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Psychological Boundaries


Boundaries define where we end and other people begin, both physically and emotionally. Psychologically, they define a space we see as our own, separate from other people. When we are in love or feel very close to another person through friendship, collaboration, or special circumstances, boundaries may get blurred, as we see ourselves not as separate from them. However, even then boundaries continue to be an important piece of our emotional health.

Psychological boundaries help us to maintain balance and protect our minds, emotions, and time from the behavior or demands of others. They provide the framework to keep us from being used or manipulated by others, and they allow us to confidently express who we are and what we want in life. Personal boundaries allow us to be in the driver’s seat of our own lives.

 How are boundaries formed?

They begin to form in infancy through family and environmental interactions. In a healthy family, a child is helped to become a unique individual by developing a self-concept separate from other family members. Healthy families promote members’ self-actualization. We learn about our boundaries by the way we are treated as children, and then we teach others where our boundaries are by the way we let them treat us.

Boundaries require maintenance. Most people will respect our boundaries if we indicate where they are, but with some people, we need to actively defend them. Maintaining boundaries allows us to gain trust in ourselves and to take care of ourselves. It results in a healthy sense of control and overall well-being.

Why is it so important to have healthy boundaries?

Too inadequate or too rigid boundaries tend to create psychological problems. Lack of healthy boundaries can lead to abuse, taking responsibilities for someone else’s decisions and actions, losing one’s sense of identity, and so on. Boundaries that are too rigid keep people in isolation, as though they were within a bubble that nobody can break through. 


  1. What are the main traits of a person with healthy psychological boundaries?
  2. Why do some people have weak boundaries or no boundaries at all?
  3. By what matters can a person strengthen his weak psychological boundaries? What can be done if boundaries are too rigid?
  4. How do you think what does the notion “private space” include?
  5. People need different amount of private space. What does private space mean for you?
  6. Can all the people be categorized depending on their type of personality into introverts and extraverts? If so, what type could you attribute yourself to and why?
  7. Is it comfortable for you to be at the places where the loud music sounds? Do you like night clubs?
  8. Is it important for you to have your own room or you prefer to live together with someone?
  9. Do you prefer to ask for advice of other people or you like to make decisions all by yourself?
  10. Do you feel that sometimes making decisions you have to consider public opinion? Does society often bears pressure upon us? If so, how is it reflected?
  11. How do you think, should our relatives and friends influence our decisions and actions? In what cases should we ask for their advice?
  12. Should relatives have secrets from each other? What about close friends?
  13. What should be the distance between friends; a couple; a wife and a husband; children and parents?
  14. What actions of little known people will you regard as manifestation of familiarity? How will you react, if an unfamiliar person suddenly hugs you, taps you on the shoulder, invites to his house? Can you invite to your house a person you met recently?
  15. How do you usually behave in a situation where a person actively tries to inflict himself on you? Is it hard for you to reject people?
  16. How, in your opinion, should one behave in conflict situations?
  17. What can help you to stay calm during a controversy? What are the ways to control emotions?
  18. When do we need to compromise or stretch a point for a person you argue with?
  19. Have you been in a situation when a person made you do something for him by means of various manipulations? How can we discern manipulators and how to get along with them?
  20. Do you deal with manifestations of aggression towards you at your place of work? If so, how do you solve these problems?
  21. How do you react to unfairness of your boss to you or your friend or colleague?
  22. Does a boss have a right to bear pressure upon his people or he should be inherent diplomatist?
  23. Is it proper that many companies have official or secret prohibition on office romances?

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