Adriel Roldan

You Can Either Be Right or Be Happy: With Adriel Roldan

Repairing a relationship can get complicated. That’s true of romantic relationships, family relationships, workplace relationships… every type of relationship can become difficult when a slight from either party occurs. And once that slight has happened? Walking back from the edge of the “falling out” cliff can sometimes feel impossible. 

So, what do you do when you genuinely want to fix a damaged relationship? Let’s discuss the best way to go about repairing a relationship by listening, acknowledging someone’s feelings and really encapsulating what they’re going through. 

Repairing a relationship

I recently had a podcast guest whose mother nearly ended their relationship over what he perceived to be a minor event. He had booked an engagement photo shoot on the day of his mother’s dance studio showcase, and his mother grew upset with him. She told him because he wasn’t there to support her for her event, she wouldn’t support him at his event… 

That’s right: she said she wasn’t going to attend her son’s wedding over a missed dance recital. To many readers, that might sound like a major overreaction on the mother’s part. It certainly seemed like an overreaction to her son, who tried to explain that he’d booked the engagement photos well in advance of the dance showcase, and couldn’t simply reschedule the shoot.

Still, that didn’t matter to the mother. She wished him “good luck” at his wedding, and then refused to spend the following winter holidays with him. He was especially distraught at spending Christmas alone… and while his mother responded to numerous texts offering well-wishes, she still wasn’t opening the channels of communication required to repair the relationship.

What do you do in a situation like this, he wondered? My answer was simple: he could either be right about the fact that his mom was overreacting, or happy at the prospect of repairing their relationship down the road. Not both, and most certainly not both at the same time. 

Let’s slow this down a little bit. When it comes to significant arguments with the people who matter to us, sometimes we feel the need to be “right” or the need to “win” a dispute. Doing so makes us feel like our feelings are valid and justified. 

At the same time, winning arguments is a great way to destroy a relationship. That’s because the point of an argument isn’t to win. It’s to solve a problem, or come to an understanding. 

For these reasons, instead of being right about the fact that his mother was overreacting about his attendance at her dance recital, he needed to fix the relationship and be happy that his mother would come to his wedding. 

But that didn’t mean he needed to apologize for being wrong. Instead, he needed to apologize and say, “I’m so sorry I made you feel abandoned.” In validating her feelings, he could genuinely admit to causing his mother pain without putting himself down for making a reasonable choice regarding his wedding. 

For what it’s worth, his mom was feeling hurt, left out and betrayed. And he needed to mend that rift in their relationship before it became too late by saying, “I understand what you’re going through. That’s really hard, and it’s sad that you’re feeling that way.”

We call this encapsulation. Encapsulation means being able to express to someone that you’re capturing, or “encapsulating,” their feelings and emotional state. Doing so is one of the few ways to put a rocky relationship back on track. 

This concept — the concept of encapsulation — is so incredibly powerful, potent and valuable in bridging the gap between you and anyone else. When you take a moment to truly express understanding for how someone else feels, you’re making an effort to connect with them. 

That moment of connection creates a platform for solutions to happen. Without that, making headway in a frayed relationship is tough, hard, strenuous and choppy. With that, relationships have the opportunity to grow and thrive. 

Repairing a relationship by being happy, not right

When it comes to repairing a relationship, forget being right. The goal is always to be happy — it’s that, or come to peace with the fact that the relationship might be permanently damaged. 

If you want to talk to me about encapsulation, relationship repair or any of the other topics discussed in this blog today, I’d love to chat with you. Feel free to book a consultation or listen to our podcast episode on this very same topic to learn more about how relationships work, and how to make them work for you.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Kim Ades: Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades. I am the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching and the Co-founder of The Journal That Talks Back. Today you have joined us for The Frame of Mind Coaching Podcast, where we invite leaders from all over the world to come onto the podcast and get coached live and in person.

Today, I'm really excited to introduce to you our guest. His name is Adriel Roldan. Adriel, did I say it right?

[00:00:32] Adriel Roldan: Yeah.

[00:00:32] Kim Ades: Roldan.

[00:00:33] Adriel Roldan: [Chuckles]

[00:00:35] Kim Ades: And he's actually a local, right? He's in the Toronto area. Am I right?

[00:00:39] Adriel Roldan: Yeah, yeah. From Ajax.

[00:00:42] Kim Ades: So from Ajax! So welcome, Adriel.

[00:00:46] Adriel Roldan: Thank you so much for having me. I'm an avid listener of the podcast and really big fan. So thank you.

