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Boundaries Face to Face: How to Have That Difficult Conversation You've Been Avoiding

Boundaries Face to Face: How to Have That Difficult Conversation You've Been Avoiding

4.7 4
by Henry Cloud

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A practical handbook on positive confrontation by the authors of the award-winning and best-selling Boundaries.

Successful people confront well. They know that setting healthy boundaries improves relationships. They have discovered that uncomfortable—even dangerous—situations can often be avoided or resolved through direct conversation. But most of us


A practical handbook on positive confrontation by the authors of the award-winning and best-selling Boundaries.

Successful people confront well. They know that setting healthy boundaries improves relationships. They have discovered that uncomfortable—even dangerous—situations can often be avoided or resolved through direct conversation. But most of us don't know how to go about having difficult conversations. We see confrontation as scary or adversarial. We're afraid to ask a boss for a raise or talk to a relative about a drinking problem, or even address a relational conflict with a spouse or someone we are dating.

In Boundaries Face to Face authors Cloud and Townsend take the principles from their best-selling book Boundaries and apply them to a variety of the most common difficult situations and relationships.

* Explains why confrontation is essential in all arenas of life
* Shows how healthy confrontation can improve relationships
* Presents the essentials of a good boundary-setting conversation
* Provides tips on how to prepare for the conversation
* Shows how to tell people what you want, how to stop bad behavior, and how to deal with counterattack
* Gives actual examples of conversations to have with your spouse, your date, your kids, your coworker, your boss, your parents, and more

From the Book

Sometimes people get confused in a confrontation because the other person gets them off track. If that happens, remember this formula.

Empathize with their feelings or position, and return to your issue.

Here's an example.

Joe: 'I can't believe you were offended by my comments. You joke around more than anyone here. That's pretty hypocritical.'

You: 'I understand it's hard for you to see, and I'm glad you meant it as a joke and weren't trying to be hurtful. What I'm telling you, though, and what I don't want you to miss, is how it affected me. It hurt me and I don't want to be talked to like that.'

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.22(w) x 9.32(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
16 Years

Read an Excerpt

Boundaries Face to Face Copyright 2003 by Henry Cloud and John Townsend This title is also available as a Zondervan audio product.
Visit www.zondervan.com/audiopages for more information.
Requests for information should be addressed to:
Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Cloud, Henry.
Boundaries face to face : how to have that difficult conversation you've been avoiding / Henry Cloud and John Townsend.—1st ed.
p. cm.
ISBN 0-310-22152-8
1. Conflict management—Religious aspects—Christianity. 2. Conversation—
Religious aspects—Christianity. 3. Oral communication—Religious aspects—
Christianity. 4. Interpersonal conflict—Religious aspects. 5. Interpersonal relations—Religious aspects. I. Townsend, John Sims, 1952— II. Title.
BV4597.53.C58C59 2003
This edition printed on acid-free paper.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.
Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. Italics in Scripture quotations are added by the authors for emphasis.
Scripture quotations marked NASB are from the New American Standard Bible, Copyright
1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977 by The Lockman Foundation.
The website addresses recommended throughout this book are offered as a resource to you.
These websites are not intended in any way to be or imply an endorsement on the part of Zondervan, nor do we vouch for their content for the life of this book.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system,
or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy,
recording, or any other—except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.
Published in association with Yates and Yates, LLP, Attorneys and Counselors, Suite 1000,
Literary Agent, Orange, CA.
Interior design by Beth Shagene Printed in the United States of America
03 04 05 06 07 08 09 /? DC/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
We never foresaw how well our book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Take Control of Your Life was going to do.
Although we knew through our clinical work that many people identify with the need to regain control of their lives, we had no idea how widespread that need was. Almost everyone feels the need for better boundaries at one time or another.
Sometimes we need to deal with a difficult person in a relationship,
such as a controller, a manipulator, or someone who is irresponsible or even abusive. At other times we need to figure out what demands of life to say no to so we won't overextend ourselves. At still other times we need to work out better patterns of intimacy and relatedness in a good relationship, or take a stand for our values in a difficult one. Still other times, we might need to keep someone from taking over more of our time,
energy, and resources than we would like to give. There are many, many different contexts of life in which we need to exercise good boundaries. For people who care, setting those boundaries can be tough. So it really is no surprise that Boundaries has found such a ready audience.
As a result of the book's following, we find ourselves speaking to tens of thousands of people directly every year and literally millions through our radio program. When we talk to people, the theme of dealing with difficult relationships continues to surface. Resolving relational issues is always on the forefront of people's minds.
As we answer questions, we find ourselves continually telling people that they should have a direct conversation with the person with whom they have the problem. They repeatedly say either 'I've tried that, and it didn't work' or 'How would I do that?' Either they have tried and found themselves overpowered or outmaneuvered, or they just don't know how to broach such a conversation. So we often tell them to roleplay with us. We say, 'You be him or her and I'll be you. Now go.' When we show them how to have such a conversation, the lights go on for the first time. They often say things like 'I never thought about saying it like that. That makes all the difference in the world. Now I know what to do.'
Many people in the audience who observe the role-playing tell us the same thing. Just hearing how to do it gives them a process to follow,
and they can go forward with more confidence that they will be able to resolve a tough issue.
This book shows readers how to do that, how to have a 'boundary conversation.' Most people know that they need to set boundaries with someone or have a difficult conversation with someone, but few know how to do it well. Some are so afraid, they never try; others try and fail dismally; still others do it in a way that does more harm than good. For that reason, people put off confronting, setting boundaries, or 'facing into' difficult conversations. As a result, their relationships suffer.
For many people, setting boundaries or confronting someone has gotten a bad rap. Yet, both the Bible and research show that confrontation is essential to success in all arenas of life. Successful people confront well. They make it a part of the ongoing texture of their relationships.
They face issues in their relationships directly. In fact, the Latin word for confront means just that: to turn your face toward something or someone.
We hope this book will return confrontation to its proper positive role in the language of love and relationship. We will show that setting boundaries, confronting, and having that 'difficult conversation you've been avoiding' is not adversarial, but one of the most loving things you can do. We will show that it is the only way to have the relationship you desire, whether in marriage, dating, friendship, family, or work. And if you learn to have those difficult conversations in a loving, honest,
and responsible way, your relationships can become better than you ever thought they could.
This book will show you the benefits and essentials of a good conversation,
how to have that good conversation, how to prepare yourself before you have the conversation, and how to have it with the various people in your lives.
So why another Boundaries book? Our prayer is that it will accompany whatever other Boundaries books you have and guide you toward specific conversations in both your difficult and delightful relationships.
This will be a 'how-to' guide to help you know how to have that difficult conversation you've been avoiding and, as a result, get more out of your relationships—and your life.
As we speak around the country at conferences on relationships,
we will often hear some version of the following story.
A man will come up and say, 'Thanks for your materials on setting limits and boundaries. They have changed my life and my marriage.'
We will say, 'Thank you, too. So what book did you read?'
'I didn't read a book,' the man will say. 'My wife did!'
He will go on to explain: 'I was a crummy communicator with my wife. I controlled her, I had some bad habits, and I had no spiritual life to speak of. Then she read Boundaries, and she started applying the principles. That's when things started changing for both of us. It took some time and effort, but I'm really different now. We are closer, and we have more respect for each other and more freedom in the relationship. I'm doing a lot better with those bad habits, and I'm waking up to my relationship with God.'
You would normally expect someone to talk about a book he has actually read.

