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Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
Author: Henry Cloud
Publisher: Published October 20th 1992 by Zondervan (first published January 1st 1992)
ISBN: 9780310585909
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

944267.Boundaries.pdf

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Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances -- Mental boundaries Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances -- Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions -- Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others -- Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God's will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator -- Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. When confronted with their lack of boundaries, they ask: - Can I set limits and still be a loving person? - What are legitimate boundaries? - What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries? - How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money? - Aren't boundaries selfish? - Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries? Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offer biblically-based answers to these and other tough questions, showing us how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co-workers, and even ourselves.

30 review for Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    One of the most life-changing books I have ever read. Judgmental people BEWARE: Do not mock this review. No, not even in your head. If you have come here to gloat and feel superior to someone you think is an idiot for liking something so clearly beneath your Literature IQ, do me a favor and stop reading right now. I mean it. Go away. Are you gone? Ok, good. As I was saying, this book is one of the greatest, most life-changing books I have ever read. People who are critical of that statement have n One of the most life-changing books I have ever read. Judgmental people BEWARE: Do not mock this review. No, not even in your head. If you have come here to gloat and feel superior to someone you think is an idiot for liking something so clearly beneath your Literature IQ, do me a favor and stop reading right now. I mean it. Go away. Are you gone? Ok, good. As I was saying, this book is one of the greatest, most life-changing books I have ever read. People who are critical of that statement have never been in the place I was when I was seventeen years old. No really, they haven't. Because if they were, they would understand the reason why someone like me would need a book like this so badly. When I was on the brink of adulthood, I possessed zero knowledge of the skills one needs to lead a healthy, mature life. Like many of the people used as examples in this book, I had been victimized my entire life by people who had no concept of what respecting others entails. I had little concept of self-respect, personal rights and responsibilities, and when I should use the word "no." In short, I had no boundaries. This book taught me everything my family of origin and religious leaders had failed to teach me: that I deserve respect, and that there are skills out there I need to learn to get it. Now, three plus years later, I still reference this book in times of need. As with all self-help books, this guide can only show you the way, it can't tell you how to get there. You need to figure that out for yourself. I'm still on my journey, and I'm nowhere near where I need to be, but this book has been an enormous help. I don't know where I'd be today had I never found it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    sharon

    I'm not a huge fan of "Christian-lite" self-help writing because it so often feels formulaic, especially when the authors start each chapter with cheesy anecdotes from their own practice. However, I'm giving Cloud and Townsend a pass because the ideas put forth in Boundaries have so completely revolutionized my view on the subject. The authors give solid Biblical backing for why boundaries are important, how they are formed, and how to set them in your own life. I especially appreciated that the I'm not a huge fan of "Christian-lite" self-help writing because it so often feels formulaic, especially when the authors start each chapter with cheesy anecdotes from their own practice. However, I'm giving Cloud and Townsend a pass because the ideas put forth in Boundaries have so completely revolutionized my view on the subject. The authors give solid Biblical backing for why boundaries are important, how they are formed, and how to set them in your own life. I especially appreciated that they tackled several key myths about boundaries (i.e. "Won't I hurt others if I set boundaries?" "Aren't Christians supposed to be generous and self-sacrificing?" "Isn't it selfish to think about yourself?") Even the anecdotes felt useful in this book as they gave practical and clear examples of the boundary-making process. Despite being written from a Christian perspective, I think this book would be useful for anyone who struggles with boundaries in his or her life (whether setting and maintaining them, feeling guilty about having them, or having trouble respecting the boundaries of others).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Karina

    ... Not what I expected. I decided to read this after seeing some glowing reviews. So I opened the book, read the introduction "A Day in a Boundaryless Life" describing a day of a lady who's unable to refuse anyone but feels resentful and guilty about her resentfulness, and a couple of pages on the book. Then skipped to the end, "A Day in a Life with Boundaries", describing the same person who has successfully set boundaries, and doesn't hesitate to say "no" anymore. Well, it's not for me. In my ... Not what I expected. I decided to read this after seeing some glowing reviews. So I opened the book, read the introduction "A Day in a Boundaryless Life" describing a day of a lady who's unable to refuse anyone but feels resentful and guilty about her resentfulness, and a couple of pages on the book. Then skipped to the end, "A Day in a Life with Boundaries", describing the same person who has successfully set boundaries, and doesn't hesitate to say "no" anymore. Well, it's not for me. In my view the person by the end of the book has went from one extreme to the other. Sure she may not have been able to handle all the tasks she took upon herself in the beginning, but surely she can sometimes make sacrifices but by the end it didn't look that way... I was sort of irritated with her both times. So I guess I don't really struggle with the boundaries; I know that there are times you need to make time for yourself ("take care of yourself, so you can better take care of others" principle). Indeed, I think I may be too much on the other side, of saying "no" too much (sort of). Not going to read further...

