“What Are Boundaries? Boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for themselves what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave around them and how they will respond when someone steps outside.”
We all have boundaries, some spoken and many unspoken, that act as our signature “this is who I am” business cards, laying out our needs, expectations as well as potential side effects (consequences) if violated. Our personal boundaries are first formed within one’s own culture, moral code, ethical standards, evolving life experiences, and societal norms. They allow individuals to define who and what he or she is willing to do and accept in terms of treatment from others. One must be very careful to not assume another feels or behaves the way you do. To act only according to how you feel in a situation could result is a gross injustice. Crossing another’s personal boundaries can be a terrible violation of the human spirit depending on one’s actions and intentions.
Healthy boundaries often indicate the degree of personal regard and self respect for oneself and others. Unhealthy, nonexistent, or even poor boundaries can cause enormous emotional pain leading to depression, anxiety, co-dependency etc. and leave oneself open to unimaginable physical or emotional damage. All humans are imperfect beings and not everyone will have your best interest in mind. Serial predators really do exist. One must be very careful to read the “tea” leaves since some societal boundaries and norms can change over time. Throughout the world, humans collectively strive to adhere to social expectations for healthy, relational balance. Many believe that treating people the way you would want to be treated is a great starting point. But perhaps we should also incorporate treating people according to what their boundaries dictate. The end result could cause a tidal wave of basic human R_E_S_P_E_C_T.