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Relationship Management, Boundaries + Friendships with Shelagh Curran

Updated: Jan 24

3 Things We Dive Into In This Episode:

  1. How to use boundaries, self-examination, and introspection to make sure you are friends with the right people.

  2. The powerful role friendship plays on your health — especially as an adult.

  3. How to navigate losing or outgrowing certain friendships over the course of your life.


📌Episode Highlights

[07:32] Connecting With Shelagh Curran

  • Shelagh does many things. But first and foremost, she is a human being.

  • Shelagh is doing more than transform her labels — she’s removing them and letting herself be a fluid person.

  • As a manifesting generator, she's continuously changing and following what lights her up.

  • Shelagh is also a registered dietitian specializing in hormone health and helping people with PCOS and similar conditions.

  • She owns a private practice called Shelagh Rose Nutrition.

[11:38] Shelagh and Caitie’s Friendship

  • Shelagh and Caitie met at a retreat.

  • Caitie's work resonated deeply with Shelagh, forging a powerful connection before the retreat began.

  • Shelagh saw Caitie as an inspiration and an expander.

  • An expander is a person who shows proof that what we desire is possible because they’re already doing it. For Shelagh, Caitie is an expander.

[17:24] Starting Friendships

  • When you're young, you usually make friends based on proximity, like the people in the same class, same club, or your co-workers.

  • As adults, you'll likely have to put yourself out there to find people with a shared interest. Relationship management may mean taking the initiative.

  • Children find it easy to make friends, but adults tend to be more guarded due to their life experiences.

  • The people around you will influence your life. Build ones that align with who you are now, where you want to go and who you want to be.

  • Adults tend to be competitive and see other people as threats, preventing friendships from forming. Instead, see other people as an inspiration.

Shelagh: “You totally absorb the energy and the beliefs of the people around you. Build friendships that align with not only who you are but where you want to go, and who you want to be.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[23:44] Friend Breakups

  • Friendship breakups can happen because one person can feel triggered by the other. As one person evolves, the other might not be ready to change alongside them.

  • Evolving and expanding can also mean outgrowing people. As we grow into who we are, friendships can fall away.

  • Unlike romantic breakups, the end of a friendship doesn’t always have a conversation. There can be a lot of confusion about where you stand with a friend.

  • Ask yourself: Do you still want to be part of this friendship?

  • Friendship is a two-way street. You need to practice relationship management and check in with your friends. However, as a friendship fades, you may start to talk less and less.

[31:36] Boundaries for Effective Relationship Management

  • Setting boundaries is necessary for healthy friendships.

  • Shelagh recently went through a breakup and several big changes. During that time, her friends supported her and always checked in on her.

  • However, Shelagh didn't have the energy to keep up with constant check-ins. She set boundaries about how she wanted to receive support and what she could give.

Shelagh: “I think that even just having those types of boundaries with ‘this is how I'm able to be your friend’ is like life giving back to yourself, but also those friendships.” - Click Here To Tweet This
  • It can take a lot of energy to stay in touch with people. That's why we must set boundaries about how much we can give and when we want time for ourselves.

  • How a friend responds to a boundary can tell us whether or not they're a true friend.

[41:27] The Power of Friendship

  • It’s beneficial to have a community of friends.

  • Take some time to create an inventory of your friends. Who are you still close to, and who's drifted away?

  • Caitie has experienced having her life evolve around one person. It can be easy to get wrapped up in one other person and forget the rest of your life.

  • Caitie’s friends caught her during a bad breakup. They were her safety net, and showed her that she had so much support from great people in her life.

  • If you have yourself and your people, romantic relationships can be a plus you can have on the side.

[46:12] Appreciation: Another Form of Relationship Management

  • It's great when your friends are there to listen and support you. Everyone has a different dynamic, but Shelagh and Caitie can talk to each other almost constantly.

  • Express gratitude and appreciation to your friends. Let them know how much they matter to you; telling your friends you love them is also relationship management!

  • A simple text or audio note can help brighten up a friend's day and their perspective of themselves.

Shelagh: “Every time you pour love into your friends, you pour it back into yourself.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[49:19] This Week’s Processing Prompt and Actionable Experiment

  • Processing Prompt: Do a little relationship management! Take an inventory of your friends and family. Write a list of the friendships you have.

