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Better Boundaries: Owning and Treasuring Your Life Paperback – March 20, 1998

26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

About the Author

Jan Black is a writer and producer.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 1 edition (March 20, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572241071
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572241077
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #247,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 102 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
I'm glad some people found this book helpful. I didn't myself. I would describe it as an encyclopedia of all the self-help concepts ever published, and most do not apply directly to interpersonal boundaries. "Treasure Yourself" should have been the full title of this book, their point being that if you would just like yourself more darn it, indirectly you'll form better boundaries. I suppose that's possible, but I would need 40 lifetimes to implement all the concepts reviewed in this chronicle of self-help. I still flip through the book for fun sometimes, amazed at the huge quantity of information they summarize that does not specifically address interpersonal boundaries.
Here are my suggestions. I found "Privacy and Its Invasion" by Deckle McLean to be pure gold. The author describes the types of boundaries we need, giving historical perspectives and practical reasoning on how interpersonal boundaries lead to a sense of wholeness and personal identity. It's a scholarly book, not self-help, but an easy read, short, well-referenced. I tracked it down at a local university library (he he). The other book I liked was "How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty" by Patti Breitman and Connie Hatch. It's loaded with practical advice for many, many situations. The authors of these two books stand and deliver, without talking down to you.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By N.O.L. on March 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Having read about 50 self-help books, over twenty years, I have found that most books in the self-help genre could easily have been published as booklets rather than full-length paperbacks. Authors, editors, and publishers routinely stuff such books with redundant explanations and case studies. As important as such concepts and techniques may be to a book, there comes a point where their use is overdone. This fluff-to-stuff writing is common in the self-help genre. A 40-page booklet doesn't come anywhere near the profits that a 250-page paperback generates. This results in the reader having to read through superfluous reams of information in order to extract a few gems pertinent to the book's subject.
However, the good news is that occasionally a excellently written book with just the right balance of techniques and concepts is published. Better Boundaries is at the very top in its line, not only covering the establishment of healthy boundaries in one's life, but as a self-help book in general.
I wish other authors and publishers would follow the same style found in Better Boundaries (Black & Enns). It is easy to read, the ideas and concepts are clearly explained, a few examples are given (never overdone), and specific techniques are abudantly provided. I found myself looking forward to reading this book at every moment available over two and half days. (Unlike torturously treading through other self-help books to get a single nugget when it was all over.)
I will re-read this book, recommend it highly to others, and purchase additional copies for friends. At the cost of appearing mercenary, my only regret is that I wish I had read this book twenty years ago; I would have saved myself the great sum of money that I have spent on other self-help books.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Roberta Hill on August 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
The whole concept and idea of boundaries tends to be overused and clichéd these days. Because of this, we may have lost sight of a fundamental development area for us to become fully human.
This book was a wonderful gift from a friend. In my work, I am always referring to the need for clear boundaries in personal and professional situations. I tend to think that I have pretty good boundaries and in general I do. This book helped lay out specific criteria and circumstances for me to reconsider.
It would be too easy to describe or label this particular book as another of the Self Help ilk. It is not a workbook and I wouldn't describe it as one full of exercises. However, it does have some areas with specific strategies, recommendations and processes to help you identify the important ingredients required in order for an individual to clarify and maintain the proper boundaries in all aspects of their lives.
It is not technical in the sense of theoretical but it is thorough. Anyone who wants to look into this important area can apply this material directly and immediately in his or her own life. It is also full of concrete examples in real live situations.
If you feel that you have issues around setting and clarifying boundaries, this book will be of tremendous assistance. If boundaries are not a concern for you, I would encourage you to consider reviewing the material. It goes beyond the surface to the core purpose and intent of your life. For this reason, it is a great book for counselors, coaches and all self-seekers.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book isn't another one about how to say "no" to others. It's about how to say "yes" to yourself. "Yes", I love me just as I am today. "Yes", I deserve to have good in my life. "Yes",I can change my self-image and my life...for better AND for good! If you've only got one life to live...This is the book for you!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book has many good points in it, but it really doesn't seem to be about boundaries. This book seems to say "If you love yourself, then your boundaries will automatically form" and then focuses on how to value yourself. I have no doubt that learning to like and respect oneself will help one to form better boundaries. Alas, I bought this book hoping to learn more about boundaries so I could use them as a new tool to help make "space" to like myself better! Oops!
At many points, I also felt that the book did a little more "telling" than "showing", which made it seem a little shallow to me. As another reviewer said, this does offer a good summary of many tips and techniques for how to learn to like and respect oneself, and so it is probably an excellent book to use to get an overview of that topic so you could figure out what to go read in more detail.
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