2 Types of Unhealthy Boundaries that Hold Smart and Caring Women back

Rigid boundaries involve building walls to keep others out as a way to keep yourself safe… This typically comes from a fear of vulnerability or a history of being taken advantage of.

Nedra Glover Tawwab

You’re likely to be familiar with one of two unhealthy boundaries. But are you familiar with both?

Nedra Glover Tawwab is a licensed therapist. In her book, Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself, she describes not one but two types of unhealthy boundaries.

Two types of unhealthy boundaries

You are likely to be aware that the first type is porous:

Porous boundaries are weak or poorly expressed and are unintentionally harmful. They lead to feeling depleted, overextending yourself, depression, anxiety, and unhealthy relationship dynamics.

If you have trouble “saying no,” or aim to please everyone around you, you have porous boundaries.

In contrast, you could also have rigid boundaries:

Whereas porous boundaries lead to unhealthy closeness (enmeshment), rigid ones are a self-protective mechanism meant to build distance… People with rigid boundaries do not allow exceptions to their stringent rules even when tit would be healthy for them to do so.

The two steps of healthy boundaries

In contrast, healthy boundaries…

Healthy boundaries are possible when your past doesn’t show up in your present interactions. They require an awareness of your emotional, mental, and physcial capabilities, combined with clear communication.

In addition to clear communication, Nedra Glover Tawwab says that healthy boundaries need to be upheld with action.

So, how will you uphold yours?

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