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The Best Books to Help You Set Boundaries Like a Pro

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Ever notice how we all love to chat about boundaries, but no one really teaches us how to set them and feel good about it? It’s like boundaries are the unsung heroes of our mental health, quietly keeping us sane and ensuring we stay true to ourselves. Whether it’s dealing with a demanding boss, a clingy friend, or a romantic partner who just doesn’t get it, boundaries are our best friends. But let’s face it—setting them can feel like trying to assemble IKEA furniture without instructions, especially for us chronic people pleasers.

For years, boundaries were mostly discussed in the context of toxic relationships. However, boundaries are also about staying aligned with your goals and priorities. Saying no to overtime at work or distancing yourself from friends who don’t support your dreams can help you stay true to your own needs and maintain balance. Boundaries aren’t just about keeping toxic people at bay; they’re about preserving your energy and fostering healthier relationships.

So, if you’ve ever struggled with setting boundaries and felt like you’re the only one fumbling through it, trust me, you’re not alone. To help you navigate this journey, I’ve put together a list of the best books on setting boundaries. (Including some from the most influential therapists.) Happy reading!

[ FYI: Some links are affiliate links, so I might earn a tiny commission. Basically, you’re funding either my coffee addiction or my next read while snagging the best boundary-setting books. Win-win! ]

1. The Assertiveness Workbook: How to Express Your Ideas and Stand Up for Yourself at Work and in Relationships” by Randy J. Paterson

Imagine having a personal cheerleader in your pocket, whispering confidence-boosting tips in your ear. That’s this workbook for you. Packed with practical exercises, it helps you set boundaries and thrive in your professional life. Think of it as your practical guide to taking control of your life at work.

2. Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty… And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, and Unapologetically Being Yourself” by Aziz Gazipura

Time to kiss the “nice girl” act goodbye. This book is like a pep talk from your sassy best friend, encouraging you to reclaim your voice and set personal boundaries without the guilt trip. It’s all about embracing your true self and saying no when you need to.

3. The Art of Saying No: How to Stand Your Ground, Reclaim Your Time and Energy, and Refuse to Be Taken for Granted” by Damon Zahariades

Ever feel like your time and energy are constantly being hijacked? This book teaches you the delicate art of saying “no” with confidence and grace, ensuring you protect your precious time and energy. It’s a practical guide to setting boundaries and reclaiming control of your life.

4. Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity” by Kim Scott

Ever wanted to be both a boss and a friend? Kim Scott shows you how to balance leadership roles with empathy, setting clear boundaries along the way. This book is your playbook for navigating the tricky waters of workplace dynamics, offering practical tools for setting boundaries in your professional life.

5. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg’s classic is a must-read for any woman looking to assert herself in the workplace. It’s all about finding your voice, leaning in, and setting the boundaries that will help you climb the corporate ladder without losing your sanity. This New York Times bestseller offers practical strategies for setting boundaries and maintaining healthy relationships at work.

6. Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself” by Nedra Glover Tawwab

Think of Nedra Glover Tawwab as your boundary-setting fairy godmother. Her book is a treasure trove of wisdom guiding you through the art of setting healthy boundaries with friends and finding your inner peace. It’s a comprehensive guide to building better relationships.

7. Where to Draw the Line: How to Set Healthy Boundaries Every Day” by Anne Katherine

This gem is filled with real-life examples and practical advice on setting boundaries in everyday situations—from casual acquaintances to your closest pals. It’s like having a heart-to-heart with your bestie about life’s trickiest dilemmas. Anne Katherine’s therapeutic wisdom makes this book an essential guide for anyone seeking healthier relationships.

8. Boundary Boss: The Essential Guide to Embracing Your Authentic Self” by Terri Cole

Psychotherapist Terri Cole helps you reclaim your power and set healthy boundaries with everyone in your life. This book is your ultimate road map to achieving balance and peace, all while staying true to your fabulous self. It’s an empowering book that offers practical tools for setting boundaries and building healthier relationships.

9. The Disease to Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome” by Harriet B. Braiker

Say goodbye to people-pleasing with this empowering book. It addresses the root causes and offers strategies to assert yourself without guilt. It’s like a deep breath of fresh air for your self-esteem, helping you break the frustrating cycle of ineffective boundary-setting.

10. The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness” by James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher

James and Claudia Altucher’s book teaches you the magic of saying “no.” It’s all about protecting your time and energy, and finding peace in the process. A must-read for anyone looking to set boundaries and find balance in their personal and social lives.

11. Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life” by Susan Forward

This book is your survival guide for dealing with toxic parents. Susan Forward offers practical advice for setting boundaries and healing from their impact. It’s all about reclaiming your emotional well-being and setting clear boundaries to protect yourself from toxic people.

12. Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You” by Susan Forward and Donna Frazier

Emotional manipulation is real, and this book helps you counter it with firm boundaries. It’s packed with practical tools to protect yourself from toxic tactics and set clear boundaries with family members.

