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  • Writer's pictureEmily Piette

Boundaries: the 5 W's (Who, What)

Boundaries. It is where you stop, and I begin.

Boundaries help you define what you are comfortable with and how you would like to be treated by others.

Boundaries look different for everyone. And they are extremely important in our relationships to ensure we are taking care of our own mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health.

I teach boundaries with all my clients, and use them in my own relationships too. For some of us, this is new... and extremely difficult to do if you haven't done it before.

But not everyone knows the 5 W's of Boundaries- Who, What, When, Where, Why... And How?!

Let's break it down...

Who are boundaries for: They are for you- and me! For our relationships with co-workers, friends, family... even our kids!

What are boundaries: Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Elizabeth Earnshaw wrote in her blog with Mindbodygreen (6 Types of Boundaries) that "Healthy boundaries are the ultimate guide to successful relationships. Without healthy boundaries, relationships do not thrive—they result in feelings of resentment, disappointment, or violation". If we do not manage and "check" these feelings, it can lead to being cut off from others, or having enmeshment in your relationships ( where there's no clear division between you and others' needs and feelings).

Boundaries are built out of a mix of our own conclusions, beliefs, opinions, attitudes, past experiences and social learning. Now one else can tell you what your "boundary" is- that is for you to determine.

There are 6 levels of boundaries- Physical, emotional, time, sexual, intellectual, and material. Check out Elizabeth's blog to learn more about these levels and their violations- 6 Types of Boundaries

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