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Boundaries: Where You End And I Begin: How To Recognize And Set Healthy Boundaries
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Boundaries: Where You End And I Begin: How To Recognize And Set Healthy Boundaries

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  1,001 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Are your boundaries being violated?

Boundaries separate us from others physically and emotionally. In fact, they are essential for our mental and physical health as well as for developing healthy relationships. Yet every day, people's boundaries are violated by friends, family, or coworkers. Despite the importance of personal boundaries many people are unaware of how or whe
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published February 15th 1998 by MJF Books (first published 1991)
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Krysti This is an example of healthy boundaries because the boss neutrally asked first. The employee has a chance to speak up and say no. In the other cases,…moreThis is an example of healthy boundaries because the boss neutrally asked first. The employee has a chance to speak up and say no. In the other cases, there is more assumption that the subject person wants to participate and therefore it takes more skills to say no.(less)

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Katie K
My therapist gave me this book to read. I understood the big message - boundaries are important and healthy. However, it was hard to apply some of the more specific messages to my life because all of the examples seemed SO extreme. Abuse, alcoholism, incest - these are things that I have no real experience with. I wish that the author had included a few "tamer" examples. This topic is something that almost everyone could use some help with and I learned a lot of good techniques and exercises to ...more
Greta is Erikasbuddy
Sep 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure how to rate a self help book that hasn't really helped me (as of yet). But it was a good quick read that gave me a couple of ideas.

This book was recommended by my therapist in order to help me understand that I have boundaries. The problems that I found when reading this was it really didn't explain how one explains these boundaries to another. The dialogue they suggested was just like reading a book or having a therapist/teacher explain it in a robotic tone. Because I don't like co
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book has very simple but extremely helpful material for creating healthy physical and emotional boundaries. If you have had problems with relationships, this may be worth taking a look at, as I found that there were so many things I was doing that were unhealthy. Becoming enmeshed with my partner instead of keeping my independence. It also explains a lot why those who have had situations in their childhood may struggle with these things more than others.
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
A useful book, but not as actionable or relatable as her other book "Where to Draw the Line". This books deals with more extreme scenarios of neglect and sexual/physical/verbal abuse, whereas her other book addresses more common (and sometimes more widely accepted) types of boundary violations. Still a worthwhile read, though, just for the type of thinking it encourages (being an independent person, not self-erasing to meet others' needs, etc.) ...more
DeAnna Knippling
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
A book on defining boundaries.

This was recommended by my therapist. I found this a bit more than I could chew all at once, and took a break to read up on related topics, which was helpful--this book felt very challenging and even offputting at times, blithely assuming that I didn't need context for why my boundaries were being violated. At times I felt like I was being told it was all my fault, although I suspect the author more likely meant it was my responsibility to make repairs.

I found the
Jul 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was okay. There are some references to God and the Bible, but the author is not focused on boundaries as it relates to her specific religion. In this book, there is a lot of focus on abuse in various relationships, and on physical/sexual boundary violations in particular. The first person stories can be a little upsetting.

I’m sure this book is helpful for some, but for the type of boundary setting I’m looking to do, this book was a little too intense. I’m hoping the author’s follow up novel
Oct 16, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
I can't say I really got that much out of it. Most of the stuff I was pretty much aware of, and it seemed heavily oriented toward individuals whose sexual boundaries were violated (which is not why I was reading it). It seemed a bit dated to me, as well. Maybe I was expecting something a little different. Also, does anyone get a little tired of reaing these type books and thinking that the "exercises" are a bit ridiculous? Maybe for some they're not, but I find them silly. ...more
Crystal Chadwick
Save a few years of therapy

Reading this book helped me understand several common relationship problems that I've had throughout the years and where they were rooted from, and I'll be using the knowledge for many years to come. This book was recommended to me by my wonderful therapist Mary Sanger in Dallas, TX.

Key takeaway: If your boundaries are repeatedly violated as a child, you can lose your sense of who you are and start being overly accommodating and flexible to the point that you're not w
Jan 21, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: therapy
This book is frequently mentioned in therapeutic circles. Not sure if there is a new edition out there, but the used copy I read was from 1991 and felt like it. I wouldn't recommend it as it's kind of circular, references the Bible, and weirdly judges women for wearing bikinis? ...more
Sep 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good fences make good neighbors. i used to walk away from conversations, meetings or visits feeling violated and i could not figure out why. i had excessive concern for everyone but myself. i needed some serious boundary repair so that rather than feeling defensive or that something was being taken from me, i could feel safe and secure stating my true and real feelings. this book helped me to recognize this character flaw in myself and put me on a path to fixing it.
Mar 10, 2016 added it
I've been working on boundaries for years and years but this is first information I found that really explains them thoroughly: how they develop, what can sidetrack their healthy development, what that can cause and how to get back on track. It also includes writing exercises that provide personal insight. The text is really deep and I will probably read it over and over before I actually take in everything it has to say. ...more
Sep 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Good introduction to the concept of boundaries, how your personal boundaries can be violated, and talked about how to create or maintain healthy boundaries. I wanted more on how to create/maintain healthy boundaries. Lots of narrative pieces throughout to illustrate how boundaries are violated, but less on how to protect yourself. The exercises provided at the end of each chapter were not useful to me.
Jun 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
this book is classic for a reason, it totally changed my understanding of emotions, relationships, and myself. it should be required reading in high schools everywhere!

basic message: you have emotional needs and you should learn how to pursue them, and protect yourself from the intrusion of abusive or unaware others. but there's so much more to it.
M Larsen
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Very outdated, heteronormative, and appallingly sex-negative. That said, the *exercises* are good & I learned some things. It’s not the world’s worst introduction to boundaries (that’d be ... this reviewer’s childhood) but it’s also a terrible book, and I’m sure there are better contemporary books on the subject out there.
May 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
A short, powerful book about boundaries - setting them, what constitutes good boundaries and bad boundaries, how development is impacted by boundary violations and the hope of healing and repairing. It shed light on boundaries in professional and personal relationships and provides understanding.
Apr 07, 2012 rated it liked it
I really like this book. I recommend it to lots of my clients. One must be cautious, however, some of the abuse stories can be disturbing. But it is a great book for teaching one to recognize where boundaries should be drawn in multiple situations.. work, family, friends, etc.
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a simple and straightforward guide to boundaries and what they are.

