Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How to Say No” as Want to Read:
Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How to Say No
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How to Say No

by
4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  31,853 Ratings  ·  1,376 Reviews
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 ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published September 9th 2008 by Zondervan (first published January 1st 1992)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Boundaries, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Ying Ying I think even someone non-Christian would highly enjoy the book. I have skipped the overly biblical sections, and the message was still very…moreI think even someone non-Christian would highly enjoy the book. I have skipped the overly biblical sections, and the message was still very meaningful.(less)
Jennifer Chirillo I enjoyed the book, but it reads at times like a text book. It has great information which I would be unable to find elsewhere.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Christine
One of the most life-changing books I have ever read.

Judgmental people BEWARE: Do not mock this review. No, not even in your head. If you have come here to gloat and feel superior to someone you think is an idiot for liking something so clearly beneath your Literature IQ, do me a favor and stop reading right now. I mean it. Go away.


Are you gone?



Ok, good.


As I was saying, this book is one of the greatest, most life-changing books I have ever read. People who are critical of that statement have n
...more
Kim
Jan 23, 2008 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone struggling with saying "no", the over-committed person
Recommended to Kim by: a lady at my church
I really recommend this biblically based book to anyone who struggles with saying "no" or those who allow others to take advantage of them in just about any way (time, money, favors, services, etc.). The first few chapters help the reader understand what boundaries are and that they are not selfish at all, in fact, they are necessary to protect us. Then the book uses examples of types of problems people have setting and maintaining boundaries (fear of anger, rejection, loss of a friend). When yo ...more
sharon
Mar 09, 2012 sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I'm not a huge fan of "Christian-lite" self-help writing because it so often feels formulaic, especially when the authors start each chapter with cheesy anecdotes from their own practice. However, I'm giving Cloud and Townsend a pass because the ideas put forth in Boundaries have so completely revolutionized my view on the subject. The authors give solid Biblical backing for why boundaries are important, how they are formed, and how to set them in your own life. I especially appreciated that the ...more
Sandy
Not in my normal genre so I can't give this 5 Stars...SCREW THAT!!!! 5 Stars, 5 Stars, 5 Stars! 100 Stars if I could give 100 stars! *Sigh* Oh well, 5 Stars it is.

This is a book that every human being alive or dead should be required to read. Christian or Non-Christian alike. Yes, Cloud and Townsend relate the idea of Boundaries to God. However, this idea of boundaries and how we apply them to ourselves and other people is universal. And it blew my mind. I never thought about this idea of bound
...more
Karina
... Not what I expected. I decided to read this after seeing some glowing reviews. So I opened the book, read the introduction "A Day in a Boundaryless Life" describing a day of a lady who's unable to refuse anyone but feels resentful and guilty about her resentfulness, and a couple of pages on the book. Then skipped to the end, "A Day in a Life with Boundaries", describing the same person who has successfully set boundaries, and doesn't hesitate to say "no" anymore. Well, it's not for me. In my ...more
Nola Redd
Jul 28, 2008 Nola Redd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a relationship with another person
Recommended to Nola by: Dave Ramsey
I listened to this on tape while driving, but I intend to go back and read it (probably more than once) so that it can more thoroughly seep into my head. This is a great book for anyone who has problems saying 'no' to family, friends, church assignments, coworkers, or themselves. It's really good for anyone who has a *RELATIONSHIP* with any of the aforementioned, which is essentially everyone.
*************
FOLLOWUP: I had to return this to the library, without finishing it. I am having a very dif
...more
Michelle
Dec 19, 2008 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grief-work
This is an excellent book. I actually purchased and read a newer edition, with a white and red cover.
This book could apply to many different troublesome situations. If you're a people pleaser that tends to get stressed out, there are some really helpful things in here. Or if you are liable to be taken advantage of.
I like the Christian viewpoint, because it takes into account the fact that followers of Christ WANT to serve others and not be "selfish." Yet it also teaches why we must set boundari
...more
Mary
Feb 11, 2008 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody who wants to improve their relationships
Recommended to Mary by: Mom (go figure)
Shelves: christian
This book really helped to clarify for me that it is not selfish or unChristian to get your own life in order using boundaries. Keep pushing forward with defining your boundaries, although others may react negatively. That is their problem with boundaries of others, not yours.
I think the authors secretly spied on me and all my interpersonal relationships to write this book! But seriously, reading this and using my bible as help...lots of scriptural references to how God wants us to set our boun
...more
Patricia
Oct 19, 2011 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was hesitant at first to read this book because the synopsis referred to Christians and being that I am not Christian and not seeking to live a Christian lifestyle, I didn't think it would be for me. However, I did start to read the first chapter and soon discovered it was indeed for me. I may not be a Christian, however I was raised Christian therefore learned about boundaries the way Christian see them, a bit too loose and forgiving.

The book may make scripture references but not so much that
...more
Katy
May 19, 2009 Katy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm not done reading the book yet, so I may update this later. The fact is, if I wasn't reading this book for a book group, I don't think I would go any further, or gotten as far as I have.

