Boundary Basics

Most of us are familiar with the term “boundaries”. We may speak about people having “boundary issues” or “bad boundaries”, but what are they exactly? Boundaries refer to the degree of closeness and limits we have with other people, especially in families or intimate relationships. The term “boundary” is a metaphor to describe how and when we let people into our personal space, whether physically or psychologically. It refers to our ability to say “no” to unwanted requests, and to ask for the things we need or want. It also describes the quality of connection we have with others, and how intertwined our emotional and psychological well being is with theirs. We learn our boundary style from our family of origin and unconsciously continue the same pattern into our adult relationships, recreating the same amount of limits, connection, or distance with other people. Sometimes we overreact to our early boundary experiences and do the opposite of how we were raised! […]