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Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Take Control of Your Life is a New York Times bests-selling book by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend that focuses on the word of God in telling us what our boundaries ought to be and how to protect them, as well as how to recognise what is not within our borders of responsibility. One of the key ideas is that being responsible for ourselves is carrying our own daily loads, while being responsible for others is doing what they cannot do for themselves.


Boundaries is, by and large, a self-help booked that is set around a Christian premise by that can be read and appreciated by all people, whether religious or not. Their conclusion that the ability to set clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle is something that all of us can agree on to one extent or another, and that in the same way we set physical lines around our possessions, we must also set mental, physical, emotional and spiritual boundaries for our lives.


With both authors holding doctorates in clinical psychology, it is no wonder that people have connected so much with Boundaries and are able to apply its teachings in everything from relationships to travelling. The book does not instruct you what to do in every life situation, however it gives great pointers on how to assess certain scenarios and act in the most responsible way possible.


However, one of the criticisms that the book commonly receives is in fact the Christian slant that is contained throughout, with many viewing it as too preachy. There are numerous citations of Biblical scripture, which means that if you are not a Christian, you must read between the lines to get an idea of the lessons being taught. Nevertheless, as already stated, it is possible to apply the ideas without being religious.

  • Offers important lessons on setting boundaries in our lives, from relationships to travelling
  • Can be applied to your life regardless of religious beliefs
  • Heavy emphasis on Christianity, making it difficult to read for some