No Boundaries

Clear Boundaries

Rigid Boundaries

No differentiation between self and other Able to attain intimacy; interdependency Uses “walls” to protect self
Trouble recognizing own or other’s abuse Does not tolerate abuse of any kind Cannot attain intimacy
Difficulty saying “no” or protecting self Does not violate other’s rights and boundaries Cannot allow self to be vulnerable
Doesn’t acknowledge other’s boundaries Takes responsibility for own behaviour and feelings May use anger to distance people
Can be both victim and/or offender Entitled, assertive response to life Strong need to be right; argumentative
Blames others; trouble taking responsibility Maintains sense of self in relationship Aggressive response to life
Passive response to life. Feelings of shame and inadequacy Feeling of confidence and worthiness Feelings of shame and inadequacy
Lacking respect for self or other Respect for self and other Lacking respect for self or other

Damaged Boundary System

  • can at times or with some people say no and set limits; at other times or with some individuals is powerless to say no
  • can sometimes set boundaries except when sick or tired
  • may become offenders; may control and manipulate others
  • may take responsibility for other people’s behaviour, feelings and thinking
  • difficulty recognizing, respecting and modeling healthy boundaries with and for children
  • may vacillate between no boundaries and rigid boundaries
  • may have passive-aggressive response to life.
  • feeling of shame triggered in some situations or by certain people.

Courtesy of Arla Sinclair