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8 Best Books About Setting Emotional Boundaries

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Emotional boundaries protect our emotional well-being. Following books will help you set clear boundaries so that you can protect yourself from emotional takeover and do not neglect your needs.

Whose Life is It Anyway?: When to Stop Taking Care of Their Feelings & Start Taking Care of Your Own

Author: Nina W. Brown

Average Goodreads rating:3.88/5

Nina Brown, a therapist and author, teaches readers how NOT to get overly involved in the emotional needs of their loved ones and instead begin to focus on their own. Is your mother's wish to vent about your father's carelessness last night more important than your need to get to work on time? Do you really have nothing better to do on a Saturday night than drive your younger brother home from the movies or assist your sister with her romantic relationship? If you find yourself dropping everything in your life whenever a family member needs you, you're among the millions of people who are overly invested in their families.

Overly involved family members often lose sight of who they are and what they actually desire as a result of their loved ones' problems. Excessive empathy becomes an issue when other people's needs dictate your every decision, inhibiting your ability to take care of yourself and move on with your life.

Whose Life Is It Anyway? The author Nina Brown starts by helping readers evaluate their own family ties and decide if they are too caught up in other's needs. She then goes on to teach readers a number of ways to help them shield themselves from other people's needs, establish powerful emotional boundaries, reinforce parts of their personality against a predisposition toward excessive empathy, and avoid domineering or manipulative relationships.


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 it 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 emotional 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.


The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships

Author: Harriet Lerner

Average Goodreads rating:4/5

This is an excellent book for women of all walks of life. The Dance of Anger is not what it sounds like. This is not a book about venting or blowing off steam. It's a book about realizing what it is that is making you angry and taking care of yourself to resolve it.

we all are programmed away from anger; we are told that anger is bad. But this fabulous book teaches women how to use our emotions in a positive way to get our needs met. It's a book about boundaries and using our anger...recognizing it as a GPS system. Our anger is valid, and it is always telling us something.

An eye-opening book for those of us who were raised to "be nice" little girls.

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Coping with Infuriating, Mean, Critical People

Author: Nina W. Brown

Average Goodreads rating: 3.63/5

In Coping with Infuriating, Mean, Critical People, Nina Brown explains why many people who don't exhibit all of the characteristics required for a formal, full-blown narcissist diagnosis still exhibit a destructive narcissistic pattern (DNP) that causes much of the same anguish for those with whom the individual interacts. She discusses in detail the character traits of a destructive narcissist. The second half of the book includes practical tools and techniques about dealing with a narcissistic coworker, supervisor or boss, parent, or intimate partner.

One of the most remarkable features of the book is how the author teaches you to set powerful boundaries to protect your emotional well being.My personal favorite is the "walling off" strategy. It's a type of emotional insulation technique that protects you from other people's projections. Brown advises preparing yourself mentally before dealing with a destructive narcissist. To accomplish this you should visualize the image of high steel doors in a wall sealing you off from the projections of toxic person. (You may also draw down a shade.Use whatever works for you). The concept is that you're aware that this individual has strong projective identifications that might make you feel ashamed, and you're consciously attempting to block them out of your life. The steel doors will not only shut off the toxic projections but also reflect them back to the narcissist

You will be better able to withstand conversations with a narcissist now that you have instituted that symbolic walling off, and you will not leave feeling ashamed, in turmoil, or wondering why I feel the way I do. While you may not enjoy being walled off, it will help you retain your equilibrium.


Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You

Author: Susan Forward

Average Goodreads rating:4.1/5

Emotional blackmail by Susan Forward is a thought provoking, eye opening and interesting read. She uses real-life examples to assist the reader understand emotional blackmail."If you don't give me what I want, you will suffer," is the message underlying emotional blackmail. When friends, family, lovers, bosses, and coworkers use fear, obligation, and guilt to force you to do what THEY want, you may utilize the tactics, skills, and scripts in this book to respond positively and stand firm. The author offers step-by-step instructions for repairing relationships and regaining confidence, independence, and self-esteem. This book aids in dispelling the "FOG" that emotional blackmailers use to blind us. Fear, Obligation, and Guilt make up this "FOG." It equips the reader with the knowledge and skills necessary to detect emotional blackmail and to set effective limits against it. This book can assist you in shifting the power dynamic in your interactions with emotional blackmailers. Dr. Forward provides you with the knowledge you need to end the blackmail cycle once and for all.


I Don't Want To Be An Empath Anymore: How To Reclaim Your Power Over Emotional Overwhelm, Build Better Boundaries, And Create A Life Of Grace And Ease

Author: Ora North

Ave. Goodreads ratings: 3.97/5

when an Empath is unaware of shadow parts of their self, it leads to significant imbalances in their life, major pain, dramas with Narcissistic and drug-addicted people, drug addiction, serious medical disorders, extreme sadness and anxiety, and even suicidality. Ora gently guides you through the process of facing your shadow self in the mirror. While facing your shadow self is never an easy task, it's vital to do so to achieve balance and remain grounded in the face of life's difficulties. For example, Ora refers to "lightwashing" as a way to avoid addressing your problems by continually "living in the light." In yoga and spiritual circles, it's common to hear about the importance of always being positive and content, and that the other people's treatment of you is a reflection of you. Ora informs us that these are misleading concepts and many people in real life often behave selfishly. Thus, it's fine to be broken, irritated, furious, and resentful because you're human after all. A part of being "human" is acknowledging and working through these darker feelings so that you can move on and live well. After working through the chapters in I Don't Want To Be An Empath Anymore, you'll be urged to do the inner work. There are recommendations at the end of each chapter for journal entries, meditations, or other things for putting the lessons you've learned into action. This is a really good book. It is very encouraging and compassionate since it prompted me to face my fears and work through issues that I have long been avoiding.

This book will help you reduce your emotional overwhelm as you allow yourself to feel your emotions and not be guilty about them. You will learn how to express your feelings so that others may understand when and why you are unhappy. In addition, you will learn to create healthy boundaries so that you don't keep others away, but protect your feelings. This book is a great resource to aid you in your journey as an empath in this harsh world.


Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy and Find Personal Happiness

Author: Lindsay C. Gibson

Average Goodreads rating: 4.44/5

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. This follow up guide teaches you how you can identify signs of an EIP, protect your emotions, connect with your needs and feelings and attain emotional autonomy in all of your relationships. This is a how-to guide that includes suggestions and exercises for how to improve your emotional autonomy and self-awareness.

This book will help you gain the freedom to finally live your life your way if you are willing to put your own needs first, dispel the fog of self-doubt, and overcome the fear of judgment and punishment from an emotionally immature parent.

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