Friday, 2 March 2018

Boundaries - Jennie Miller and Victoria Lambert

A four-step programme to help develop self-esteem, create time to do the things that nourish and fulfil you, discover a deep sense of calm, and achieve healthy control over your life, home and work, co-written by psychotherapist and relationship expert Jennie Miller and award-winning journalist Victoria Lambert.

The need to understand where to draw the line has never been more acute, with new online trends seeping quickly into our consciousness often before we’ve had time to consider what personal boundaries they might require. Covering email etiquette, office politics, healthy parenting, dating among the over 50s, oversharing, relationships and more, there is no other book that deals effectively and practically with the embryonic and ever-evolving relationship codes of today.

Discover how to set personal boundaries in the most important aspects of your life: from sleep to fitness, diet to social media and computer usage, and build the self-confidence that results from learning to care for yourself. Then you can progress to applying that knowledge to all aspects of your life including work, home and relationships.

With anonymised cases from Jennie’s clinical practice, Boundaries contains exercises, motivational quotes, statistics, and clearly signposts when exactly you need to bring in the boundaries.

What did I think?

As someone who can NEVER say no, I was immediately intrigued by Boundaries.  Could this be the self-help book I had been looking for?  Split into four sections: Me, Myself, I, The Workplace, Love and Intimacy and Your Family and Other Animals, I found the first half of the book was more useful to me than the latter half.  The second half has a strong emphasis on family and relationship boundaries and although very useful to some, were not relevant to me.  For completeness, I read the whole book but I will be returning in future solely to the sections where I feel I will get some benefit.

My first eye-opening moment was the drama triangle and moving on to the winner's triangle.  This is SO TRUE!  I immediately found that I was mentally placing myself, friends and colleagues on my triangles.  So the book was doing its job already!  This is the main thing that I took away from reading Boundaries, how often I found myself on the drama triangle without even realising it.  I think once you recognise something, you can change it so this is absolutely invaluable for me.

Another priceless tool in Boundaries is the debating table: a chance for the real me to have a voice where nobody will shoot it down.  You're only arguing/debating with other personas within yourself, after all.  I honestly think that we are all multi-faceted: we put on different faces for our family, friends and colleagues.  What would happen if these faces got in a room together.  Who would win?  Which one is the real you?

Although there are blank pages for this very purpose, I couldn't bring myself to write in the book.  Looking back, I wish I'd made some notes in a separate notebook as I think this is really beneficial to the whole mindset of setting boundaries.

Boundaries has set a good foundation from which I can work on.  For me, the first step was recognising myself.  Now that I have done this and when I have REALLY looked at myself, I will return to the book and see how I can implement change.  

Although I didn't have a huge 'eureka' moment, Boundaries gave me something to work on.  It won't make changes happen overnight but it will definitely make you think through each situation before jumping in with both feet.  After all, what's the worst that could happen if you say 'NO'?  Try it and find out!  

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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