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Learn the key ideas of the book by Nedra Glover Tawwab

Set Boundaries, Find Peace

Find the courage to be yourself

Everybody wishes they could make their relationships more balanced and peaceful, but it is something that proves to be rather difficult to achieve. Set Boundaries Find Peace aims to help you achieve this goal by providing useful tools to help you learn how to identify, and express, your needs clearly. Whether it be in your family or in the workplace, you can work on every aspect of your life to ensure your well-being, and strengthen the bonds you have with those closest to you.

Set Boundaries, Find Peace
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Diseases, such as anxiety and depression, can be linked to the lack of pre-established boundaries within a relationship

Many people always try to give their best in their relationships, to help as much as possible, and never want to let people down. However, if this kind of behaviour is not sustainable: it often leaves us feeling exhausted, empty, and depressed, not to mention that, over time, this constant giving often gives rise to a sense of resentment and intolerance towards others. Yet for many people, escaping other people’s requests seems impossible. We always feel the need to respond readily and quickly, and refuse to consider delegating the task to someone else, almost as if our personal intervention were the only way for us to show support to the other people in our lives. However, the author insists that this is the wrong approach.

On the contrary, you must learn to say no, and to set limits to what you are willing to commit to, as well as learn to prioritise. You need to set boundaries, and make sure that they are respected. For example, you can try limiting how available you make yourself to people who tend to ask you for a lot, or, at work, stand firm when it comes to only staying for your normal work hours, rather than doing overtime. It doesn’t matter what they are, but you must introduce measures aimed at stemming potentially stressful and draining situations.

In fact, protecting your energy will not only make you feel better about yourself, but it will also allow you to respond to the needs of those around you in a more lucid and heartfelt way. It's a bit like the safety recommendation you hear when travelling on planes: put your own oxygen mask on first, and then you can help other people. This is a useful analogy to help understand a fundamental concept: self-care and listening to your own needs cannot be sacrificed in the name of the needs of relatives, friends, and work colleagues.

Neglecting yourself is unsustainable in the long run, and will also leave you feeling unhappy. In your relationships with others, it is crucial that boundaries be set, which should not be overstepped, and therefore they need to be explicitly communicated. It is by no means an easy task, but anyone can do it, and once you have understood what habits need to be eliminated and the new types of behaviours you need to adopt, you will have healthier and more balanced relationships. You will feel calmer, more peaceful, and will no longer make the same mistake of forgetting to take care of yourself first.


The key ideas of "Set Boundaries, Find Peace"

Diseases, such as anxiety and depression, can be linked to the lack of pre-established boundaries within a relationship
It is not selfish to draw clear boundaries and express your needs
The way you were brought up as a child will impact your ability to communicate your needs
To establish healthy limits, you need to communicate clearly, and then take action
Identifying abusive behaviours, which overstep your boundaries, will help you to see the issue more clearly, and intervene accordingly
Setting boundaries with other people is important, but it is equally important to know how to honour them yourself
Becoming an adult means drawing boundaries with your family
Romantic relationships are made stronger if important issues are made clear from the outset
Refusing to take on other people's problems doesn't make you a bad friend
Setting boundaries in the workplace means protecting your health
It is not the technology itself that is harmful, but how it is used
Take-home message

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