Boundaries

A boundary is your personal physical, emotional and sexual comfort zone. We all have a gut feeling that lets us know when our boundaries are being broken.

Below are examples of how boundaries can be broken:

  • Interrupting a conversation
  • Taking someone’s possessions without her or his permission
  • Teasing or making fun of someone
  • Asking very personal questions
  • Telling other people stories about someone
  • Making someone uncomfortable by always being around or invading their private space
  • Saying or doing things that others find offensive or vulgar
  • Forcing someone into doing something sexual
  • Physically assaulting someone
  • Using inappropriate language or touching
  • Using violence in any way

Complete this activity to see if your relationship has healthy boundaries.

The following questions may help point out unhealthy qualities in your relationship.

  1. Does this person try to tell you what to do, how to dress, who to hang out with?
  2. Do you spend most of your time worrying about this relationship?
  3. Does it seem that this person purposefully tries to make you feel jealous or insecure?
  4. Does it seem that you do all the giving and your friend does all the taking?
  5. Does your friend put unrealistic demands on you? What demands?
  6. Does your friend ignore you or attempt to control you when others are around?  What usually happens?
  7. Does it seem like this friend is always trying to change you? How?
  8. Does your friend purposely do things to hurt you emotionally or physically? What are those things they do to hurt you?
  9. Do other people tell you that your friend talks about you behind your back?  What does your friend talk about?
  10. Do you get into trouble when you do what your friend says? How?
  11. Do you feel ashamed, guilty or afraid after talking or being with this person?
  12. Have you quit doing things that you used to enjoy since you’ve become involved with this person? What? Why?
  13. Does this person ever threaten or intimidate you?
  14. Has this person ever given you a gift and expected sexual contact in return?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your relationship is unhealthy or may be heading in an unhealthy direction. You have the right to regain your power by enforcing your boundaries. Here are some things you can do:

  • End the relationship
  • Talk to an adult you trust
  • Develop a safety plan (clicking here for a personalized safety plan)
  • Call the Women’s Resource Center Hotline at (540) 639-1123.