  • From your list, pick one and send them an appreciation note. Tell them something you sincerely believe would make them feel good about themselves.

  • With this note, remind them how much you appreciate their friendship.

  • Actionable Experiment: Ask your five closest friends to write about what they appreciate about your friendship. Save their reply somewhere to look at on a bad day.

  • Don’t be afraid. Put yourself out there and create new and stronger friendships.

[52:06] How Friendships Keep You Healthy

  • Joy is the most important missing ingredient in our health.

  • Feeling happy and having connections can help keep our bodies healthy.

  • A lack of joy can affect your hormones and other physical aspects of your body. We might feel like we’re out of alignment.

[53:13] Shelagh’s Ever-evolving Routine

  • Every morning and night, Shelagh tunes in to herself and asks herself what she needs.

  • A quick meditation, journaling, a card pull, and some self-love can help start the day.

  • Shelagh also does some movement to get her blood flowing in the mornings.

  • A quick yoga flow before bed helps Shelagh transition from work to rest.

About Shelagh

Shelagh Curran is a registered dietitian and the founder of Shelagh Rose Nutrition. She chose to work in the field of nutrition because of her love for food. After finding out she has PCOS and other conditions, she successfully navigated her health through functional nutrition. Now, Shelagh specializes in PCOS and hormone functional medicine, and nutrition. She has worked with hundreds of women to take back their health and feel better in their bodies.

Connect with Shelagh: Website | Instagram | LinkedIn

Enjoyed the Podcast?

Whole, Full, and Alive is a podcast exploring the art and science of falling in love with your life, with your story, and with who you truly are — underneath your titles, your resume, your relationship status, and your bank account. Who is your authentic self? Remember, friendships can be one of the most empowering things for you — or unhealthy. It’s vital to practice effective relationship management to have happier and healthier friendships!

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Thanks for listening! 💖 Stay tuned to my website for more episode updates and other exciting programs and resources.


Shelagh Curran: Joy is like the most important missing ingredient in our health, right? Even like the mind-body connection, if you're feeling unfulfilled, if you're feeling lonely, if you're feeling stressed without an outlet for someone to talk about it too, if you've had a lack of physical touch lately, these things are so important just for your literal physiology.

Caitie Corradino: Welcome to Whole, Full and Alive, a podcast exploring the art and science of falling in love with your life, with your story and with who you truly are underneath your titles, your resume, your relationship status, and your bank account.

I'm Caitie Corradino, a registered dietitian, nutritionist, certified fitness and yoga instructor, eating disorder recovery coach, Reiki healer, and founder of Full Soul Nutrition, but underneath my titles and resume, a big fan of kitchen dance breaks, early mornings, all things chocolate truffles, world traveling and serendipity.

I'm here to share no bullshit stories and actionable tools to help you feel unshakably worthy. You have everything you need within you to feel whole, full and alive right here, right now. Let's get into it.

Hi, welcome back to another episode of Whole, Full and Alive. That was a very aggressive energy I just served there. Let's calm it down. Wherever you are, in this moment, wherever you're tuning in from, take a nice deep breath in. Hold it and a nice long, extended exhale. Actually, do it one more time. Deep breath in. Hold and then try to clear it out. Nice long extended exhale.

I hope you're feeling more grounded, a little more peaceful. Whatever's going on for you today, we’re still pretty early in 2023. How is your January going so far? Are you feeling like you're connected to your intentions for this year? My personal intention for this year is ease, that's my word of the year.

Maybe I'll do a little podcast episode just talking more about why I chose ease but I love, love choosing a word of the year. I've talked about this on a few episodes now, and I feel like it can be such a centering thing when I'm having a hard time making a decision about something, it's like, well, what honors my intention more, which of these things would honor what I know I really need this year or what I know is going to help me navigate this year.

Anyway, before we dive into today's episode, I want to let you know that I have a few spaces available for one-on-one holistic nutrition coaching and body image coaching right now. So I offer a three month one on one program that is a very unique combination of holistic nutrition coaching, body image coaching, and if you need it, eating disorder recovery coaching, and just overall well-being, confidence and embodiment.

