaries, and not taking responsibility for someone's else's behavior.

Marsha Clark  28:52  
Yeah, this is the either or, versus the both. And it's ambiguous. And it's paradoxical. And it's contradictory. And it's hard, and you got to balance both sides. I love this person, I want to be in a relationship with Him. And you know, it is not a mutually respectful relationship, or we live in by two different rules, or he always wins, I always lose. You know, there is a both and side to that. And yes, we need to have boundaries. And you know, when I talk about vendors, it's not just setting them we have to maintain. We have to be serious and real about it. But this idea and the word should you know, how I feel about that is one of my trigger words. And, you know, I think about should is could with shame on it. So I even would change the word should too. You could set boundaries, because that's giving me an option and his not shaming me to your point about let me add one more thing you're screwing up, because you're already in this downward spiral, right? The erosion of self esteem and self worth and self image and all of those things is deteriorating if we just let those top relationships lives day in, day out day in and day out. And so you know, even think of it as a choice point. That's what could prepares you for, right should, as we, we both say is is that the shame, guilt, criticize, embarrass, diminish domain all of the words that are not good words that none of us want to write in that regard. And so the choice point in the could possibility as well as both.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  30:29  
Yeah, and I just want to layer on this as well, you know, for those of us and I'm sure Sarah, you have experienced with this and I know you do Marsha women who have been in abusive, not just toxic, but have gone on to abusive relationships. He never just hits you. You never start to you start dating this awesome guy, and y'all date for months, and then you get engaged and you're engaged for months, and then you get married and everything is perfect and blissful. Until one day, he just walks out of the bedroom walks right up to you in the kitchen and just gives you a black guy. That never happens. This idea of expecting women to have boundaries around toxic relationships is so hard because they've been dripped on. At first it was just, oh, you're not going to wear that blouse in front of my boss are you and it starts with these tiny little paper cuts. And then you get used to that. And then it builds up to a demeaning conversation in front of other people. And then you get used to that. It's so my point is that this is a building thing. For people who are in toxic relationships. It's not just a splash of cold water. It's a drip, drip drip that has built to where you wake up, typically years later, and you don't recognize yourself. You don't recognize the fact that you don't have boundaries. And the entire time you've been trying to fix it by behaviors that you think you can do in order to just make it like it was in the beginning.

Marsha Clark  32:15  
You know, Sarah, you mentioned Jeffrey Epstein a moment ago. And and when I think about the line of work that he was in, and many like him.... It's grooming.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  32:23  
It's grooming. That's exactly the right word.

Marsha Clark  32:27  
You know, I'm preparing you to be who I want you to be.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  32:29  
Yes. Yes.

Sarah K. Ramsey  32:32  
Well, it's grooming and then, Wendi, I'd also like to say, by the time they hit you, that's like stage four cancer.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  32:41  

Sarah K. Ramsey  32:42  
And I don't think any of us are like what state... My cousin is having (not related to Marsha, my other side of the family) is having her second breast cancer surgery today. Okay? She is less than 40 years old, and is having her second breast cancer surgery. Maybe as we speak, right? I mean, but it's today. Okay. So if we looked at her and said, well, but it's not terminal. At least it's not terminal. At least he didn't hit you. Right? If we're only having the "cancer" conversation when it's at a stage four, we have really missed the boat.

Marsha Clark  33:23  
Yeah. Yeah, that's right.

Sarah K. Ramsey  33:25  
Right. You know, the that's weird. The three patterns align. Some of these things are I'm really passionate about pointing out the pre-cancerous cells. So we can start to get into some cancer prevention, you know, toxic person prevention, rather than only having these conversations when it's stage three or stage right? Because I don't want any type of pain, right? I don't want any type of toxic relations. Right,

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  33:51  
right. And so this idea of doing the work in the, in the pre stage. I hear this sometimes from friends or friends of friends, or you just hear about it. The phrase, I know this relationship is complicated, but surely it isn't toxic. Like, you know, he just insults me in front of everybody else, but just 50% of the time, you know, not 100% of the time, because then he'll turn and bring me flowers or be sweet or whatever. So never do it again. And he'll promise to never do it again. So what what do I do if what should our listeners do? If if that's if that's what's going through their head? I know this relationship is complicated, but surely it isn't toxic.

