Many of us struggle with boundaries in various areas of our lives. Anne Katherine’s book, Where to Draw the Line, is a great how-to book on defining the importance of creating and protecting boundaries. I have often found that a number of books on psychology are too academic and abstract. This book is easy to absorb, well-written and relatable. It provides multiple examples of experiences from mundane to serious or even life-changing events (work, friendship, illness or death, etc.). In short, it’s a quick read that provides some very helpful information.
Truth be told, I haven’t always been good at boundaries, due to always wanting to be liked, loved, and included. However, if there are no boundaries, relationships suffer and you end up feeling devalued and insignificant. Boundaries protect you and help to ensure more positive relationships. Appropriate boundaries are very often not acknowledged or respected by those we have a lot of contact with: friends, partners, family members. Anne Katherine, M.A. went into defining boundary “errors” and “violations.” Errors tend to be unintentional and correctable when called to attention. Violations tend to be more serious and are often deal breakers. The book provides ways to express to the “offender” when errors and violations are made, and also helped me to be prepared for defensive and dismissive reactions. I like that the tools provided in this book empower the reader. In addition, you’re held accountable in setting and maintaining healthy boundaries.
I found this book very worthwhile. I was able to examine boundaries in a number of different relationships, including family, partner, and friendship boundaries. It helped me recognize and articulate when my boundaries are crossed (errors and violations). I have utilized my newly improved skills in all sorts of everyday situations. I was able to view with greater clarity an unhealthy situation with someone I cared a great deal about. After months of articulating boundaries and acknowledging errors, the behavior did not change. In fact, it got worse. Therefore, it made sense for me to end the relationship. Although it was not easy and the process was painful, it was required.
Written by Meghan, BPAR Client