[00:00:51] Kim Ades: Oh! I'm so happy to hear that! That made my day. Thank you. Tell me a little bit about yourself. You are a Talent Acquisition Specialist, we're talking to a lot of people from the recruiting field lately.

So tell us, where you're working and what's that like, what are some of your talent acquisition challenges? I know this is not the challenge we wanna talk about, but I just wanna spend a couple minutes here if you don't mind.

[00:01:19] Adriel Roldan: Yeah, no, no worries. So I am a Talent Acquisition Specialist with Sofina Foods. Not a lot of people know the Sofina Foods Company itself, but they do know a lot of our products. So you will see us out at market as James, Lilydale, Cuties, Fletcher's. We also have distributor rights to [...] Coffee, Rio Mare Tuna, the Mastro Olive Oil line, among others.

In terms of recruitment, I'm in the corporate world now, but I spent the last 3 years prior to that in Agency Recruitment, servicing the engineering field as well as general labor, manufacturing fields as well.

[00:02:00] Kim Ades: So you're an expert in Talent Acquisition.

[00:02:03] Adriel Roldan: I hope so. [Laughs]

[00:02:05] Kim Ades: Okay. And what are you seeing out there in the talent acquisition world for Sofina Foods? Is it challenging to find the right people? Are they coming in droves? Is it hard to retain people? Just give us a bit of a sense. Again, I know we're talking about something else, but I just wanna hear.

[00:02:23] Adriel Roldan: I think it's a mixture of all, to be honest. It is a war for talent out there, I know it's cliche, but it's true. There are a lot of qualified individuals, but they aren't really looking for jobs. So the challenge for us is to find these candidates before they even think of switching employers, gathering referrals, branding, I think is the name of the game as well.

You have to portray yourself as a company that works hard to retain its employees. Unfortunately, we are a family oriented business. We're one of the biggest, if not the biggest independently owned companies, we operate anywhere, from Canada all the way to Europe. So it's been a fun time, it's been a fun time, to say the least, especially with the pandemic or what's going on these days.

[00:03:16] Kim Ades: So there is a war for talent.

[00:03:18] Adriel Roldan: Of course, of course.

[00:03:19] Kim Ades: Got it. Okay, and the way that you win the war in your mind is through branding and really talking about, I suspect, your retention strategies and what makes your company attractive, and helping people to understand that when they come and work for you, they're not necessarily working for a big corporate entity, even though it is a corporate entity, but it's a family oriented, organization.

[00:03:44] Adriel Roldan: Of course, yeah. I do try to make a habit of like doing follow ups after onboarding process, you know, keep my finger on the pulse, in terms of when people come into the company. So... So far, so good.

[00:03:59] Kim Ades: So far so good. Okay, so we're gonna switch gears. Let's talk about the challenge you wanna share today. What's going on? Fill us in.

[00:04:08] Adriel Roldan: So my challenge for today is I'm getting married this year, in Labor Day. My challenge has been... My mom has said that she's not attending. So we haven't been talking for a little while now. So I'm just trying to hop on here today, hopefully get some advice as to how to kind of like fix that and maybe fix the relationship...

[00:04:33] Kim Ades: Your mom said she's not attending. She literally said "I'm not coming to your wedding"?

[00:04:38] Adriel Roldan: She said, "good luck". She said, "good luck on your wedding".

[00:04:41] Kim Ades: She said, "good luck". So she didn't say "I'm not coming".

[00:04:45] Adriel Roldan: I'm hoping she's attending. Me and my mom have gone through a lot, so her being there would mean a lot to me.

[00:04:52] Kim Ades: Okay. So what happened? Why did-- Was there an event? Did something take place that caused her to feel like she didn't wanna come to your wedding? I mean, you're interpreting her words, "good luck", as "I'm not coming to your wedding".

[00:05:08] Adriel Roldan: I am. So what had happened was we had moved into a new house, recently, in June of last year. I had her involved throughout the process, she even helped us kind of set the house up when we moved in, and I thought everything was going fine.

She has a dance studio that she's had for the last four years, and we've attended all of the events since then. She had an event happen in September of last year, and to which I said--

[00:05:40] Kim Ades: Let's slow down, let's repeat. She has a dance studio and the dance studio hosts events, some kind of a demo or something like that.

[00:05:50] Adriel Roldan: So they usually have like weekly dance classes. They hold-- In every quarter period, they host an event at a local venue, where they invite all people and they have like a night drinking, dancing...

[00:06:07] Kim Ades: Okay.

[00:06:08] Adriel Roldan: Stuff.

[00:06:09] Kim Ades: All right. So every quarter there's an event.

