Tag Archives: boundary

Owners’ Manual: Creating Healthy Boundaries


BOUNDARY: the ability to know where you end and someone else begins; an ability to defend yourself and not offend someone else; the ability to take good care of yourself and not attempt to take care of / take responsibility for another.

  1. Accusing “Always/Never” – perfectionist statements creating impossible expectations
  2. Saying “You” – blaming
  3. Yelling voice – verbal abuse/attack, negative energy
  4. Calling Names or Using Profanity – not constructive, manipulative ploy to try to get someone on the defensive, unnecessary negativity
  5. Bringing up the past – done to hurt
  6. Categorizing / Comparing – way to put someone down, power struggle
  7. Doesn’t listen to other person’s side – not trying to resolve the issue
  8. Turns away or walks away – abandonment, shames people
  9. Sarcasm – passive aggressive ploy, removes the dignity of others
  10. Laughing at or mocking the other person
  11. Creating unrealistic/unmanageable expectations for others
  12. Demands to talk at inappropriate times
  13. Passive-manipulative behaviors (Pouting, Slamming doors, Whining, Making faces, Silent treatment, Eye rolling)
  14. Talks over last part of sentence
  15. Violence towards you or things around you – never constructive, instills fears, incites anger, creates possibility of harm
  16. Using weak points – abusive when using it to be hurtful, can be used in a healthy was to defend yourself
  17. Lecturing – abusive, condescending
  18. Interrogation – Power play, being cagey, pins someone down
  19. Monopolizing conversation, monologues or emotional vomiting – very one sided, goes against the natural flow of communication, doesn’t allow resolution
  20. Asking inappropriate questions – includes love relationships
  21. Mad about one thing but talks about another – indirect
  22. Threatening statements / physical gestures/movements across personal space boundaries – form of abuse, aggressive act, instills fears, incites anger
  23. Blackmail “or else” statements – manipulative ploy
  24. Ultimatum/Threats – A threat used to manipulate someone into getting what you want.  (Different than a bottom line statement which communicates your tolerance levels. You have to be willing to act upon a bottom line if the tolerance level cannot be met or it is simply an ultimatum.)
  25. Attempting to “guilt trip” or “shame”
  26. Belittling or violent facial expressions or tone of voice
  27. Taking the others’ inventory – pointing out faults of another so that you win
  28. Conditional love – manipulation (i.e. “I’ll marry you if….”)
  29. Condescending – power play to hurt or shame
  30. Breaking Confidences/Third Party Communication – keep conversations between two people instead of creating alliances with others.
  31. Lying or exaggerating – misrepresenting the situation willfully
  32. Breaking Promises – dishonest
  33. Not Supportive Emotionally – however, this doesn’t mean that you always get what you want
  34. Playing Dumb/Omitting Information – manipulative
  35. Generally critical or judgmental
  36. Deliberately neglecting your needs – can only apply to needs you have clearly communicated
  37. Pushing buttons – manipulative ploy
  38. Taunting/Excessive Teasing
  39. Treating you like a child/mother/father; treating you as inferior or superior – shows codependent tendencies, doesn’t allow for full individuality of the person, treating a role and not the person, disrespectful, creates an unfair expectation
  40. Ignores – doesn’t listen to or take you seriously. Can also be willfully not speaking to or acknowledging you for the purpose of shaming.
  41. Being disrespectful or rude
  42. Won’t take “no” for an answer
  43. Acting Pushy/Demanding – doesn’t treat person as respectful individual or adult
  44. Gives advice not requested–  presumptuous
  45. Trying to “fix” or “save” – assumes the person cannot do this for themselves, symptom of codependency
  46. Shotgun blasting – not staying on one subject – purpose is to interfere with the other’s ability to respond
  47. Sexual abuse – includes sexualization, violates another’s comfort zone
  48. Strings attached to gifts – gifts are gifts, not barter
  49. Withholding behavior – just to get person back, different from not wanting to/feeling like doing something
  50. Inappropriate secrets – secrets are hostile and unnecessary