Boundaries (Psychology)

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A boundary is according to H.Cloud and J.Townsend a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. They impact all areas of our lives:

  • Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances.
  • Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions.
  • Emotional boundaries help us deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others.
  • Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God's will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator.

Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle.[1] According to Horace, there is a good measure and fixed boundaries in all things.[note 1]


  1. Est modus in rebus, sunt certi denique fines. Horatius, Book of Satires I, 1, 106[2]


  1. H. Cloud and J. Townsend. Boundaries: When to say YES, When to say NO; to take control of your life.. Retrieved on 2012-10-28.
  2. Энциклопедический словарь Ф.А. Брокгауза и И.А. Ефрона (Encyclopedic Dictionary of F.A. Brockhaus and I.A. Efron) (Latin,Russian).

See also