  4. 5 out of 5

    K.M. Weiland

    This book is life-changing. Turns out a discussion of boundaries is really a discussion about every single relationship in your life, your personal self-worth and discipline, your childhood, and your religion. The good doctors come at this from a Christian perspective, but they pull no punches in addressing the massive problem Christians, in particular, have with these issues. At every turn, they are brutally honest, logical, and biblical. The end result is the encouragement and empowerment to l This book is life-changing. Turns out a discussion of boundaries is really a discussion about every single relationship in your life, your personal self-worth and discipline, your childhood, and your religion. The good doctors come at this from a Christian perspective, but they pull no punches in addressing the massive problem Christians, in particular, have with these issues. At every turn, they are brutally honest, logical, and biblical. The end result is the encouragement and empowerment to live a centered life, free of guilt and balanced in God’s will.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    Not in my normal genre so I can't give this 5 Stars...SCREW THAT!!!! 5 Stars, 5 Stars, 5 Stars! 100 Stars if I could give 100 stars! *Sigh* Oh well, 5 Stars it is. This is a book that every human being alive or dead should be required to read. Christian or Non-Christian alike. Yes, Cloud and Townsend relate the idea of Boundaries to God. However, this idea of boundaries and how we apply them to ourselves and other people is universal. And it blew my mind. I never thought about this idea of bound Not in my normal genre so I can't give this 5 Stars...SCREW THAT!!!! 5 Stars, 5 Stars, 5 Stars! 100 Stars if I could give 100 stars! *Sigh* Oh well, 5 Stars it is. This is a book that every human being alive or dead should be required to read. Christian or Non-Christian alike. Yes, Cloud and Townsend relate the idea of Boundaries to God. However, this idea of boundaries and how we apply them to ourselves and other people is universal. And it blew my mind. I never thought about this idea of boundaries and I have already been working since reading this book on establishing strong, clear, biblical boundaries with myself and others. I can see boundaries every where now. Perhaps just as easily seen as established boundaries are the lack thereof. And even though I have only just begun practing better boundaries, and I have by no means "arrived," it's so easy for me to see where others could benefit from establishing their own boundaries. And as with anything else, because this is truly the way God intended things to be, it is so easy to see how much better life would be with properly established boundaries. I truly want to thank these authors for breaking this down for anyone and everyone who might take the time to read this book. And I want to thank my friend, Kay, for introducing me to this book and opening up a whole new world to me. I will say that I will be investing in the other books they have written on boundaries (Boundaries in Marriage, Boundaries with Kids, Boundaries with Teens, etc.). I really don't know what else to say about it. Honestly, this is one of those books that I could probably go on and on and on about, but I'd just end up repeating myself. Only other thing I'll say on the subject of this book (other than YOU MUST READ THIS!!!) is that it's totally okay to take your time with this book. Read it slowly, soak it in. You'll be glad that you did.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nola Redd

