Cover Image: The Book of Boundaries

The Book of Boundaries

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

It would take a strong person to implement the boundary techniques suggested in this book. Certainly if you need to set boundaries this book has some great tips and suggestions but where it falls very short is in addressing the likely fallout.
Was this review helpful?
The Book of Boundaries is an excellent book to start the New Year with. I personally wish I had this book when I first started my family. There are scripts included for different scenarios that you can use as a template or as is, such as one for politely telling people that their opinions on how to raise your child not needed unless specifically requested. Melissa Urban teaches about keeping our boundaries rooted in kindness and leaving no room for confusion. A clear boundary set in kindness can allow a relationship (friendship, romantic, work, etc.) to grow, by allowing one to feel comfortable and at ease around those they share boundaries with. It allows us to visit that friend who is always trying to cram their thoughts ideas or literal food down our throats with the knowledge that they respect us and value us for who we are and will not try to force XYZ upon us. Or maybe your friend doesn't stop to consider that you don't partake in alcohol, and are always bringing you to those kinds of parties forgetting the fact that you don't drink. There are scripts to help you kindly say that if they value you as a friend they'd remember, and invite you to do other things together instead, such as coffee or weekend walks, etc. Learn how to set the boundaries that will set you free! There's literally something in here for everyone! I highly recommend it! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Was this review helpful?
This was a really useful, informative book.  Lot of great suggestions, real life examples with lots of humour.  Detailed examples of how to set those boundaries and respond to people who push back.  A really helpful book.  I would recommend.
Was this review helpful?
Are you a people pleaser? Are you someone who doesn’t know how to say no to friends or family or co-workers ect and get overwhelmed? Then this book is for you. The author sets out exactly how to set boundaries when to set boundaries and gives plenty of examples so you can apply it to your particular situation. She goes through each group of people that you may need to set boundaries with such as family, coworkers, friends, neighbours etc. and breaks down exactly what you
 need to set effective boundaries. I’ll definitely be using some of the strategies and wording in this excellent book. I highly recommend buying it. Thank you to net galley and the publisher for allowing me this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Recognizing and expressing boundaries is such an important skill in a happy life. I have been actively practicing this for years, but where I am challenged is in supporting others in learning to do that. I read this book in search of ideas about how to teach my friends, family and coworkers how to develop their own boundaries and it was a pretty good resource,
Was this review helpful?
Boundaries are hard, sometimes finding the right words to express our boundaries to others, especially people we love, can be extremely challenging. Melissa Urban gives a master class on how to stand up for oneself and reminds readers with this book that we are our strongest advocates.
Was this review helpful?
I recently had a Net Galley reading of the Book of Boundaries by Melissa Urban.

Like "It starts with Food" Melissa has written an easy-to-read practical guide.

I really appreciate the sample scripts that make it easy to visualize how to use boundaries in different contexts.

Even better I love that Melissa has included qualifiers for when setting a boundary might not be appropriate. ie. in the case of a friend bailing frequently - when they may - in fact be experiencing some difficulties like depression or some physical health challenges. I personally live with chronic pain and do find myself either cancelling or not making firm commitments to plans because of the uncertainty of how I'd be feeling. I really appreciate that when I use my clear and kind boundaries about staying home that my friends understand and still extend invitations again the next time.

Or how someone not respecting your boundaries could be red flags (i.e. in intimate relationships).

This book is a great tool for people who have difficulty establishing healthy boundaries in a variety of settings.
Was this review helpful?
This book is very well-written and organized. It opened my eyes to boundaries I should establish that I hadn't even considered, and it helped me to realize that being stern or enforcing your boundaries does not make you rude or mean in any way. You have to look out for yourself!

