Our physical, mental, and emotional health all demand healthy boundaries. Boundaries are guidelines or limits for how we assert our own needs and wants, as well as for how we allow others to interact with us. Boundaries are not just limits on what is unacceptable, but also guidance around what is acceptable. Although setting boundaries is crucial in forming and maintaining successful relationships, many of us struggle to set healthy boundaries consistently.
Differences Between Healthy and Unhealthy Boundaries
Boundaries are the physical and emotional limits that allow us to feel trust and respect. They encompass our need for privacy, personal space, touch, and sexual contact, as well as the relationship between our feelings and the feelings of others. Healthy boundaries often look different for each person, and even with each relationship.
Unhealthy boundaries may be a sign that you are struggling with your own wellbeing. Maybe you are living in misalignment with your values. Or you aren't clear on your values. They may also mean you are struggling with low self-esteem. Unhealthy boundaries can fall into one of two categories: harsh or lenient. Each can be damaging in relationships.