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How to Have That Difficult Conversation You've Been Avoiding: With Your Spouse, Adult Child, Family, Boss, Coworker, Friend, Parent or Someone You're Dating
     

How to Have That Difficult Conversation You've Been Avoiding: With Your Spouse, Adult Child, Family, Boss, Coworker, Friend, Parent or Someone You're Dating

4.7 4
by Henry Cloud
 

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A practical handbook on positive confrontation, now available in softcover with a discussion guide. Successful people confront well. They know that setting healthy boundaries improves relationships and can solve important problems. They have discovered that uncomfortable situations can be avoided or resolved through direct conversation. But most of us don’t

Overview

A practical handbook on positive confrontation, now available in softcover with a discussion guide. Successful people confront well. They know that setting healthy boundaries improves relationships and can solve important problems. They have discovered that uncomfortable situations can be avoided or resolved through direct conversation. But most of us don’t know how to have difficult conversations, and see confrontation as scary or adversarial. Authors Henry Cloud and John Townsend take the principles from their bestselling book, Boundaries, and apply them to a variety of the most common difficult situations and relationships in order to: • Show how healthy confrontation can improve relationships • Present the essentials of a good boundary-setting conversation • Provide tips on preparing for the conversation • Show how to tell people what you want, stop bad behavior, and deal with counterattack • Give actual examples of conversations to have with your spouse, your date, your kids, your coworker, your parents, and more!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780310319641
Publisher:
Zondervan
Publication date:
05/18/2009
Sold by:
Zondervan Publishing
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
351,792
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

How to Have That Difficult Conversation You've Been Avoiding

The Talk Can
Change 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. However, this man's unexpected response illustrates
a reality: The person who has the problem in a relationship often
isn't taking responsibility for his problem. This was bad news for
the man's wife. She wanted to see change, but he either didn't see
a problem, thought it wasn't a big issue, or thought his wife was
overreacting. This can leave the wife who cares for her husband
feeling helpless, discouraged, and less able to feel love in her heart
for him.
But there is good news. Though the person with the problem may
not be taking responsibility for, or 'owning,' the problem, the person
affected by the problem can change things. You may be the
motivated one, the one who is concerned, sees the problem, and
feels discomfort from it, whether it be a bad attitude or a bad behavior. In
fact, you may be feeling more pain and discomfort than the
other person. In our example, the wife, before confronting her husband,
most likely had to deal with isolation, lack of freedom, his
bad habits, and the emptiness of not having a spiritual partner.
Things can change when the person experiencing the effects
of the problem takes the initiative to resolve it. This wife took the
first step. She became aware that her husband's ways weren't good
for either of them and that nothing would change unless she did
something herself.
That first step is often a conversation, a talk, a face-to-face confrontation
with the other person. It is a conversation in which the
two people
discuss the problem and
what can be done about it. It is a talk of
truth. That single conversation may be
all that's needed. But more likely, it will
be the beginning of a series of conversations
and events, as it was with the
marriage in our example.
We want to affirm and validate your
decision to have 'the conversation you
have been avoiding.' How to have that conversation is the core
need this book addresses. You need a caring yet honest and effective
way to confront someone in your life. The Bible teaches --- and
research supports the idea --- that you can develop the skills and
tools to be able to confront well.
Things can changewhen the person
experiencing the effects of the problem takes the
initiative to resolve it.
What Is a Boundary?
Before we go further, however, we need to define a term that will
come up a lot in this book: boundary.
Simply put, a boundary is your personal 'property line.' It defines
who you are, where you end, and where others begin. It refers to the
truth, to reality, to what is. When you confront someone about a
problem, you are setting a boundary. You can set a boundary with
your words when you are honest and when you establish a consequence
for another's hurtful actions.
Boundaries help define who we are in our relationships. When we
know what we want and do not want, what we are for and against,
what we love and hate, what is 'me' and what is 'not me,' we are
setting boundaries. People
with good boundaries are clear about
their opinions, beliefs, and attitudes --- in the way that Jesus taught:
'Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond
this comes from the evil one' (Matt. 5:37). People
without clear
boundaries are unsure of their opinions, feelings, and beliefs. They
find themselves easily controlled by the demands of others because
they feel unsure of themselves when they need to take a stand.
Boundaries also help protect us from injury and harm. By setting
boundaries we can take responsibility for the lives and gifts
God has given us: 'Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the
wellspring of life' (Prov. 4:23). Boundaries protect our values, feelings,
time, energy, and attitudes. When a person says to another, 'I
want you to stop criticizing me in public,' he is setting a protective
boundary.
God himself has boundaries. He designed them and lives them
out. He is clear on who he is, what he is for, and what he is against. He is for relationship, truth, love, and honesty, and he is against
oppression, injustice, sin, and evil: 'For I, the Lord, love justice;
I hate robbery and iniquity' (Isa. 61:8). (For more information on
boundaries, please refer to our books Boundaries, Boundaries in
Marriage, Boundaries with Kids, and Boundaries in Dating.)
In this book we deal with one specific aspect of boundaries: We
tell you how to set them by having a helpful and effective 'talk'
with another person. We will sometimes refer to that confrontation
as a boundary conversation, that is, a talk with someone in which
you confront a problem you want to resolve with the person.

Meet the Author

Dr. Henry Cloud is an acclaimed leadership expert, psychologist, and New York Times best-selling author with his books selling more than 10 million copies. As a speaker, Dr. Cloud has shared the stage with many business and global leaders and experts, such as Tony Blair, Jack Welch, Condoleezza Rice, Desmond Tutu, Malala Yousafzai, and others. In his leadership consulting practice, Dr. Cloud works with Fortune 500 companies and smaller private businesses alike. He has an extensive executive coaching background and experience as a leadership consultant, devoting the majority of his time working with CEO's, leadership teams and executives to improve performance, leadership skills, and culture. Dr. Cloud lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Tori, and their two daughters, Olivia and Lucy.


 

Dr. John Townsend is a leadership consultant, psychologist, and New York Times bestselling author. He has written twenty-seven books, selling 10 million copies, including the 3 million-selling Boundaries series. John is founder of the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling and conducts the Townsend Leadership program. He travels extensively for corporate consulting, speaking, and working with leadership families. He and his wife Barbi have two sons, and live in Newport Beach, California. One of John's favorite hobbies is playing in a band that performs in Southern California lounges and venues.

 

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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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