“I will not accept mediocrity for me or my family. I will set boundaries and not let anyone break them. I will do something for me every day.”
‘Personal boundaries include physical, mental, and spiritual boundaries. ‘Mental boundaries pertain to beliefs, emotion, and intuition…Spiritual boundaries pertain to self-esteem and sense of identity’, together they constitute “psychological boundaries”.
According to Nina Brown, there are four types of psychological boundary:
- Soft – A person with soft boundaries merges with other people’s boundaries. Someone with a soft boundary is easily manipulated.
- Spongy – A person with spongy boundaries is like a combination of having soft and rigid boundaries. They permit less emotional contagion than soft boundaries but more than rigid. People with spongy boundaries are unsure of what to let in and what to keep out.
- Rigid – A person with rigid boundaries is closed or walled off so nobody can get close to him/her either physically or emotionally. This is often the case if someone has been physically or emotionally abused. Rigid boundaries can be selective which depend on time, place or circumstances and are usually based on a bad previous experience in a similar situation.
- Flexible – This is the ideal. Similar to selective rigid boundaries but the person has more control. The person decides what to let in and what to keep out, is resistant to manipulation and is difficult to exploit.
‘Without a psychic boundary, we would be like
drops of ink diffused in a pool of water –
easily absorbed into other people’s definitions of us….
It is our freedom to define ourselves’.