The thing I hate the most in this one is how much scripture is quoted. The authers feel like they have to back up every sentance they right with scripture in order to make what they just said okay. To accomplish this they often end up twisting the words of the orginal authors and take things out of context. I
...more
Meredith
Dec 15, 2008 Meredith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A five-star book for those of us who just san't say no to others. If you need to learn how to distance yourself and protect your family from needy people in a moving way, check it out. It's ok to say no. It's ok to take care of your own needs sometimes!
c T
May 12, 2016 c T rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Trông chờ dữ lắm rốt cuộc thất vọng bực mình, dị ứng với một nùi mấy câu kinh thánh, đưa vô chục câu thôi còn được, đoạn nào cũng có 1 câu thì sao chịu nổi. Cuốn này chắc hợp với mấy con chiên ngoan đạo, loại vô đạo như mình thật không đọc nổi.
Nora St Laurent
Jul 09, 2015 Nora St Laurent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book changed my life forever. This is a very powerful book that teaches you what boundaries are and how to set them. This book set me free and brought great healing to my life. Some of the principles were hard for me to implement just because of past hurts. But they have made me a happier and healthier person. The concepts are easy to understand and get. I just had to have the courage to let God move in this area of my life. When I did EVERYTHING changed for the good. I highly recommend thi
...more
Relstuart
Jan 15, 2016 Relstuart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
I took my time reading this one. It's got some pretty powerful questions about how you treat yourself and see yourself in relation to other people in your life.
Lizzie Jones
Feb 27, 2014 Lizzie Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible book. It has helped me so much to consider how to navigate situations at work, at home and in social situations. I highly recommend it, especially if you don't especially love confrontations, like myself.

This is from the book's description: "Often Christians focus so on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limitations. Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend offer biblically based insights into how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co
...more
Aubrey Hansen
Mar 05, 2013 Aubrey Hansen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: outread-aubrey
I'd passed this book by chance while researching cover design on Amazon and thought the summary sounded eerily like a sermon I needed to hear. Pleasantly, my library had it, and I checked it out--and, as often happens with library books, neglected it until it was overdue. I could always check it out later, right? But I decided that I should at least read it lightly, even if I couldn't do a thorough study, before I returned it.

I'm glad I did. I'd not be exaggerating to say this book may change my
...more
Sarah
Sep 23, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a literal story of not judging a book by its cover...

Someone I trust very deeply about such issues recommended I read this book called "Boundaries." When I found it at the library, I was horrified! It looked like a cheesy self-help book, and worse, it had won the Gold Medallion Book Award - "in recognition of excellence in Evangelical Christian literature." Needless to say, I was terrified; in no way do I self-identify as an Evengelical. But like I said before, I trusted this person, so
...more
Jim
Feb 17, 2008 Jim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no-one
This book is just a bunch of Christian psycho-babble about how to 'say no'. the author drones on and on with example situations about a working mom driving the kids to soccer practice, being asked to volunteer at church, all the while juggling her career with the needs of her jerk of a husband and bratty / whining kids. Really, it's not much more than a book created to give people excuses for making bad choices in the first place.

the book could be summed up in a few sentences:

1) if you want to h
...more
Audrey
Aug 20, 2011 Audrey rated it it was amazing
I found it to be a very practical book. Its so easy to allow others to take advantage of me but if I set boundaries in a healthy Christian manner it makes for better relationships. As the sayinggoes; "Good fences make good neighbors."
Laura
Jul 22, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for folks who find themselves committed to things they don't really want to do or resenting people who treat them a certain way or people with relationship problems where they feel all possible solutions are bad. At the heart of a lot of these problems is a misunderstanding of what actually falls under the category of "my responsibility." At first the whole concept sounds like an excuse to be selfish. But the idea is that once you quit doing everything everyone wants you to ...more
Josip Brecak
Jun 24, 2015 Josip Brecak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Boundaries are limits that people create for themselves to see what are permissible ways for others to behave towards them and what are the limits of one's actions towards others. Through these boundaries one will know when to say yes and when to say no in order to have a greater control ones life.

In the beginning this book was a bore, and one thing that may bother many readers is the references to the bible on literally every page. It does help reinforce some of the points, but at times it can
...more
Tatiana
Having issues with setting boundaries, I was really excited to start reading this book based on all the wonderful reviews on amazon.com. Imagine my disappointment when I did start and found it utterly ordinary. In fact, it was rather difficult to finish. I feel like half the book was about understanding the different ways you are not setting boundaries. OK, I get it: to find a solution, you need to know the problem. But that was a lot of background.

Then, there are chapters for each type of relat
...more
Tripleguess
I greatly appreciate the premise of this book; it's not just okay, but wise and right, for Christians to have boundaries. Boundaries are not walls fencing us off from humanity, but gated defenses that allow us to keep stupid or malicious people from doing us harm.

I do think there was some "reading back" of psychology training onto the Bible verses... I'm not sure Peter was a certain type of controlling person, or if one can judge that from a single verse.

