With every encounter, we demonstrate that either we will guard what we cherish or that we will give it away. Our integrity is safeguarded by healthy boundaries. Rigid defenses isolates us from those we love and also from our true selves but boundaries filter out harm.
Boundary setting is not just physical, they can also be used to protect our time, energy, preferences, possessions, and relationships. We actually have opportunities to set boundaries every day. It is an important skill that everyone should learn. A lot of people are eager to learn to set good boundaries but most of the bestselling books about boundaries have strong religious undercurrent which dissuades some people. Below is the list of books that are not religious at all and offer practical tips and techniques to build healthy boundaries.
Setting Boundaries Will Set You Free: The Ultimate Guide to Telling the Truth, Creating Connection, and Finding Freedom
Author: Nancy Levin
Average Goodreads rating:4.15/5
Setting boundaries is not simple, many of us don't want to "upset the apple cart." We expect that establishing boundaries will result in conflict. Unfortunately, by avoiding confrontation and conflict we fail to create boundaries that will protect our needs and interests. Thus we end up choosing long-term dissatisfaction over short-term discomfort.
In this book, Nancy Levin, a skilled coach, speaker, and author, will help you create clear and healthy boundaries. Even the most conflict-averse, people-pleasing readers can benefit from the exercises and practical techniques offered in this book. You'll learn, how to detect and take inventory of your boundaries, how to create a Boundary Pyramid to view your boundaries in a new light, how to successfully say "no," and how to define your Bottom-Line Boundary. Nancy as your supporting guide will show you how to acquire the confidence and courage to live a life of "border badassery".
I think the best parts of this book are the many relatable examples of boundaries other people set or struggle to set with themselves and others. The author has you think about why you don’t set boundaries, the consequences you dread will happen if you set them, and the best outcomes that could happen by setting them. Nancy also guides you through how to set boundaries and what to say. For example, one of the exercises in step 7 is to write your scripts. She has you say, “If you do X, I will take care of myself by doing Y”. In addition, she has you set beginner, intermediate and bottom-line (those crucial to your wellbeing) boundaries, so it’s not like you have to jump into the deep end; Nancy helps you wade into this world of boundaries.
Boundaries: Where You End And I Begin: How To Recognize And Set Healthy Boundaries
Author: Anne Katherine
Average Goodreads rating:4/5
Boundaries: Where you end and I begin by Anne Katherine, is one of the most interesting and wise books on boundaries that I have ever read. For one thing, I appreciate her definition of a boundary: a limit that promotes integrity. I love that.
This book was published in 1991 but it as relevant today as iot was in 1991. I have recently read it. It's full of heartbreaking life experiences, especially if you've ever suffered abuse or lack of boundaries. Through its pages, you'll be able to view yourself. I certainly did!
Under the umbrella of boundaries, Katherine tackles subjects as diverse as overbearing parents, sexual abuse, family dynamics of all kinds, , intimacy, the marriage relationship, friendships, peers and work stuff etc.
Every chapter also includes exercises, which are typically basic but not easy. "“If someone you don’t trust stands too close to you, move to a distance that feels safer.”. I know, it appears simple enough but in practice it is not.I have some experience with this.Setting boundaries has been the hardest – but also the most rewarding – of all the things I've learnt to do for myself.
This is a book that can assist anyone who has ever felt violated in a relationship or an interaction with others and has no idea why. You will learn what healthy boundaries are, how to recognize if your personal boundaries are being violated, and what you can do to protect yourself.
Set boundaries find peace
Author: Nedra Glover Tawwab
Average Goodreads rating:4.4/5
Tawwab, a relationship therapist with more than half a million Instagram followers, debuts with a comprehensive guide on how to understand and establish interpersonal boundaries. The first section explains what boundaries are, how they are crossed, and the short- and long-term implications of consistent boundary violations. She identifies six types of boundaries—physical, intellectual, sexual, material, emotional, and time—and gives out tips on how to uphold personal limits (such as “I’m more of a handshaker” for those setting a physical boundary) and detect when a boundary might be crossed (such as overly sexual joking being a red flag for sexual boundary violation).
In the second section, Tawwab suggests scenarios in which boundaries need to be set—including family, work, and social media—and walks the reader through them with examples and stories. For instance, Tawwab explains how to respond to microaggressions at work through assertiveness, how to dissuade oversharing through redirection, and ways to stand firm in the face of “guilt trips.”
Tawwab also addresses the ways trauma impacts our ability to set and honor boundaries and form healthy attachments with others. Set Boundaries, Find Peace also gets the reader to reflect on the shame that comes after trauma, which could, for example, lead to low self-esteem and people-pleasing. Readers who follow Tawwab on social media and those who find setting boundaries especially difficult, will appreciate the advice.
