Barriers and Boundaries


It is very important to understand the difference between barriers and boundaries, especially in relationships. A barrier is a complete shut out of any kind of communication – physical, verbal and non-verbal – against a person or entity or even a thought. It is an extreme act, almost irreversible especially when the barricade is against a person because of the hypersensitive nature of human beings and is advisable only when there is a strong ground to do so. But whereas boundaries are barriers with doors and windows  –  in other words, privacy and socializing are balanced in a delicate manner. Unlike a barrier, which can be forgotten for good once it has been erected (usually, against someone), a boundary is a dynamic act and requires constant defining and re-defining. It is a mutual silence and simultaneously a mutual dialogue too, across the boundary; it is an acknowledgement and respect for each other’s need for nurturing his or her individualism and also each other’s need to share. The one who knows to draw and re-draw dynamic boundaries will have get to enjoy the best of the two opposite worlds – privacy and society.


One thought on “Barriers and Boundaries

  1. Reblogged this on sirgb's Blog and commented:
    This reminds me about the book “The Yanomamo” written by Napoleon A. Chagnon. Despite all the controversies, Mr. Chagnon is admittedly one of the greatest anthropologists, at least for me. If one about to see social interactions in their very primitive, tribal form, Yanomamo is the best to start with.
    I appreciate your idea to blog the topic, since it is dearly actual,
    When made attempt to grasp and derive behavioral principles I’ve learned it’s all about self-confidence and trust in other members of society, with assertiveness in the middle we are using to regulate, to define our and other members position within a society. With assertiveness an individual finds balance. Ideally, he or she doesn’t have too much self confidence or trust, neither does he or she lack it.
    It would be ideal if every single member has moderate self-confidence with moderate trust. In that case we’d be easy to handle boundaries and playing other social power and seduction games, thus would be easy to maintain healthy society. But, humans differ and if one have very high self-confidence and in addition 0 trust in others, we immediately receive warning that we have to deal with dominant and marginal individual who walks with “‘I am entitled to more than others” ! Now dominance is not, as one may think, about yelling and overpowering the other. In it’s mildest form it’s all about manipulation and seduction. The dominant person can be very charming and nice (so do psychopaths!) They do so to obtain favours, to get what they want. For the dominant person, others are evaluated in terms of utility. They will use them to obtain their goal, whatever that may be. In its most extreme form excessive self confidence leads to a narcissistic personality disorder.
    Now come barriers, not to regulate, but to protect rather. A healthy individual applies barriers the same way the state applies penitentiaries to reduce the risks society is exposed to.
    My personal opinion is, as the individual is getting older, the less he/she, but certainly me, is willing to spend “resources” on building and maintaining boundaries in our private life. It’s enough that we must do it at our workplace, as the organisational behaviour demands that from us. Private life meant to be, must be free from lies, hypocrisy and other toxics. If I turn my back, that doesn’t mean I hate, or anything extreme, it’s mean only, he/she is not worth of my time.


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