If anything, the title goes into borderli
...more
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
I've been taking a class this summer on boundaries, based on the book Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. According to Wikipedia, "Personal Boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for him- or herself what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave around him or her and how he or she will respond when someone steps outside those limits. Personal boundaries define you as an individual. They are statements of what you w ...more
Cool Readings (Book Club)
Using Christian principles, Boundaries seeks to explain what boundaries and limits are, how they can be established, violated, reinforced and amended and their related consequences. Using simple and relatable language the authors use numerous illustrations which drive their points home. Immediately on commencing the book the reader is given a glimpse into the life of 'Sherry', whose life aptly portrays the effects of a boundary less life and this in turn then sets the stage for the authors to pr ...more
Steve Penner
Jun 20, 2014 Steve Penner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have known of this book for many years, picked up the basic premise from listening to others and thought I knew enough about it to make it useful. I finally read it and am so very glad I did. The whole concept of boundaries--creating, sustaining, enforcing--is a subset of family systems theory. The book gives details on what those concepts mean, how to apply them and what to expect when you do. The idea repeatedly emphasized that I most appreciated was that boundary-setting and living a life o ...more
Gillian
Sep 01, 2016 Gillian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for every human!
Shorel Kleinert
May 16, 2016 Shorel Kleinert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: culture-track
This has been on my reading list for awhile and recent events just moved up the timeline. In short, this book is about living a healthy life and knowing your own boundaries in relation to others. No, it's not about trying to put boundaries around other people. Dr.Cloud makes it quite clear that you can not change others. You can only determine your own proactive responses/reactions...and sometimes that involves limiting how much you interact with them.

Boundaries are good. They are healthy. They
...more
Kendra
Sep 23, 2016 Kendra is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
2. There is always safety in truth, whether it be knowing God's truth or knowing the truth about yourself. Many people live scattered and tumultuous lives trying to live outside of their own boundaries, not accepting and expressing the truth of who they are. Honesty about who you are gives you the biblical value of integrity, or oneness.
4. Gods plan for us is to be loved enough by Him and others to not feel isolated-even when we're alone.
Anger is a friend. It was created by God for a purpose: to
...more
Melissa Jarmel
Mar 02, 2016 Melissa Jarmel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book
I think this actually has a lot of wisdom about healthy relationships, but I don't agree that the unhealthiness is rooted in problems from your parents. I think for a lot of people it can be, but it's too simple of a concept to be broadly applied to all people. Some people have great parents and still learn unhealthy patterns from elsewhere that they then carry into their adult lives. But that aside, if you can ignore that, there's a lot of practical wisdom.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please add cover 7 25 Feb 14, 2016 03:22AM  
What have you learned in life when you finished reading this book? 5 13 Mar 14, 2015 04:48AM  
Christian Mom Reads: June Book of the Month: Boundaries 1 20 Jun 09, 2013 12:23AM  
  • Hiding from Love: How to Change the Withdrawal Patterns That Isolate and Imprison You
  • The Search for Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God's Eyes
  • Bold Love
  • Inside Out
  • Love Is a Choice: The Definitive Book on Letting Go of Unhealthy Relationships
  • The Sacred Romance: Drawing Closer to the Heart of God
  • Healing for Damaged Emotions
  • Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging
  • Get Out of That Pit!: Straight Talk about God's Deliverance
  • Telling Yourself the Truth
  • The Five Languages of Apology: How to Experience Healing in All Your Relationships
  • Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives
  • More than Enough: The Ten Keys to Changing Your Financial Destiny
  • Victory Over the Darkness
  • For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men
  • Every Woman's Battle: Discovering God's Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment
  • The Emotionally Destructive Relationship: Seeing It, Stopping It, Surviving It
  • Ordering Your Private World
1114699
Dr. Cloud has written or co-written twenty-five books, including the two million-seller Boundaries. His most recent books are Boundaries for Leaders and Necessary Endings. He has earned three Gold Medallion awards, and was awarded the distinguished Retailers Choice award for God Will Make A Way.

As president of Cloud-Townsend Resources, Dr. Cloud has produced and conducted hundreds of public semina
...more
More about Henry Cloud...

Share This Book



“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. Taking responsibility for my life opens up many different options. Boundaries help us keep the good in and the bad out. Setting boundaries inevitably involves taking responsibility for your choices. You are the one who makes them. You are the one who must live with their consequences. And you are the one who may be keeping yourself from making the choices you could be happy with. We must own our own thoughts and clarify distorted thinking.” 44 likes
“The Bible is clear about two principles: (1) We always need to forgive, but (2) we don’t always achieve reconciliation. Forgiveness is something that we do in our hearts; we release someone from a debt that they owe us. We write off the person’s debt, and she no longer owes us. We no longer condemn her. She is clean. Only one party is needed for forgiveness: me. The person who owes me a debt does not have to ask my forgiveness. It is a work of grace in my heart.” 35 likes
More quotes…