My sole concern was the lack of emphasis on mental health, particularly for those healing from trauma. The information was presented in a "manual" style, with instructions on approaching specific scenarios. This format was useful and easy to follow; however, it may not always be as simple as following some instructions and everything magically becoming OK. It can be challenging for someone that has experienced trauma inflicted by someone to just turn around and suddenly establish a boundary. I would have liked to see a little more empathy from the author in this regard, but I can appreciate the step-by-step approach as a goal to work towards, with the hope of eventually working myself up to it.
Was this review helpful?
The Book of Boundaries is a realistic and helpful guidebook on the question of how to create healthy boundaries. Melissa Urban provides clear strategies with many examples of how to establish boundaries in your relationships with family, friends, strangers, neighbours, and work colleagues. This is a great resource book that you can go back to time and time again. Urban is clear that she wants you to strengthen your relationships, bolster your energy and preserve your mental health her book provides you with the tools to accomplish this. 

Urban writes like she is speaking to a friend, her examples are ones that many people can relate to. 

It is not often that I recommend a book as a gift, however, this is one that I would I think many people would benefit from and enjoy.
Was this review helpful?
Sometimes in life you are looking for something and it falls in your lap, when you least expect it. The Book of Boundaries is just that for me. I was searching for ways to set stop the people in my life from using me, walking all over me, and I truly needed to balance myself and stop living my life pleasing others at the detriment to myself.
The Green, Yellow, Red approach will help me immensely, it's a great tool for my toolbox, helping me to not feel badly for setting limits with certain people.
I absolutely recommend this book to anyone who is struggling and looking for self help with this matter.
Was this review helpful?
Boundaries are a hot topic and this is a great addition to the conversation. Melissa Urban does a great job of summarizing what boundaries are and why we need them. But where this book really excels is in the scripts it provides. We may know we need to set boundaries but not know what to say. Melissa gives us words, laying out options for a multitude of situations at work, with family and friends, and even with ourselves. I loved her Green/Yellow/Red system which helps us use more nuance when setting boundaries depending on the level of threat to our own well-being. A great new tool for those of us who struggle to state boundaries with the people in our lives!
Was this review helpful?
Some of the most catchy statements about limits and boundaries come from commercials. One warns about driving under intoxication: "If you drink, don't drive. If you drive, don't drink." Another cautions us about the dangers of gambling: "Know your limits. Stay within it." If we look beyond these two social ills, we soon realize that limits apply to a broader sphere of life. That includes our personal and social boundaries. What are boundaries? How do we create healthy boundaries? Why do we need boundaries in the first place? What are the benefits of establishing boundaries? Author Melissa Urban is popularly known as the "boundary lady on Instagram." she shares how she boldly draws boundaries by expressing no to business proposals; limiting any interference on her parenting styles; telling friends where are the no-go zones; and even learning to be assertive with one's spouse. These are just examples of how boundaries can help us and others know, respect, and appreciate why we set boundaries. Healthy engagement needs healthy boundaries. Such boundaries are not there to control people's involvement but to communicate expectations. This is important lest people misunderstand the purpose. Before the author launches into the book, she shares her story of how boundaries saved her. Soon she discovers that it not only sets proper limits in her relationships, she feels free to thrive and help others thrive. 

Her "crash course" on boundaries simply consists of identifying the need, setting up boundary language, and enforcing it. The steps are clear but what is more challenging is the emotional discomfort that some people might have. This is because setting boundaries might become misconstrued as rude. Once the rationale for boundary setting is understood, readers will learn about:

-    Using colours to designate different kinds of boundaries
-    Principle of minimum dose for maximum effect
-    Setting boundaries in the workplace, professional boundaries, and dealing with ethical dilemmas
-    Setting boundaries with extended family members
-    Setting boundaries with neighbours, friends, romance, co-parents, and others
-    Learning to state expectations upfront when dealing with food, alcohol, table talk, and other sensitive subjects
-    and many more.

