What Are Boundaries?

There are different kinds of personal psychological boundaries. It’s important to set clear, appropriate limits on how you relate to others.

Healthy boundaries help us make sure we are taking responsibility for our own lives, that we knowingly accept the consequences or reap the benefits of our choices.

Just as importantly, they ensure that we let others do the same for themselves.

Personal Boundaries

Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits you can create to identify:

  • reasonable, safe and permissible ways for others to behave around you
  • your response when someone steps outside those limits.

Boundaries represent the ability to recognise what is our responsibility (and what is truly within our power to control) and what isn't.

Healthy Boundaries

Boundaries are an essential ingredient to create a healthy self.

Healthy boundaries are:

  1. present and clear
  2. appropriate, not controlling or manipulative
  3. firm but flexible, not rigid or immoveable
  4. protective, not hurtful or harmful
  5. receptive, not invasive or dominating
  6. determined by us, not set for us by others

Some people refuse to set boundaries because they see them as selfish. Others actually use them to be selfish. Both are wrong, boundaries are about self control.