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Are our boundaries healthy or not?

Are our boundaries healthy or not?

Maria Niki Riginioti
19 Jan, 2023

 We distinguish personal boundaries into 5 categories depending on where they are applied/set in our daily lives. But with another look, we can simply categorize them according to their "quality" and thus examine them regarding how healthy or not they are.


a) Faint borders: People who set weak, indistinct boundaries tend to confuse their own personal boundaries with those of others. This often results in them stepping into the role of victim, allowing others to manipulate them and ultimately behaving and acting according to the wishes of their "significant" others. The specific limits usually result from parent/caregiver behavior that is particularly protective/castrating and/or consistently intrusive.

b) Unstable Boundaries: People who set this type of boundaries have difficulty distinguishing what might be inside or outside their boundaries and as a result they manifest them sometimes very faintly and sometimes very rigidly, in an unstable and inconsistent way. It is usually the result of growing up with a parent/caregiver with unstable behavior, often extreme that his reactions are also varied in situations of the same/stable behavior of the child (example: for a certain behavior of the child the parent/caregiver one day shows very intense anger and imposes punishment and the next day is permissive or indifferent)

c) Rigid Boundaries: People with this type of boundaries seem to have "raised walls" of defense around them. These boundaries can be selective or universal and are usually the result of negative and/or abusive past experiences.

d) Conscious/Mental Limits: The specific type means that the person who sets the limits, whether they are strict or more relaxed, consciously judges according to the circumstances and the relationship he has with others, which makes them effective in terms of any tendency to violate or manipulate from the environment. Specific boundaries are usually the result of personal development in a person's postadolescent or later adult life and independent of previous negative experiences.

e) “Natural”/Spontaneous Limits: This type of boundary is the healthiest of all as it presupposes a healthy developmental period from early infancy and an environment that also set boundaries but did not lack acceptance, care and love. They are manifested by people who have developed emotional maturity and are able to perceive what each situation requires without having to process it particularly on a mental level (in contrast to previous conscious boundaries).


Note:Correlation with the developmental environment of the child (today's adult) has become a basis of study and is not an absolute protocol of boundary formation. Also, it is important to mention that the categorization is not absolute as each of us can find ourselves in two of the five categories with a percentage manifestation e.g. 60%-40% or 10%-90% etc.



photo Engine_Akyurt / https://pixabay.com/el


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