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The 10 Best Books on How to Set Boundaries

The 10 Best Books on How to Set Boundaries. such as Beyond Boundaries, Boundary Boss, I Do Boundaries, Better Boundaries, Boundary Power, Boundaries
Welcome to an insightful journey through the '10 Best Books on How to Set Boundaries,' written by Muhiuddin Alam on the book recommendations and reviews site,

Over the years as a leading authority on literary expertise, I've created numerous articles on the topics of self-help books, many of which can be found on this site. I'm also a regular contributor to other websites and publications.

I have received many requests to recommend some of the books about setting boundaries. In response, I'm pleased to offer my expert recommendations in this article, which is based on my in-depth study and testing in this field. 

Some notable recommendations are books on setting boundaries including Beyond Boundaries, Boundary Boss, I Do Boundaries, Better Boundaries, Boundary Power, and Boundaries Workbook.

These aren't the only books on this topic. Below, you'll find 10 books with detailed descriptions of each of these outstanding resources, helping you make well-informed decisions in your boundary-setting book's journey.

So, when I suggest these books, it's because I've read a lot and want to share the best ones with you. I'm all about making your reading experience awesome. Trust in a guide deeply immersed in the literary books and stories. I love books just like you do!

Setting better boundaries is critical. If you want to get better at setting boundaries, remember these 5 rules:
  1. Make your boundaries clear
  2. Don’t set boundaries you’re not willing to enforce
  3. Give rewards and praise when your boundaries are respected
  4. Don’t expect others to automatically respect your boundaries
  5. Be clear about why you maintain boundaries

Two people having a conversation about 'books on setting boundaries' at a library table surrounded by bookshelves

1. Beyond Boundaries 

Boundaries by Dr. Townsend and Dr. Henry Cloud

Beyond Boundaries by Dr. Townsend

Painful relationships violate our trust, causing us to close our hearts. But to experience the freedom and love God designed us for, we eventually have to take another risk.

In this breakthrough book, bestselling author Dr. John Townsend takes you beyond the pain of the past to discover how to re-enter a life of intimate relationships. Whether you're trying to restore a current relationship or begin a new one, Townsend gives practical tools for establishing trust and finding the intimacy you long for.

Beyond Boundaries will help you:
  • Reinstate closeness appropriately with someone who broke your trust
  • Discern when true change has occurred
  • Reestablish appropriate connections in strained relationships
  • Create a safe environment that helps you trust
  • Restore former relationships to a healthy dynamic
  • Learn to engage and be vulnerable in a new relationship as well
You can move past relational pain to trust again. Beyond Boundaries will show you how.

2. Boundary Boss 

Boundary Boss by Terri Cole

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Boundary Boss by Terri Cole

Most of us were never taught how to effectively express our preferences, desires, or deal-breakers. Instead, we hide our feelings behind passive-aggressive behavior, deny our own truths, or push our emotions down until we get depressed or so frustrated that we explode, potentially destroying hard-won trust and relationships.

The most successful and satisfied people on the planet have one thing in common: the ability to create and communicate clear, healthy boundaries. This ability is, hands down, the biggest game-changer when it comes to creating a healthy, happy, self-determined life.

In Boundary Boss, psychotherapist Terri Cole reveals a specific set of skills that can help you stop abandoning yourself for the sake of others (without guilt or drama) and get empowered to consciously take control of every aspect of your emotional, spiritual, physical, personal, and professional life.

Since becoming a Boundary Boss is a process, Cole also offers actionable strategies, scripts, and techniques that can be used at the moment, whenever you need them. 

You will learn from Boundary Boss:
  • How to recognize when your boundaries have been violated and what to do next
  • How your unique “Boundary Blueprint” is unconsciously driving your boundary behaviors and strategies to redesign it
  • Powerful boundary scripts so at the moment you will know what to say
  • How to manage “Boundary Destroyers”―including emotional manipulators, narcissists, and other toxic personalities
  • Where you fall on the spectrum of codependency and how to create healthy, balanced relationships
This book is for women who are exhausted from over-giving, overdoing, and even over-feeling. If you’re getting it all done but at the expense of yourself, give yourself the gift of Boundary Boss.

3. I Do Boundaries 

I Do Boundaries by Havilah Cunnington

I Do Boundaries by Havilah Cunnington 

Are you living with the stress of an overwhelmed life because you’re carrying someone else’s load? Do you feel trapped by the responsibility and fear you’ll lose the relationship if you try to give it back? God doesn’t have to abuse you to use you. In this 15-day study, Bible teacher Havilah Cunnington shows us how to embrace our power through the influence of ownership. 

Through the study of Jesus’ life, we’ll see how He implemented personal boundaries, which enabled His success. And how we can do the same! In I Do Boundaries, with stories, scriptures, and everyday tools, we’ll learn how boundaries operate and who is responsible for the “what” in our lives. 

