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Types of Boundaries in the Family Dynamics 

Rigid Boundaries 



  • Allows for minimal contact from those that are outside of the immediate family

  • Those children in the family  do not have an environment of support and affection in the family system

  • Communication often becomes obstructed

  •   Fail to adapt to changes in life stages (e.g, birth, marriage, divorce, child emancipating) 

  • May seem detached even with romantic relationships

  • This boundary leads to isolation, disengagement and limits affection and emotional connectedness 

Diffuse/Enmeshed  boundaries

  • Lack of independence and autonomy


  • Your parents overshares personal information with children

  • You are guilted if you act independent or if you want less contact with your family


  • Independence is seen as an act of betrayal 


  • Your parents wants to know everything about your life and their life revolves around yours


  • Your family’s sense of worth depends on your accomplishments  

  • Your parents may impose their dreams and ideas about your life goals and plans 

  • This boundary leads to low self-esteem, feelings of guilt, poor sense of self. 

  • Leads to fear of taking healthy risks and trying new things

Healthy boundaries

  • Allows close emotional contact with others while allowing each person to maintain their sense of self

  • Communication is clear and your thoughts, emotions and ideas are valued and heard

  • You have a strong sense of identity 


  • You are assertive and open 

  • Your decisions are based on what you need and want instead of  what others expect and want from you

  • Parents do not overly share personal  information with their children in an inappropriate manner 

  • Accepting when others say “no” to them

  • Leads to healthy self-esteem, good assertiveness communication skills, and overall good mental health.

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