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on December 22, 2014
He makes some excellent points and this definitely influenced how I think about things. However, I disagree with him strongly in one point and I feel that he skirted one important issue. Near the end of the book he gives an example where a child refuses to go to school and the mother realizes she "can't make the child go to school" but sets the boundary that the child will have to stay in his room if he doesn't go to school. The problem with that logic is, if you can't "make a child go to school" how can you "make a child stay in his room"? We can't make a child enjoy school or even pay attention to the teachers, these things take incentives and consequences, but parents do still need to hold onto the reigns on certain issues. It is a delicate line, but I can and do "make" my children go to school.
The other issue is one of an abusive marriage. He talks about putting up boundaries and leaving for the night if these boundaries are violated. This is always done for a short period of time and then the abused spouse returns home. There are situations where this is effective. But in a true abusive situation (physical or mental) it is playing with fire to leave and return over and over. The physical abuser can be deadly. A mental abuser will learn how to better manipulate her victim without his realizing that his boundaries have been violated and thereby twisting reality even further. Any abusive person is not to be trifled with, and without genuine repentance and clear signs of change one is foolish to continue to expose themselves to that risk regardless of history, children, or feelings. For all of his insight, I am shocked that this is not made more clear.
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on December 18, 2017
[Note: although I'm not religious, I still found a ton of value out of this book]

Cloud and Townsend do a great job of using boundaries to illustrate why we grew up certain ways. For example, you probably know someone who has a money problem. He spends recklessly and doesn't really think about the consequences of his actions. This can be traced back to his parents never establishing their own boundaries. They would always bail the son out whenever he ran out of money and tell him to be better next time. They never let him "feel" the consequences. And so he never learned.

There's so many other brilliant examples of the importance of boundaries and how they affect the people around us.

I learned a lot about myself through the sections that detail boundaries with friends, family, and work. The one that impacted me the most was the section on Boundaries with Myself. I grew up with parents who while loving, also created situations for me where I was not able to feel the consequences, and so I behave in certain ways that I'm trying to fix.

When I was first referred to this book, I wasn't told this book had a heavy religious undertone (the conflict of setting boundaries and being a good person in the eye of God). I'm not religious, so the biblical references didn't really matter to me much, but that doesn't mean I can't learn from them. The concepts themselves made sense to me and I would recommend this book to anyone who believes they have boundary problems.
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on May 2, 2017
Those who have been victims of any kind of abuse, are often the folks who have boundary issues. Their life experience has taught them that inappropriate line crossing is part of daily life. It is a hard lesson to UN-learn. This book is a tool to help folks with boundary issues to learn where the line is and how to defend it.
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on October 2, 2017
This book was recommended to me by a counselor at my church. Initially I had a hard time getting into it but I stuck with it and I am so glad that I did! It provides incredible insight into why we behave the way we do, where those habits come from and how to get out of them if need be. I have tried to start applying the principles to my life and I have to say that the description of how people react to the initial phase of boundary setting has proven to be very accurate. (Hint: If you've always been a people pleaser, they are going to have a difficult time with the new you until they get adjusted.) I feel like this is helping me realize that it is ok to say no to certain requests or to certain people who suck the life out of you. I feel more capable of coping with the challenging people in my life now. I was not a doormat before by any means but I have always had the tendency to give until I had little left for my self or my own family. NO MORE!
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on April 28, 2017
Worth 2 reads. I bought this book in paper some years ago, recommended it other people, but never read it through myself. I shorted myself of the time passed to improve my own quality of life. That said, I am learning, applying the principles, and making changes. Life is too short to be angry, anxious -- at any cost.
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on October 6, 2015
This book should be called "How to accept who you are, be confident about telling people no, and have confidence in making decisions". This is an excellent book for those looking to understand the reasons behind deep emotional road blocks. I have read this book twice because it opened so many doors in my mind and lead me towards answers I had been seeking. If you're not religious it may sound a little to holy at first but by the end of the book you'll have a much better understanding of god and his teachings. I never saw myself going to church or reading the bible but after reading this book it helped me accept responsibility for my problems and understand how god and his teachings exist for that very reason. Each individual is responsible for the quality of his or her own life. It teaches that by accepting things which may have happened to you aren't necessarily your fault but are still your responsibility to deal with, get over, and forgive in order to move on a be a whole person is a fundamental part of life. This one of a few books which may really change your life if you're struggling with being happy and being okay with who you are.
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on June 23, 2017
This would be a good book to read but not to listen to. I generally prefer audio books because I spent a lot of time on the road and it's convenient to listen to books in my car. This book has a serious and relevant subject matter but the narration is just plain comical. The narrator has a good voice -- a radio voice -- but is constantly trying to sound like a woman or a girl or a boy or an elderly person whenever he is quoting someone in one of those categories, and it's downright funny to hear him make those attempts. I think a female listening to this audio book might find his characterizations of women anywhere from condescending to demeaning. I can picture this guy as a preschool teacher reading story books to toddlers. Little kids might appreciate his audio depictions of children, women, elderly people and men other than himself. But as an adult male, I found his voice characterizations to be cartoonish and distracting from the content of the book. Is he trying to be the Mel Blanc of book narrations? I'm wondering why the publisher didn't just spring for a female co-narrator to do the female parts. But even in that scenario, I think it's fine to use the same voice throughout, because the listener would obviously know the narrator is providing a quote from the character that he or she just introduced. Mr. Narrator, we readers (or should I say, listeners) are not idiots. We know when you are portraying the viewpoint of a character in this book. You don't have to produce a cheesy voice for each of the countless persons (real or imagined) that are presented in the book. I'm still struggling to get through the entire audio book. I am genuinely interested in the subject matter. However, I'm not sure I'll make it to the end, having to hear this narrator and his non-stop parade of inane voice characterizations.
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on September 8, 2015
People throw the word "boundaries" around a lot. And I just had no idea what they were talking about. I only had this vague notion that it had something to do with actually getting to chose how you allowed people to treat you and that it was part of protecting and taking care of yourself. I was raised that God was first, everyone else was second and I was last. And this lifestyle kind of made me resent the call of Christ to put others first because I frequently felt like I gave and gave until I was tapped out, but got nothing in return. (As well as having low self-esteem from the way people have treated me over the years.) This book very clearly defines what boundaries are, why you need them, some really important ones to have and how to apply them. (And why you're not really doing anyone any favors by overextending yourself like that.) Exremely helpful and easy to read. Useful stories that made it easy to apply what I learned to my own life. I also recommend reading the boundaries book for dating and relationships.
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on May 14, 2017
This review is for audible only. BE SURE TO LISTEN TO A SAMPLE BEFORE BUYING THE AUDIBLE VERSION. You may or may not find it very distracting and annoying. The narrator doesn't just read the text he tries to make it a one may play. For me it's awful.
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on June 6, 2017
My therapist recommended this book to me. I couldn't even get halfway through it. It had some good points, but the religious aspects of it got to be too much for my tastes. Christians, this is a good one for you, but for any other religious standpoint, I would stay away.
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