    I listened to this on tape while driving, but I intend to go back and read it (probably more than once) so that it can more thoroughly seep into my head. This is a great book for anyone who has problems saying 'no' to family, friends, church assignments, coworkers, or themselves. It's really good for anyone who has a *RELATIONSHIP* with any of the aforementioned, which is essentially everyone. ************* FOLLOWUP: I had to return this to the library, without finishing it. I am having a very dif I listened to this on tape while driving, but I intend to go back and read it (probably more than once) so that it can more thoroughly seep into my head. This is a great book for anyone who has problems saying 'no' to family, friends, church assignments, coworkers, or themselves. It's really good for anyone who has a *RELATIONSHIP* with any of the aforementioned, which is essentially everyone. ************* FOLLOWUP: I had to return this to the library, without finishing it. I am having a very difficult time with nonfiction books right now, especially ones that inspire me to take notes (I filled up five pages after getting about 2/3rds of the way through). This is definitely a book worth reading, when you can give it your full attention. Unfortunately, I'm in need of more escapism and fun right now than thought-provoking, so I'll have to check it out again at a later date. But it is a fantastic book, and I'm glad I listened to it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    I was hesitant at first to read this book because the synopsis referred to Christians and being that I am not Christian and not seeking to live a Christian lifestyle, I didn't think it would be for me. However, I did start to read the first chapter and soon discovered it was indeed for me. I may not be a Christian, however I was raised Christian therefore learned about boundaries the way Christian see them, a bit too loose and forgiving. The book may make scripture references but not so much that I was hesitant at first to read this book because the synopsis referred to Christians and being that I am not Christian and not seeking to live a Christian lifestyle, I didn't think it would be for me. However, I did start to read the first chapter and soon discovered it was indeed for me. I may not be a Christian, however I was raised Christian therefore learned about boundaries the way Christian see them, a bit too loose and forgiving. The book may make scripture references but not so much that it threw me off, I could easily skip over the parts that didn't resonate with me. For the most part, the book did a great job identifying our pitfalls with letting others invade our boundaries or refusing to put up any boundaries to begin with. How do people know they have crossed the line if you never drew the line? Or we keep moving the line back to avoid confrontation of a crossed line. This book covers boundaries in every part of life from personal to family to work. I know that others books were written to cover a specific aspect (like Boundaries at Work.) I found this book invaluable to me in helping me identify my lack of boundaries and how to be more assertive when others are going to violate them. Overall an easy read with a lot of common sense information that some of us may just be in denial about.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    I'm not done reading the book yet, so I may update this later. The fact is, if I wasn't reading this book for a book group, I don't think I would go any further, or gotten as far as I have. The thing I hate the most in this one is how much scripture is quoted. The authers feel like they have to back up every sentance they right with scripture in order to make what they just said okay. To accomplish this they often end up twisting the words of the orginal authors and take things out of context. I I'm not done reading the book yet, so I may update this later. The fact is, if I wasn't reading this book for a book group, I don't think I would go any further, or gotten as far as I have. The thing I hate the most in this one is how much scripture is quoted. The authers feel like they have to back up every sentance they right with scripture in order to make what they just said okay. To accomplish this they often end up twisting the words of the orginal authors and take things out of context. I hate it when people do this. The other thing is.. how they betray Christians in terms of boundries. I will use the example of one of the portriats they present in the book. Apperiently "Debbie" was working weekends at her job and not getting paid. That wasn't her issue. Her issue was that after setting her boundry she felt angery and she was worried about the anger. Who in their right mind would do that? And who would honestly feel guilty about feeling angery about it!?! Honestly to read the book "Boundries" you would think that all Christians are total morans just standing in the middle of the othe highway of life, begging to be run over by a flet of fully loaded 18 wheelers. I feel like screaming at these people. I guess if you have severe boundry issues and can't say no to anyone for anything, this book is for you.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    Having issues with setting boundaries, I was really excited to start reading this book based on all the wonderful reviews on amazon.com. Imagine my disappointment when I did start and found it utterly ordinary. In fact, it was rather difficult to finish. I feel like half the book was about understanding the different ways you are not setting boundaries. OK, I get it: to find a solution, you need to know the problem. But that was a lot of background. Then, there are chapters for each type of relat Having issues with setting boundaries, I was really excited to start reading this book based on all the wonderful reviews on amazon.com. Imagine my disappointment when I did start and found it utterly ordinary. In fact, it was rather difficult to finish. I feel like half the book was about understanding the different ways you are not setting boundaries. OK, I get it: to find a solution, you need to know the problem. But that was a lot of background. Then, there are chapters for each type of relation that you may be having issues setting boundaries: with parents, children, spouses, at work, with yourself, and with God. But they were all the same: started off with a story about Nancy and Nick, or Billy and Susan, Janice, Shareen, etc. Then a listing of how boundaries could be a problem in this relationship (didn't we just spend the first 50% of the book going over this?) and finally some ways to address these boundary issues like "you need to know your worth," or "find a support group." In fact, the one thing I did get out of this book is that for me to set boundaries, I need a support group, I can't do it myself. The book then ends with an example of how setting boundaries makes your life so much better. I understood that, hence my purchasing of this book. In all, rather disappointed by the book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is an excellent book. I actually purchased and read a newer edition, with a white and red cover. This book could apply to many different troublesome situations. If you're a people pleaser that tends to get stressed out, there are some really helpful things in here. Or if you are liable to be taken advantage of. I like the Christian viewpoint, because it takes into account the fact that followers of Christ WANT to serve others and not be "selfish." Yet it also teaches why we must set boundari This is an excellent book. I actually purchased and read a newer edition, with a white and red cover. This book could apply to many different troublesome situations. If you're a people pleaser that tends to get stressed out, there are some really helpful things in here. Or if you are liable to be taken advantage of. I like the Christian viewpoint, because it takes into account the fact that followers of Christ WANT to serve others and not be "selfish." Yet it also teaches why we must set boundaries so that we don't "run faster than we have strength." From a grief point of view, this wasn't as helpful as I had hoped. My therapist said to apply it to internal boundaries. I'm still trying to understand exactly how to do that. . . .

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This book really helped to clarify for me that it is not selfish or unChristian to get your own life in order using boundaries. Keep pushing forward with defining your boundaries, although others may react negatively. That is their problem with boundaries of others, not yours. I think the authors secretly spied on me and all my interpersonal relationships to write this book! But seriously, reading this and using my bible as help...lots of scriptural references to how God wants us to set our boun This book really helped to clarify for me that it is not selfish or unChristian to get your own life in order using boundaries. Keep pushing forward with defining your boundaries, although others may react negatively. That is their problem with boundaries of others, not yours. I think the authors secretly spied on me and all my interpersonal relationships to write this book! But seriously, reading this and using my bible as help...lots of scriptural references to how God wants us to set our boundaries so we will be able and available to love/help others. Will definitely keep this as a reference book to go back to and maybe read some sections again.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Fadeela

    هو كتاب علم نفس رائع جداً ومفيد يعلمك كيف تصنع الحدود ويعطي أمثلة ونماذج من الحياة ويحلل تصرفات الأشخاص ازاء الحدود وأسباب عدم وجود الحدود. الكتاب من وجهة نظري لغته سهلة وسلسلة بالنسبة لكتب علم النفس لا يحتوي على كلمات معقدة. كما انه يعرض نصوص مسيحية ويناقش رأي الكاتب من وجهة نظره المسيحية ووجهة نظره كمتخصص نفساني انصح بقرائته

  13. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    A five-star book for those of us who just san't say no to others. If you need to learn how to distance yourself and protect your family from needy people in a moving way, check it out. It's ok to say no. It's ok to take care of your own needs sometimes!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nguyễn Chí Thanh

