Kimberly Seltzer | How to Set Boundaries (Episode 499)

Kimberly Seltzer | How to Set Boundaries (Episode 499)

Kimberly Seltzer | How to Set Boundaries (Episode 499)

Kimberly Seltzer (@SeltzerKimberly) is a dating and makeover expert who draws upon her experience as a therapist for an inside-out approach to helping people look and feel their best. We welcome her back to the show to give us a woman’s perspective on setting boundaries and cracking the Narcissist Code.

The Cheat Sheet:

  • Women often fall into the role of the caretaker — but how can they avoid becoming overcaretakers who habitually attract jerks, narcissists, and man children?
  • Understand what it takes to set boundaries and how this filters out the wrong type of partner.
  • Learn how to crack the Narcissist Code from the minute you say “hello.”
  • Get rid of old, harmful patterns of behavior with the Old Tape exercise.
  • Discover what it takes for people to stop accusing you of being “too nice.”
  • And so much more…


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The Art of Charm began exclusively to help men excel at business, love, and life. Then we discovered an increasing audience of women who would tune in to the podcast and tell us how helpful we’ve been for them, commonly requesting that we might consider tailoring some episodes toward their needs.

In an effort to provide more balance to the show — and perhaps give our male audience the benefit of a woman’s perspective on this particular subject for a change — we’ve invited therapist and makeover expert Kimberly Seltzer back to talk about how women can set boundaries and crack the Narcissist Code when they come up against those kinds of guys on the scene. She’ll also tell us about her How to Create Attraction Package, which is geared for women and men.

More About This Show

While men certainly aren’t immune to falling for the wrong partners, therapist and dating expert Kimberly Seltzer calls the number of women who contact her about habitually attracting narcissists an “epidemic.” This seems to be the result of women in our culture being raised to become caretakers — and in many cases, overcaretakers.

“What happens is the women who take care of others — emphasis on other people’s feelings, thoughts, wishes — ahead of their own end up in these horrible situations with dating and relationships,” says Kimberly. “They do attract — and I see this over and over again — the narcissists or the man children.”

Like the so-called Nice Guy Syndrome, where a guy does nice things for someone he finds attractive in hopes she’ll reciprocate romantically, overcaretakers harbor a similarly covert contract in which unreturned gratitude from the person being cared for may spur anger from the overcaretaker, even though their expectations go largely unspoken.

Kimberly doesn’t see this as the tragedy it may seem on the surface, however. Being a caretaker isn’t really the problem — it’s the imbalance of giving and giving without return that causes resentment and miscommunication between an overcaretaker and her significant other (who might not actually be a narcissist or man child, but simply out of the loop as to what’s expected from them in the relationship).

In a relationship, Kimberly reminds us, each person is only in control of 50 percent of the equation. “All you can do is look at you and how you can change the results,” she says.

So when women come to Kimberly and tell her there are no good guys out there, she digs a little deeper and usually finds the women are unconsciously doing things that turn them into narcissist magnets — like overcaretaking and not setting boundaries.

“You really can, if you look for it, detect narcissists,” says Kimberly. “And once you start changing things, they actually won’t even like you!”

She relays a story about being out with a narcissist magnet friend of hers. A good-looking guy came in and struck up a conversation with her — wooing her and telling stories — but it was all about him. When he excused himself to use the men’s room, Kimberly’s friend said she found him attractive because he was charming and charismatic. Kimberly pointed out that she had only been an audience to his stories, but hadn’t actually shared anything of herself. So Kimberly challenged her friend to do just that: start talking about herself and gauge his reaction.

“Sure enough,” says Kimberly, “he comes back, and she starts telling him a little bit about herself and he’s looking all over the place, looking at his watch, he starts talking to the bartender — it was the typical narcissist behavior. And this was within five minutes I detected it and she didn’t, because she was so used to it.”

Four Tips for Detecting Narcissists

Set boundaries. When you declare your needs and your wants and you let him know what you like, what you dislike, and then see how he responds to you, you’re setting a precedent right there. “Does he respect that you’re cold when you’re out on a date and you’re sitting in a place where there’s a draft? Does he move for you, or does he just kind of ignore you?” asks Kimberly.

“But if you don’t say you’re cold and you just sit there and you just make sure that he’s comfortable, you’re already setting a precedent that his needs are greater than yours.”

Look for reciprocity. Narcissists are really good at being charming and telling stories. But as Kimberly related above, if their attention starts to wander as soon as you try to tell your story, then it’s safe to say you’re probably dealing with a narcissist.

Don’t give it all away. Don’t give away your personal value by doing too much too soon. The narcissist will eat it up. They’re looking for an audience. Kimberly, as a therapist, found herself in a relationship like this where she was always lending an ear to the stories he would tell rather than just relaxing and having fun on dates.

Test if the words get put in action. Does the person you’re attracted to mean what he says and says what he means? Narcissists love to talk a good game, but they don’t often follow through.

Listen to this episode of The Art of Charm to learn what to do if you think you’re a narcissist, what the difference is between a narcissist and a man child, three simple exercises for setting boundaries, non-confrontational ways to give feedback to a partner, using “I” statements over “you” statements, and lots more!

Ever wonder how you come across on a date? Do you want to learn the secrets to creating attraction? Here is your chance to get an honest feedback and teachings from an expert. During this laser 30-minute session, you’ll get a taste of how to be the best “you” when it comes to dating, mating, and connecting with the opposite sex. Kimberly will assess your dating image, body language, dating skills, and flirting techniques and answer the real questions around how the opposite sex sees you. Whatever your challenges, Kimberly will devise a plan to teach you the skills needed to keep the opposite sex infatuated and attracted to you. Among the many lessons you’ll learn:

  • The Impression Connection and how to stand out as special, desirable, and available.
  • The three “F” factors and how to use them to create real magnetism and attraction.
  • How to walk into any environment and feel amazing and at ease (and stay that way).
  • How to communicate with an impression of desirability.

Women and men can both benefit from Kimberly’s How to Create Attraction Package, so check it out here!


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