I use a combination of my skills as a registered dietitian and my skills as a somatic breathwork facilitator and a yoga instructor and fitness instructor and body image coach to really help you feed yourself well, to feel yourself, to feel good in your body and feel good about yourself and your life and to really live fully and freely and authentically. I think just a sense of freedom is the ultimate goal with all of my clients. I love, love, love when my clients are able to tap into a sense of freedom.

So if you are ready to get started working on nutrition and body image and an overall sense of well being and confidence, just go to my website at to book a free discovery call. I'll also try to get that link in the show notes in the discovery college just like a consultation. We'll chat for about 15, 20 minutes and see if it seems like a good fit for you.

Pretty soon, I will be opening enrollment for group coaching again, so keep your eyes out for that if one on one is not a good fit for you at this time and also if you just maybe you want a little bit more of a community vibe. As always, the Whole, Full and Alive toolkit is available for purchase on my website for $99 at This is a collection of many workshops, journal prompts, actionable experiments that you can use to develop nourishing nutrition habits, rituals, routines, positive body image and really feel more whole, full and alive every single day.

So let's get into today's episode. I have an amazing guest on today's episode, one of my dear dear friends, Shelagh Curran, and she is actually a newer friend of mine, which is unbelievable, because we are so unbelievably close, although we've only known each other for literally less than six months.

That is why we're actually talking about friendship on the episode today, having friendships and adulthood some of the stickiness and trickiness that comes with making friends and sustaining friendships and adulthood and how do you know if someone's like a good friend for you and setting boundaries and all that good stuff that comes with friendship in adulthood, very different than friendship in childhood and high school and college and all those things.

So that is what Shelagh and I were inspired to dive into today, and I'm so excited to have her voice here on the show. She actually also happens to be a registered dietician, nutritionist. She helps people who are living with PCOS and fertility issues to rebalance their hormones through a holistic approach, and she also has her own private practice.

She's going to tell you a little more about it in the beginning of the episode, but without any further ado, let's get into my episode with Shelagh Curran, amazing, inspiring human being, one of my great friends. So let's talk about friendship.

All right, Shelagh, thank you so much for joining me today.

Shelagh: Thank you for having me. I'm so excited to be here. I've been looking forward to it all day.

Caitie: This is long anticipated. I think we've been trying to record this since like October, maybe?

Shelagh: This is not our first try. Finally, it happens.

Caitie: So I feel like it's perfect timing, honestly, all things considered with the amount of things that I know you've learned through life since October. So I'm excited to be here in this moment.

Shelagh: I'm so excited. You're so right. I feel like even in the last like two or three months, now I have so much more to bring to this conversation. Let's go. So divine timing.

Caitie: Tell everyone who you are.

Shelagh: That is a big one right now for just like where I'm at in my life. I am, first and foremost, a human being, I would say. In terms of who I am, I do a lot of things, and I have a lot of labels. Like at the end of the day, I am a human who is also a registered dietitian and a friend and a daughter and all of the things, but at the end of the day, I’m a person, just a human and a soul here on Earth.

Caitie: Love that, love that. So many people get intimidated by that question. I've actually found it to be a really interesting thing, just to see how people react to that question when I first asked it. I felt really passionately about making sure I asked my guests who they are before I asked them what they do, because I think it is so important that people find value in themselves beyond what they do.

It's been so interesting to hear people be like, “Oh, that's big,” or to hear people be like, “I don't know,” or to hear people be like, “Oh my gosh, thank you so much for asking.” It's just such a range of responses. So I find that so interesting in and of itself.

Shelagh: I feel like just where I'm at in my life right now. So many of those box labels are not applying anymore. I don't live in boxes anymore. Just like so many things about my life and kind of what I have identified as over the last few months are completely no longer true, or they're transitioned out. So now I'm in this, I don't even want to call it a limbo period, because it's not like there's one destination that we get to but there's just so much unlearning that I've been doing about myself that right now like, who are you? It's just a very active journey.

Caitie: I like that because it's not that you're transforming from one label into another label. It's that you're removing the labels and just kind of letting yourself be a fluid person.

