Personal boundaries

25 Mar 2016

Our personal boundaries are the boundaries we incorporate and work our lives around. It’s the boundaries we create for ourselves that we expect others to honour.

Do we have personal boundaries and if we do, do others abide by them or are they simply ignored?

We do have boundaries, but not many people will abide by them and will simply choose to ignore them. Boundaries are there to tell others what they can and can’t expect from us and what we expect from them. Personal boundaries that protect us from people who are demanding, being too pushy, controlling and abusive.

There are several areas where boundaries apply. The most common of boundaries are:

Physical boundaries

Physical boundaries apply to our personal space, our bodies and our privacy.

Emotional boundaries

Our emotional boundaries are the boundaries we use to separate our responsibility and our emotions from another person’s boundaries. Emotional boundaries are healthy boundaries that protect us from feeling guilty for another person’s problems, or negative feelings. Those boundaries also help us negate and stop us from taking other people’s comments personally.

Healthy emotional boundaries require clear internal boundaries, internal boundaries that involve our own feelings and responsibilities to ourselves and other people.

Mental boundaries

Mental boundaries apply to our opinions, values and thoughts. Our mental boundaries aren’t clear enough if we are gullible and easily suggestible. If we find it hard to hold on to our opinions or are easily coerced or swayed into another person’s thinking, our mental boundaries are weak. There is also suggestion that if we are argumentative or defensive, we may also have weak boundaries.

Other boundaries include sexual boundaries, which protect us from non-consenting sexual activity and touch, when, where and with whom. Spiritual boundaries relate to our beliefs in connection with a higher power and also include religion.

Boundaries are our rules. The hard part is making sure others don’t cross them.

6 Responses to “Personal boundaries”

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  1. Randy 25. Mar, 2016 at 1:24 pm #

    Boundaries are something I don’t have a lot of experience with! It is what I need to be working on now, since I wasn’t allowed to have them as a kid.

    I have spent most of my life just letting people walk all over me, which has to change. Life isn’t very enjoyable when you’re doing what everybody else wants. There were things I wanted to do as a child, but never had the opportunity to be able to do!

    My parents never had appropriate boundaries, so they didn’t set a very good example for what we were supposed to do for ourselves.

    It would be fantastic at this point in my life to feel like it’s okay to have strong boundaries and be able to live my own life for the first time!

    • Ilana 25. Mar, 2016 at 4:09 pm #

      Thanks Randy. Boundaries are all about our own personal space and it’s important we all have them.

      Even though you never had boundaries as a child, I believe it’s okay for you to have strong boundaries now and for you to live your life for the first time. It’s right.

  2. Tim 25. Mar, 2016 at 7:04 pm #

    Your words in this blog are the very reasons why I haven’t been sleeping very good lately. That what people do is incredibly selfish and sometimes aggressive, no matter what unnecessary risks are involved. And if genuine innocents came into this world, they’d probably have clenched fist upon arrival.

    In the old days people didn’t cross boundaries, in fact, they protected them; I have nostalgia for those times.

    • Ilana 26. Mar, 2016 at 8:34 am #

      Thanks Tim. Yes, the words in my blog have also been the reason why over the years I also haven’t slept well.

      Like you, I’ve also never really been in a position where my boundaries were protected. I wish they had have been. I can only imagine how that might feel.

  3. Brad 27. Mar, 2016 at 11:37 am #

    I never had boundaries introduced by a parent as most children would, so it’s no surprise that I have had to learn them myself; with not inconsiderable problems along the way.

    I agree boundaries are really important and they should form the basis of a respectful relationship with all those we come into contact with.

    • Ilana 27. Mar, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

      Thanks. Yes, not having boundaries may seem easier because we’re able to do what we want to do without personal consideration for others, which in the short term may seem easier.

      That said, the down side to that of course is that we all need boundaries in order to function with other people. I believe that without boundaries it’s virtually impossible to understand other people’s boundaries and not to cross the line.

      When we grow up with personal boundaries, it’s easier to understand what those are, understand more about other people’s personal boundaries and what it means to cross that personal boundary line. We mustn’t.

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