    Trông chờ dữ lắm rốt cuộc thất vọng bực mình, dị ứng với một nùi mấy câu kinh thánh, đưa vô chục câu thôi còn được, đoạn nào cũng có 1 câu thì sao chịu nổi. Cuốn này chắc hợp với mấy con chiên ngoan đạo, loại vô đạo như mình thật không đọc nổi.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Relstuart

    I took my time reading this one. It's got some pretty powerful questions about how you treat yourself and see yourself in relation to other people in your life.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    This book is just a bunch of Christian psycho-babble about how to 'say no'. the author drones on and on with example situations about a working mom driving the kids to soccer practice, being asked to volunteer at church, all the while juggling her career with the needs of her jerk of a husband and bratty / whining kids. Really, it's not much more than a book created to give people excuses for making bad choices in the first place. the book could be summed up in a few sentences: 1) if you want to h This book is just a bunch of Christian psycho-babble about how to 'say no'. the author drones on and on with example situations about a working mom driving the kids to soccer practice, being asked to volunteer at church, all the while juggling her career with the needs of her jerk of a husband and bratty / whining kids. Really, it's not much more than a book created to give people excuses for making bad choices in the first place. the book could be summed up in a few sentences: 1) if you want to have a demanding career, don't choose to have children. 2) if you want to be happy in marriage, choose a spouse who is supportive. 3) if you don't want to be volunteered for your church's building program by fund raising with a cookie drive, don't be 'that person' who always says 'yes'. 4) grow a spine. 5) grow some peaches. 6) grow some walnuts. the problem i have with this book is that it is the complete opposite of QBQ ... it teaches people how to avoid personal responsibility instead of accepting it. one more for the wood pile.

  17. 4 out of 5

    C.J. Darlington

    I didn't think I needed this book. Boundaries? Sounded like a bad word to me. Boy, was I wrong. I've read this book twice now, and each time I got something new. I plan on reading it again, especially all the quotes I underlined. It's the type of book that everyone can benefit from at different points in their life. Don't be mislead, like I was, thinking this book was only for those in romantic relationships or married. It's just as beneficial for those who are single (maybe even more so). I lov I didn't think I needed this book. Boundaries? Sounded like a bad word to me. Boy, was I wrong. I've read this book twice now, and each time I got something new. I plan on reading it again, especially all the quotes I underlined. It's the type of book that everyone can benefit from at different points in their life. Don't be mislead, like I was, thinking this book was only for those in romantic relationships or married. It's just as beneficial for those who are single (maybe even more so). I love how everything comes from a Christian perspective, and even though a lot of tough issues are covered (codependency, addiction, abuse) I never felt overwhelmed or condemned like I have when reading some secular material on the same subjects. There's hope within these pages. Yes, it's work learning how to properly implement boundaries in your life, and you're going to make mistakes along the way. But it's worth it to gain understanding of this much-needed topic.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lori L (She Treads Softly)

    I've been taking a class this summer on boundaries, based on the book Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. According to Wikipedia, "Personal Boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for him- or herself what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave around him or her and how he or she will respond when someone steps outside those limits. Personal boundaries define you as an individual. They are statements of what you w I've been taking a class this summer on boundaries, based on the book Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. According to Wikipedia, "Personal Boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for him- or herself what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave around him or her and how he or she will respond when someone steps outside those limits. Personal boundaries define you as an individual. They are statements of what you will or won't do, what you like and don't like...how close someone can get to you." Setting and communicating our personal boundaries to others allows us to protect ourselves. They allow us to separate who we are as unique individuals, including our thoughts and feelings, from others. They prohibit other people from manipulating, abusing, or using us. Boundaries allow us to preserve our individual integrity. Boundaries also prohibit us from taking responsibility for things that are not our responsibility. "No" is not a bad word. Other people need to understand that their actions have consequences. Setting our own personal boundaries can allow others to experience the consequences of their actions and their choices and prohibit them from blaming us for their actions and choices. For me, the class has been eye-opening and life-changing. At this point I'm a convert and would suggest that if you have the opportunity to take a class on boundaries, do so - and then start setting them. I'm hardly an expert and could probably benefit from taking the class again in a few months, but at this point I can say with conviction that any abuse, even "just" emotional, is not okay with me and that I am not responsible for the choices and actions of others. I am responsible for my actions and my choices. Boundaries are freeing. very highly recommended - along with the classes on video http://shetreadssoftly.blogspot.com/ Quotes: Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership. Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom. pg. 29 No is a confrontational word. The Bible says that we are to confront people we love, saying, "No, that behavior is not okay. I will not participate in that." The word no is also important in setting limits on abuse. pg. 34 Sometimes physically removing yourself from a situation will help maintain boundaries.... you can remove yourself to get away from danger and put limits on evil. The Bible urges us to separate from those who continue to hurt us and to create a safe place for ourselves. pg. 35 Behaviors have consequences. As Paul says, "A man reaps what he sows" (Gal. 6:7-8). pg. 41 We need to take responsibility for our choices. This leads to the fruit of "self control" (Gal. 5:23). A common boundary problem is disowning our choices and trying to lay he responsibility for them on someone else.... We need to realize that we are in control of our choices.... Setting boundaries inevitably involves taking responsibility for your choices. You are the one who makes them. You are the one who must live with their consequences. pg. 42-43 Envy defines "good" as "what I do not possess," and hates the good that it has....what is so destructive about this particular sin is that it guarantees that we will not get what we want and keeps us perpetually insatiable and dissatisfied. pg. 97 To a boundary-injured person, people who can say a clear no sometimes seem curt and cold. But as the boundaries become more firm, curt and cold people change into caring, refreshingly honest people. pg. 273 You will begin to see that taking responsibility for yourself is healthy, and you will begin to understand that taking responsibility for other adults is destructive. When people are treated as objects for long enough, they see themselves as someone else's property... Grace must come from the outside for us to be able to develop it inside. The opposite side of this truth is that we can't love when we aren't loved. And, taking the thinking further, we can't value or treasure our souls when they haven't been valued or treasured. This is a key principle. Our basic sense of ourselves, of what is real and true about us, comes from our significant, primary relationships. pg. 275

