Sometimes people with weak boundaries retreat from social intercourse and ruminate in their loneliness

Those with weak boundaries often conceal their real feelings, and even if they strongly disagree with something, they pretend to agree. This leaves them open to becoming victims of abuse, and ultimately to feel the bitter taste of powerlessness, and to flounder in a state of confusion. They become fearful of being involved in enjoyable activities and take part in activities that they do not like. They blunder along, ignoring their needs, not taking care of themselves psychologically, mentally, spiritually, or physically. They take on the feelings of others as their spongy boundaries fail to protect them, but absorb the pain of others. Sometimes people with weak boundaries retreat from social intercourse and ruminate in their loneliness, unable to share their vulnerable selves. Their inner child remains alone and unnourished. If you wish to know more about the inner child, you might like to read Luccia Capacchione’s blog, Recovery of Your Inner Child.
If we have healthy boundaries we will know if they have been breached by the discomfort we feel when this happens. We may also feel discomfort if we breach the boundaries of others. Thus, good boundaries not only protect us from non-violent abuse, but also alert us if we are abusing others. When our boundaries are properly formed, our judgement is good. We do not, for example, see the feelings of others as our responsibility. We are responsible only for our own feelings. Thus having good boundaries enables us to take care of ourselves. Only each individual knows what is good for him or her. Knowing our needs is part of the space within our boundaries. Having good boundaries also helps us not to be people pleasers, stops us from feeling guilty if we disappoint others, or from trying to protect others.
Adapted from Jim O’Shea’s book Abuse. Domestic Violence, Workplace and School Bullying published by Cork University Press

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