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There are two categories of personal boundary, physical and psychological.

According to Nina Brown, [1] there are 4 kinds of psychological boundaries:

  • Soft - A person with soft boundaries merges with other people's boundaries. Someone with a soft boundary is easily manipulated.
  • Spongy - A person with spongy boundaries is like a combination of having soft and rigid boundaries. They permit less emotional contagion than soft boundaries but more than rigid. People with spongy boundaries are unsure what to let in and what to keep out.
  • Rigid - A person with rigid boundaries is closed or walled off so nobody can get close to them either physically or emotionally. This is often the case if someone has been physically, emotionally or psychologically abused. Rigid boundaries can be selective which depend on time, place or circumstances and are usually based on a bad previous experience in a similar situation.
  • Flexible - This is the ideal. Similar to selective rigid boundaries but the person has more control. The person decides what to let in and what to keep out, are resistant to emotional contagion, manipulation and are difficult to exploit.

Contents

The bad boundaries of narcissists

According to Hotchkiss[2], narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist will be treated as if they are part of the narcissist and be expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist there is no boundary between self and other.

See also

References

  1. ^ Brown, Nina W., Coping With Infuriating, Mean, Critical People - The Destructive Narcissistic Pattern 2006
  2. ^ Hotchkiss, Sandy & Masterson, James F. Why Is It Always About You? : The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism (2003)

Books on personal boundaries

  • Black, Jan & Enns, Greg Better Boundaries: Owning and Treasuring Your Life 1998
  • Bottke, Allison Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children: Six Steps to Hope and Healing for Struggling Parents 2008
  • Cloud, Henry & Townsend, John Boundaries Workbook: When to Say Yes When to Say No To Take Control of Your Life 1995
  • Cloud, Henry & Townsend, John Boundaries with Kids 2001
  • Cloud, Henry & Townsend, John Boundaries in Marriage 2002
  • Linden, Anne Boundaries in Human Relationships: How to Be Separate and Connected 2008
  • Katherine, Anne Boundaries - Where You End And I Begin: How To Recognize And Set Healthy Boundaries 1994
  • Katherine, Anne Where to Draw the Line: How to Set Healthy Boundaries Every Day 2000
  • MacKenzie, Robert J. Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child : Eliminating Conflict by Establishing Clear, Firm, and Respectful Boundaries 2001
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