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5 DIFFERENT KINDS OF BOUNDARIES

Updated: Jan 26

Being yelled at, being micromanaged, being bullied are forms of violated boundaries. When others have violated your boundaries time and time again you may have difficulty with trust in intimate relationships.

  • Do you tend to avoid speaking up out of fear that you may be rejected?

  • Do you think that only others have rights?

  • Do you feel you have to apologise for being yourself?

  • Do you think that you don't need boundaries?


If you answered "yes" to any of the questions you may benefit from working to strengthen your boundaries. Boundaries are everywhere and if you want to improve them it may seem like an overwhelming task.


By organizing boundaries in 5 different categories you can have some sense of control over them. If you focus on one category at a time you may identify your strengths and weaknesses. As a general rule make a conscious effort to communicate with clarity and self-assurance.

The 5 different boundary types include:


PHYSICAL Boundaries

EMOTIONAL Boundaries

MENTAL Boundaries

SEXUAL Boundaries

MATERIAL Boundaries


Boundaries can be violated by yourself or others. When YOU are the one who has violated your own boundaries you may have difficulty trusting yourself. You violate your boundaries when you break your own promises and hurt yourself.

Here are some examples of YOU violating your OWN boundaries:

binge drinking cutting unprotected sex

overspending procrastinating being your own worst enemy


Often violation of boundaries increases self doubt, inability making decisions, becoming too passive or passive agressive, makes you take things personally, causes arguments, and results in unhappiness and low self confidence.


STRENGTHENING your boundaries is REWARDING!

These exercises can help:


Exercise 1: AWARENESS

  • I know when someone has violated my physical boundaries because _______________

  • When someone crosses my emotional boundaries I feel ________________________

  • When my mental boundaries are crossed I feel ______________________________

  • I know when someone has crossed my sexual boundaries when _________________

  • When my material boundaries have been crossed I _______________________________

Exercise 2: HEALTHY vs UNHEALTHY BOUNDARIES

Can you find the difference between healthy and unhealthy boundaries in the following statements:

  • Sharing "too much" whenever you talk with someone (ub)

  • Feeling guilty for not doing more and a fool when you do (ub)

  • Communicating your wants, needs, and disagreements calmly (Hb)

  • Taking things personally and getting hurt (ub)

  • Keeping an open mind while maintaining your point of view (Hb)

  • Being decisive despite the fact you may be displeasing others (Hb)

  • Worrying that others will not like you if you tell them what you think (ub)

  • Always afraid you will say or do the wrong thing (ub)

(The letters in the parenthesis indicate Hb=healthy and ub=unhealthy boundaries).


by Aphrodite Beidler


Related: Test yourself on the difference between healthy or unhealthy boundaries. Download the boundary exercise below.

Boundaries Excersise
.pdf
Download PDF • 1.14MB

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