Sarah K. Ramsey  34:39  
Do you play by the same set of rules?

Marsha Clark  34:42  
Yeah, ask yourself that question. Yep. Yep, yep.

Sarah K. Ramsey  34:45  
I mean, there it is. If you... Okay, so he's allowed to insult you in front of his friends. What if you insulted him in front of your friends? Would that be the same? That'd be okay?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  34:55  
That would be... Yeah, yeah, that would probably be... Yeah.

Sarah K. Ramsey  35:01  
In, that's where it can... That's where the "do you play by the same set of rules?" is so effective because it's not a conversation of physical abuse. It's not a lit or narcissism checklist. It's not a list of red flags. What happened if you did what he did? Would that be okay?

Marsha Clark  35:22  
And, if you are so afraid to do to him what he's done to you, when you say I mean, that's another red flag because you recognize and you won't even go down that path because you you have great fear. I'm going to I'm going to take us on an aside for just a minute. So last night, you know, I'm not a big TV watcher. But if I see something that someone's recommended, or whatever, so someone had recommended to me there's a it's a, it's some show about Hugh Hefner, and the Playboy Bunny, and how it all got started and what's coming out now. And you know, what many sighs, the objectification of women and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And he was, he was helping women be free and liberal in a time where, you know, feminism was great. And he would go on these talk shows, and he would just talk about how, what a supporter he is of women. And Hugh Hefner was nothing more than a 15 year old boy living out his childhood fantasies, and he never grew up. And then what was even more fascinating to me, I only saw two episodes of it. But you know, the second one, he would have all these male friends on there who would talk about well, he's not objectifying these girls. You know what, Frant male friend, you don't get to decide that yet. Right. And that's another way that toxicity plays out is I get to define how you think I define how you feel about things, I convince you that everything we're doing is exactly right. And if you somehow deny that or act out, in my words, inappropriately to diminish me, like I'm doing that to you. And these women that are coming back out nail, who are speaking about how isolated they were, how ritualistic he was, and this woman wrote one of the Playboy of the month or whatever, wrote this book, and was about to go on a tour. And he just very nicely said, Well, I'd love to know what interviews you're gonna do. And so she was set to go to New York the next day, and she had this long list of interviews she was going to so guess what she got to every every single one of them and something happened and been canceled. You know why? Because Hugh Hefner had cameras all over that place, and he had blackmail on everybody. And you talk about a master manipulator. And guess who was on one of the who was on this? Bill Cosby. Playing tennis...

Sarah K. Ramsey  37:33  
But Marsha, who's making the rule, right? He's like, "Oh, these these women are so free." Are they the ones making the rules? Or is it he?

Marsha Clark  37:42  
No, it is. It was. I mean, that's what made me think about tying it into what you just said, was I was thinking about the grooming that he did that they had a nine o'clock curfew, that they could never go out with their girlfriends. And if you were going to tell anybody any story about it, he was going to control the story because that was the rules. And so again, this this I'm I'm doing it with the this narrative and story. And this is why women have to tell the story. And Sarah I, when I think about your work as well, it's tell somebody, right? Don't Don't think you're alone. In this scenario. If it's a girlfriend or mother and his listeners, we need to not just be supportive and convince them to stay or convince him. It's not all that bad, or but what would you do without him or all of those kinds of things? It really is. How do we get you out of there? Yep. And as a friend and a colleague or a mentor, or a pastor or a counselor or coach or therapist or whatever. We have to listen and believe.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  38:43  
Yes. I mean...

Sarah K. Ramsey  38:45  
Well, and if I may, Marsha, if we... If these Playboy girls, for example, come to us, and I say, "Well, why don't you just stand up to Hef?"

Marsha Clark  38:57  
Right? Yeah, good luck with that.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  38:59  
... Out of a job!

