Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Welcome to our blog on Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life" by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. 

Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. 

Boundaries impact all areas of our lives

  • Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances 
  • Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions 
  • Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others 
  • Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God's will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator 

Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. When confronted with their lack of boundaries, they ask:

  • Can I set limits and still be a loving person?
  • What are legitimate boundaries?
  • What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries?
  • How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money?
  • Aren't boundaries selfish?
  • Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries?

Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offer biblically-based answers to these and other tough questions, showing us how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co-workers, and even ourselves.

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About the author Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend are popular speakers, psychologists, and cohosts of the nationally broadcast New Life Live! radio program, and cofounders of Cloud-Townsend Clinic and Cloud-Townsend Resources. 

Both graduated with doctors in clinical psychology from Rosemead Graduate School of Psychology at Biola University, and both maintain practices in Newport Beach, California.

They are best known for their book "Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life," which has sold over 5 million copies and has been translated into over 25 languages.

Cloud and Townsend have written over 40 books, including "The Boundaries Workbook," "Boundaries in Marriage," and "Boundaries with Kids," which explore how to set and maintain healthy boundaries in various areas of life. 

Summary of the book Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Not everyone will find this book interesting, nor is it a book of exceptional thought or writing. I think it will probably not become a masterpiece, nor will it be famous forever, which can be seen from the number of readers on Douban.

From a theological point of view, this is not a good commentary. The references to the Bible are both unsystematic and somewhat far-fetched. More fundamentally, its starting point is not the Bible, but the author's actual work experience as a counselor with a Christian background.

However, it was written out. And it helped some people. Perhaps this was the task God gave the author, and he accomplished it. This is like a person with musical talent composing a new song for Jehovah due to emotion. Then his life was also lost in the crowd.

In my opinion, this book doesn't need to quote the Bible so often to prove its point. Because it just honestly points out an objectively existing problem. This is like a doctor diagnosing a leprosy patient. There is no need to quote a lot of classics, but a key sentence in a medical book is enough.

This book is written for those who grew up controlled by others. It's for people who are weak at heart, too good-natured, chased by fear for years, and always put on a shy smile. 

Those people are often desperate to escape the world. Those people often develop a morbid obsession with people and things as a way to numb their wounds and find meaning in their existence. 

Unfortunately, such a person is invariably exposed to abuse, whether intentional or unintentional, by his crush.

it is good. If you know someone like this, please show him/her this book. Whether or not you think the book is poorly written. It's not a great book, it just needs to do its thing.

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God..

Book Review: Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

The book I’m introducing today is called Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. This book tells how to establish your own psychological boundaries and live a life in which you can decide.

The authors of this book are two clinical psychologists, Henry Crowder and John Townsend. Both of them are classmates and friends. They both graduated from Biola University in the United States with a major in psychology. They also jointly opened a psychological counseling clinic. 

They wrote a series of books on psychological boundaries together, such as "Setting Boundaries for Children", "Setting Boundaries for Marriage" and so on, to help more people establish their own psychological boundaries.

How to identify the four common boundary problems in life and how to rebuild a mature and healthy psychological boundary?

Let's first look at how to identify four common boundary problems in life.

Take a test first to see what kind of boundary problem you have.

Which of the following four descriptions is more like you:

  • A.Unable to reject others, feel guilty once rejected; fear of being alone, often pretending to like things you don’t like in order to get the company.
  • B. I hope that others will do what I want and if I am rejected or opposed, I will be very angry.
  • C. Very independent, unwilling to ask others for help, even if others offer to help, they will refuse each other.
  • D. Not interested in other people's affairs, completely unwilling to spend time with those who confide in and ask for help.

It's okay if you want to choose more than one option, just choose the answer first, and let's break it down.

The questions were grouped into four categories: compliant, controlling, independent, and non-responsive.

Submissive people have two characteristics, one is that they are afraid of being alone, and the other is that they do not understand rejection. These two characteristics are in a vicious circle with each other. 

Because they are afraid of being alone and want to have an intimate relationship, submissives are often afraid of offending those around them, so even if the other party does something excessive or makes unreasonable demands, submissives will not refuse. But this kind of "abuse of good people" is easy to be ignored and bullied, which makes the submissive feel more lonely.

The characteristic of controllers is that they have a strong desire to control, they always want others to listen to them, and they simply cannot accept rejection from others. There are also two types of controllers, depending on how they are controlled, aggressive controllers and manipulative controllers. 

An aggressive controlling attitude is tough, even accompanied by threats of violence, so it is easy to identify. Sometimes the Manipulator is paired with the aforementioned Submissive. 

The manipulative controller wants to control the other person, and the submissive person is used to listening to the other person. When these two kinds of people come together, it is simply a tragedy.

The independent type often feels very independent and can handle everything by itself without the help of others. This independence may seem more like a virtue, but it is not. The avoidant refuses to help not because they really can handle anything, but more like braggadocio.

Finally, non-responders are characterized by apathy, who do not hear the needs of others and are less willing to help others. There are also two types of non-responders, one is very strict with other people's needs, and the other is addicted to their own desires and needs.

And many people will switch their roles according to the scene. In life, we are often both obedient and controllers, avoiders and non-responders.