13. Boundaries Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Henry Cloud’s updated classic is a must-have for anyone looking to establish healthier relationships. It offers practical advice for setting boundaries with family, friends, and everyone in between, helping you take control of your life and build better relationships.

14. Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself” by Melody Beattie

Melody Beattie’s book is a game-changer for those in codependent relationships. It’s a practical guide to setting boundaries and taking care of your emotional needs. This book helps you break free from codependency and set healthy boundaries.

15. Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents” by Lindsay C. Gibson

Lindsay Gibson’s guide is a beacon of hope for anyone dealing with emotionally immature parents. It helps you set boundaries to protect your emotional space and heal from past wounds. This book is a valuable resource for understanding and overcoming the effects of having emotionally immature parents.

16. Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love” by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller

Dive into the world of attachment styles and discover the importance of boundaries in romantic relationships. This book is a must-read for anyone looking to build a healthy, lasting love. It offers practical strategies for setting boundaries that support healthy relationships.

17. Boundaries in Marriage: Understanding the Choices That Make or Break Loving Relationships” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Henry Cloud strikes again with this guide to maintaining healthy emotional and physical boundaries in marriage. It’s all about building better relationships and setting boundaries that support a loving partnership. This book provides practical advice for setting boundaries and fostering healthier relationships.

18 Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brené Brown

Brené Brown’s wisdom on vulnerability is essential for setting boundaries in all areas of life. It’s a reminder that boundaries are a form of self-love and protection. This book encourages setting boundaries to maintain life balance and emotional well-being.

19. Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone” by Brené Brown

Another gem from Brené, this book explores the importance of standing alone and setting boundaries to find true belonging. It’s about staying true to your own needs and values. It helps you set boundaries to ensure you live authentically.

20. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” by Brené Brown

Brené Brown encourages you to embrace your authentic self and set boundaries to protect your well-being. It’s a practical guide to finding peace within yourself and living unapologetically. This book is essential for anyone seeking healthier relationships.

21. The Courage to Be Disliked: How to Free Yourself, Change Your Life, and Achieve Real Happiness” by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

This book challenges conventional beliefs and encourages setting boundaries for a happier life. It’s a guide to maintaining emotional well-being and personal safety. It helps you set boundaries that align with your own needs and personal limits.

22. Untamed” by Glennon Doyle

Glennon Doyle’s call to embrace your true self and set boundaries that reflect your values and desires is a must-read. It offers practical tips for living authentically and unapologetically. This book inspires you to set boundaries and live your best life.

23. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero

Jen Sincero’s motivational guide helps you set boundaries and live a life true to yourself. It’s packed with practical tools for achieving personal growth and self-assertion. This book is perfect for setting better boundaries and embracing your true self.

24. The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence” by Gavin de Becker

Gavin de Becker’s book emphasizes listening to intuition and setting boundaries for personal safety. It’s a powerful reminder to protect yourself and maintain balance. This book is essential for setting boundaries that ensure your personal safety.

25. The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know” by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

This book explores the science behind confidence and offers strategies for building it, including boundary setting. It’s packed with practical exercises for boosting self-assurance. This book provides practical tips for setting boundaries and achieving personal growth.

26. Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead” by Tara Mohr

Tara Mohr offers practical advice for women looking to assert themselves and set boundaries in their personal and professional lives. It’s filled with real-life examples and tools for achieving personal growth. This book is a valuable resource for setting boundaries and achieving your dreams.

27. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High” by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler

This book provides techniques for having important conversations and setting boundaries effectively. It’s a practical guide to improving communication and setting clear boundaries. This book offers actionable tools for setting boundaries and enhancing your communication skills.

28. Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life” by Marshall B. Rosenberg

Marshall Rosenberg’s guide to communicating your needs and setting boundaries without conflict is essential for maintaining healthier relationships. It’s filled with practical tools and insights. This book is perfect for setting boundaries and improving your communication skills.

29. Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most” by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen

This book offers strategies for handling tough conversations and setting boundaries. It’s a practical guide to improving communication and maintaining balance in your relationships. This book provides practical tips for setting boundaries and having difficult conversations.

30. How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

Another classic read, Dale Carnegie’s offers valuable insights into effective communication. It helps you set boundaries in a way that maintains and even enhances your relationships. This book is perfect for setting boundaries and improving your social skills.

31. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It” by Chris Voss

Lastly, Chris Voss’s book teaches you negotiation skills that can help you set and maintain boundaries in all areas of life. It’s packed with actionable tools for setting boundaries through effective negotiation techniques. This book provides practical strategies for setting boundaries and achieving your goals.

Whether you’re trying to assert yourself at work, set limits with friends, or create healthy dynamics in your romantic relationships, these books have got you covered. Remember, boundaries are not just about keeping others out—they’re about making space for yourself. So go ahead, take up that space, and don’t apologize for it. You’re worth it.

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Unconventional Rebel with a Cause. 

About lakin

After navigating through a life filled with vibrant choices, challenging norms, and embracing the beauty of doing things differently, I found my passion for sharing those experiences with digital and IRL audiences. 

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