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Better Boundaries: Owning and Treasuring Your Life

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Boundary issues contribute to a range of contemporary social problems felt by victims, abusers, overachievers, and underachievers alike. Knowing when boundaries are violated and what to do about it isn't a simple skill. It requires a surprising amount of adjustments. Boundary issues contribute to a range of contemporary social problems felt by victims, abusers, overachievers, and underachievers alike. Knowing when boundaries are violated and what to do about it isn't a simple skill. It requires a surprising amount of adjustments.


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Boundary issues contribute to a range of contemporary social problems felt by victims, abusers, overachievers, and underachievers alike. Knowing when boundaries are violated and what to do about it isn't a simple skill. It requires a surprising amount of adjustments. Boundary issues contribute to a range of contemporary social problems felt by victims, abusers, overachievers, and underachievers alike. Knowing when boundaries are violated and what to do about it isn't a simple skill. It requires a surprising amount of adjustments.

30 review for Better Boundaries: Owning and Treasuring Your Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    CHANGED my mind and want to go through this book, a chapter a day! (Finished 6/21/2011. Very helpful book. The sections on changing false thinking are very good, but probably a book is not enough to fully do the job. Here are my new "bookmarks"): page 20: What boundaries do mean is that you exert choice over your life as its owner. You'll choose to bend over backwards to help a friend because you want to be that kind of friend. You'll choose to take risks with people and opportunities because some CHANGED my mind and want to go through this book, a chapter a day! (Finished 6/21/2011. Very helpful book. The sections on changing false thinking are very good, but probably a book is not enough to fully do the job. Here are my new "bookmarks"): page 20: What boundaries do mean is that you exert choice over your life as its owner. You'll choose to bend over backwards to help a friend because you want to be that kind of friend. You'll choose to take risks with people and opportunities because sometimes risks pay off and because you want to be a person who is open to pleasant surprises. You will choose to give certain people a second chance because you know you need second chances, and thirds, and fourths. You will choose to trust a person until they prove they are untrustworthy. You will choose to avoid the idea of "getting your life together" and, instead, you will embrace the idea of getting your life in alignment with your purpose and mission. Page 26: Under the right circumstances, a child of three has developed the ability to: (1) be emotionally attached to others yet maintain a separate sense of self; (2) say appropriate "no's" to others without fear of loss of love, and (3) receive "no's" from others without withdrawing emotionally. These are the key beliefs in the successful creation of ownership and boundaries, and can be considered a boundary formation benchmark. Many adults have yet to reach it. Page 31: Signs you wear might include The way you look...the way you sound...move...seem...The signs you wear should be the signs you want to display, so you can reduce the number of misunderstandings and potential boundary violations. Page 37: Promises to yourself-- When I reach a certain point of exhaustion or stress, I will stop, identify the problem, and/or get the rest or help I need. When I feel pressured to make a decision, I will withdraw myself physically or mentally to regain my centeredness. When I feel 'swallowed up' or controlled by another person, I will stop or redirect the encounter to reestablish my confidence in myself. When I am rejected, I will feel the discomfort, sort through my part, if any, accept the current circumstances, learn, and move on. When I am tempted to return to my addiction, I will stop instantly and resort to my backup plan to counter the temptation. Page 63: Your existing boundaries are a result of what you think about yourself. Your opinion of yourself is built on all of the information you have gathered since birth...Becoming aware of your sense of self-worth will help you to recognize what types of personal boundaries you need to develop. Page 73: The strongest opinions you hold about yourself are those you formed at home, with your parents or primary caregivers. Like most children, you probably adopted the spoken and unspoken beliefs of your family. These beliefs have been with you the longest and are the toughest to adjust. With each passing year, your opinions deepened from other influences like relatives, teachers, friends, authority figures, books, media, and circumstances. Page 87: The spin Mary put on her parents' action was this: "The people I most trust will not protect me, therefore I am not worth protecting. My fears and safety don't matter to them, so I'm on my own if I want to be safe." Whether or not her conclusion was correct, it was based on real influencers. Her temperament was naturally compliant to authority, her parents were generally insensitive to the needs of a child, and their authoritative style left little or no room for Mary to express her fear. Mary layered her conclusion about this incident upon other similar incidents and