Boundaries are the key to creating lasting, healthy relationships.
Boundaries show others how you want and expect to be treated.
People can’t read your mind; advocate for yourself and for your needs.
You can be honest and assertive when setting a boundary while also being kind at the same time.
Boundaries can grow and change as we grow and change as a person.
Boundaries not only impact our relationship with others, but also the relationship we have with ourselves.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that this is the Bible of boundary work (as is stated on the slip cover). Granted, I haven’t read many books specifically related to boundaries, but after reading this one…I don’t think I really need to. Tawwab’s book is a comprehensive, simple, and easy read that’s not just informative about what boundaries are, but also empowers you to set those much-needed boundaries by providing scripts, tactics, strategies, and exercises!
I have loved Nedra Tawwab’s work since I started following her on instagram about a year ago. Growing up, healthy boundaries were never modeled for me, and so her work is really what introduced me to the concept of boundaries. I was shocked to read that, not only was I worthy of saying ‘no,’ but that I COULD! I was even more shocked to learn that I was allowed to protect my energy, that I deserved to have my boundaries respected!
Nedra Tawwab’s expertise as a licensed therapist and relationship expert definitely shines through this book.
What did this book teach me about finding peace and reclaiming myself?
"Your boundaries are a reflection of how willing you are to advocate for the life that you want."
As a people pleaser, I had no boundaries. I would constantly overshare about my life, my trauma, and my mental health. I always said “yes” when I desperately wanted to say “no.” If I were told “no” I would take it personally. I felt guilty resting or taking breaks or doing anything that wasn’t “productive.” I would complain about how tired I always felt and how everyone always took advantage of me because I had a good work ethic or because I was such a good friend. Little did I know at the time that I had full control and choice in the matter. Little did I know that I COULD say no, that I COULD take time for myself. That setting boundaries and advocating for my needs wasn’t selfish.
In this way, this book taught me that boundaries are the key to protecting my peace. They’re also the key in helping me reclaim my power and--in many ways--my identity. Just a few years ago, my performance at work was my identity. I was so enmeshed with my closest friends, always chameleon-ing to fit in and be accepted that I lost my sense of self, of who I was at my core. I had porous boundaries. And as you’ll read in the book there are actually three kinds of boundaries: healthy, porous, and rigid.
For me in my journey, I unknowingly went from porous boundaries to rigid boundaries in an attempt to overcompensate for the lack of boundaries. It wasn’t until I began following Nedra Tawwab’s instagram page that I really learned about and understood healthy boundaries. And it wasn’t until this book that I had such a bigger and better picture of the nuances with boundaries too, like why there’s pushback, why it’s so hard to uphold boundaries, why it’s hard to start setting them, and why it can be so hard to release guilt or shame for setting them.
Tawwab expertly addressed all of the fears and frustrations many of us may have around setting boundaries. I finished this book feeling empowered and, in a way, at peace with myself knowing that I have the power and capability to advocate for myself and my needs.
I recommend this book to anyone and everyone at any stage of their healing or personal development journey. Even if you feel like you have good relationships. Even if you feel like you have healthy boundaries. I can almost guarantee you’ll learn something new in this book.
“...short-term discomfort for a long-term healthy relationship is worth it every time!”
“When you explicitly state what you expect, there is little room for others to misinterpret what works for you.”
“When people respond in an unhealthy way, it’s typically a sign that you needed limits a long time ago and that you need to reevaluate the relationship to assess whether your needs are being met satisfactorily.”
“We simply can’t have a healthy relationship with another person without communicating what’s acceptable and unacceptable to us.”
“...our relationships change because we’ve changed what we’re willing to tolerate.”
“You can’t control how your request is received, but you can choose to behave in a healthy way afterward.”
“Ultimatums aren’t healthy when your consequences are punitive or when you threaten people into doing what you want.”
“Recognize that saying no to others is saying yes to yourself.”
Have you read this already? If so, what were your main takeaways? Would YOU recommend this to a friend? Let's chat about it - comment on my Instagram post related to this review!
Other fun random stats:
Bent pages (includes sticky notes): 18
Highlights: Too many to count
Hi there, my name is Marisa! I'm a life coach + trauma survivor + avid book reader! Want to keep up with what I'm reading or want to be notified when the next little book talk comes out? Follow me on Instagram or sign up for my email list!