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Boundaries - Impenetrable Walls or Pathways to Deeper Connection

Updated: Oct 4, 2018

What does the term 'Boundaries' summon up for you?

In opening up the discussion about this most misunderstood of subjects ..

Let's first of all look at what Boundaries are NOT!

They are NOT a challenge!

They are NOT an opportunity to make someone feel insignificant, unvalued or unseen by deliberately and purposefully breaching a boundary they set (ie: a control mechanism)!

They are NOT a personal rebuke (not usually about you personally, though that could be a possibililty!)

They are NOT about win/lose!

They are NOT a weapon or a punishment!

They are NOT about a power struggle (not a means of gaining control, getting the upper hand or asserting dominance)!

They are NOT an automatic 'No Go' sign!

They are NOT a barrier to relationship!

So, now we know what they are not ..

What ARE They Then?

Personal Boundaries (we'll just refer to them as Boundaries from here on) are the physical, emotional and mental limits that we set (and uphold) to protect ourselves from being manipulated, taken advantage of, mistreated, used or abused by others.

Boundaries enable us to draw a distinct line between who we are as an individual - our own needs, wishes, dreams and desires, emotions, and what we think and feel as a person in our own right; and the needs, wishes, dreams and desires, thoughts and feelings of others.

They protect our need for, and right to, autonomy.

They also help us to establish a positive self-image and a strong sense of independent identity - separate from and irrespective of the opinions of others. They demonstrate to the world that we have self-respect, self-value, and that we will not allow anyone else to define us. Having personal boundaries helps us to feel able to express ourselves without the need for approval, and to acknowledge the right of others to the same regard for their individuality.

Having boundaries helps us to define our own worth and be the authority in our own lives. The absence of personal boundaries leaves us vulnerable to hanging our sense of worth on the opinions of others, effectively leaving a door open for any manipulative or abusive people we come into contact with to get under our skin, and potentially make our lives a misery. So, as your first line of defence against any such invasion, one of your highest priorities should be to establish personal boundaries.

It’s worth realising that based on the overwhelming evidence of poor relationship skills across all social levels, fewer people set boundaries than those who don’t. You’re therefore on the leading edge in terms of developing those skills.

It may sound like you’re being encouraged to put up walls in your relationship but this isn’t the right way to look at it. All relationships need boundaries – this has no doubt become much more obvious to you as a result of the work you’ve done so far.

Dysfunctional relationships don’t have healthy boundaries, therefore, with no clear indication of what is acceptable and what isn’t a) nobody really has any clarity about what’s expected of them, and both parties can end up spilling over into the other’s no fly zone, and b) without those guidelines, the relationship is likely going to follow the same patterns as modelled for each partner in their respective childhoods (ie: according to their individual Maps of the World) by default.

Setting boundaries is the way to creating your relationships by your own design.

That's how important Boundaries are!

With love,

Trish Brennan


If you need support in this area, I run a 6 Week online Course on how to establish


that will transform your life!

Find out more at


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