15 Signs of Unhealthy Boundaries

As someone who has been pivoting her people pleasing habit for a while now, I started to realise the number of other places in my life where I had unhealthy boundaries. Subsequently, in the post I wanted to share –

  • What is a Boundary?
  • What is a Personal Boundary?
  • Why have Boundaries?
  • What do Health Boundaries look like?
  • Signs of Unhealthy Boundaries.


What is a Boundary?

Let’s start with some definitions of a boundary. A boundary is –

  • “a line which marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.” ~ Google and Oxford Dictionary
  • “something (such as a river, a fence, or an imaginary line) that shows where an area ends and another area begins.” ~ Merriam-Webster
  • “Something that indicates a border or limit.” ~ The Free Dictionary


What are Personal Boundaries?

Personal boundaries are similar to the boundaries described above, however the lines relate to people and their behaviour. The lines are similar to property lines and –

  • define where your responsibility begins and where it ends,
  • help keep us safe and see who we are and who we are not,
  • clarify your needs in a relationship,
  • provide a moral compass,
  • are held in place by decisions and actions,
  • is a limit that promotes integrity,
  • evolve throughout our lives,
  • can be visible (i.e. physical boundaries like fences) or invisible (i.e. emotional boundaries),
  • contribute to healthy relationships, and
  • allow us to see our responsibility for ourselves and to others.


Why have Personal Boundaries?

There are many reasons to have personal boundaries, however they really depend on the individual as every person is different and has had contrasting experiences in their lives. Personal boundaries can help you –

  • define who you are,
  • protect your time and energy,
  • provide a clear moral compass,
  • practice self-care and self-respect,
  • communicate your needs in a relationship,
  • set healthy limits in a relationship, and
  • make time and space for healthy interactions.


What Do Healthy Boundaries Look Like?

The following image shows what healthy and unhealthy boundaries look like –

Signs of Unhealthy Boundaries

Following are a 15 signs of unhealthy boundaries –

  1. Letting everyone know everything. 
  2. Talking at an intimate level on the first meeting with someone.
  3. Falling in love with a new acquaintance. 
  4. Not noticing when another person displays inappropriate boundaries.
  5. Falling in love with anyone who reaches out to help or support you. 
  6. Over or under-eating.
  7. Letting other people direct your life.
  8. Letting another person define your reality and what you believe in.
  9. Going against personal values or rights to please others.
  10. Not noticing when another person invades or violates your boundaries. 
  11. Accepting something that you do not want. For example – food, gifts or touch. 
  12. Touching another person without asking. 
  13. Taking as much as you can get for the sake of getting.
  14. Giving as much as you can give for the sake of giving.
  15. Allowing another person to take as much as they can from you.


Over to You…

I hope this post has give you some insight in to boundaries and some signs of unhealthy boundaries. Are there any other signs you would add? If so, feel free to share them below! Also, if you have any comments, please leave them below or pop over to our Facebook page.


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