[00:06:12] Adriel Roldan: Correct.

[00:06:13] Kim Ades: Okay, got it. All right. So tell us more.

[00:06:16] Adriel Roldan: Yeah. So they had their first event under the new name, under a new identity. So they had invited a study event, but we had other things. Since I am getting married this year, we had like engagement photos happening on that same day. So I had told her that I had booked these appointments well ahead of time. And it is in conflict with her event, so I wasn't able to attend. For some reason, she said that, okay, "so you're not supporting my event, therefore, I guess this is you turning your back on me". So...

[00:06:50] Kim Ades: She said exactly that?

[00:06:51] Adriel Roldan: Yeah, exactly that. So it kind of caught me off guard. And since then I've been reaching out, trying to remedy the situation, trying to have a chat, but so far she has not been willing to--

[00:07:05] Kim Ades: So when she said "you're turning your back on me", what did you say?

[00:07:09] Adriel Roldan: I said I wasn't, I really wasn't. It was just this one event that I missed. I do want to attend the other event, it's just that for this particular day, I was not available.

[00:07:22] Kim Ades: Right. So she got really mad and took it as a sign of betrayal.

[00:07:28] Adriel Roldan: [Chuckles] Of betrayal, essentially.

[00:07:31] Kim Ades: Okay. So what's been happening since then? You've been trying to reach out to her?

[00:07:36] Adriel Roldan: We've been trying to reach out. So she's trying to keep tabs on what's happening in our life through my sibling. But all through Christmas, through New Year, I have been trying to reach out. I'm a sentimental person at heart and I really don't like confrontation.

So I've been trying to remedy the situation, try to put it back to where we went to-- I thought we were doing well, but apparently there may have been some things that I may have missed.

[00:08:02] Kim Ades: Hold on a second. So she has been trying to keep tabs on you through your sibling?

[00:08:09] Adriel Roldan: Through the sibling.

[00:08:11] Kim Ades: She's asking your sibling...

[00:08:14] Adriel Roldan: About updates that are happening in the house, if she's being fed or [chuckles] anything that may relate to our lives, but like they've been talking together.

[00:08:24] Kim Ades: So your sibling also moved in with you.

[00:08:28] Adriel Roldan: Yeah, yeah. She moved in.

[00:08:29] Kim Ades: So the four of you were living together at one point.

[00:08:32] Adriel Roldan: Correct.

[00:08:33] Kim Ades: And then the three of you moved out.

[00:08:36] Adriel Roldan: Yes.

[00:08:37] Kim Ades: Okay. So now she's by herself in her home.

[00:08:41] Adriel Roldan: She has a boyfriend.

[00:08:43] Kim Ades: She has a boyfriend, but she's not with her kids, and she's not talking to you. So Christmas comes and... You don't spend Christmas together?

[00:08:53] Adriel Roldan: It was weird, but we haven't.

[00:08:56] Kim Ades: Did you invite her over?

[00:08:58] Adriel Roldan: Yeah, yeah, we did. We did.

[00:09:00] Kim Ades: And she said... She didn't answer you?

[00:09:03] Adriel Roldan: She said no, she just sent us Merry Christmas. So instead of her coming, we tried to go there during Christmas, but she wasn't there, so we just dropped off some gifts and some letters from us indicating like how much we missed her.

[00:09:21] Kim Ades: So you wrote her a letter and she didn't respond to the letter.

[00:09:24] Adriel Roldan: She responded, she said, "thank you". But she wasn't [...] to meet us after that.

[00:09:31] Kim Ades: Okay. So she acknowledged the fact that you sent her gifts and a letter.

[00:09:37] Adriel Roldan: Yeah.

[00:09:38] Kim Ades: Or a series of letters.

[00:09:40] Adriel Roldan: Yeah.

[00:09:40] Kim Ades: Okay. But still she's being cold.

[00:09:43] Adriel Roldan: Yes.

[00:09:44] Kim Ades: And distant.

[00:09:47] Adriel Roldan: Yes.

[00:09:47] Kim Ades: Okay. And what do you think you need to do in order to rectify this?

[00:09:52] Adriel Roldan: So I've talked with a couple of members of my family that she's spoken to, and they said that, "you know what? Just go there, just go there and talk with her. Try to acknowledge what the problem is and go from there".

[00:10:08] Kim Ades: Okay. So are they asking you to make an apology of some sort?

[00:10:14] Adriel Roldan: They are, they are, but my problem is like, I'm trying to wrap my head around what I am necessarily apologizing for, because in my head, at least from my point of view, I didn't really do anything that I thought was offensive in any way.