My Thoughts
This book's title essentially summarizes the essence of the author's message. Urban has made a strong case by telling her stories, the background behind her convictions, and the critical need for more boundaries in society. It is her firm belief that setting boundaries are the way to go. I believe she has a strong point, especially in the area of relationships. Whether we are meeting people we know, acquaintances, or strangers, it is always good to have a plan on how to engage as well as how to disengage. I believe that boundaries are not only beneficial for relationships, they can help us grow deeper without feeling uncertain or weird. I like the point that the author distinguishes, that boundaries are not about controlling but communicating. When stating a boundary, we are communicating an expectation. Of course, in any relationship, for example with friends, boundaries are best established together with the other party. One can state the boundary but the other party must be free to negotiate,  accept, or reject. The best outcome would be from the former two. Handling it incorrectly might be detrimental to the relationship. Urban guides us with many examples.

The concept of boundaries is nothing new. I remember in the late 90s, there was a popular book entitled "Boundaries" by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. One of the words used in that book is about "control." That kind of language might be acceptable two decades ago. In contemporary times, the preferred word is "communicate" as "control" has negative connotations for now. Perhaps, the author has subtly pushed back against the use of that word in that Cloud/Townsend's book. For me, both are essentially pointing out the same thing: Healthy boundaries are essential for relationships.

Let me add a final observation. This is about cultural differences. The methods of setting boundaries are more acceptable in Western-educated societies. In some other cultures, it might take a long while to gain social acceptance. In fact, in some cultures where elderly respect is expected, setting boundaries like that would be deemed disrespectful. There are also others societies that are patriarchal or lack the kinds of human rights freely practiced in the West. What I would suggest is for readers from such other cultures to remember the concepts first and to take baby steps in learning how to implement them.  

Overall, I think this book is a gem in growing relationships. Highly recommended.

Melissa Urban is CEO of Whole30 and an authority on helping people create lifelong healthy habits. She is a six-time New York Times bestselling author (including the #1 bestseller The Whole30); and has been featured by Dr. Oz, Good Morning America, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNBC. She lives with her husband, son, and a poodle named Henry in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.

This book has been provided courtesy of Penguin Random House and NetGalley without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.
Was this review helpful?
I’m a sucker for books on boundaries but many of them feel quite canned and cookie cutter. This book took me by surprise! It was relevant and engaging. And while not every topic discussed was applicable to me there were many usable details within. Highly recommend reading! 

Thanks to NetGalley for sending me the ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Was this review helpful?
If you're looking for a book that will teach you how to establish healthy boundaries in your life, then look no further than The Book of Boundaries by Melissa Urban. This book is packed with useful information on how to set boundaries with family, friends, co-workers, and even yourself. The scripts for instantly establishing boundaries are amazing and cover practically every imaginable situation. If you don't know what to say to set a boundary, Melissa has you covered. You'll also find actionable advice on how to communicate your needs with clarity and compassion and learn tips for successfully navigating boundary guilt, pushback, pressure, and oversteps. The Book of Boundaries is an essential guide for anyone who wants to create healthy habits and achieve more fulfilling relationships.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars
First let me say that if I'd read this book two decades ago, I probably would have given it 4.5 stars. There is much to be learned in the pages. The chapters are broken down well - work, mother, family, partner etc with acknowledgement that the divisions is fluid for our personal needs. 
I liked the offering of different strategies depending on the 'levels of threat' perceived, although I didn't always agree with them! Some of us take a much softer approach and can still get the result we need/want.
There are some fundamental teachings that give a reader a deeper understanding of why we behave a certain way and why we react accordingly. Good stuff!
- 'some of us have a deep belief that we're not worthy of setting limits around how others treat us.'
- don't let fear of another person's reaction (to your boundary) prevent you from setting it.
The Book of Boundaries reminds us that we have agency over our lives, in spite of what we might have been conditioned to believe. Some of us have had to learn this the hard way, so I would have liked to see this author address more info suitable for a reader who has lived more than half their life. Or perhaps another book??
Thank you #NetGalley for this early copy in exchange for my honest review
Was this review helpful?