Boundaries Blog — communication

A Guaranteed Way to Create Trouble in a Relationship

A Guaranteed Way to Create Trouble in a Relationship

I (Dr. Cloud) can still remember what happened that day when I was eight years old. I made a big mistake, but I didn't know it at the moment. I thought I was getting back at my sister, who was sixteen at the time. Opportunities for revenge were few and far between, and I was not about to let this one slip by.

Sharon and her friend were goofing around in the den when one of them threw a pillow and broke the overhead light. They quickly figured out a way to arrange the light in such a way that you could not tell it was broken. They thought that they were off the hook. Little did my sister know that she had a sociopathic little brother with a plan....

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Do This One Thing to Improve Any Relationship

Do This One Thing to Improve Any Relationship

People who want to improve a relationship often talk about talking. That is, they bring up what happened, what went wrong in their experience, and come up with solutions. Here are some examples:
  • Remember when I said I needed space and listening, not solutions and homework assignments? It happened again; let's fix this.
  • I don't want to sound childish, but I've been trying to be more open about the job problem, and it still feels as if you want just good news from me about work. I really need you to hang in there with me.
  • It feels as if you're impatient with me when I go to a deeper level now, as if I ought to have my act together. That's hard for me; are you really feeling that way?...

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A Little Boundary Clarification Goes a Long Way

A Little Boundary Clarification Goes a Long Way

The parents of a twenty-five-year-old man came to see me (Dr. Townsend) with a common request: they wanted me to "fix" their son, Bill.

When I asked where Bill was, they answered, "Oh, he didn't want to come."

"Why?" I asked.

"Well, he doesn't think he has a problem," they replied.

"Maybe he's right," I said, to their surprise....

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Boundaries Protect, But They Also Do This

Boundaries Protect, But They Also Do This

To see how setting limits plays out in relationships, it's important to understand that there are two types of boundaries — defining boundaries and protective boundaries. Each kind of boundary has a distinct purpose. It's important that you learn the difference, because defining should become permanent in your life, while protective boundaries are the ones you can move "beyond."...

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How to Get Unstuck and Move Toward Success

How to Get Unstuck and Move Toward Success

By Dr. John Townsend (exclusive to BounariesBooks.com) All of us want to be a success in life. We want a career that is fulfilling and that creates a sustainable lifestyle. We want relationships and family connections that are warm and intimate. We want to give back in service to the world in some way. Yet so often we find ourselves stuck in getting from where we are to where we want to be. If you have found yourself stuck instead of successful in some area of life, it is likely that there is some sort of a problem in your...

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