Whenever I’m asked about my favorite book, I always mention Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud. I urge people to buy it, I’ve given it for gifts, and I think it should be required reading freshman year of college. People who know me are probably tired of hearing me talk about it.
Here are some snippets from the book that explain why I love it:
1. Boundaries are a way to describe our spheres of responsibility – what we are and are not responsible for.
2. Behind the failure to set boundaries in a relationship is the fear of loss.
3. In the work of setting boundaries, there will be skirmishes, disputes, and losses.
4. We always need to forgive, but we don’t always achieve reconciliation.
5. Blamers have a character problem.
6. Those who spend their lives trying to avoid failure are also eluding maturity.
7. Words do not come from somewhere outside of us; they are products of our hearts.
8. Mental health comes from owning unmet childhood needs and working them out.
9. If giving to another helps him/her become better, that’s a valid sacrifice. If our giving helps the other to become worse, that’s enabling.
10. To rescue people from the natural consequences of their behavior is to render them powerless.
11. Years of constant boundary violations generate great anger.
12. Feelings should never be ignored, nor placed in charge. We are in control of our choices, no matter how we feel.
13. Trying, failing, and trying again is called learning.
14. Say ‘no’ to the unimportant, and ‘no’ to the inclination to do less than your best.
Thought-provoking, challenging, smart, healing premises. I marked up this book like nobody’s business.
Dr. Cloud writes that every relationship problem, from neighbors to coworkers to family, is a boundary problem.
I have found this to be true in my life. So, unless you’ve already figured this out, or you are a hermit who relates only to plants and the occasional lizard, you might find this book very enlightening. This is a great valentine to buy for yourself.
This book helped me grow up. Forgive. Move on. Find freedom.
It might help you too.
(This post was not sponsored by Dr. Cloud. He doesn’t even know who I am.)