[00:10:34] Kim Ades: Right. Yeah. Okay. So I happen to agree with you. It doesn't sound like you did anything all that offensive. But sometimes when we are in a relationship with someone and we dig in our heels and we say, "well, I don't need to apologize because I didn't do anything wrong", what happens is the relationship remains distant, right?

So in this case you have a choice and the choice is you can be right or you can be happy. You need to choose one, you can't choose both. Right? And so what does that mean for you? Does it mean you have to apologize for something that you don't think you did? Well, perhaps.

But the question is you're right, what are you apologizing for? And that piece is very hazy, that piece is very unclear right now. And so for me, you're reaching out to her by phone, she's not answering the phone. You're texting her, is she responding to your texts?

[00:11:25] Adriel Roldan: She does, she does. We have the internet through my account, so we do talk at least once a month now. [Chuckles]

[00:11:32] Kim Ades: Oh, you talk once a month about...

[00:11:35] Adriel Roldan: Internet bill. [Laughs]

[00:11:37] Kim Ades: The internet bill. But do you text her and say, "hi mom"?

[00:11:40] Adriel Roldan: Yeah, I text her, I miss her, from time to time.

[00:11:43] Kim Ades: And she says nothing? No answer?

[00:11:45] Adriel Roldan: She says, "thank you". [Chuckles]

[00:11:47] Kim Ades: That's it?

[00:11:48] Adriel Roldan: Yeah.

[00:11:49] Kim Ades: Okay. So for me, the fact that she's answering you indicates that there's still a little bit of an opening. Right? Because if there was no opening, she would ghost you, she wouldn't answer you. Right? Even if she said "I'm not talking to you", that would be an answer, right?

[00:12:06] Adriel Roldan: Yes.

[00:12:06] Kim Ades: And there will be an opening, but her response is actually fairly positive when she says "thank you". So I'm gonna guess that part of what she feels is a little bit abandoned, right?

[00:12:21] Adriel Roldan: Okay.

[00:12:21] Kim Ades: So you move out, she has an event, you don't show up, like, what's going on here? She feels left behind maybe. Maybe you've chosen somebody over her, she feels a little slighted. And we're not discussing whether or not those feelings are legitimate or appropriate, we're not discussing that. Those are her feelings, right or wrong, those are her feelings.

And so what you need to do is make sure that you're expressing somehow that you understand her. And we call that in coaching, encapsulation, okay? So what does encapsulation mean? Encapsulation means being able to express to someone else that you're capturing or encapsulating their feeling, their emotional state.

[00:13:10] Adriel Roldan: Okay.

[00:13:10] Kim Ades: So she doesn't wanna talk to you? You need to go there, you need to camp out until she shows up, until she opens the door. You need to ring the doorbell a million times until she says "fine, what do you want?" Right? And you say, "I'm not leaving until we talk". Right? You take a hard stand, because what you're doing is you're taking a hard stand for the relationship. So if you don't try hard, she's not convinced you really want it, right?

[00:13:35] Adriel Roldan: Yeah.

[00:13:35] Kim Ades: So she needs a very strong indicator that this matters to you, and so you're gonna do whatever it takes to get her to talk to you. And it doesn't matter if she yells at you or she screams at you, or she says "I don't wanna talk to you", say "too bad. You don't wanna talk? Fine, you can listen". Right?

And so what you're really doing is you're kind of taking hold of this situation, because she needs absolute clarity about the fact that she matters to you. And right now she's kinda like not sure, or she's feeling a little hurt, and her ego is probably a little bruised, right?

And so your job is to say, "Hey mom, when we didn't show up to your event, did you feel abandoned? Did you feel like we didn't care about you?" And she can hear what you have to say and she might say, "yes, that's exactly how I felt". Or she might say, "no, that's not it. It's this thing over here. This is how I actually felt".

Your job is to help her start talking about what she's feeling. Again, right or wrong, it doesn't really matter. And what are you apologizing for? You're apologizing that she feels that way. "I'm so sorry that you feel this way", right?

Not "I'm sorry for what I did, 'cause I didn't do anything wrong. I'm so sorry that you feel that we abandoned you because truly we love you, you matter to us. You know, nothing's more important than my mother comes to my wedding. I can't have a wedding without you, that would break my heart".

But what we're doing is we're giving her the platform, the space to say what she's feeling. And sometimes people don't always have the words, but if we say, "is this what it is?" That encapsulation piece, "is this how you feel?" They have the right to agree or disagree, either way, what's going on between you becomes clear and that's what is required for you to repair that situation.

