What Are Personal Boundaries?

Types of Boundaries

Physical Boundaries refer to personal space and physical touch. Healthy physical boundaries include an awareness of what’s appropriate and what’s not, in various settings and types of relations (hug, shake hands, or kiss?). Physical boundaries may be violated if someone touches you don’t want them to or when they invade your personal space ( for example, rummaging through your bedroom)

Intellectual boundaries refer to thoughts and ideas. Healthy intellectual boundaries include respect for others ideas and an awareness of appropriate discussion (should we talk about the weather or politics?). Intellectual boundaries are violated when someone dismisses or belittles another person’s thoughts or ideas.

Emotional boundaries refer to a person’s feelings. Healthy emotional boundaries include limitations on when to share and when not to share, personal information. For example, gradually sharing personal information during the development of a relationship, as opposed to revealing everything to everyone. Emotional boundaries are violated when someone criticises, belittles, or invalidates another person’s feelings.

Sexual boundaries refer to the emotional, intellectual and physical aspects of sexuality. Healthy sexual boundaries involve mutual understanding and respect of limitations and desires between sexual partners. Sexual boundaries can be violated with unwanted sexual touch, pressure to engage in sexual acts, leering or sexual comments.

Material boundaries refer to money and possessions. Health material boundaries involve setting limits on what you will share and with whom. For example, it may be appropriate to lend a car to a family member but probably not to someone you met this morning. Material boundaries are violated when someone steals or damages another person’s possessions or when they pressure them to give or lend them their posssessions.

Time boundaries refer to how a person uses their time. To have healthy time boundaries a persons’ must set aside enough time for each facet of their life such as work, relationships, and hobbies. Time boundaries are violated when another person demands too much of another’s time.


If you need support join our Private and Closed online Facebook Group for Child Abuse Survivors and those with CPTSD. Click here to join.

I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment. All feedback is much appreciated. Thank you. Erin

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.