Boundaries – What are they and why are they necessary?

Boundaries – What are they and why are they necessary for individuals, couples, children, and families?

How are healthy boundaries developed?

They are developed in childhood and modeled by our family of origin through ‘healthy’ bonding, separation and individuation; loving communication and teaching; and consistent limit setting and consequences.

How are our boundaries injured in relationships?

  • Lack of time, attention, affection, affirmation, and security in relationships
  • Withdrawal of love
  • Hostility over boundaries
  • Over control
  • Lack of limits and clear rules
  • Lack of consequences
  • Inconsistent limits and consequences
  • Lack of monitoring children’s activities and whereabouts
  • Past trauma
  • Personal character traits like narcissism; selfishness; complaints who say ‘yes’ to the bad; avoidants who say ‘no’ to the good; controllers not respecting others’ boundaries; and non-responsives not hearing the needs of others

A healthy sense of self and a balanced lifestyle come from clear personal and family
boundaries.  As physical structures define space, boundaries are like a property line that
defines each of us from one another.  Healthy boundaries keep us safe, determine our privacy,
our personal respect, help us maintain a balanced lifestyle, and enable us to live together civilly.

Boundaries Impact Major Areas of Our Lives:

  • Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances.
  • Mental boundaries allow us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions.
  • Emotional boundaries help us deal with our own emotions and disengage us from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others.
For more details visit:
Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend, ISBN 0-310-58590-2

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