Healthy Boundaries

Characteristics of Healthy Boundaries, by Charles Whitfield, MD


  1. Presence—to have boundary health, and to sense the usefulness or non-usefulness of a boundary, a boundary has to be present in my awareness to some degree.  IF it is not present in my awareness, then I may not be able to set it or, if I choose, to let it go.
  2. Appropriateness—based on my inner life.  This begins to delineate some useful reasons why I may need the boundary. I set the boundary or let it go based on what I am experiencing right now in my inner life.  My inner life includes my beliefs, thoughts, feelings, decisions, choices, wants, needs, intuitions and more.  So, knowing what is coming up for me in my life is crucial in my setting healthy boundaries and having healthy relationships.
  3. Protective—the boundary is useful to help protect the well-being and integrity of my child within.
  4. Clarity—I am clear about the boundary with myself and with others with whom I am setting the boundary or limit.
  5. Firmness—to get what I want or need, how firm do I want my boundary or limit to be?  I am in charge of how firm I want them to be.
  6. Maintenance—do I need to maintain or hold firm on a specific boundary or limit for a period of time to get what I need or want?  OR do I need to relax the boundary or limit to get what I want or need?
  7. Flexibility—to get what I want or need, how flexible do I want my boundary or limit to be?  To have healthy boundaries, I need to also be flexible—when appropriate for my healthy, individual human needs and wants.  To have healthy relationships, I may need to let go of my boundaries and limits when appropriate.
  8. Receptive—would it be useful or enjoyable for me to loosen the boundary a bit and let another person, place, thing, behavior or experience it?



This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 at 7:26 pm and is filed under Psychology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply