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something that indicates bounds or limits; a limiting or bounding line

Boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits we create that identify us. They allow us to set limits with others and to know our own limitations. Boundaries help us to define when we are safe and, if not, what to do to protect ourselves physically and emotionally. Types of boundaries include physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual, personal, and financial, to name a few. Boundaries are built out of a mix of beliefs, opinions, attitudes, past experiences and social learning, and have a very important impact on our relationships. The lack of boundaries leaves us vulnerable to the way others treat us, and our own sense of self-worth, self-confidence, and personal safety are at risk. Some reasons why we don’t set boundaries include the fear of rejection, of being judged and criticized, of being misunderstood, and the fear of being abandoned.

Boundaries are built out of a mix of beliefs, opinions, attitudes, past experiences and social learning, and have a very important impact on our relationships. The lack of boundaries leaves us vulnerable to the way others treat us; and our own sense of self-worth, self-confidence, and personal safety are at risk. Some reasons why we don’t set boundaries include the fear of rejection, of being judged and criticized, of being misunderstood, and of being abandoned.

Evaluating our boundaries and learning why they’re important can help us to set appropriate limits for ourselves and others. Boundaries provide us with a sense of individuation, help us take responsibility for ourselves, and allow others to take responsibility for themselves. Working with boundary issues can feel very threatening. The therapy staff at The New Leaf Center can help with the ongoing process of boundary development and strengthening.