How to rebuild a mature and healthy psychological boundary?

After we understand our problems, we can start thinking about establishing new boundaries. Rebuilding a healthy psychological boundary requires three steps: first, establish a support system, second, practice a sense of boundary, and third, establish a healthy boundary.

Let's start with the first step, building a support system. Build a support system, which means finding people who can help you set boundaries. Take the submissive person as an example. The submissive person repeatedly endures abuse from others, essentially fearing that the other person will leave him if he sets a boundary. 

But if they have a stable intimate relationship, and they can be sure that the other party in the relationship will not leave them easily, then their courage will become stronger, and it will not be so difficult to reject the other party.

After establishing the support system, we enter the second step: practicing the sense of boundaries. At this stage, we need to repeatedly practice setting boundaries within the support system established in the previous step. 

For example, for controllers, the focus of the exercise is to allow themselves to accept rejection from others calmly and learn to adapt to being rejected.

When you are no longer afraid of boundaries, you can enter the third step: establish healthy boundaries. At this point, you have the ability to face the real object of contradiction. 

For the submissive, you have to bravely protect yourself in the face of other people's violations; you have to bravely say no when the other party makes unreasonable demands. When you become proficient at manipulating your boundaries and say "no" and "yes" freely, then your boundaries have matured.

Boundaries Quotes by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Here are some memorable quotes from "Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life" by Henry Cloud and John Townsend:

"Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership. Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom."
"Healthy boundaries are essential to a healthy relationship. They define what is acceptable and not acceptable. They set limits on what behaviors and actions are allowed, and they create a safe environment."
"When we have healthy boundaries, we are able to say no to others when we need to and yes to ourselves. We are able to take care of ourselves and still be there for others."
"Boundaries protect us from being manipulated, used, or violated. They protect our emotional, mental, and physical well-being."
"If we don't set boundaries, we give away our power and allow others to control us. We become victims and feel helpless."

These quotes highlight the importance of setting boundaries in our relationships and personal lives.. 

By setting and enforcing boundaries, we can define ourselves, establish respect and balance in our relationships, and protect our own well-being..

Books similar to Boundaries

If you enjoyed "Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life" by Henry Cloud and John Townsend, you might also enjoy these books that explore similar themes:

"The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life" by Mark Manson: In this unconventional self-help book, Manson argues that we should focus less on trying to be happy and more on accepting and dealing with the things that are out of our control..

"The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom" by Don Miguel Ruiz: This book offers a simple yet powerful code of conduct based on ancient Toltec wisdom. The four agreements are: be impeccable with your word, don't take anything personally, don't make assumptions, and always do your best..

"Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead" by Brené Brown: In this book, Brown explores the importance of vulnerability and courage in our lives, and how they can lead to greater connection and authenticity..

"The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are" by Brené Brown: In this book, Brown encourages readers to embrace their imperfections and to live a life guided by authenticity, courage, and compassion.

"The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey: This classic self-help book offers a framework for personal and professional effectiveness, including habits such as being proactive, setting goals, and seeking first to understand, then to be understood..

FAQs for "Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend"

What is the main message of Boundaries?

The main message of "Boundaries" is the importance of setting boundaries in our relationships and personal lives. The authors argue that boundaries are essential for improving communication, establishing respect and balance in relationships, and protecting our own well-being..

What are some examples of healthy boundaries?

Some examples of healthy boundaries include: saying no when you feel overwhelmed or unable to meet someone else's expectations, setting limits on how much time and energy you spend on others, and communicating your needs and limits to others..

How do I set boundaries?

To set boundaries, the authors recommend identifying your own values and limits, communicating your boundaries to others, and enforcing your boundaries when necessary. It's also important to be aware of common challenges to boundary-setting, such as guilt and fear of conflict, and to have strategies in place to overcome these challenges..

How can boundaries improve my relationships?

Setting boundaries can improve your relationships by establishing respect and balance, improving communication, and protecting your own well-being. When you set boundaries, you are able to communicate your needs and limits to others, which can help to create a healthy and fulfilling relationship..

How can I enforce my boundaries when others don't respect me?

To enforce your boundaries when others don't respect them, the authors recommend being firm and clear about your limits. You can also practice self-care and take care of your own needs, even if it means saying no to others. It's also important to be consistent in enforcing your boundaries and to be prepared to deal with any negative consequences that may result from setting boundaries..

Conclusion: Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

In conclusion, "Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life" by Henry Cloud and John Townsend is a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their relationships and take control of their own lives.. 

The authors make a compelling case for the importance of setting boundaries, and they offer practical advice for identifying, communicating, and enforcing boundaries..

By setting boundaries, we can establish respect and balance in our relationships, improve communication, and protect our own well-being. Without boundaries, we may feel overwhelmed, taken advantage of, or unclear about what we want and need..

I encourage you to take the time to read "Boundaries" and start setting your own boundaries for a healthier and more fulfilling life.. 

Whether you are struggling with boundary-setting in your personal relationships or in your professional life, this book has something to offer.. 

By setting and enforcing boundaries, you can take control of your own life and create the relationships and circumstances that you desire..

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