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This is a literal story of not judging a book by its cover... Someone I trust very deeply about such issues recommended I read this book called "Boundaries." When I found it at the library, I was horrified! It looked like a cheesy self-help book, and worse, it had won the Gold Medallion Book Award - "in recognition of excellence in Evangelical Christian literature." Needless to say, I was terrified; in no way do I self-identify as an Evengelical. But like I said before, I trusted this person, so This is a literal story of not judging a book by its cover... Someone I trust very deeply about such issues recommended I read this book called "Boundaries." When I found it at the library, I was horrified! It looked like a cheesy self-help book, and worse, it had won the Gold Medallion Book Award - "in recognition of excellence in Evangelical Christian literature." Needless to say, I was terrified; in no way do I self-identify as an Evengelical. But like I said before, I trusted this person, so I checked it out and started reading... WOW. I'll just go ahead and say I wasn't much for the "real life examples" they put in the book, but I recognize the need for them in the book. However, that was nearly my only complaint with the book. Broken into three sections (What are Boundaries?, Boundary Conflicts, and Developing Healthy Boundaries), this books takes the reader through the entire scope of boundaries. We learn how they are formed/neglected in early childhood, why they are good, how they create healthier relationships with ourselves, others, and God, etc. I especially like this book because it is honest. It admits that "the Christian Church" is a major contributor to bad boundaries or boundary-less people, but point out what the Bible really tells us about our boundaries with self, God, and others. It also tells the reader that creating boundaries is not really the most pleasant experience - it will make us happier and better people in the long run - but at first we will have intense feelings (anger, guilt, hurt) that mean we're probably successfully establishing boundaries, and that some so-called "relationships" may be lost in this growing process. It also was helpful because it addressed all human relationships: parents, children, romantic/spouses, and work. I highly recommend this book to, well, everyone. I don't think there is a person out there who couldn't find something helpful in its pages. I would even recommend it to people who aren't especially religious or adhere to one faith (I'm not "textbook Christian" if there is such a thing, and I ignored the part where they said something complimentary about James Dobson). Biblical references aside, it offers us helpful tools and thoughts for happier, healthier, and more meaningful lives. It's one I will probably revisit many times over the coming years...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Aubrey Hansen

    I'd passed this book by chance while researching cover design on Amazon and thought the summary sounded eerily like a sermon I needed to hear. Pleasantly, my library had it, and I checked it out--and, as often happens with library books, neglected it until it was overdue. I could always check it out later, right? But I decided that I should at least read it lightly, even if I couldn't do a thorough study, before I returned it. I'm glad I did. I'd not be exaggerating to say this book may change my I'd passed this book by chance while researching cover design on Amazon and thought the summary sounded eerily like a sermon I needed to hear. Pleasantly, my library had it, and I checked it out--and, as often happens with library books, neglected it until it was overdue. I could always check it out later, right? But I decided that I should at least read it lightly, even if I couldn't do a thorough study, before I returned it. I'm glad I did. I'd not be exaggerating to say this book may change my life. It addressed exactly what I have been going through by not only quantifying the problem but also exposing potential sources and discussing practical steps for finding solutions. One aspect I particularly liked about the authors' approach, besides their biblical view of God and His relation to us, was their emphasis that we should focus on what we can change--us--rather than others. Even if the sin lies with someone else, putting the emphasis on them is destructive. This approach is not only practical and freeing, but it avoids the "It's not your fault; everything is in your circumstances" mentality I so detest from modern psychology. Naturally, then, my instinct is to recommend this book to everyone. And while I think the perspective would be beneficial for everyone, I realize that others may not be struggling with these issues, or may be coming at them from a different angle, in which case this book may have little impact on them. Tentatively, then, I will strongly recommend this book for anyone who is going through relationship issues of any kind, anyone who is struggling with self-identity, anyone who is fighting with an out-of-control lifestyle, and also young people who are in the stage of becoming independent adults with a life apart from their parents. Don't let the book's focus on middle-aged married adults fool you--even the chapters focused on child-rearing contain valuable perspective.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lizzie Jones

