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You matter. Your perceptions, words, actions impact ALL the people in your life, family to strangers

self-love, setting boundaries, changing careers, letting go

To the brave souls who have chosen to live away from their families, I commend you. It isn't easy and yet you made that choice. Whatever your reasons, here you are.

You've found yourself in this place in this time. Surrounded by these amazing people. They are not "your" people, but they are.

If you are like me, you have created your own friend family. A group of people, a tribe. Where each person is valued and loved for exactly who they are and their uniqueness.

Each person in your friend family has a unique voice which is heard, listened to, appreciated.

Maybe you didn't have this in your family of origin, but you have it now.

Maybe you are still searching for your friend family.

They are out there.

There is a reason you are here. It's not an accident. You could be anywhere, but you are here.

Who are the people whose lives you will impact?

Who do you get up in the morning for?

Who in your life do you cherish so much that you move through your day and take actions for?

Who do you support, care for, love?

Who is as much a gift to you, as you are to them?

These people mean so much.

It's no small thing to live apart from your family of origin. If you are like me, the choice to leave ranged from neutral to deliberate.

We cannot choose the people in our original family but we can choose our friend family. And beyond that, we have made a choice to live in a certain location, to make our home in this place and time.

Realize the people you interact with everyday, those you know well, those you have yet to develop relationships with, every single one of them has the potential to be your people.

You are here for them.

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How will you impact their lives today? What will you do? What will you say?

That will let them know you care, let them know they matter.

Every day,

Every moment,

is an opportunity to share yourself,

to give what you can,

to the people in your life.

They don't have to be related to you by blood. They can be your friend family that you have cultivated over years of vulnerability, releasing your defenses, showing up authentically and humbly.

Or they can be your bigger global human family who need you no less.

What is it to give? to live your life to be of benefit to others every day?

It does not mean you deplete yourself.

It does not mean you are self-sacrificial.

Nor does it mean that you do not function from a solid base of connection and compassion for self.

It means realizing that this life is a dual journey of connection with self and connection with others.

And through that realization coming to the understanding as we love our own selves and cultivate peace in ourselves, we can be loving and peaceful with others.

And ultimately our loving peaceful way ripples out, not only to our immediate family and friend-family, but also to our greater human family including the "strangers" we interact with everyday for whom our peaceful loving presence and gentleness may be a much needed soothing balm to a heart in deep need of connection.

We humans have such an amazing capacity to help each other heal from past hurts with other humans.

We also have a similar capacity to perpetuate that hurt.


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Creating safety for each other, cultivating environments where everyone in our global tribe can be heard, listened to, respected, honored, cherished, accepted for exactly who they are- can be the focus of all of our interactions in each of our days.

If you yourself, feel unsafe with our greater human family, as so many of my introvert coaching partners do, instead of focusing on your own feeling of unsafe, focus on how you can help the people around you feel safe, honored, heard, accepted, cherished. Redirect the focus from you to them.

If there is someone in your life or workplace who feels unsafe, perhaps they display bullying tendencies or are seemingly intentionally intimidating to speak to, remember you are safe even when others are being threatening in that you have a voice to speak up and a body to leave and you have your own back. And it is important in those scenarios to speak and/or to move. And yes even the bully is experiencing a feeling of unsafe, which is typically the root cause of their behavior. If you are able to speak to the bully from a place of compassion and understanding remembering that they too feel unsafe, you have offered even the bully a chance to remember and re-access their humanity.

If you yourself are viewed as unsafe, intimidating, unapproachable, snobbish, unfriendly by the people in your life, look deeply at what behaviors you engage in, including verbal and non-verbal, which are contributing to that incorrect perception of you. Look deeply at whether you feel safe or threatened by the people in your life. You may be unconsciously communicating, with your body language and tone, that you do not feel safe with others, that you want others to keep their distance from you. You may be unknowingly displaying dominant aggressive or other unfriendly non-verbal cues to keep others away because truly deep down you feel unsafe and what feels safe is to give off an air of intimidation and have others fear you or be intimidated by you, or simply to stay away from you as you give an air of unapproachability, rather than come close or connect to you, which is too vulnerable and therefore unsafe.

