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Human Boundaries

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Steve Ater

on 24 June 2017

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Transcript of Human Boundaries

Indicator of a healthy relationship.
Amount of shared space indicates depth of the relationship
Uncomfortable, but unavoidable. Normal and (mostly) manageable.
Loss of autonomy and options
Three Relational Interactions
5 Boundary Personalities
The Principle of Autonomy (PoA)
Human Boundaries
Shared Space
Boundary Trespass
Boundary Violation
PoA - Recognizes the individual as the basic decision making unit of human existence and interaction.
This principle is driven by biology, sensory perception and the limits of human knowing.
Human Boundaries:
Abasing Type
Codependent Abasing -

Fearful Abasing -
Exemplar Type
Externalizing Exemplar -

Internalizing Exemplar -
Aggrandizing Type
Controlling Aggrandizing -

Paranoid Aggrandizing -
Avoidant Type
Traumatic Avoidant -

Disinterested Avoidant -
What exactly is a boundary?
Three Steps to a Functional Boundary:
Only boundaries prepared for all three steps are fully functional.
Therapeutic and Life Applications of the Human Boundaries Model...
We Need
A Model of Boundaries
The Five Essential Boundary Variables
Chaotic Type
Social Chaotic

Anti-Social Chaotic
"The Situation"
The Boundary
Empathic Boundary Awareness
Other People's Boundaries
Four steps to accepting another person's boundaries...
1. Learn that I have boundaries

2. Learn that others have their own boundaries

3. Learn that others’ boundaries are different from my own

4. Learn that this is all okay
When Is It Appropriate to Infringe on Another Person's Boundaries?
1. authoritative role demands

2. emergency situational demands

3. moral and legal situational demands
allows us to honor another person’s Boundaries without having to make them go through the process of setting and defending them
as this develops we start to become Boundary experts
You start to see Boundaries EVERYWHERE
Every Boundary has BOTH a Target and a Focus.
That from which protection is needed
That which is in need of protection
No, not this Situation...
The Two Essential Purposes of
All (Systemic) Boundaries
...where one thing stops and something else begins.
So What About
Human Boundaries?
Boundaries hold things together...
Boundaries keep things apart...
Three broad types of boundaries in the natural world
External Boundaries
Internal or External Human Boundaries
Identify both to understand the
Integrative vs. Separative
purpose of the boundary
Internal Boundaries
if the TARGET is outside the individual...
if the TARGET is inside the individual...
the location of the TARGET defines
The environment or circumstance in which a particular Boundary Trespass or Violation occurs.
You have to know the Situation to avoid over-adjusting or under-adjusting your Boundaries.
A group of specific Boundaries having the same Focus designed to increase protection over an area of high vulnerability.
If a thing exists,
it has a...
These Boundaries may be weak, ineffective, uncontrolled or counterproductive but they are always present.
If a person exists, there are Boundaries defining where that person stops and another person begins.
Useful when high levels
of protection are indicated...
-Changing diet in the presence of Diabetes, COPD, etc.
One goal of therapy is to help patients become ready, willing and able to live out the PoA.
All based on the "Area" of Internal vs. External Boundary expectations
Definition of
Human Boundaries...
Human Boundaries are conceptual lines or barriers that denote the limits of the various aspects of an individual's identity.
This definition recognizes a difference between Internal Boundaries and External Boundaries...
External Human Boundaries exist to manage the relationship
with things outside
our selves.
Internal Human Boundaries exist to manage the relationship between different parts or aspects of our selves
Human Boundaries are the tools that express, preserve and adapt a person's identity by managing the various associations and differentiations that exist in both internal and external realms of experience.
Includes our...
These aspects can include our thoughts, emotions, biology and various other divisible aspects of our internal selves as well how each interacts with and affects the others.
And if any part of a person, such as a thought, exists there is a Boundary defining where that thought stops and something else begins, such as an action, emotion or a conclusion.
Risk of HARM
The Situation varies by...
PoA is an unavoidable neurological reality
"Brain-To-Brain Interface Allows Transmission of Tactile and Motor Information Between Rats"
"Feb. 28, 2013 — Researchers have electronically linked the brains of pairs of rats for the first time, enabling them to communicate directly to solve simple behavioral puzzles. A further test of this work successfully linked the brains of two animals thousands of miles apart -- one in Durham, N.C., and one in Natal, Brazil." (sciencedaily.com)
The inward aspect of Human Boundaries manages the internal conceptual lines and barriers that both Integrate and Separate various elements existing within that person's identity.
The outward aspect of Human Boundaries manages the various parts of an individual's identity in relation to elements of the external environment including other individuals.
They control both a person's association with (Integrative function) and differentiation from (Separative function) those other individuals and elements of the external environment.
(Short version)
Definition of Human Boundaries...
(Long version)
Since everybody has Boundaries, everybody can make use of Boundary knowledge and skills to improve their Strategic Boundary management
These four and no more!
If a thing exists...
Egocentric Boundaries
If the FOCUS is inside the individual...
If the FOCUS is outside the individual...
Altruistic Boundaries
Growth-Space and Self-Fulfilling Boundaries
Develop a True Choice
No Choice
The location of the FOCUS differentiates
Two Other Categories of Human Boundaries
The Four Purposes
of Human Boundaries
PoA means that none of us can truly know another person's experience.
Four Responses to a Boundary Incursion...
Faux Choice
True Choice
These explain why we
"fake it till we make it!"
(key words)
"Do I expect more of myself or the other person in a relationship."

Capacity Axis

Power Axis
(perception of)
(perception of)
They are responsible for expressing identity, preserving identity in the face of threat, and adapting identity to changing circumstances.
-They define the nature and content of these aspects of self.
-They determine where one such aspect stops and another begins.
-They mediate the effect one such aspect has on another.
"It doesn't matter what you think until I say it does."
What gives a Boundary strength?
Boundary Strength = WILL + ACTION
WILL = the construction material of Boundary creation
ACTION = the assembly structure of Boundary creation
The Rules of
...and lots of other things.
...it has a boundary
Where to From Here?
The Relational Triangle
Mark is an Aggrandizing Type
Tabitha is an Abasing Type
Creates the illusion of Shared Space
(and Repulsion)
Mark is an Exemplar Type
Tabitha is an Avoidant Type
Little opportunity for Shared Space or even the illusion of it
Avoidant Types
find the demands of the Exemplar Type overwhelming
So they tend to "avoid" them.
Exemplar Types often find the low self expectations of the Avoidant Types "lazy" or "incompetent."
So they tend to disdain them.
2. SET
-Prevention of relapse into substance abuse
-Avoidance of "toxic" relationships
-Managing your fiery temper
Boundary experts are people experts

Concepts and Terminology
LOW Area of Internal Boundaries
LOW Area of External Boundaries
Likelihood of REPETITION
DURATION of incident
HIGH Area of
Internal Boundaries
LOW Area of External Boundaries
HIGH Area of External Boundaries
HIGH Area of Internal Boundaries
High Area of External Boundaries
LOW Area of Internal Boundaries
VARIABLE Area of both
Internal and External Boundaries
Self-Fulfilling Boundaries
Growth-Space Boundaries

(which can be annoying)

Boundary experts are self experts
(Defending Emptiness)
Full transcript