She needs to feel understood, and right now she doesn't feel understood. Because if she felt understood, in her mind, you would've been at the event, you would've known how important it is to her. Right? And again, right or wrong is not the issue.

And part of what happens with people when they get into a bit of a fight or a battle, they pick aside and they need to be right, but being right doesn't mend the problem. So you don't need to be right in this situation. You don't need to defend yourself in this situation. You don't need to make a point in this situation.

The only point you need to make is that she's important and you want her in your life and you want a relationship with her. Right? What happens after that? In terms of how you operate, you need to kind of get to a recovery place, and then you could say, "mom, we're gonna do everything we can to attend all of the events, if we are able to". Right?

"Life happens, we're gonna do our absolute best to attend as many events as we humanly can". And that's it! That means there's a possibility you might not attend every event. Because the truth in the matter is you have things going on, you have responsibilities, so it's not necessarily realistic for you to attend every single event, but you want her to know that it matters to you and you're gonna make your best effort. So I'm kind of curious, how does this sound to you?

[00:17:27] Adriel Roldan: I really love the encapsulating part and I love that when you said like, you know, "I'm sorry you feel that way", I feel like that is a good way to kind of approach the situation. I do need, as a son, I do need to go there and figure out what's wrong.

So I think what the big disconnect right now is like, I perceive what she's thinking and she's perceiving what I'm feeling, but there hasn't been a conversation where we both explain to each other what each other is feeling.

[00:17:59] Kim Ades: Yeah.

[00:17:59] Adriel Roldan: At least from that point on once we do know, then we can recommend solutions and kind of like figure out a way where we can move forward too.

[00:18:06] Kim Ades: Yeah. Is your mother reasonable?

[00:18:11] Adriel Roldan: [Silence]

[00:18:11] Kim Ades: [Laughs]

[00:18:11] Adriel Roldan: Yes. [Laughs] I'd like to say yes.

[00:18:14] Kim Ades: Okay. So if under normal circumstances she's reasonable, then that conversation can happen. Keep in mind one thing, when you say "I'm sorry you feel that way", it's not like "I'm sorry you feel that way". It's like, "I'm genuinely sorry that you feel abandoned". Right? Do you see the difference in that sound, the tone, the approach?

[00:18:34] Adriel Roldan: The sound, yeah.

[00:18:35] Kim Ades: Right? Because if you just say, "I'm sorry you feel that way", you're kind of blowing her off. And we're not here to blow her off, we're here to genuinely express that we care about her, that we have compassion right now, that it matters that she's hurting. Right?

So she's behaving this way because she's hurting. Right or wrong, doesn't matter. Her interpretation of your actions is what's causing her that pain. Good?

[00:19:07] Adriel Roldan: Yeah.

[00:19:07] Kim Ades: You're writing it down?

[00:19:08] Adriel Roldan: Yeah. [Laughs]

[00:19:09] Kim Ades: Perfect. Any other questions before we wrap this up?

[00:19:15] Adriel Roldan: No, not really. Thank you so much for the advice, it gives me so much needed clarity, it gives me a plan of action to go forward. And I really, I really love it. Thank you. Thank you so much.

[00:19:26] Kim Ades: So what we need to do is we need to hear what happens next. So one way or another, you need to reach out to me and give me an update on what happens with your mother.

[00:19:37] Adriel Roldan: Yeah, I feel like this is going to happen within this next weekend, so maybe next week I'll have some updates.

[00:19:43] Kim Ades: Great. You need to reach out to me. [Chuckles]

[00:19:45] Adriel Roldan: Yeah.

[00:19:45] Kim Ades: For those of you who are listening, this concept of encapsulation is so incredibly powerful, so potent, so valuable in bridging the gap between you and anyone else. When you take a moment to truly express understanding for how somebody else is feeling you're connecting with them.

And that moment of connection creates the platform for anything else to happen. Without that, relationships are tough, relationships are hard, relationships are strange, strenuous, choppy. And so that encapsulation piece is truly a game changer in relationships.

I would love to talk with anybody who wants to learn more about encapsulation. Reach out to me. My email address is And if any of you have a challenge that you wanna share on the podcast, either you wanna share it on the podcast or just wanna talk about it one on one, happy to do that as well. Again, my email address is

Adriel, thank you so much for being on the podcast for sharing your challenge so openly. I really appreciate it and I do wish you amazing luck with your mom, I can't wait to hear what happens next.

[00:21:08] Adriel Roldan: Thank you so much, firstly, thank you for having me. Thank you for doing all the work that you're doing. Love The Journal That Talks Back as well. And again, all the best.

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