    Incredible book. It has helped me so much to consider how to navigate situations at work, at home and in social situations. I highly recommend it, especially if you don't especially love confrontations, like myself. This is from the book's description: "Often Christians focus so on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limitations. Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend offer biblically based insights into how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co Incredible book. It has helped me so much to consider how to navigate situations at work, at home and in social situations. I highly recommend it, especially if you don't especially love confrontations, like myself. This is from the book's description: "Often Christians focus so on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limitations. Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend offer biblically based insights into how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co-workers, and even ourselves." My dad recommended I read this book when I was in the middle of a difficult friendship. I felt put upon and walked over and didn't know how to change the expectations of this overly needy person in my life. I had assumed that the only option was to love her "as Christ would" and allow her to use my time, resources and patience as she needed. I had also assumed that due to my duty to love her as Christ would, I needed to "turn the other cheek" when she mistreated me or lost her temper, which was happening often. Through reading this, I was able to identify several things that were unhealthy and was given ideas on how to change them while still being loving and consistent. The book teaches about the law of the harvest and also helped me to understand that God is perfect at setting perfect boundaries. Although the authors are not of my own faith, I was able to apply all that they were expressing to my own beliefs. God is a perfect being who has certain requirements for anyone who wants to be in His company. He welcomes all of His children freely and without constraint but in order to carry the Spirit of the Lord, there are qualifications you must fulfill. This taught me that I can kindly welcome everyone into my life with open arms, so long as they understand that a respect for me, for those I love and for what is important to me is something I am allowed to expect. It does not make me any less Christlike.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nora St Laurent

    This book changed my life forever. This is a very powerful book that teaches you what boundaries are and how to set them. This book set me free and brought great healing to my life. Some of the principles were hard for me to implement just because of past hurts. But they have made me a happier and healthier person. The concepts are easy to understand and get. I just had to have the courage to let God move in this area of my life. When I did EVERYTHING changed for the good. I highly recommend thi This book changed my life forever. This is a very powerful book that teaches you what boundaries are and how to set them. This book set me free and brought great healing to my life. Some of the principles were hard for me to implement just because of past hurts. But they have made me a happier and healthier person. The concepts are easy to understand and get. I just had to have the courage to let God move in this area of my life. When I did EVERYTHING changed for the good. I highly recommend this book to everyone. Learning what healthy boundaries are gave me hope and wisdom into the God-given gift of boundaries. This insightful book helped set my spirit free to bloom and grow in God’s love! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” Nora St Laurent TBCN Where Book Fun Begins www.bookfun.org The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kris

    Probably a very helpful book for someone else, but not for me. Too simplistic and too generic and too boring. Just not necessary and not useful for me. This feels too much like a self-help book. This book keeps returning back to me recently, and I know other friends who have praised it. So I feel that I might return to this one some day.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    I found it to be a very practical book. Its so easy to allow others to take advantage of me but if I set boundaries in a healthy Christian manner it makes for better relationships. As the sayinggoes; "Good fences make good neighbors."

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    I really love reading books where I get a new view of scripture applied to areas of life. While I may not agree with all interpretations of how certain scriptures are applied, there are always so many that completely break up my "concrete" understanding of how the christian is supposed to live. This book feels SO important to where I'm at in life, and greatly helped me understand WHY I have certain struggles. THE BAD: - The opening of this book was pretty dreadful. I don't know why I keep encounte I really love reading books where I get a new view of scripture applied to areas of life. While I may not agree with all interpretations of how certain scriptures are applied, there are always so many that completely break up my "concrete" understanding of how the christian is supposed to live. This book feels SO important to where I'm at in life, and greatly helped me understand WHY I have certain struggles. THE BAD: - The opening of this book was pretty dreadful. I don't know why I keep encountering books with dreadful beginnings that end up being really good, but EDITORS, STEP UP YOUR GAME. It starts with a story that, while being accurate for some I'm sure, felt like "well good grief OBVIOUSLY this person has problems." I get that he wants the reader to identify with this person but unfortunately our cognitive biases make us think our problems are "bad luck" and others' are "bad choices," so I think most people will just think "well obviously THAT person can change their circumstance but *I* can't!" ANYWAY tldr; push through the beginning story or skip it if necessary. - The tone can occasionally feel slightly harsh or judgmental but I've had this complaint about other psychologically-focused nonfiction/self-help books so maybe it's just me. It also may have been the audiobook narrator whose performance felt very strange throughout. THE GOOD: - The breadth of this book felt immense (in a good way). Some topics include: God's scriptural view of boundaries, how and when boundaries are set in child development, boundaries in marriage, boundaries with kids, boundaries with friends, boundaries at work, how to set boundaries, stages of setting boundaries, how to tell if boundaries are working. - Finally understanding the "NO" stage in toddlers, teenage rebellion. - Getting a deeper understanding of WHY kids who experience abuse and trauma continue to have immense struggles in adulthood. - Gaining more respect for the Old Testament and God's boundaries, and how that applies to us. - Realizing the skewed concepts I (and a lot of the church) have had about what it means to "love your neighbor as yourself" and how I've cheapened my "yes" by withholding my "no" so often. - REALLY understanding WHY fellowship is important and how I so often expect myself to "power through" changing myself instead of leaning on God and my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I COULD GO ON but it was just...really heart-opening for me. I have a lot to pray through and practice. I might also go through the book again this year.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nathaniel Turner