I would have given it four stars if it weren't for a couple of Xian moments. Force-feeding your religion to your readers is a boundary violation, so it's all the more bizarre that so many books on boundaries do it.
Jul 13, 2011 rated it liked it
about physical and emotional boundaries b/t parents/children, bosses/employees, romantic partners, friends, strangers, etc.
Joyce Nancy
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it
An excellent introduction to boundaries. Needs some updating as it was written 25+ years ago. Also, the examples are pretty severe so proceed with caution if you're not into that. I learned a lot! ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
Trigger Warnings: Incest, pedophilia, child abuse, child sexual abuse, spousal abuse, fatphobia

This book is actually pretty terrible.

I picked it up because I was hoping for a good alternative to Cloud and Townsend's famous book on boundaries, which was so aggressively Christian that I couldn't get past the introduction. I had hoped it would do what it says it would: Explain what healthy boundaries are, how to recognize if your boundaries are being violated, and how to protect yourself.

I read thi
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: consent
This book is nearing 30 years old and I wanted to see how it held up. It does not.

The book is an absolute product of its time but offers very little helpful information now. The author has cherry picked situations that reaffirm the same mantra over and over: women don't have strong boundaries. The book is based entirely on how woman are treated as less than men and do not have proper boundaries. The true sadness in this book is that the author does the same thing. The way she treats women shows
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know to what extent this book will aid me in formulating boundaries going forward, but I do know that I felt very rewarded by how much this book re-contextualizes and provides a very sturdy narrative to what had been going on with me. It's provided me with two of the most foolproof post-mortem relationship analyses I've yet to have stumbled upon. So, for that, I am grateful. It gave me a lot of thinking about, provided me an opportunity to put a name to - and admit - this issue I have ha ...more
Jan 23, 2021 rated it liked it
I listened to the audible audiobook and struggled to pay attention because the book is super outdated and swirling and disorganized in it’s presentation of information. The exercises are mostly silly, the text is very old school and hetero, and all of the information can mostly be found in newer, better books on boundaries. My first introduction to the concept of true intimacy was through Pia Melody’s work. That said, the text had good anecdotes, and even in it’s disorganized way of presenting t ...more
Ee Cheng Ooi
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Yet another self-help book to add to the list. Many of the ones I read are, frankly, a complete waste of time and somewhat embarrassing to record as 'read'. I strive for completeness with my lists rather than a curated representation of how cool I am (mostly because let's face it, I haven't got a damn clue how to do that).

On the other hand, this book introduced me to a concept I had no prior experience with, and then gave me helpful ideas on how to implement it. It instantly changed how I think
Denisa M.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short and often repetitive, but very informative and to the point. Simplified to appeal to even the most unaware and unconscious person out there. Great explanations of the significance of boundaries, how lack of boundaries can cause trauma, how dismissing boundaries can cause trauma, and of course, how to create healthy physical, sexual and emotional boundaries for ourselves as well as the children we may bring into this world... we can't possibly raise emotionally healthy children who are capa ...more
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by therapist and best book to start recovery!!

After years of unhealthy relationships, anxiety, depression, and other mental problems, I finally started seeing a therapist! Her first recommendation was this book after identifying all the ways I ignored who I was in favor of pleasing the world around me.

This book and the exercises in it are helping empower me to learn who I am, create boundaries, and start healing. The stories in it have been tough to handle reading as they dive into
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great opener to boundary work

The writing is easy to read, while describing useful distinctions and exercises for boundary-building. The numerous case studies (in the form of first-person stories) are relevant and greatly helped to illustrate what boundaries look like, and what can happen when they are not there (as well as what happens when they are). For me, author’s findings and propositions seem sound; they corroborate my professional learning as an ontological coach, and describe my experi
Aparna Zoya
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was very helpful for understanding boundaries and identifying boundary violations. It gave me a new perspective to look on things and understand why sometimes people and things seemed wrong even if I couldn't put my finger on it.Its astounding and horrifying the daily boundary violations that occur to you.This book is truly inspiring to change you and make you learn to become a little more stronger.A good addition to anyone who loves self-help books. ...more
Richard Gawlas
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It throws you into the deep end right away, with some extreme examples of personal boundary violation, but ultimately for the reader’s benefit.

It paints boundaries in personal and professional settings, with actionable insights into how to identify, build and strengthen them.

A great read and very helpful.
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75 likes · 11 comments
“As much as we want to improve our relationships with our fathers or mothers, if your father, for example, hasn’t changed, he’ll probably hurt you again. His response is saying that he can’t handle more intimacy with you. Repeated efforts on your part won’t change this. No matter how much we love someone, they have the choice of holding to their limits. I have a certain relative I love very much. I’ve poured my heart out telling of my wish that we might be closer. I’ve been hurt a hundred times. So I finally got it. No matter how much I want to be closer to my relative, I can’t make him take his barrier away. He has a right to keep it. But I can protect myself from being hurt again. I can stop banging my head on his barrier.” 1 likes
“Intimacy comes from being known, and being known requires knowing yourself, having a self to know, and having enough of a sense of your own individuality to have something to present to the other.” 1 likes
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