I first learned about the concept of psychological boundaries a little over a year ago. But something didn’t seem quite right about it. People explained to me how they understood psychological boundaries, and but the explanations didn’t seem logically consistent. Sometimes, boundaries meant ~“the unavoidable separateness of individuals”, and sometimes, boundaries meant ~“things you are physically capable of doing but other people might not *want* you to do”.

Since then, I’ve spent hundreds of hours and spoken to more than a hundred people thinking about this.

Now I’ll generalize. I see four types of boundary misunderstandings between you and another person:

  • You expect that you can control someone else. (E.g., their thinking, their actions, their emotions, whether they like you.)
  • You expect that someone else can control you.
  • You expect that you can know what someone else is thinking, feeling, or wanting, without them having told you.
  • You expect that someone else can know your internal state, without you having told them.

These are all failures to acknowledge the natural boundaries that exist between individuals.

Read more on Chipmonk.

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