Sarah K. Ramsey  39:01  
And that's where boundaries... Bringing it back to the conversation around all these women who aren't trying to get help. And someone says, be more assertive. Don't be a doormat. Don't be afraid of conflict, stand up for yourself have better boundaries. Like that's exactly why it's so ludicrous. I mean, it can be a safety issue. It can be a they're going to spread terrible rumors about me and when you think about the story of The Three Little Pigs because we're a better pigs right are better pigs stories. So when you think about the story of the three little pigs, one little pig had strong boundaries. One little pig had stick boundaries, and one little pig had brick boundaries. Which one of the little pigs changed the big bad wolf?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  39:58  
The brick one?

Marsha Clark  39:59  
No, no, none of them really?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  40:02  
AH! HELLO! Great question. That's right, because the behavior on the part of the wolf was... and just because he couldn't blow the house down.

Marsha Clark  40:14  
But he's bringing TNT next time.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  40:15  

Sarah K. Ramsey  40:17  
Exactly, exactly. And I think that's just a really important point to point out because I see a lot of people get equipped with better boundaries. And they think, Okay, I'm going to stand up to Hugh Hefner. I'm going to tell him, he can't do this to me. I'm going to tell him or whoever it is in their life. And then it goes badly. Again, it's like that the pig saying, "Awesome. Now I have now have brick boundaries, and it worked." So now that the big bad wolf knows that I'm not gonna give in to him that his personality will change, and now we can be friends. Right? It's like, wow... No. No.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  40:52  
But to Marsha's point next time he just brings dynamite or he has somebody else ring the doorbell and you come outside. And then there's all the all the things, all the manipulations that happen, even when you change your behavior. And again, I just want to point out that yes.... It's still you are the pig expecting the wolf to change.

Sarah K. Ramsey  41:15  
Or, and I do want to point this out. You could open the door, the big bad wolf could stand in front of the door. When you open it. The Big Bad Wolf says you hit them with the door. The Big Bad Wolf is laying on the ground crying and the police show up and say a word the church pastor shows up or whoever it is, and they're just like, oh, the pig abused me. Oh, look, I got hit by the door. It's not the tour. Right? Yeah. Right, because that is important. We talked about a lot of, I call it victim and he wrote. So we've talked a lot about the hero behavior like Hugh Hefner, Bill Cosby, these people who are almost bigger than life. Well, if that doesn't work, yeah. And they're still trying to avoid change. The Big Bad Wolf can also swoop into victim behavior if the TNT doesn't work. Yeah, that's right. Maybe people's sympathy will work, right. But the whole point of boundaries is not to change wolves. It is to protect pigs, it's to protect you not to change them.

Marsha Clark  42:19  
Yeah, I want to I want to add on a couple of points. Because here's the other thing that happens when people say, Well, what did you expect when you went to the Playboy Mansion? What did you think when they made you were that so little, you know, you know, you're the one that agreed to this. And this is like when women get raped or molested it say, Well, you shouldn't have been drinking. You shouldn't have worn that you shouldn't have gone to that party. You should have no when he grabbed you and drag you into the bedroom, what was going to happen? You ask for it. And that's where institutional and societal rules need to change. Yeah. Or the it's not that bad. Or he's not really doing that. That is gaslighting at its finest. Yeah. Because it's, I'm failing it and yet you're telling me it's not there. And so you're trying to make me crazy. And gaslighting makes you crazy? Yes, because you start to believe it. And that's how that downward spiral begins to exactly devolve devolve devolve. And so I think these points are really good because that sympathy versus that hero. It can go either way. And unfortunately, society lets each one of those work on behalf of the perpetrator.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  43:23  
That's right. That's right. Yeah, I saw something a friend of mine posted something and and I love this woman dearly. She's a friend of mine on Facebook. And she posted an image of a 12 point checklist for how women should walk from the grocery store to their car at night. It was... Be aware of your surroundings. Look over your shoulder the once you pop up in the trunk of your car. Make sure no one is near you. It was this 12 points... all of this. All of these women were responding back. Oh my god, thank you. Thank you for posting this. I never even thought about that. I thought I didn't think about this either. Thank you for posting this. I was the only person who said, "I think this is shameful that women have to exist in fear. I can't even walk from the door of the grocery store to my to my car in a parking lot without being afraid of them. That is sad. That is pathetic and wrong." And but... and my comment got no likes.

