Congratulations! Your sincerity, assertiveness, and good humor make you that nice person nobody wants to mess with! You value your own opinions, whether or not others agree with you, and if they don’t, that’s okay too. You do not compromise your values for others, but also respect the values of others. You share personal information in a measured and appropriate way, neither oversharing nor under sharing. You know your personal wants and needs, feel your right to have them, and can articulate them clearly to others. Yet, you are accepting when others say “no” to them, believing also in their right to refuse. You have a more robust sense of psychological safety, find it easier to relax, and are generally happier and healthier
When you think of this prevailing boundary type of Healthy Boundaries, you should feel very good about your ability to set and maintain important boundaries. Now, ask yourself in what areas of your life it is most true. People actually have a mix of different boundary types. For example, someone could have healthy boundaries at work, porous boundaries in friendships, and Ridged Boundaries in romantic relationships, and a mix of all four types with their family.
The appropriateness of boundaries depends heavily on setting. What’s appropriate to say when you’re out with friends might not be appropriate when you’re at work. Ask yourself where your boundaries may be too Porous or too Rigid.
What are the Four Boundary Types?
Personal boundaries are the limits and rules we set for ourselves within relationships.
A person with Healthy Boundaries can say “no” to others when they want to, but they are also comfortable opening themselves up to intimacy and close relationships.
A person who always keeps others at a distance (whether emotionally, physically, or otherwise) is said to have Rigid Boundaries. Rigid Boundaries represent a protection from vulnerability, where hurt, loss and rejection can occur and be especially painful.
Someone who tends to get too involved with others has Porous boundaries. When boundaries are Porous, you may easily take on the emotions and needs of others, and you may experience difficulty identifying your own emotions and needs.
Nonexistent Boundaries mean, of course, that you have no protection at all. The walls have crumbled, and the doors are broken down. Raiding parties come and go at all hours of the day and night. Nonexistent Boundaries are marked by excesses.
What is important about knowing your prevailing Boundary Type is being able to specifically address where they may hold you back in your relationships and in your potential.
For more information about assessing your personal boundaries and learning skills to set and enforce them, read these posts:
Boundaries: The Inside Story
Standing Up for Yourself: The Right Way to Be Assertive
Download The Practical Guru’s FREE 30-page mini course in boundaries:
“A Guide for Setting and Enforcing Healthy Boundaries”