eventually they merged to become her proof that she didn't deserve good care by those close to her. She believed she must be worthless, or her parents--and others that followed--would have taken better care of her. Once this belief became her identity, she unconsciously set about to prove her opinion was correct. Seeing her friends sleeping in rooms close to their parents, for example, proved her belief that she didn't deserve the same level of care. Other children, with different temperaments and sets of experiences, might have interpreted Mary's situation differently. Their conclusion may have been, "My parents trust me to sleep far away from them. I must be a very capable person." We want to inform you about the persuasive power of two subtle "personal spins" that heavily influence your opinions about yourself. They are your temperament and your concluding lens. Page 92: You are inclined to reject proof that your self-beliefs are wrong. In other words, dislodging them is something only an owner of a life can do. There is a story of a man who went to his psychiatrist, and said, "I am dead." Nothing seemed to shake him from this delusion. The psychiatrist, in an attempt to jolt the man out of his false opinion, asked him to go home and look into the mirror each day for thirty days and say, "Dead men don't bleed." At the end of thirty days, the man returned to the psychiatrist, who was eagerly anticipating a breakthrough. The moment came to test his theory. The psychiatrist took a pin and pricked the end of his patient's index finger. A drop of blood appeared on the surface of the finger and the psychiatrist asked, "Now what do you believe?" The patient replied, "Dead men do bleed." If you don't want your misbeliefs out of your life, no one can remove them for you. Page 93: As strong as false beliefs about yourself are, they are not more powerful than your decision to change. You are the owner of your life and you can "clean house" on self-fulfilling prophecies that imprison you. Ruth, an entrepreneur in her thirties, did just that. Prior to owning her own business, Ruth was criticized by a co-worker for being aloof and hard to approach. The co-worker's comment closed with "And everyone knows it." Ruth felt she went out of her way to make people feel comfortable, yet she had noticed that co-workers were sometimes less inclined to relax with her than with others. After the co-worker's comment, what started as a tentative belief Ruth had about herself being unfriendly began to take full root. Her confidence in meeting with staff dwindled. Her belief began to prove itself in her behavior. When meeting people, Ruth assumed they would find her unapproachable and therefore unlikable. This was a lie. Ruth was well liked by most of the staff and she had many close and lasting friendships. Over time Ruth recognized her distorted belief was a lie and one day she was finally able to toss it aside. She would then consciously change the belief, and replace it with a more accurate belief, "I can sometimes appear aloof and unapproachable because of my intensity, but I am good at dispelling that perception with friendliness." Page 94: What you believe about yourself will determine what boundaries you set. As you adjust your beliefs so that you own your life and become your own best friend, your boundaries will shift naturally to match your beliefs. Your core beliefs about yourself produce certain perceptions, and, in turn, those perceptions produce certain behaviors. When it comes to setting a boundary, say, between your parents' negative opinion of living in a big city and your desire to live the urban life, this choice will spring from your beliefs about your power to make a choice that may go against your parents' wishes. If your belief is that you enjoy but don't need the approval of your parents to make a decision, your perception will be that you are free to make your own choices, and you will move to the city. If your belief is that you must maintain the approval of your parents even when it goes against your own desires, then your perception is that you are powerless against their wishes, and you will not move to the city. In either case, your choice of boundaries would have reflected your beliefs and the perceptions that spring from those beliefs. Page 95: It is important to know your core beliefs to understand your perceptions, and therefore your choices and reactions to the people and circumstances in your life. Distorted core beliefs will result in distorted boundaries, a sure ticket to either a chaotic or boring life. Remember, your beliefs are your reality, even if they are false, and you will struggle to prove them right--even if they are wrong--so you can live in a way you're used to and comfortable with. Change sometimes can seem more frightening than the current unhappiness, simply because you don't know what to expect. Your job as owner of your life is to identify and adjust your misbeliefs...It is a great moment when you realize you have shifted to a new, better plac of thinking. You might be at a dance, for example, and hear yourself say "no, thanks," to an unpleasant person you would have said "yes" to just last weekend. As you refuse the invitation, you surprise yourself and experience a rush of personal freedom. The world didn't crumble, the music didn't stop, and the crowd didn't point to you and call you names. Your new boundary grew directly out of a shift in your core belief. You adjusted your belief to be, "I can choose to let only people I enjoy get