Marsha Clark  44:31  
What? But it's like I'm gonna live my life looking over my shoulder or with a nervous twitch. Because exactly it's gonna happen to me and everybody's out to get me and unfortunately there's enough evidence to show that you should. Yes pay attention your surroundings and your listings. And and yet remember when I spoke about there's a gentleman his name escapes me but in my one of my earlier podcasts I talk about we talk about teenage pregnancies....We .. It's all about the girl. We don't talk about the man who got her pregnant.

Sarah K. Ramsey  44:59  
Well, every woman knows someone who's been raped. How many men know a rapist?

Marsha Clark  45:08  
Yeah, not many. Because they ain't talking. And even if even if it's not that extreme, Sarah, it'll, they'll still cover for him. Yeah, they'll still cover for him. I mean, and that's the and we do too. We as women, well, boys will be boys. Well, that was just locker talk. NO! Signal signal! Red flag red flag!

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  45:29  
Yeah. So Sarah, what if someone who's listening today is in a relationship that's violent? Where it's difficult to deny that it's happening? Did those people usually recognize that they're in a toxic relationship? Or is it? Is it that something really bad has to happen? Where they finally?

Sarah K. Ramsey  45:50  
Well, if I could change one thing about human behavior, I think it would be that we didn't wait till stage four cancer or rock bottom right to make change. Right. You know, I mean, it's like, I hear so many women, and they say, Well, I told myself if he ever hit me, that I'd be gone. Hmm. And, okay, okay. So that's, that's, let's pretend that's the rules of society. Okay. As long as he doesn't hit you, which many church people say, Okay, well, he didn't hit you. Right. That that hard?

Marsha Clark  46:25  
Yeah. Yeah.

Sarah K. Ramsey  46:26  
So okay, so is that... Marsha, I know you have a young granddaughter. Would you be comfortable me coming to her class? And saying, These are the rules of relationships. These are the rules of romantic relationships. These is the rules of marriage. As long as they don't hit you, you're good to go. You don't get to leave.

Marsha Clark  46:44  
No, of course not. Right. I mean, I wouldn't be okay.

Sarah K. Ramsey  46:47  
Well, of course not. But how many 43 year-old woman women have been told that? Like, we keep changing the rules...

Marsha Clark  46:55  
What well, and I'll go another step that says for men, it's about power over. Right? So when I talk about power, it's about me having, you know, a hand to force you to stay in this place. Right? I put you in that place, I want you to stay in that place. And if you try to get out. And And this idea about I what I have read so much about is that women who are personally abused, it often takes when the the abuser moves to their children. So I can, I'm going to do this for me, but I wouldn't want you know this, he's not going to do this to my children. So I have to get out. Or I know a woman who just wrote a book about incestual sexual impropriety. And when she finally talked to her mother, it was like, Well, I figured if he was doing it to you, he wouldn't do it to other kids because her mother knew her mother knew. or this or this step dad is doing it and the mother loves the dad and she believes the husband rather than believing the children. I mean, there's so much stuff and this is the complicated right this is but but I love, Sarah, simplicity around you know, who makes the rules, who gets the better end of the deal? You know, it no matter how much you change, he's not going to change. And Margaret Wheatley in "Leadership and the New Science" and her "Eight Fearless Questions" work, she says, "Can you allow them to do the work that is theirs to do?" I don't have to take that on because he's not gonna change cause me he's got to change from his inside out. Not because of an outside in.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  48:35  
Yeah, yeah.