Author: Terri Cole
Average Goodreads rating:4.3/5
Women have a harder time setting boundaries. Right from an early age, many girls are taught to serve and please, and to accept that boys and men are more important and should be put first. So we grow up as people pleasers and self-sacrificial. Meanwhile boys are taught to get out in the world, follow their passion and be adventurous. They are encouraged to set their own rules and boundaries.
It's no wonder then that grown women struggle to set boundaries. Even now, women are told that they can multi-task and men can't: therefore they can do more, juggling busy jobs, kids, and housework, whereas men can only focus on one thing.
This book is aimed at women and addresses the fact that many women struggle to set boundaries and gives you ideas on how to do that. Since becoming a boundary boss is a process, the author offers actionable techniques, strategies, and scripts that can be used in different real-life situations depending on your need.
Even if you think you have set all of your own boundaries, you may have your eyes opened by this book - there are probably plenty of boundaries that you didn't set, and if you want more boundaries to establish, by the end of this book you will have ideas of how to do that.
I do have a few issues with the book. The book is too long and wordy. The author labels women struggling to set boundaries as co-dependent and disordered.
Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy and Find Personal Happiness
Author: Lindsay Gibson
Average goodreads score:4.4/5
As a child, emotionally immature parents (EIPs) may make you feel lonely and neglected. Setting boundaries and expressing feelings becomes very challenging for children of EIPs. As an adult, you may become more vulnerable to other emotionally immature people as you strive to build romantic connections. Furthermore, as your parents grow older, they may continue to overstep your boundaries by criticizing and invalidating your feelings, disregarding your reality, and trying to limit and degrade your freedom of thought and emotional autonomy. EIPs, in summary, can be contradictory, self-centered, and inconsistent. So, what alternatives do you have for dealing with their harmful behavior?
Lindsay Gibson builds on the popularity of her bestselling self-help book Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents to offer yet another useful resource. In this follow up guide, you'll learn how to recognize the signs of an EIP, protect yourself against emotional takeover, reconnect with your own feelings and needs, and attain emotional autonomy in all of your relationships. This is a how-to guide that includes exercises and suggestions for how to improve your emotional autonomy and self-awareness.
If you're willing to start putting your own needs first, clear out the clutter of self-doubt, and move past the fear of judgment and punishment instilled in you by emotionally immature parents, this book can help you find the freedom to finally live your life your way.
Where to draw the line
Author: Anne Katherine
Average Goodreads rating:3.87/5
This book gives us the tools and insights we need to set boundaries so we can devote our time and energy to the things that really matter. it also helps us overcome limiting barriers that stifle personal progress.
In Where to draw the Line, Katherine gives case studies demonstrating the ways in which individuals break their own boundaries or allow others to breach them, focusing on every aspect of daily life—from friendships and sexual relationships to clothes, appearance, money, food, and psychotherapy. (The only topic that isn't thoroughly addressed is business and work.) The author, makes effective use of dialogue to depict both healthy and unhealthy boundary setting.She gives precise suggestions on making decisions that balance one's personal needs with the needs of others, using real-life examples ranging from self-sacrificing moms to compulsive tidy freaks.
This book is not religious at all but there is a chapter (Chapter,19) about spiritual boundaries. If you are not spiritual, you can skip that chapter.
Boundaries are the invisible structures that enable people to live healthy and productive lives. Where to Draw the Line teaches readers how to strengthen and maintain boundaries on a daily basis.
The Assertiveness Guide for Women: How to Communicate Your Needs, Set Healthy Boundaries, and Transform Your Relationships
Author: Julie de Azevedo Hanks
Average Goodreads rating:
Many women struggle with assertiveness, but it's more challenging if you're prone to anxiety and avoidance. This powerful book based on attachment theory will assist you,in identifying your thoughts and feelings, balancing your emotions, communicating your needs, and setting appropriate boundaries in order to better your life.
When you're assertive, you can express your desires and needs effectively while still respecting yourself and those engaged in the encounter. However, if you aren't assertive, you may find yourself unable to express your legitimate demands, or you may lash out in angry or cruel ways. People with different attachment styles struggle with assertiveness for various reasons, and even women with a stable attachment pattern may struggle to express themselves well in tough situations.
Using strategies based in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), The Assertiveness Guide for Women will help you identify the attachment styless that restricts you from expressing yourself properly. You'll learn about the three communication stances—from the passive Doormat to the aggressive (or passive-aggressive) Sword to the assertive Lantern—and get real-life examples of how to use your new communication and emotional awareness skills. You'll be ready to assert yourself and achieve what you want, rather than being stuck in a loop of rumination and regret because you could not articulate yourself or even identify your needs.
This book will help you become more aware of your own thoughts and feelings, and empower you to ask for what you need, set healthy boundaries, and speak your truth for a more fulfilling life.