physically close to me." Your opinions and beliefs about yourself are a compilation of various life influences, including your personal spin, temperament, and concluding style. Self-esteem is determined by how competent and lovable you sense you are. Once you adopt an opinion--negative or positive--about yourself, you arrange your life to prove your opinion is right. Your core beliefs create perceptions that determine your actions. As owner of your life, you are the only one who can adjust your beliefs, treasure yourself, and create effective boundaries. People choose to create new boundaries for themselves every day! ____________________ Saw this in the library and checked it out. Don't feel like reading it in detail now, but it could be a useful step-by-step guide to befriending one's self. page 19: Boundaries are not an excuse to be selfish, irresponsible, arrogant, superior, unwilling to help, judgmental, brutally honest, or rude...What boundaries do mean is that you exert choice over your life as its owner. page 20: Boundaries are required for a full and meaningful life. The most stable boundaries are rooted in a sense of personal treasuredness. Boundaries bring order...a boundary is a line that separates one thing from another. Boundaries are a natural part of the universe and are embedded in daily life. A personal boundary is a line that separates you from other people, places, or things...You have a right to create personal boundaries because you are the owner of your life. Boundaries are not an excuse for selfishness or poor character. page 56: Declare yourself to be the owner of your life and your own best friend. Look at what you believe about yourself and what opinions you hold. Sort out what is true and what is not; work on keeping what is, toss what's not. Get to know your true self. Continue to adjust your conclusions about yourself based on what is true. Set and adjust your boundaries. Live the treasured life. page 57: When your name is on the title of a car, you own it...you have the last word in who gets to drive it, for how long, how far, at what time, and where...if you are a careless or timid owner of your life, other people--well- and not so well-meaning--will slip behind the wheel and take you to places you may not want to go. If, on the other hand, you are an overbearing owner ofyour life, you will lock the car doors and keep anyone from going along for a free ride. A smart owner will stay behind the wheel, invite some to ride along, but not others. page 89: Introvert (I): energized by retreating into a project and/or a few close friends. Extrovert (E): energized by being with people and become restless when alone. Sensor (S): practical (sensory) and "believe it when you see it." Intuitive (N): believe it when you have a hunch it is right. Thinker (T): mind or logic motivates you. Make decisions with your head. Feeler (F): emotions motivate you. Make decisions with your heart. Perceiver (P): prefer keeping your options open. Judger (J): prefer closure.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    This book saved my life. Yes it did. I was the type of person that for all my life, I said yes when I meant no so as to not hurt the other person's feelings, or because I craved attention. Whatever the reason, I lacked boundaries. I often got to the place of feeling used and taken advantage of. I let people walk all over me, steal from me, and it seemed like I opened myself up to invite it in. I don't think I am baring my soul sounding pitiful because I know there are many many others who have t This book saved my life. Yes it did. I was the type of person that for all my life, I said yes when I meant no so as to not hurt the other person's feelings, or because I craved attention. Whatever the reason, I lacked boundaries. I often got to the place of feeling used and taken advantage of. I let people walk all over me, steal from me, and it seemed like I opened myself up to invite it in. I don't think I am baring my soul sounding pitiful because I know there are many many others who have the same issue. We are a nation of people pleasers and self pleasers. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground. Until you develop healthy boundaries. When I get into that corner of self defeat from not applying boundaries, I usually get angry or depressed. Then I shut people out and put up walls, being mean and often rude to people I think have "other motives". You become suspicious and aloof, thinking you have discernment and are looking out for yourself. But you are at the mercy of your own self condemnation. So I return to this book and wow, transformation as I remind myself of my value and I am at joy. It's not an overnight thing. Which is why sometimes you repeat the same lessons life brings. You repeat them till you learn them. And doing for others is my gift, my joy, but I do it with boundaries, choosing to do only what I want to do, and not out of guilt, shame, or fear.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I especially enjoyed the chapter on purpose, mission and abilities. Of all the books I've read, this is probably the clearest description of these crucial elements and the best strategies for identifying and working towards them. I especially enjoyed the chapter on purpose, mission and abilities. Of all the books I've read, this is probably the clearest description of these crucial elements and the best strategies for identifying and working towards them.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Clara