Sarah K. Ramsey  48:39  
Marsha, in my new book, with a framework for decision making and problem solving, one... What problem are you trying to solve? Two... Is it your problem to solve? We would solve every codependency issue in the entire world? Yes, you're right. And I that simplicity? Because so often, people assume they have to solve the problem of someone else's bad moods or someone else's anger. And I want to be very strategic and saying that toxic people don't have anger issues. They have control issues, and they use your anger. They use their anger to control you, right? Yes. Okay. And that's why if they that's why you talked about Bill Cosby. He didn't write people in front of his other, you know, I don't really know that, you know, maybe he did it somewhat. But then he wasn't doing it on his TV show. Right. Right. I know that. Okay. So he, he could control himself.

Marsha Clark  49:43  
He could when he chose to.

Sarah K. Ramsey  49:47  
In public, he can control himself. He can control his manage his image in public. And so if someone is with someone that they say, Oh, well, he just has anger issues. Well, Is he angry in front of his pastor? Is he angry in front of his boss? Is he angry in front of your father or your family members? Or is he only angry in privates?

Marsha Clark  50:12  
Good point.

Sarah K. Ramsey  50:14  
Okay. Then you know, he knows what he's doing.

Marsha Clark  50:17  
Yeah, it's manipulation. The master manipulator. Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  50:21  
Wow. Okay, um, we're gonna shift gears a little bit, I'm going to ask the question, what is smart girl syndrome?

Sarah K. Ramsey  50:31  
We have been talking about smart girl syndrome this whole time. And Marsha has so eloquently set me up for success here. But she kept talking about that blame shifting right. So I wouldn't get so mad if you behaved a certain way. I wouldn't have to mistreat you. If you weren't doing XYZ, I wouldn't have had to cheat on you. If you had come home on time, I wouldn't have had to throw that if you had worn the shirt I told you to, you know, whatever it is. And so smart girl syndrome is willing to do the being willing to do the work of the relationship. Okay. But when I when I was learning how to play piano growing up, I didn't expect to just automatically know how to play Beethoven. I put the work in, over and over and over. When I was in school, I earned the grades I put the work in, I didn't just assume I was going to make a at the end of calculus, I had to put the work in to secure an A at the end of calculus. Okay. So I want to talk about how dangerous this concept is in a toxic relationship. But how beautiful and wonderful and powerful and fabulous it is, in all the other areas of life. If something isn't working, we work harder until we get the results we want. That's considered a high achiever not a victim of abuse or someone stupid, or I can't believe this doormat ended up in a toxic relationship.

Marsha Clark  52:07  
Right. You're absolutely right, that that performance in a in 99 out of 100 parts of our lives is rewarded rewarded. Well, and I have positive consequences.

Sarah K. Ramsey  52:22  
Yeah, absolutely. So why would we not use that same line of thing try and fix if our relationship seems great...

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  52:31  
We're gonna fix it. We're gonna get in there and fix it. Okay, so

Sarah K. Ramsey  52:36  
Absolutely. I don't give up. I'm strong enough to take it. I'm not going to let this get the best of me. I'm not going to be the one who cry worse, right? But then we end up doing all the work of the relationship.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  52:47  
Yeah, to the point where it almost completely destroys you.

Marsha Clark  52:55  
Well, you get thick-skinned and it's another part of the drip, drip drip? Yes. Well, he got better for a week. Oh, well, next time it was eight days. Yeah. I mean, it goes back to that. And it's it's like, you know, this is such a trivial comparison, really. But it's like when you put somebody on a performance improvement plan, anybody can make it through 30 days. Anybody can make it...

Sarah K. Ramsey  53:18  
Yeah, I love that example. No, that's perfect. And I do want to point out, there's a fabulous book called "The Asshole Survival Guide" which which talks about toxic relationships at work. And I really in my own work, I'm everyone assumes I only talk about romantic relationships. And I'm so passionate about this is just like a human problem. People can get taken advantage of, they can have those toxic person encounters in everywhere, right? And one of the reasons I'm so passionate about that is because it does help people who have had toxic family dynamics forgiven themselves. Right. And in that "Asshole Survival Guide," they talked about toxic relationships at work, and it's like, okay, I know this person's being terrible at work, but I'm going to keep putting up with it. I'm going to be strong enough to take it. I'm not going to let it get to me. I'm going to do pull that smart girl syndrome thing until it till it almost kills you.