In this study, we’ll answer these questions together: How do I gain control of my life, schedule, and emotions? + How do I confidently set boundaries and let others know them?+ How do I communicate my boundaries without fear of rejection or loss of friendship? + How do I remove people who are behaving poorly from my life?+ How do I protect what matters most to me without regret? Discover how to return that heavy backpack to its rightful owner with kindness, honesty, and conviction. Let’s Do Boundaries!

4. Better Boundaries 

Better boundaries: owning and treasuring your life, by Jan Black

Better Boundaries: owning and treasuring your life, by Jan Black 

Boundary issues contribute to a range of contemporary social problems felt by victims, abusers, overachievers, and underachievers alike. Knowing when boundaries are violated and what to do about them isn't a simple skill. It requires a surprising amount of adjustments.

What is the similarity between a teenage heroin addict and a middle-aged workaholic? Both have problems setting boundaries. Boundary issues contribute to an amazing range of social problems. 

This is a practical guide to establishing effective boundaries. A series of exercises leads readers through typical problem situations to foster their self-awareness and esteem, and to re-establish healthy boundaries and a life of evolving authenticity.

5. Boundary Power 

Boundary power: how I treat you, how I let you treat me, how I treat myself, by Mike S. O’Neil, Charles, E. Newbold Jr.

Boundary power: how I treat you, how I let you treat me, how I treat myself, by Mike S. O’Neil, Charles, E. Newbold Jr.

How I treat you, how I let you treat me, and how I treat myself. You can open a whole new way of successfully dealing with life's challenges by answering the questions and acting on the information that you learn in each chapter of Boundary Power. 

You can take charge of your life, strengthen your character, expand your freedom, and improve your marriage, and other personal relationships by learning how to set personal boundaries in your life. 

The Book Boundary Power includes: 
  • clear definition of all boundaries as they relate to you relationally, spiritually, physically, sexually, and emotionally 
  • where you learn boundaries, the different kinds of boundaries, and the types of people with boundary problems 
  • key questions to help you discover your own boundary problems 
  • exercises that will help you resolve losses associated with abuses 
  • exercises that will help you set clear healthy boundaries in all your relationships

6. Where to draw the line 

Where to draw the line: how to set healthy boundaries every day, by Anne Katherine

Where to Draw the Line: how to set healthy boundaries every day, by Anne Katherine

Good Fences Make Good NeighborsIn the perennial favorite "Boundaries," Anne Katherine introduced the concept and importance of personal limits. In "Where to Draw the Line," she takes the next step with a practical guide to establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries in a wide range of situations.

With every encounter, we either demonstrate that we’ll protect what we value or that we’ll give ourselves away. Healthy boundaries preserve our integrity. Unlike defenses, which isolate us from our true selves and from those we love, boundaries filter out harm.

This book provides the tools and insights needed to create boundaries so that we can allow time and energy for the things that matter—and helps break down limiting defenses that stunt personal growth. 

Focusing on every facet of daily life—from friendships and sexual relationships to dress and appearance to money, food, and psychotherapy—Katherine presents case studies highlighting the ways in which individuals violate their own boundaries or let other people breach them. 

Using real-life examples, from self-sacrificing mothers to obsessive neat freaks, she offers specific advice on making choices that balance one’s own needs with the needs of others.

Boundaries are the unseen structures that support healthy, productive lives. Where to Draw the Line shows readers how to strengthen them and hold them in place every day.

7. Boundaries workbook 

Boundaries workbook, by Henry Cloud, John Townsend

Boundaries workbook, by Henry Cloud, John Townsend

This companion guide to Boundaries by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend provides practical readings and prompts that will encourage you and teach you how to set healthy, necessary boundaries with your parents, spouse, children, friends, bosses, coworkers, social media, and more in order to help you become the best version of yourself.

Following the latest edition of Boundaries chapter-by-chapter, these interactive exercises are designed to help you take a closer look at your own life and ask yourself:
  • Why do I feel guilty about setting clear boundaries?
  • What if the boundaries I set hurt the other person?
  • Why is it difficult for me to hear no from others?
  • What are examples of legitimate boundaries I can set at work and at home?
  • How can I have good boundaries online and with social media?
  • Can I stay connected while still setting boundaries with my phone?
Boundaries Workbook gives you the support and the Scripture you need to help others respect your boundaries--whether you want to improve your work-life balance or you're practicing saying no when someone asks you to volunteer for one more activity.

Discover firsthand that having good, biblical boundaries gives you the freedom to live as the loving, generous, fulfilled person God created you to be.

8. Boundaries 

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life, by Henry Cloud, John Townsend

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life, by Henry Cloud, John Townsend 

Does your life feel like it's out of control? Perhaps you feel like you have to say yes to everyone's requests. Maybe you find yourself readily taking responsibility for others' feelings and problems. 

