Healthy boundaries create strong relationships and foster healthy interconnection. With healthy boundaries, two individuals clearly know themselves and each other and can connect, support, grow, and change. There is both connection and space, togetherness and individuation, and an interdependence rather than either codependence or independence. Relationships like this flourish and creates communication that is open, honest, and authentic.
Someone who has no boundaries or collapsed boundaries is fluid, becomes easily enmeshed, has no sense of self, and merges with others and their problems. Not knowing where you end and others begin creates problems in relationships. Individuals like this get consumed by others, become codependent, and are pushed or pulled by others.
The other danger is merging with others in a way that makes them feel suffocated. Behavior like this snuffs out any spark toward friendship or a romantic relationship. We've all seen movies and sitcoms based on interference and over-involvement where a character doesn’t understand proper social boundaries or respect distance. As a result, the very thing people long for, a connection to and relationship with others, is often strained. Often the relationship becomes so strained that it frays and is eventually destroyed.
Someone whose boundaries are too rigid is unable to connect with others, unable to receive help, and is emotionally detached, making intimacy impossible. You may know someone like this, or you may be this way yourself. Often such people are conflicted, wishing they had the support and friendships they so long for, and yet put up walls—either knowingly or unknowingly—to prevent others from feeling any sort of closeness or emotional connection. These are the people that are always “okay,” claiming that nothing is wrong and that they don't need anyone or anything. There is no real or meaningful relationship possible with such ones.
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