Right? And for any...

Marsha Clark  54:19  
No, I was just gonna say it goes right back to the control component of this is that, you know, and even with holding can be an ultimate form of control. So I'm not going to I'm going to withhold things from you. I'm going to withhold full information. I'm not going to let you get exposed to the outside world to recognize that most people don't live this way. And I'm going to give you just enough to make you feel lucky to be here, right?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  54:42  
Yep. Yep. So...

Sarah K. Ramsey  54:45  
I'm not gonna give you the best deal. I'm not gonna give you the best promotion. I'm not gonna I mean, it's not difference, right? I mean, it is. It's the same thing. And for any one who's listening who is in management position, one of the Tips and Tricks for protecting your workplace against toxic people is kind of putting them all on the same team, kind of intuitively, we think, okay, I need to spread them all out. But then you have like, made your whole work culture toxic, and your best people are getting burned out. And so actually, if you put them kind of all on the same team, they just took each other off. And maybe that team isn't that effective. But you're not losing all your employees in a time now, where employee retention is like, oh, so important, you can really protect your best employees.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  55:34  
I love that... Put them on the island!

Marsha Clark  55:37  
You know, it's like the Misfit Toys, right? But I love that I love the idea of that. And I haven't even thought of it in those terms. And, you know, where my mind goes, as a person who's led a lot of teams is that and then say, we no longer need this team.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  55:52  
Or you can you can hide that it's the Agatha Christie. And then they were none novel, they all kill each other.

Marsha Clark  56:00  
And likely they will, either by running each other often. Because you know, this idea of when we see something coming at us, you know, boy, what a what a volatile, you know, environment that that will create. But I love the idea. Because if it's everywhere, you're now creating an organizational culture that. And again, when you have the nice cultures that don't want to deal with hard things, then it just takes on a life of its own.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  56:27  
Yep, yep. Yep. So Sarah, in your book "Becoming Toxic Person Proof," you interviewed several hundred women about things they ignored... Can you talk to us about that?

Sarah K. Ramsey  56:43  
Absolutely, I call it the Blind Spot chapter. When you think about people who fall in love with potential. Gosh, I know that they're, you know, there's, there's just so much potential in them. Or maybe we do want to hire people with potential, but that could actually translate into a work situation, too. I know, they got let go of their last job. But with my coaching with my management with my leadership, I can transform them. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can, you know, but all these excuses for behavior. Tthey didn't mean it. They're just stressed out. Things will get better when he retires.  Things will get better when COVID is overThings will get better when the economy changes. There's just so many blind spots. And if you are a good, kind, loving, giving person you can get trapped. And all I want to say is crack open that door, and look with as clean of a slate as you can to what their behavior is really doing. And what that pattern is showing you. Not making those internal excuses.

Marsha Clark  57:47  
It is a... It's a courage of conviction to acknowledge my reality. And I got to be really brave and strong. And so if you have any inkling or any notion, you know, just say how are you know? Yeah, what, what's going on? When I want to go for coffee, I mean, something that allows them to open up and get the help that they need to get out of that scenario, right. And you know, part of that is planning your next career move or your next personal lives. So to your point, it's not just romantic relationships, this can happen in a lot of

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  58:20  
Exactly, exactly. And yeah, but it's making me think of bullies at work. Yes. Yeah. So Sarah, your new book is about decision making and problem solving. Right? So tell us about that. Do you have dates on when it's coming out? Title? Any of that?