Or perhaps you focus so much on being loving and unselfish that you've forgotten your own limits and limitations. Or maybe it's all of the above.

In the New York Times bestseller, Boundaries, Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend help you learn when to say yes and how to say no in order to take control of your life and set healthy, biblical boundaries with your spouse, children, friends, parents, co-workers, and even yourself.

Now updated and expanded for the digital age, this book continues to help millions of people around the world answer these tough questions:
  • Can I set limits and still be a loving person?
  • What are legitimate boundaries?
  • How do I effectively manage my digital life so that it doesn't control me?
  • What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries?
  • How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money?
  • Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries?
  • How do boundaries relate to mutual submission within marriage?
  • Aren’t boundaries selfish?
You don’t have to let your life spiral out of control. Discover how boundaries make life better today!

9. Dodging Energy Vampires 

Dodging Energy Vampires: An Empath’s Guide to Evading Relationships That Drain You and Restoring Your Health and Power by Christiane Northrup

Dodging Energy Vampires: An Empath’s Guide to Evading Relationships That Drain You and Restoring Your Health and Power by Christiane Northrup

Highly sensitive people—or empaths—see life through the eyes of compassion and caring. They were born that way. As a result, they carry a tremendous amount of inner light. But they’re also the favored prey of "vampires" who feed off empaths’ energy and disrupt their lives on every level—physical, emotional, and financial.

In Dodging Energy Vampires, Christiane Northrup, M.D., draws on the latest research in this exciting new field, along with stories from her global community and her own life, to explore the phenomenon of energy vampires and show us how we can spot them, dodge their tactics, and take back our own energy. 

You’ll delve into the dynamics of vampire-empath relationships and discover how vampires use others’ energy to fuel their own dysfunctional lives. Once you recognize the patterns of behavior that mark these relationships, you’ll be empowered to identify the vampires in your life too.

In these pages, Dr. Northrup opens up a toolbox full of techniques you can use to leave these harmful relationships behind; heal from the darkness they’ve cast over your mind, body, and spirit; and let your own light shine. In the end, you may find yourself healthier, happier, wealthier, and more vibrant than you ever believed possible.

10. The Power of No 

The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness by James Altucher

The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness by James Altucher 

How many times have you heard yourself saying yes to the wrong things—overwhelming requests, bad relationships, time-consuming obligations? How often have you wished you could summon the power to turn them down?

This lively, practical guide helps you take back that power—and shows that a well-placed No can not only save you time and trouble, but it can also save your life.

Drawing on their own stories as well as feedback from their readers and students, James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher clearly show that you have the right to say no:
To anything that is hurting you. To standards that no longer serve you. To people who drain you of your creativity and expression. To beliefs that are not true to the real you.

It’s one thing to say no, the authors explain. It’s another thing to have the power of No. When you do, you will have a stronger sense of what is good for you and the people around you, and you will have a deeper understanding of who you are. 

Ultimately, you’ll be freed to say a truly powerful "Yes" in your life—one that opens the door to opportunities, abundance, and love.

Honorable Mentions: Books on Setting Boundaries

While narrowing down the list to just 10 books was no easy feat, there were a few additional titles that almost made the cut.
  • The Book of Boundaries: A practical guide to setting boundaries that can improve relationships
  • Good Boundaries and Goodbyes: Includes polite and clear dialogue for setting boundaries in many situations
  • Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life: By Henry Cloud
  • Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself: By Nedra Glover Tawwab
  • Boundaries: Where You End And I Begin: How To Recognize And Set Healthy Boundaries: By Anne Katherine
  • No More Mr. Nice Guy: By Dr. Glover
  • The Disease To Please: By Harriet B
  • The art of everyday assertiveness: By Patrick King
  • Establishing Boundaries, how to protect yourself: By Patrick King
  • Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty… And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself by Dr. Aziz Gazipura
  • When I Say No, I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith
  • The Disease To Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome by Harriet B. Braiker 
  • The Art Of Saying NO: How To Stand Your Ground, Reclaim Your Time And Energy, And Refuse To Be Taken For Granted (Without Feeling Guilty!) by Damon Zahariades
  • The Power of a Positive No: Save The Deal Save The Relationship and Still Say No by William Ury
  • Understanding Codependency, Updated and Expanded: The Science Behind It and How to Break the Cycle by Dr. Joseph Cruse MD, Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse
  • The Better Boundaries Workbook: A CBT-Based Program to Help You Set Limits, Express Your Needs, and Create Healthy Relationships by Sharon Martin MSW LCSW 

Books honorable mentions about setting boundaries at work:

  • How To Manage Boundaries In The Workplace: By Dr. Henry Cloud
  • The One-Life Solution: The Boundaries Way to Integrating Work and Life: By Henry Cloud
  • From Stressed to Centered: A Practical Guide to a Healthier and Happier You: By Dana Gionta and Dan 

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