Shelagh: Yes, yeah. I’m a manifesting generator. So if anyone listening is into human design, that's kind of like what manifesting. Manifesting generators are always changing, and you're supposed to follow what's leading you up so I guess it makes sense. Everyone that I've spoken to about this are like yep, you know your chart, all these things. Like this totally lines up. You're not crazy, but it definitely felt a little crazy for a bit.

Caitie: I love human design actually, should probably do an episode about that soon, but putting that in the back pocket. Anyways, yeah, and I also resonate with. I used to identify as a New Yorker so hard, and I just don't anymore. I'm not a Colorado person either, though. I didn't transform into a mountain girl. So I feel you. I feel you on that. I think that's so awesome. So anyway, tell us what you do, though.

Shelagh: What I do? I am a registered dietitian, just like you. I have a different specialty, so I work with hormone health, specifically in women's health administrators, working with people with PCOS. I personally have PCOS, which is how I kind of got into that niche, and endometriosis, wacky period stuff, kind of that whole realm of hormone health stuff. That is what I do. I have my own practice as well. It's called Shelagh Rose Nutrition, and it's the best. I love it.

Caitie: It is the best. I love it.

Shelagh: It is the best. I love my job.

Caitie: That's so awesome. So what we're diving into today, I am a registered dietitian just like you, and that's how we met. That's how we became instant friends, because we had that in common. So we decided today's episode is going to be about friendship, because you are a really good friend of mine. We formed a really deep and important friendship in less than a year. I've known you since August. So I'm so excited to dive into this topic with you today.

Shelagh: Me, too. I’m so excited. I was actually thinking that earlier today just with the topic. I was like five months, like less than six months.

Caitie: Unbelievable.

Shelagh: And now I’m about to live in your home. So that's kind of funny.

Caitie: Oh my gosh, there's so many layers to this friendship right now. Yeah, Shelagh is gonna come live in my apartment while I'm traveling for two months. So yeah, that's also exciting. So we met in August at a retreat with other entrepreneurs. I just want to tell the story really quickly, because it was an important moment. I had just moved to Colorado the night before. My flight got in very late at night, and I just literally stayed up all night unpacking my boxes, because I didn't want to come back from this retreat to an empty apartment with a bunch of cardboard boxes.

So I was like, “You know what, I'm just gonna pull an all-nighter and then get in the car and drive to this retreat.” Silly idea, because I showed up to Steamboat Springs totally exhausted. But I walked in the living room, where all the other amazing entrepreneurs on this retreat were sitting, and Shelagh comes up to me like, “Oh, my gosh, I've listened to every episode of your podcast.” I was like, “Hi, how are you?”

It was so special, because you were the first person that I made eye contact with that I didn't really know who said, “I've listened to every episode of your podcast.” It means a lot to me. I'm in the same place in life as you right now, contemplating breaking up with my boyfriend, contemplating moving. I'm a registered dietician. I have a private practice. You're such an expander for me.

It meant so much for me to hear that. I had met you briefly in a Zoom room, like maybe two, three months prior, but like we just very loosely connected, and I kind of needed a little memory jog. When you came up to me in that moment and shared with me how much my podcast meant to you, it meant everything. I think the message I want to share with this story is that you just had no sign of ego at all whatsoever in that moment.

You were just so genuine like, “Hi, here's how your work resonates with me. Here's why you're an expander for me, and I just want to connect with you.” I loved it.

Shelagh: I love that that was so special for you. Because for me afterwards, I was kind of like, “I hope that wasn't creepy.” But in that moment, I was like, “Yeah, of course, I'm gonna say this to this girl.” Like, it's true, and I like I was so happy that you were at this retreat, because I was like, oh my god, like this girl is going to be such an expander for me might as well tell her, you know?

Caitie: Let's talk about that for a second like that word, expander. What does that mean to you?

Shelagh: For me, it is other people embodying and being and showing you proof basically that like, what you want, what you think you desire is possible because someone else is already doing it and it already exists. It's like physical proof. It shows you that what you are calling in, what you're working towards, what you're desiring is possible. So again, in that part of my life, right, I was like, oh, here we are: successful entrepreneur with her own private practice, who also just ended a relationship, who also just started traveling, doing all these things.

