What types of personal boundaries are there? Nina Brown identifies four types of boundaries:
Soft: when your boundary merges with other people’s boundaries and is not clearly defined by YOU.
Rigid: when your boundary is unwavering, closed or walled off so no one can get close physically or emotionally.
Spongey: a combo of soft and rigid. You are unsure of what to let in and what to keep out. Your boundary changes in different situations.
Flexible: You have control over what to let in and what to keep out. Your boundary takes care of you and keeps you safe, but you can alter the boundary consciously if you feel the situation is right.
With these boundaries in mind ask yourself: Where are you with each of your boundaries? Soft, rigid, spongey, or flexible?
As you answer this question do not say “I should know better”, instead say “I did such a good job there with my ______ boundary, I wonder if the next time I meet this person what would using a flexible boundary look like”
By reflecting on your soft, rigid, and spongey boundaries you can begin the loving process of shifting them toward healthier flexible boundaries, always remembering to be compassionate with yourself.
What is one boundary that you would like to transform into a flexible boundary? Share your thoughts in the comments below.