Sarah K. Ramsey  58:39  
Okay, I'm playing around with titles still. Now, what's interesting in this conversation is how some people identify with the words decision making. And some people identify with the word problem solving. So my current title, and it's usually very distinctly one or the other. So my current title is getting unstuck. Simple Strategies for complicated problems, or decisions trying to decide. But that is a when other people see toxic relationships. So there's a lot of other people in the work of toxic relationships, where it is really about, you know, should I stay should I go, you know, these, these, these types of very, very complicated decisions, and complicated problems to solve. And, you know, when we think about flame retardant material that was developed in the military, because it was like life, or death, these are life or death, things that needed to be created. And that's how I think about this framework. You know, for the last four years, I've been helping women with these really, really complicated problems and decisions that sometimes have life or death consequences. But then, they started using these same strategies at work. They started using the same strategies in other areas of their life and they were getting promotions, they were getting raises. And I was just like, you know, maybe these strategies are gonna work in some areas that aren't quite so complicated or life or death. And so that's really what this book is about. So getting to my editor, Mark seven, that will be out sometime this year. And one of my favorite problem solving strategies is the around the house. Kay method. Yeah, tell you guys about that. So, so I want you to imagine you're going to a party in the backyard. Okay, there's a backyard barbecue, Texas barbecue, backyard barbecue. And so you get out of your car, you go to the front door, and you knock. And there's your toxic person, toxic co worker, toxic partner, whatever, behind that front door. And they say, No, I'm not going to let you in. And you knock again, you say, well, this isn't fair. You should let me in. And they say, No, I'm not going to no one wants you here. You didn't even get invited to this party, or whatever gaslighting they may throw on you. I see a lot of people. If I ask them at that point, what problem they were trying to solve. They are typically going to say I'm trying to get this person to open the door. What was the what was the original problem they were trying to solve?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:01:28  
To get to the party....

Sarah K. Ramsey  1:01:32  
Exactly! Right! And so there's a very different strategy to getting to that backyard party. But if you know a toxic person creates obstacles, or a school system creates obstacles or some political thing creates obstacles, whatever it is that it's a very difficult obstacle to overcome. I would see people switch and they would get so emotionally flooded. And they would say, I need to get this person to open the front door. And it's like, "No.You need to get to the party in the backyard..."

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:02:01  
Which might mean walking around the side of the house and going in the gate...

Sarah K. Ramsey  1:02:06  
Walking around walking around the house. Or you could get a helicopter to fly you in. You could climb a tree and jump in. You can hire a cheerleading team and create a pyramid and they can basket toss you over. There are so many creative solutions if you're solving the right problem....

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:02:21  
And if you're staying focused ON the problem, not the person who's blocking the front door.

Marsha Clark  1:02:28  
Look at all the places you're free. Right? Yes, it's like it's like a foot is nailed to the floor and you say I can't move. Yeah, you can you can move the other foot, you can move your arms, you can do your bends. And yeah, so know where your freedoms lie is part of what I get to the other. The other image that comes to me, we had a woman in one of our earlier power self programs, and she was a minister at the Unity Church in Dallas at the time. And she wrote a book called "Hell in the Hallway." So now let's let me tell you why what your say you use a lot of doors that you know, the the wolf knocking on the door, tried to get to, you know, the, through the through the door to the other side of the party, all that kind of stuff hell in the hallways was I'm living in hell, right. And there's a door that I can open to get out of it. But then I go into the hallway, and there's 17 doors, right. And so we're trying to figure out which of those 17 doors I want to now go in what room I want to go into. And and the whole point here is just go into door. Yeah, this is the no such thing as a last choice, because there's always an extra, but your first choice has to be open the door and get in the hall. Right? I mean, am I making the right connection? Sarah?

Sarah K. Ramsey  1:03:39  
Yes, yes, Marsha. I think we're exactly aligned on that. The way I describe it is a puzzle. And if you're trying to make a puzzle, it doesn't matter if you pick all the dog pieces and match them together or pick all the rainbow pieces or do all the edges and corners. It just matters how you start. And so just like your analogy if you're in hell, you better find the first door that's gonna open for you!

Marsha Clark  1:04:06  
Right? Yeah. Yeah, I do love that. And and I think they, you know, the 5000 piece puzzle is the complicated by right, because it can be very, very complicated. And yet you got to you got to make that first step.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:04:19  
Exactly, exactly. Well, I know that we've covered a ton of topics today. And we've just been scratching the surface. So Marsha, can you kind of wrap us up here with what key takeaways are? And then I'm going to throw it to Sarah to give her key takeaways for today.