    best self help book I ever read. every page was like a therapy session that effected change right away. I credit much of my success in life to this book

  5. 4 out of 5

    Andrea O'Brien

    I have never read a self-help book before, but after a few issues became obvious and re-occurring my counselor thought that this book would be a good starting point at resolving the problems. I was pretty slow to start but once I dedicated myself to reading a chapter a day I began to see the value in this book and the value I would be able to find in my life. It wasn't an easy book to read - in fact that were several parts where I just wanted to put the book down, shut it away and pretend I had I have never read a self-help book before, but after a few issues became obvious and re-occurring my counselor thought that this book would be a good starting point at resolving the problems. I was pretty slow to start but once I dedicated myself to reading a chapter a day I began to see the value in this book and the value I would be able to find in my life. It wasn't an easy book to read - in fact that were several parts where I just wanted to put the book down, shut it away and pretend I had never heard of it BUT I wanted to find a solution to the obstacles in my way more. So I kept on it. Soon my journal was full of guided (and often hard) thoughts/activities (because I had borrowed the book I couldn't write in the provided space). By the end of the book I was already seeing the pay out from it. It has a lot of valuable lessons worth reading and keeping in mind. I am glad I kept with it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    Quick read with some great ideas .

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel Smith

    Great resource for couples and individuals.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This one is somewhere between three and four stars for me. However, it would likely have been more solidly a four, or even between four or five if I had read it a few years ago. This book presents a somewhat unique look at boundaries. Many books on this topic seem to focus largely on 'what to say' - e.g. 'I feel x when you do y please next time do z'. That type of support has its place but is ultimately like putting carpet down in the basement while ignoring the big holes in the foundation. Black This one is somewhere between three and four stars for me. However, it would likely have been more solidly a four, or even between four or five if I had read it a few years ago. This book presents a somewhat unique look at boundaries. Many books on this topic seem to focus largely on 'what to say' - e.g. 'I feel x when you do y please next time do z'. That type of support has its place but is ultimately like putting carpet down in the basement while ignoring the big holes in the foundation. Black and Enns look to the hole in the foundation, and indeed to making the entire house stable and comfortable. Black and Enns examine all areas of life: money, time, body, spirit, etc., and most importantly Self. The argue effectively (and correctly) that if you do not value your Self then you will be unable to make effective boundaries. They then move forward looking at all aspects of your Self and how to learn to "treasure" who you are (you Self). Once you learn to "treasure" your Self, Black and Enns effectively (and again correctly) argue that making boundaries will become easier, smoother, and more natural. it is only then that the authors give some advice on how to make boundaries; boundaries based on having a "treasured self". Overall, this is a solid read with good information and advice. I think it would be especially useful to those at the early stages of boundary making, though it was also a good source for 'brushing up' on making healthy boundaries based on having a healthy, treasured self.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Janet C-B

    Read as part of a professional development course around 2002. Good, but do not remember much about it. Thus, 3 stars.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Blackberrystew

  11. 4 out of 5

    Charlie Potter

  12. 4 out of 5

    Meldi Arkinstall

  13. 5 out of 5

    David Walley

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mason

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nicholaus

  16. 5 out of 5

    Larissa A. Filipp

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joyce Senior

  19. 4 out of 5

    Retno Sofyaniek

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chad

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amar Dhall

  22. 5 out of 5

    Donna

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brent

  24. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  25. 5 out of 5

    Care

  26. 4 out of 5

    Erica Denison

  27. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  28. 5 out of 5

    Emily Shabaga

  29. 5 out of 5

    Keaio

  30. 5 out of 5

    Buttonwillow

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