A new book called ‘The Book of Boundaries: Set the Limits That Will Set You Free’ provides tools for people who have trouble saying no.
Author Melissa Urban offers boundary-pushing insight to improve mental health and productivity while maintaining existing relationships.
“I describe a boundary as a limit you place on how other people are allowed to engage with you,” Urban said on CTV’s Your Morning Saturday. “Boundaries are not about controlling others or telling them what to do, but about telling others what you will do to keep yourself safe and healthy and improve your relationships.”
She’s the co-founder and CEO of Whole30, a diet she created for her own life after leaving rehab in 2009. Urban has written several New Best-selling books. York Times.
Urban believes that, due to existing social norms and patriarchy, it is more difficult for women to set boundaries.
She said of women in general: “We are told when we express our needs that we are selfish. “I think there’s a lot that needs to be expanded to realize that my needs are important and that I should put myself on the list of people who should feel comfortable.”
Using respectful language and directing the reader to the tips she’s learned, the book introduces several situations where women want to set boundaries but aren’t sure how. One example involved a friend who was asking for emotional support, but never took any advice. That can create an uncomfortable dynamic, she said.
“They’re asking you to be their therapist, and you can’t really be their therapist, you can just be their friend,” Urban said of the scenario. “The boundary could be, ‘Hey, we talked about this last week, and I offered to do A, B and C, have you done that?’
If the friend persists, Urban recommends being honest with them about how it affects you.
“It feels like when we’re talking, you’re always talking about your problems and you’re not asking me about my life,” Urban advises. “I feel like I’m not fully performing in this friendship and that’s not going very well for me.”
She admits setting boundaries and being honest with people can be difficult, especially for those who are worried about other people’s feelings. Urban says boundaries are “supportive” otherwise people will show up in relationships reluctantly.
“Boundaries are an invitation to say, ‘I want to keep you in my life, I want our relationship to be better,’ she said. “This is the limit that you may not realize I have, and if you can meet me within this limit, our relationship can be a lot more open and trusting and respectful.”
Urban says boundaries are about open communication and should be seen as a tool for repairing or building relationships. Ignoring someone or “ghosting” them is not the boundary.