In psychology, like most fields, a lot of words gets thrown around. It becomes jargon that has a specific meaning and intent, but can sometimes somehow take on meanings of their own. Because of this, we wanted to outline what we see as an element of recovery that is important to understand: creating boundaries. But what are they? Here are some ways in which boundaries can exist.

A boundary is the:

  • Emotional and physical space between you and another person.
  • Demarcation of where you end and another begins and where you begin and another ends.
  • Limit or line over which you will not allow anyone to cross because of the negative impact of its being crossed in the past.
  • Established set of limits over your physical and emotional well-being which you expect others to respect in their relationship with you.
  • Emotional and physical space you need in order to be the real you without the pressure from others to be something that you are not.
  • Emotional and/or physical perimeter of your life which is or has been violated when you were emotionally, verbally, physically, and/or sexually abused.
  • Healthy emotional and physical distance you can maintain between you and another so that you do not become overly enmeshed and/or dependent.
  • Appropriate amount of emotional and physical closeness you need to maintain so that you and another do not become too detached and/or overly independent.
  • Balanced emotional and physical limits set on interacting with another so that you can achieve an interdependent relationship of independent beings who do not lose their personal identity, uniqueness, and autonomy in the process.
  • Clearly defined limits within which you are free to be yourself with no restrictions placed on you by others as to how to think, feel, or act.
  • Set of parameters which make you a unique, autonomous and free individual who has the freedom to be a creative, original, idiosyncratic problem solver.

Are there others we should add to the list?

Further Reading:

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