PARTIAL Bs
  • are generally inconsistent

  • have mood swings

  • have extremes in their need for     
     physical space   

  • have rigid or healthy boundaries     
     in some circumstances and weak
     boundaries in other, particularly
     in intimate relationships

  • are indirect  -  Example: shares  
     feelings about marriage with 
     mother rather than with husband

                 WEAK Bs


  • don’t like being alone

  • are unpredictable, undependable 

  • not aware of their own need for 

     privacy, so allow their physical space 

     to  be invaded

  • stand too close to others, invading 

     their personal space

  • look thru others’ documents, rooms,

     drawers, medicine chest...

  • barge in, without knocking

  • let others touch them, even when it’s

     uncomfortable or inappropriate

  • imposes on the privacy of others, like 

     touch other without asking

  • personalize everything, & over-react

     to the feelings and behavior of others

  • let other people influence / effect

     their behavior

  • overcompensate for perceived errors

     in word or action


  • are unable to respect the rights of  

     others  (to have different needs

     from their own)

  • feel everything ‘too much’ & cannot

     contain own emotions

  • get too close too fast, share too  

     much personal info, (especially  

     their faults, before establishing 

     mutual trust/sharing

  • telling secrets (triangulating)

  • give too much by being overly 

     responsible and controlling OR take 

     too much by being passive and  


  • telling others what they should do...

  • allow others to define their and take

     too much - limits OR try to define

     limits for others

  • are constantly preoccupied with &  

     overwhelmed by others' emotions, 

     needs & problems, (take on as if 

     their own) &  feel responsible for  

     others' happiness and fulfillment

  • sacrifice own wants, needs and 

     emotions to others’ & let others 

     determine them

  • allow the expectations of others to 

     define their potential

  • ignore their inner voice & rely on

     others’ opinions, values & emotions  

     more than their own.

  • expect others to meet their needs

     automatically, &  when others’ won’t  

     or can’t - experience depression & 

     prolonged periods of resentment 

     (obsessional anger)

  • are dependent for their identity &

     emotional well-being on what others  

     think of them -- become chameleons

  • compromise values and beliefs to

     please others, or to avoid conflict

  • feel & act like victims, have no

     balance of power or responsibility

    in relationships

  • blame others for their problems

  • have a high tolerance for abuse /

     being treated with disrespect - can’t

     say no, even when wanting to, for   

     fear of rejection (abandonment)

BOUNDARIES (Bs) - Unhealthy

               RIGID Bs


  • have very predictable behavior

  • don’t react outwardly, or under-


  • have stiff body posture, stoic,

     “stone faced”

  • are uncomfortable being touched, so

     avoid physical closeness & showing

     affection, don’t like hugs

  • are sexually cold, disinterested, or  

     have perfunctory sex


  • fear abandonment OR engulfment,

     so will avoid intimacy (stay too   

     busy, pick fights ...)   

  • don’t show  or talk about their own

     emotions (seem emotionally numb)

  • rarely share personal information

  • have difficulty identifying their 

     wants, needs, emotions

  • attempt to meet their needs and 

     wants by themselves

  • have difficulty asking for, or taking 

     help from others, so rarely ask

  • appear insensitive to the feelings of

     others, aloof and disinterested 

  • don’t allow themselves to connect   

     with other people & their problems.

  • has difficulty giving to others & are  

     likely to say no, if the request 

     involves close interaction.

  • have few or no close relationships.

     If they have a partner, they have

     very separate lives and virtually no   

     shared social life.

   A. Intrusions - ‘in your space’
   B. Distance - inappropriate  
      separateness in intimate   
Modified from ‘New Life Spirit Recovery’, Stephanie Tucker

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Adult-Children of alcoholics & other narcissists

BOUNDARIES - DefBoundaries.html
BOUNDARY INVASIONSBoundary_Invasions.html