What Are Examples of Boundaries?

Reviewed on 2/10/2021
This may include your body, your home, your workspace, your things
This may include your body, your home, your workspace, your things

The examples of different types of boundaries may include:

Physical boundaries:

  • This may include your body, your home, your workspace, your things (such as purse or wallet). 
  • For example, a friend going through your purse or wallet is a violation of physical boundaries.

Sexual boundaries:

  • A sexual boundary is how far we are willing to take what we do sexually or physically.
  • For example, some people enjoy oral sex, whereas others do not. Sometimes our sexual boundaries might be pushed or probed by a sexual partner asking us to perform something sexually that we are not comfortable doing.
  • It is fine and healthy to inquire about a partner’s sexual limits and desires. As sexual beings, we have the right to say no to things that make us uncomfortable.

Relationship boundaries:

  • Relational boundaries are those that are in place for the various types of relationships that you have in your life.
  • For example, your relationship with a bus driver you see regularly is quite different from the relationship you have with your best friend.
  • Relationship boundaries vary dramatically from person to person and can be big or small.
  • An important thing to remember is that it is fine to be somewhat flexible with different people under different circumstances.

Legal boundaries:

  • When a person hears the term legal boundary, they often think on property lines (invisible lines that separate property).
  • Legal boundaries are about more than just property, they are about the legal restrictions that affect our daily lives.
  • When we are walking or driving somewhere, we do stop at a red light.
  • There is a legal boundary that says we cannot go through a red light or we risk the consequences of paying a ticket or even getting into an accident.

Emotional boundaries:

  • Knowing about our emotions is helpful. There are times when it is in your best interest to control your emotional behavior, releasing them in a different way or at a different time and place.
  • For example, shouting, yelling, and swearing at work. Even if your reason for feeling angry is justified, this outburst may get you fired or you may be asked to leave.
  • Controlling emotional behaviors can also be important for times when you are feeling something traditionally thought of as positive.
  • For example, you are excited about something, but your friend is very upset about something else.

Mental boundaries:

  • Mental boundaries define our thoughts and opinions, allowing us to choose what we think about and stop ourselves from thinking about other things.
  • Additionally, as we form opinions, we have the freedom to analyze a situation. We gather the information to integrate into the assessment and make our resulting opinion.
  • For example, we support a certain team because it makes us feel like we are a part of a community.
  • This sense of community is a value that matters to some people more than others. Furthermore, when trying to explain team sports to a person (who is not from your community), you must explain the value we put on winning and losing.
  • When you think like a tour guide, you are forced to take a deeper look at the things we do and things we value.
  • They do not always sound logical or true from a different point of view.

Technological boundaries:

  • It is easy to be plugged in 24/7. However, if we are, then this can really hurt our relationships and ability to connect with ourselves. 
  • It is good to break free from our devices. You could put it away at the same time every night, or you could keep the weekends unplugged.

How to enforce your boundaries?

Below are a few ways to enforce boundaries:

  • Be clear in your agreements with people
  • Have confident knowledge of yourself before setting boundaries
  • Be committed to your goals
  • Speak up when someone is about to cross their boundaries
  • Take ownership of boundaries that you set up to achieve your goals
  • Suspend privileges to people who are not abiding by your boundaries
  • Withdraw from your agreement if people are not following boundaries
  • Denounce people who are not acknowledging boundaries 
  • If needed, call for help, hire an attorney, consult advocacy support, or get a restraining order

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References
GoodTherapy. Boundaries. https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/boundaries

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