From my experience personally and my experience as a communication coach, I have learned that people who experience social awkwardness, social anxiety, intense self-consciousness, fear in interpersonal communication, public speaking anxiety, interview anxiety- are typically unconsciously (sometimes consciously) putting out social cues in body language, tone, and behavior that are clearly communicating:

"Stay away",

"I don't feel safe with you",

"I am not safe to be near",

"I will make you feel uncomfortable if you approach me",

"I don't want to connect with you",

"You're scary",

"I feel threatened by you",

"I don't like myself, I feel unsafe with myself, I am embarrassed of myself, I am uncomfortable in my own skin",

"Please don't look too closely at me".



This is our work.

To be brave honest conscientious and radical students of self. 

To look deeply and honestly at how we are viewed, how we view ourselves, and how we view others. 

To discern perception from reality. 

To shatter false beliefs about ourselves and about others.

To cultivate a feeling of safe connection and compassion with our own selves. 

To offer that compassion to others. 

To connect authentically, lovingly, peacefully with those in our families, friend-families, and global family. 

To remember it's about them and making them feel safe, cherished, honored, respected. 

To remember how we impact each other in every interaction.

My wish for you today and always is to feel safe within yourself, and cultivate a greater sense of safety in all your interactions realizing that you have much more of an impact than you realize on your immediate family, your friend family, and your global family.


Here is some guidance for your journey this week...

Intention: To feel safe within yourself, and cultivate a greater sense of safety in all your interactions realizing that you have much more of an impact than you realize on your immediate family, your friend family, and your global family.

Reflection: I invite you to take some time this week to reflect on the following. Ask yourself...

  • Who is part of my immediate family and friend family?

  • What will it take for me expand my view of family to include my workplace family and global human family?

  • Can I view everyone I interact as my family?

  • What needs to shift in my perception, beliefs, and thoughts so that I feel responsible to and for my workplace family and global human family?

  • Do I currently feel safe or unsafe with my family? my friend family? my work family? my global human family?

  • Are there people in my family, friend family, work family, or global human family who feel unsafe?

  • What are they doing or not doing to create unsafe feelings?

  • Are there behaviors that I display that others view as unsafe?

  • What views of being unsafe do I hold about others which impacts my authentic connection with others?

  • What can I do to shift others perception of me?

  • What is in my power to change about my perceptions, thoughts, beliefs about myself and others?

  • What is in my power to change about my words, actions, reactions, body language?

  • How can these changes in my perceptions, words, actions, reactions, body language have an impact others?

  • How does owning my perceptions, words, and actions connect to my responsibility to myself, my immediate family, friend family, work family, global human family?

Practice: For this week,

  • Being intentional with your perceptions and thoughts.

  • Be intentional with your words and actions.

  • Be intentional with your relationship with yourself.

  • Be intentional about your body language and tone.

  • Remember your impact on others.

  • Practice choosing your words and actions and impact you want to have on the people in your life in every interaction.

  • Own that you are a catalyst in the lives of people in your families.

Resolve: I am willing to accept that I do impact the people in my life, all of them. I take responsibility for my impact on my family, friend family, work family and greater human family. I know my impact ripples out to my greater human families. The impact I make is within my power, and I choose the impact I want to have.


Has this article helped you in some way? Do you have anything you'd like to share? I’d love to hear below.

Rebecca Cooley

Dear Wonderful Person,

I hope this message helps support you on your path of personal liberation, connection, and peace-filled compassion. Need more guidance on this topic or looking for a coach to partner with you on this part of your journey? Check out my private coaching programs.

Be Free.

Wishing you much peace and joy,


Top Coaches Raleigh
Top Coaches Raleigh

Customized. Personalized. Just for You.

Looking for a personable, heart-felt, caring coach to partner with you and help you achieve your personal and professional goals?

Rebecca's transformational whole-person coaching has helped her partners build confidence, self-awareness, self-acceptance, and connect authentically with themselves and others. She has partnered with executives, managers, and teams for over 15 years offering private coaching as well as Workshops in Public Speaking, and Worksite Wellness Classes in Stress-reduction, Work/Life Balance, and Time-management.

  • Over 15 years as an Executive Coach and Trainer for leaders in Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies, Top-tier Universities, Government, NGOs, Small Businesses helping leaders and their teams achieve superior results

  • Results: Strengthened relationships and communication, Increased confidence and happiness, Reduced stress, Improved quality of life and employee wellness, Enhanced performance, Increased job satisfaction

  • 1500+ hours of formal training and certifications in stress-reduction, mindfulness, and communication strategies

  • Certified Master Coach

  • MPA in Managerial Leadership, graduated with honors

  • BA with a concentration in Speech Communication, Magna Cum Laude

  • Named Top 16 Coaches in Raleigh for 2022 by Influence Digest


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