Boundaries with Friends~Chapter 8

In their book Boundaries when to say yes when to say no to take control of your life, Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend (1992) define friendship as “a non romantic relationship that is attachment-based rather than function-based,” such as work, neighborhoods, class teams, or ministry (p. 137).


Do you have friends like Sheldon?

Cloud and Townsend offer a Boundary Checklist:


They describe four types of boundary relationships among Friends:

1.) Compliant/Compliant
2.) Compliant/Aggressive Controller
3.) Compliant/Manipulative Controller
4.) Compliant/Nonresponsive

Which relationship is exhibited in the following scenario?


We often think of boundaries as keeping people, things, non-essential priorities out.  There’s truth here.  Today, I’d suggest also thinking of these same fences as keeping YOU in.

We are rescuers at times.

But there’s only so much we can do in some of our relationships.  There will be times where our power to reason, talk or share with, persuade, or even encourage another person will be limited. Sometimes this means letting things rest with our friends and sometimes it means gently confronting them. There is only so much we can do…

We will encounter frustration at our inability to change a person, or influence them to change their situation.

This is exactly as it should be.  We’re not God…or Sheldon Cooper.


chapter 8 of Boundaries

Cloud, H., & Townsend, J. (1992). Boundaries when to say yes when to say no to take control of your life. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Movie Link:

Disclaimer: This post is one component of eight presentations referencing Cloud and Townsend’s book. All presentations may be viewed at the following link. This post is part of course requirements for Dr. Farzin Madjidi, EDLT724.20, Ethics and Personal Leadership.