For myself, I, at that point, hadn't done those things. So it was really scary. I mean, I talked about it a lot on that retreat, just how my brain was working through all of those. So it felt like such a gift to see you there and have you be there because I just remember feeling expanded, but also just like, wow, okay, there's safety in this because look at her, she's doing it. She's not only, like not only is she okay, like she's better than ever.

I remember you said on that retreat, like I feel more myself than I ever have. I thought that, okay, that's a good sign, you know?

Caitie: Yeah, yeah, thank you so much for sharing that. I think that word, expander, I'm pretty sure it's something that a lot of people listening to the show haven't heard before. But it's a concept that's really important to me, too, is finding people who are evidence that the thing you want is possible, I actually find people who inspire me and print out pictures of them and put them on my vision board every year, because I'm like, I'm like, I wonder if this is creepy. Because you know, some of these people are not that famous but they’re up on my vision board, I don't care.

That's where I kind of want to start this conversation about adult friendships, though, is that you do want to form bonds with people who feel genuinely inspiring and expansive to you. When you're a child, making friends or when you're in high school, making friends. And even when you're in college, making friends. The thing that bonds you to people is proximity.

It's like, okay, this person goes to my school, this person's in my major at my school, this person's conveniently close to me or knows my family or whatever it is, and then all of a sudden, you enter adulthood, and the world's your oyster. And you get to decide where you want to live and what you want to do. And you don't only especially when you're an entrepreneur, and you don't have coworkers, you're not only making friends, by proximity, you're making friends through shared values and through what inspires you.

Shelagh: Absolutely, it's so true. Like we’re given our lives for so long, and then you kind of get to a certain age, and it's okay, I can keep doing things. Just because I was put on this path. And with these people that are already along the way, or, you know, especially I think, in entrepreneurship, you are kind of like dropped in the middle of a lake. And it's like, oh, I don't have any co-workers or any proximity to anyone. So here I am. It is like, okay, world is your oyster. There's all these people. How do you even like, how do you even start?

Caitie: Yeah. And how you start is having the balls to like, go up to people who you think have a cool vibe and who you think inspire you. Honestly, because I used to think about that in terms of romantic partnership a lot. I used to think like, oh, if I just have the guts to like, start this conversation with this one guy, like this thing could change my life, I need to be fearless in the pursuit of romantic partners.

I felt that way when I was younger: I needed to think about how like, yeah, one conversation that you have the balls to start can change your life? And also, why not start those conversations with friends? Why not start those conversations with people who you could potentially have a lifelong meaningful friendship with? I think for some reason, people don't don't apply that risk taking approach to friendship as much as they apply it to romance. And I don't think that people take those chances in adulthood as much as they take them on the playground in childhood.

Shelagh: That is so true. Because when you're a kid, yeah, everyone is just, “Can I play with you?” “Sure!” Like normal. But I do feel like people are just more self conscious as adults, or nervous or not as comfortable or oh, I don't want this person to think that I'm weird. Or I don't want to seem creepy, or I don't know what to say.

Caitie: Yeah. And it's like, I've never been creeped out by anyone who approached me for friendship. And it's happened like a few times in my life. I'm very thankful for that. People have kind of like cold DM’d me and stuff saying like, “Can we meet for coffee? It seems like we have a lot in common. I've never ever been creeped out by that. And I feel like anyone who is creeped out by that is like not the person you want to be friends with anyway, which is also just like dating. It's like, okay, yeah, anyone who's like creeped out by your approach, like, isn't the person for you? Totally.

Shelagh: That's so true. It's not like the way you approach is going to be the make or break. Yeah. It's either open or not.

Caitie: Yeah. So I think that is definitely the first thing that separates adult friendships from childhood friendships is like, you have to kind of take a chance and put yourself out there and it might feel a little risky because we are more insecure as adults. We have had more experiences of rejection. We have had more experiences of trauma in our life that have maybe left us a little bit more guarded. And also, it's important to take the chance and approach people who feel expansive for you. I love this word, expansive. And like the importance of finding expansive friends and approaching the people who inspire you.

