Personal boundaries can feel vague or confusing for many. Boundaries are a concept that should be tied into establishing a firm sense of right and wrong regarding your comfort zone, your personal space, your emotions and feelings, and what you value in your personal safety and security. Since boundaries work both ways, they are also about understanding the nuances and limits on others’ personal boundaries as well and respecting the choices they make for themselves in their own life.
Clear personal boundaries can include many moving parts, such as establishing emotional or physical distance or intimacy, being able to have your own thoughts and opinions, and in having your own feelings regarding something. Strong personal boundaries provide limits on what you are comfortable with in your life and in what you feel is acceptable treatment for yourself from others.
Boundaries are in place from early in your life and are taught and learned in childhood. Social learning theorist Albert Bandura (1977) often spoke on his theory of modeling and imitation which can extend to teaching concepts such as boundaries. For example, if caregivers model and teach firm boundaries for themselves and their children, then children typically grow up imitating healthy boundaries that were initially taught. Contrarily, if parents or early caregivers are poor role models for teaching boundaries, then children can grow up with a shaky sense of personal boundaries.
As an infant, there should be rules in place for where you can crawl, who can hold you, or what is considered safe or unsafe. These boundaries should continue growing and evolving when you start school. As a young child you should be introduced to things like personal space and respect for others. And boundaries should also continue throughout your life to ensure your personal safety, your happiness and your