Meet the Author

Dr. Henry Cloud is a popular speaker, and co-host, with Dr. John Townsend, of the nationally broadcast New Life Live! Radio program, and cofounder of Cloud-Townsend Clinic and Cloud-Townsend Resources. His bestselling books include the Gold Medallion Award-winning Boundaries books and Making Small Groups Work. Dr. Cloud and his wife and two daughters live in Southern California. El Dr. Henry Cloud es un conferenciante de gran popularidad. Con el Dr. John Townsend es anfitrion del programa de radio New Life Live!, ademas de ambos ser fundadores de la Clinica Cloud-Townsend y de la organizacion Cloud-Townsend Resources. Es el autor de varios libros premiados con el reconocimiento Medalla de Oro, entre ellos 'Limites' y 'El poder transformador de los grupos pequenos'. El Dr. Cloud, su esposa y sus dos hijas radican en el Sur de California.

Dr. John Townsend is a psychologist, popular speaker, and cohost of the nationally broadcast New Life Live! Radio program, and a cofounder of Cloud-Townsend clinic and Cloud-Townsend Resources. His best-selling books include the Gold Medallion Award-winning Boundaries.

Website: www.drtownsend.com Blog: facebook.com/drjohntownsend

Dr. John Townsend — El Dr. John Townsend es un popular conferencista y un famosisimo autor de exito de ventas. Es graduado de psicologia clinica en Rosemead Graduate School of Psychology de Biola University. Ademas es coautor de numerosos libros incluyendo el ganador de la Medalla de Oro Limites. el es coanfitrion del programa radial emitido a nivel nacional New Life Live!

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How to Have That Difficult Conversation You've Been Avoiding 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
madamjustice More than 1 year ago
Are you an inadvertant enabler? Do others take advantage of you before you even realize it? Are you simply burned out from helping everyone else with their problems such that you have no peace left in your own life? Then this is the book for you. It gives you a hands-on approach (from a Biblical perspective) to dealing with others truthfully and gracefully so that you can handle life's tough situations, but still have peace in your own life. Stand up for yourself. Take time for yourself. Accept the things you cannot change, and move on. I would suggest that you also read "Boundaries" by Cloud and Townsend along with this book. "Boundaries" gives you the principles to live by, and this book helps you to effectively put those principles into practice. This recommendation comes from a person who knows: I am an attorney who was stressed out and nearly burned out, and this book literally changed my life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has transformed the lives of many women that have sat under my teaching and counseling. Upon learning the valuable lessons in this book and incorporating them into every day life, EMPOWERMENT has been the result! I highly recommend this great read. Your life can be transformed IF you use these invaluable tools.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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