    My wife asked me to read this book, so that she could get my insights on it. I ended up liking the book; I think that it includes valuable information about taking ownership of your own life and divesting yourself of the notion that you can control others, or that your life somehow depends on others. At the same time, the book wasn't without its problems. Like (almost) everything I review, there were a few typos--mostly the sort of thing that can't be caught by spell-check software (a B instead o My wife asked me to read this book, so that she could get my insights on it. I ended up liking the book; I think that it includes valuable information about taking ownership of your own life and divesting yourself of the notion that you can control others, or that your life somehow depends on others. At the same time, the book wasn't without its problems. Like (almost) everything I review, there were a few typos--mostly the sort of thing that can't be caught by spell-check software (a B instead of an M in "my," for example), and all of them minor (context clues provided the correct meaning easily). But I feel obligated to mention them, all the same. I found the lack of references in the book particularly jarring. In a lot of ways, "Boundaries" purports to be a scholarly work, something focused on psychological healing and spiritual development, but it doesn't mention any papers, or studies, or journals, or scientific inquiries. The endnotes in the book are reserved for "see also" suggestions. I gather that the authors were working from their own practice, but a few references to a little research would have gone a long way to earn my placidity. The book contains a very large number of what I call "pastor stories." Probably, these vignettes come from actual examples in the authors' private practice, with the names and details changed to protect patient confidentiality... but they come across as those stories used by pastors to prove a point. You know the ones--anecdotes about people who only have first names, with no clear evidence to suggest that they are factual, but they perfectly (and conveniently) encapsulate the message that the pastor is trying to get across. I don't trust stories like these, and while the clinical experience of the authors lends a little credence to them, I'm still not a fan. The authors have, in my opinion, an incorrect view of both love and marriage. They assert that love is primarily a feeling, rather than an action (indeed, that action without feeling is worthless in the case of love); this may correspond with their experience, but it implies that a marriage without "that loving feeling" should end. Marriages, while I'm on the subject, are also not relationships of unconditional love, according to the authors. (I do not mean only in practice, for definitely there are countless marriages that are not based on unconditional love, but I mean the authors suggest that marriages should not be so.) There seems to be a misapprehension of why "work" is "bad" in the modern mind. The authors insist that work existed before the Fall (in a probable misreading of the poetic structure of Genesis 1-3, but I digress), but I am reminded of Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes: "It's not work unless somebody makes you do it." The reason "work" is unpleasant is that we define unpleasant tasks as "work." To fill the earth and subdue it may have been a great challenge, and an enormous task, but it wasn't "work" until the Fall. (You may find this a minor nitpick, but you get what you pay for with these reviews, and I don't recall being paid anything.) In the vein of their "pastor stories," the authors also supply every story in the book with a happy ending. This strikes me as extraordinarily unlikely. Even moreso, I'm surprised that doctors with clinical experience would suggest this result. It's simply not possible that every story ends happily, but the authors imply that, no matter your circumstances, if you simply say "no," to your spouse/friend/parent/self, that person will eventually respect your "no" and become the person you've always wanted them to be. "Emotionally abuse husband? Tell him 'no' a few times and he'll realize what a wonderful person you are and treat you better!" Of course, because no emotionally abusive husbands become physically abusive when their victims exhibit signs of resistance. "Susie told Jack to do his own job and stop making her do it. Her boss figured out that Jack was the problem and told him to shape up. Jack did so, and everyone is happy." Of course, because no one has ever been blamed for somebody else's shoddy work, right? I just don't see it being possible in every case. Perhaps my biggest struggle is the authors' tendency to blame absolutely every poor character trait on the parents of the unpleasant person. No one ever made a bad decision for themselves, it seems, but everything bad about you is your parents' fault. Only you can fix it, of course, but they're the ones that made you this way--they didn't teach you good boundaries, or they tried to control you with guilt or anger, or they only looked out for themselves and did not respect your needs or boundaries, or... the list goes on. As a child myself, I can recall times that I made my own bad decisions, and I cannot trace my current problems to my parents. They weren't perfect, of course, but they aren't to blame for all of my hardships. As a parent myself, I find it hard to believe that every bad decision my son makes will rest on my head when judgment day comes--it's just not a reasoned position to take here. As I said, I eventually ended up liking the book (which may be hard to believe, at this point, but it's true). The final few chapters, especially, have very good points that are important to internalize if you have any boundary problems at all (and most people probably do). The practical advice finally starts kicking in and the nebulous examples take a backseat to a more informative style. There are a lot of insightful directions to help you set boundaries in your life, and it really is useful. Yet, I must admit sadly, there are even problems in these final sections. For one thing, there are a few glaring omissions from their practical advice and examples--extended family and in-laws come to mind most readily. Both extended family and a spouse's family can be tremendous violators of boundaries, but since they had no effect on your childhood development, they don't get their own chapters (unlike parents, friends, spouses, and self, which can all be traced back to poor parenting by your own folks). The second major problem in this section is assumptions: "Go to your support group," they write, as if support groups were in every church, or grew on trees, and could be trustworthy and reliable wherever they may be found. Assumptions like these make the practical advice more difficult, but other, simpler advice must first be sought out (like How to Find or Develop a Support Group 101). As I said, I did like the book. I think it's a good resource--but you don't have to read every page and paragraph, either. Look for the good; if you start getting bogged down in it, I don't think you would miss much to skip ahead a few paragraphs, or a chapter. Look for what is most relevant to your situation, and I think you would do well.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I really liked this book.This is a Christian outlook on how to create healthy boundaries and be Christ like. I have been doing a lot of work on myself to become a better mother, wife, friend and just all around person. It has not been an easy journey. I have come to really appreciate books like this that call you on your crap and don't beat around the bush. Saying no to people and standing up for myself have been very difficult things for me to learn. This book came when I was very ready to hear I really liked this book.This is a Christian outlook on how to create healthy boundaries and be Christ like. I have been doing a lot of work on myself to become a better mother, wife, friend and just all around person. It has not been an easy journey. I have come to really appreciate books like this that call you on your crap and don't beat around the bush. Saying no to people and standing up for myself have been very difficult things for me to learn. This book came when I was very ready to hear it. It was so awesome to listen to this book and have so much of what I have been doing the last 5 years validated and reaffirmed. It is so hard to have a parent that doesn't understand and respect my boundaries. Being a Christian I have struggled with the thought What Would Jesus DO and this answered a lot of my questions about that. I have loved the feelings of peace this book has brought and will keep bringing as I stick to my guns and keep forgiving myself and others.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Ruut