Shelagh: Especially as adults, your friends are so important because like, what is it your you are the five people that you surround yourself with, or something like that? You totally absorb the energy and also the beliefs of the people around, you know, building friendships that do align with, like, not only like who you are, but like where you want to go, who you want to be. I think I mean, I just think adult friendships are so important. And we were not really given the skills or we're not really taught how to make them.

Like, oh, once you got out of college, like maybe you'll have some coworkers. Other than that, like, you really have to go out and meet people. Or whatever it is.

Caitie: Two things are coming to me as you're saying that. The first thing is like, you do have to put yourself out there and you do have to nudge yourself to get into rooms with people who have shared interests with you, you do have to sign up for activities, you do have to go do things like in your town, in your city, you do have to end up in random networking Zoom calls, like you have to put yourself in those places and spaces, a little bit of action needs to be taken and inherent risk and inherent freefall comes with that.

And another thing is kind of what I was saying earlier about how you approached me with no ego. I think some people get really competitive in adulthood, and don't want to be friends with people who feel like a threat to them. Can you let people inspire you instead of seeing them as competition? Because that's something I see in the Nutrition and Dietetics field a lot. A lot. I'm lucky to have some dietitian friends. And also, I've seen it go the other way.

Shelagh: Totally. Because I mean, honestly, and there's a lot of mindset work that goes into this, and you know, therapy and all that stuff. So even a few years ago, I might have been too intimidated to approach you. I might have been triggered by you, or thought that like you were my competition, even though like, because on paper, we have so many of these similar things, but like our business is completely different. You know what I mean? Like my client and your client, they have different needs. But yes, all to say, I think that you can get yourself if you don't feel like you're there yet. Like it's possible to feel comfortable. Like that.

Caitie: Yeah, yeah. And sometimes it's not even like what I was just saying like conscious competition, sometimes it is just like trigger. Like what you were saying, sometimes someone who's doing the thing that you're afraid to do is triggering for you. Because you're afraid to do it. And then they're doing it and you're like, very triggered by them. I used to feel that way about people. I especially used to feel that way about people who were authentic on social media.

I would be so jealous that they are authentic on social media, because for a long time, when I worked in eating disorder treatment centers, I like wasn't allowed to post on social media, because my bosses didn't want me to they didn't want my clients knowing anything about me, which like, I can't believe I was allowed to tell my clients I had like a brother or like I was going on vacation. Like I was not the approach I wanted to take.

But I would see other dieticians, other clinicians with their own private practices, just sharing about their life and being able to inspire people by being authentic. And that was something I always desired. And instead of being like, okay, that's possible, I was like, I don't like this person.

Shelagh: I don't think that's your fault. Like, that's just like so many of us have been conditioned to think that way.

Caitie: Yeah. And I think this is also a really good segue into friendship breakups, because I do think one of the reasons why some long term friendships and is because one person feels triggered by the other person, and slaps the label that I was just saying, of “Oh, I don't like this person” on to them, when in reality, it is not that they don't like the person anymore, it's that that person is expanding and evolving at a rate that they're not ready for. I used a lot of “they” in that sentence. So I feel like there's I might have gotten a little confusing, but you know, what I mean,

Shelagh: You know, inclusive. Right?

Caitie: When one person sees another person evolving, and that one person is not ready to evolve yet, they could wrongly think “Oh, I don't like this person that's evolving anymore”. Like we're not aligned to friendships anymore, but they're just not ready to evolve themselves.

Shelagh: It reminds me of that, drawing or whatever I feel like it's all over social media. And it's like, you've changed and there's two people and you know a little bundle of flowers, and then the other person's like, I would hope so. And it's like a blooming garden. Have you seen that before?

Caitie: I haven't. But I can kind of imagine what you're saying

Shelagh: It's pretty much just like we do evolve, and sometimes that means outgrowing people. Especially if you're getting things back from that other person. Like, the person who might be being triggered or feeling threatened by your growth.

Caitie: Yeah. And I think that happens most with people that you've been friends with since childhood, or since college, the friends that you made by proximity, before you really knew who you were, as a person. When you start to grow into who you are as a person those friendships sometimes inevitably fall away. That's a really, really sticky and tricky place to be in the midst of that friendship falling away. That was the reason why I felt inspired to record this episode with you. I wanted you to come on the podcast, and I wanted to tell the story of our friendship that came through this year.