Boundaries

Am I a Bad Person if I Say “No” and Hurt Someone?

By Alison Cook | January 28, 2021

Many of us, if we’re honest, tend to base the criteria for whether we feel good about ourselves on how other people respond to us. Without realizing it, we operate a little like this: I am a good person if I make other people happy. I am a bad person if I hurt other people....

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am-i-supposed-to-let-my-kids-walk-all-over-me

Am I Supposed to Let My Kids Walk All Over Me?

By Alison Cook | January 21, 2021

One of the most common questions that I hear from parents is some version of this one: “Am I supposed to let my kids walk all over me?” The answer is, “No.” But, there’s an important caveat that you must first understand: It’s not your child’s job to give you the respect you have never...

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turn-the-other-cheek

Should I Turn the Other Cheek?

By Alison Cook | November 18, 2020

Have you ever dealt with a difficult person, such as a bully, a manipulator, or someone who was just downright mean? I’ve counseled hundreds of women in these types of agonizing relationships. Yet, one of the first things these ladies will ask me is: Shouldn’t I turn the other cheek? Isn’t that how we’re supposed...

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fear-of-disappointing-others

How to Get Over Your Fear of Disappointing Others

By Alison Cook | October 21, 2020

I’ve taken some time off from writing this weekly blog in order to care for myself through a health scare. (You can read more about what happened here.) Thank you for your kind notes of prayer and support. I’ve missed showing up here, and am grateful to be back! As I first started to wrap...

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setting boundaries with friends

Setting Boundaries with Friends

By Alison Cook | April 15, 2020

Question: “Alison, can you give some tips for setting boundaries with friends after a painful experience? My best friend replaced me with someone else she likes better and has started talking behind my back.” (Brandy D.) Answer: Setting boundaries with friends can feel confusing. I empathize with your situation. It’s painful to feel “replaced” by...

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examples healthy boundaries in marriage

Healthy Boundaries in Marriage and How to Tell the Difference

By Alison Cook | April 8, 2020

Question: What are examples of healthy boundaries in marriage? How do I love my spouse, but still express my own voice and needs? (Barbara G.) Examples of healthy boundaries in marriage can be hard to identify. When things are working—whether in your marriage or in someone else’s—it just seems natural. On the other hand, examples...

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Setting-boundaries-selfish

Ask Alison: Is Setting Boundaries Selfish?

By Alison Cook | April 1, 2020

Question: Is setting boundaries selfish? What if taking care of my own needs causes discomfort for somebody else? Isn’t it better to be selfless? (Virginia H.) Answer: Whenever I talk to women about the importance of setting boundaries, I tend to hear push-back in the form of these questions: “But, isn’t it selfish to tell...

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Boundaries Close Quarters

Ask Alison: How do I set boundaries in close quarters with others?

By Alison Cook | March 25, 2020

Question: How do I set boundaries while living in close quarters with other people? Answer: Hello, dear friends. I’ve heard from many of you over the past week about the various ways you’re dealing with the Covid-19 crisis and facing the reality of living in quarantine. Here’s a sample of questions I’ve received: How do...

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Ask Alison: Will Setting Boundaries Make Me Seem Like a B**ch?

By Alison Cook | February 26, 2020

Question: I’m nervous that setting boundaries with other people will make me seem like a b**ch. What do I do? (Samantha W.) Answer: I hear this question often and it reveals a double standard that women face when it comes to setting boundaries. For example, when a man says, “No, thanks. I’m not interested.” His...

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Boundaries Bad Friends

Ask Alison: How do I find new friends when I say “No” to unhealthy friendships?

By Alison Cook | February 19, 2020

Question: I decided to stop spending time with some friends who didn’t reciprocate interest in me and my life. But, now I feel lonely. What should I do? (Irene B.) Answer: I’m so glad you asked this question, because your situation is a common experience for many women who start setting new boundaries. First, I...

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what-every-woman-needs-to-know

What Every Woman Needs to Know about Boundaries

By Alison Cook | January 13, 2020

What if Jesus wants you to uncover the dazzling God-image that burns in your heart? What if your most important job might be to ensure that fire does not go out? If you’re like me, a part of you might think that sounds good, but another part of you might feel hesitant, thinking: doesn’t Jesus...

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the-most-important-boundary

The Most Important Boundary You Must Set

By Alison Cook | December 18, 2019

The most important boundary you must set might surprise you. It’s not the one you need to set with your kids, your toxic friend, or with your in-laws for that matter—as important as those boundaries are. The most important boundary you must set is the one that protects your most important asset. It’s the line...

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While Dr. Cook is a counselor, the content of this website and any of the products provided by Dr. Cook are not specific counseling advice nor are they a substitute for individual counseling. The content and products provided on this website are for informational purposes only.

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