Marsha Clark  1:04:34  
Yeah, I think for me, the key takeaways is recognize when you're in a toxic relationship, and that it's not just romantic relationships, that it's work relationships, family, relationships, neighbor, relationships, whatever it might be. So and the other thing I would say is really get clear about what the signals are and hear those and trust your gut on that. And I know we as women, we were often told I will it's not fact based or it's not ever and spaced or whatever. If it's in you, listen, yes, listen to that message, and then get the help that you need, because there are steps and tools and techniques. And what the other big point I would want to say is to all of our listeners is be there for someone else if they need you. You know, answer the phone dropped the email, you may not know exactly what needs to get done. But sometimes the person just needs to tell their story, and then you can go figure it out together. So those are my big keys for today...

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:05:28  

Sarah K. Ramsey  1:05:29  
Well, and I want to point out that idea of patterns. Right. So is there a pattern of someone always getting the best out of the deal? Is there a pattern of someone making up all the rules and then changing the rules to? Is there a pattern of them using their anger? When they want control back? Is there a pattern of them behaving one way in public and one way in private? And is there a pattern? If it's a new situation, those precancerous cells? Is there a pattern of that's weird? That feels all? I think nine out of 10 people will not do that? Right? These are the real ways that you can keep yourself safe. And please, please, please, if someone comes and says, my relationships toxic or I'm in an abusive situation, and it's like man, I and they seem this way, right? They seem Bill Cosby they seem Jeff Epstein, they seem Hiller started off people didn't know, right? Yeah, there was the prime minister who met with Hitler thought he's not that bad. Right? He's a prime minister. These aren't stupid people. So I really look to see who's getting the good end of the deal. If someone is always winning and always getting their way. They're probably not the person initiating divorce or firing.

Marsha Clark  1:06:45  
Yeah. Yeah. And one last point, Wendi, is something that you said earlier about death by 1000 cuts. The accumulation of it allows us to get groomed and comfortable as each step becomes a further deteriorating step. And so I think that's another thing I'd want our listeners to hear and heed as they move forward.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:07:06  
Yeah, absolutely. Well, I want to give Sarah of huge thank you and also to tell everyone to please tune in to her podcast - "Toxic Person Proof Podcast." And then check out her book - "Becoming Toxic Person Proof." Sarah, again, thank you so much for joining us today. Marsha. I'm gonna let you wrap it up.

Marsha Clark  1:07:27  
Yeah. And Sarah, I hope I get to see in a few months when we finally graduate your class!

Sarah K. Ramsey  1:07:33  
Well, we still need to get a time for you to come on my podcast, Marsha. You can talk about your new book.

Marsha Clark  1:07:39  
Well, we'll figure out all about that. But I too want to thank you because I think the work that you're doing and, and making the complicated, simpler for people to eat that elephant one bite at a time or whatever, you know, analogy you want to use, keep telling your stories. I don't want to be the pig or the wolf. And nor do I want to read that story again and again and again. And so I love the provocative nature of that and I love your analogies and stories in the language that you bring that enables people to see things that couldn't see before so thank you very much for being here and being a part of our podcast.

Sarah K. Ramsey  1:08:16  
Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:08:19  
And thank you listeners and viewers for joining us today on this "Your Authentic Path To Powerful Leadership" podcast with Marsha Clark. And please check us out on everywhere that you listen to your podcasts and share, download, recommend this podcast to your friends. Check out Marsha's website for information on everything that's going on in Marsha's world. And you can also see how you can get a copy of her book and we look forward to, you know, doing this again next week!

Marsha Clark  1:08:55  
We do. Let me add my thanks to our listeners... I hope you found value in today and that if there is some something that's on your heart or on your mind about all of this, please please go get help use us as a resource if you need to... Sarah myself, Wendi, whomever. And because we really do want to... This is about... I want to live in a world that values women and girls. Yeah, I mean, it's a hashtag that I use all the time and and this is a part of that is it is being able to identify toxic situations and dare I say get the hell out to where I want to say about all of that. And I and I also think that this is a place where supporting and hearing the stories believing the stories that other women have to tell is again a perfect link to my sign off... Which is here's to women supporting women!

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