    We are so quick to blame others for the difficulties we face, and yet often the problem lies with our own boundaries or lack of them. There is a reason this book has been a recommended resource for so many years -- it tackles truth in a clear and understandable way, empowering readers to take steps toward healthy relationships with others, with God, with technology, even with themselves. Definitely recommended!!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Brown

    Very, very good.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I usually write reviews right away, but I had some trouble figuring out what I wanted to say here. I felt that this book needed one both to explain my rating and to give an honest analysis of the shortfalls, but I also have a deep desire to critique in a way that is not dismissive of other interpretations. I'm not really sure if I'm glad I read this book or not. I don't usually read "self-help" type books, but this book came highly recommended to me in regard to my tutoring business. As someone I usually write reviews right away, but I had some trouble figuring out what I wanted to say here. I felt that this book needed one both to explain my rating and to give an honest analysis of the shortfalls, but I also have a deep desire to critique in a way that is not dismissive of other interpretations. I'm not really sure if I'm glad I read this book or not. I don't usually read "self-help" type books, but this book came highly recommended to me in regard to my tutoring business. As someone who has taught her whole career in low SES school systems, charging for my services and maintaining a businesslike attitude about all things business has tested me a little bit. I've felt uncomfortable at times and always wanting to make everyone happy. It seemed like a good fit. I'm really glad I got this book out of the library rather than instant gratification-ing it from Amazon, however. I almost gave up on the book several times, but I'm stubborn about abandoning books. The vignettes were well done and helpful in terms of being able to see where someone's boundaries have impacted their life and their ability to be taken advantage of by others. The psychology was pretty sound including quite a bit on attachment theory. One of the missions of the book, and the reason I got it out of the library first, is to help people with difficulty establishing boundaries within the context of a Christian life. Now since Christian has such wide ranging definitions, and it was mentioned in the book description as an afterthought, I didn't instantly discount it. I prefer my faith as a private part of who I am. It is shaped, but not confined by or restricted to Christianity, and rejects the use of the Bible or church teachings to either discriminate, subjugate, control or condemn others. I expected talking about situations in which a lack of boundaries caused challenge, why boundaries are difficulty for some people/how they are formed, how to change/establish firmer boundaries and then how one reconciles this with a faith driven expectation of giving without hesitation. Instead, the author used excerpts from scripture to explain why boundaries are important, used scripture to explain how to establish firmer boundaries and used scripture to reconcile feelings of guilt based on faith throughout. There were times that I found myself reading a paragraph of content for every 2-3 paragraphs of scripture. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but not necessarily a reason to stop reading. When I got to the section on attachment's role in the creation of boundaries, I was really interested. The author had put down his theologian hat and put on his psychologist hat and it was really interesting, until he advocated corporal punishment for children. Maybe not precisely advocated, but he condoned the "spare the rod, spoil the child" principles. He fell short of advocating blanket training, but it was perilously close for my tastes. I put the book down and didn't pick it back up for a week. Then as I neared the end of the book, he was speaking of boundaries in the context of marriage. And for the most part, it made good sense. Until he spoke of a man who complained that his wife wouldn't be subservient to him. And instead of telling the guy that he was living in the wrong century and if he cared about his marriage at all, he better learn a different definition of marriage, he said something else. I don't even remember what it was to be honest. But it wasn't the dope slap that this guy needed. Interestingly, I think this book in some ways parallels a journey I've been on for the past year to repair, reestablish and understand my own boundaries after staying in an unhealthy environment too long. It is possible that earlier in my journey, this book would have been a different experience for me. But, I feel like beginning to establish healthy boundaries has secured the obsolescence of this text as a useful tool for me. It contains perspectives that make me say "That's not okay." So, overall I can't recommend this book. While it did a really nice job of explaining how boundaries are formed by early life experiences, how our own boundaries are the only thing we can truly control, and that establishing boundaries where they weren't before can be at times a painful process and cause significant changes in relationships, it did so entirely within the context of religion. And furthermore, through these little "slip ups", it became abundantly clear that the definition of Christianity employed by the author is one which is irreconcilable with my own faith.

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