Personal boundaries of a person in relationships with other people - how to protect the boundaries of personal space


28 February 2021, 01:18

  • Why do people violate other people's boundaries?
  • Signs of violation of personal space and boundaries
  • How to protect yourself

Personal boundaries are the conscious separation of one’s “I” from other people. A person with stable personal boundaries understands his feelings and emotions well, and knows how to fight back against others . He knows that mistreatment will not be tolerated.

Personal space is an equally important concept in psychology; it means intimate territory in which a person feels protected. Some people need more personal space to live comfortably, while others need less. It all depends on temperament and character.


  • What are personal boundaries and why do people need them?
  • Types of personality boundaries;
  • Signs of weak personal boundaries;
  • Why do we allow our personal boundaries to be violated;
  • Who most often violates a person’s personal boundaries;
  • How to determine personal boundaries;
  • 3 ways to protect personal boundaries;
  • How to set personal boundaries;
  • How to withstand pressure from loved ones;
  • How to learn to say: “NO”;
  • Personal boundaries in relationships;

Types of invasion of privacy

Invasion of privacy is considered by the Criminal Code to be the collection and storage of information about a citizen’s identity.


Article 152.2 of the Civil Code means by private life information about origin, place of stay, residence, personal and family life.

Also, Article 152.1 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation protects images of citizens: the use and publication of photographs, videos and works of art in which a citizen is depicted is possible only with consent.

What are personal boundaries and why do people need them?

Personal boundaries are a conditional concept that denotes a certain line between the worldview of an individual and the attitudes and intentions of the people around her. Some build five-meter stone fences with guards on towers, while others have no boundaries at all.

We need these boundaries so that we can clearly understand where “I” is and where “strangers” are; where are “my” emotions and actions, and where are “not mine”.

How many people do you know who protect their inner world from intrusion by outsiders? Are you one yourself?

If all of the above is normal and commonplace in your life, then this is clearly a gross violation of personal boundaries.

What do you pay for lack of personal boundaries? First of all, your mental balance is disturbed. A person experiences constant discomfort, his mood deteriorates and there is a feeling as if all his strength has left you.

First of all, a colossal amount of energy is spent on maintaining relationships with others. You allow yourself to be manipulated, and you don’t like it, but you remain silent. For example, you work for someone. It is unlikely that you will experience love and satisfaction; rather, you will realize that you are being taken advantage of.

Some people believe that this only happens to those who have a bad environment. Allegedly, a good friend will not use it for personal gain. This is a deep misconception. Your personal boundary is only your task, and you need to learn how to build it. Otherwise, people will sit on your neck.

Dissemination of information about private life

This is understood as the publication in the public space, as well as the use in the press or on the Internet, of information about a person without his consent.

Part 3 of norm 137 of the Criminal Code provides for punishment for the publication of information about the identity of a victim in a criminal offense under the age of 16 years.

Mention in the public space of descriptions of the suffering of a minor who has suffered during the commission of a criminal offense entails a financial penalty in favor of the state in the amount of 150 thousand to 300 thousand rubles or the total income of the perpetrator for three years.

Also, a person convicted of violating this provision of the law may be deprived of the opportunity to engage in certain professional activities or be required to perform forced labor for five years. The most severe punishment for disseminating information about private life can be arrest for six months or imprisonment for five years.


Based on part 4 of norm 152.2 of the Civil Code, citizens have the right to petition the court to delete or confiscate video recordings and other documents containing data about their personal lives.

Data about a citizen’s personal life obtained as part of investigative actions is also protected. According to the Federal Law “On Police,” law enforcement officers may request additional information to identify a citizen, including from medical institutions. The transfer of this information, in accordance with Part 6 of Article 5 of the Law, cannot be transferred to third parties without the consent of the citizen, with the exception of situations of initiation of criminal and administrative cases, when documents are transferred to the investigative authorities and the court.

Types of personality boundaries

There are several types of personal boundaries:

  1. Physical boundary . This is the most tangible border, that is, the so-called “line” is the skin. If, for example, you are pushed or hit, you will immediately feel that your boundary has been violated, you will feel hurt and unpleasant.
  1. Emotional boundary . If in a conversation with you you are insulted or your personal dignity is humiliated, then we should talk about violation of emotional boundaries. Even if they do not humiliate you, but they speak unflatteringly about another person in front of you, this is also a violation of your boundaries. Have you ever been asked questions: “why don’t you have children?”, “why aren’t you married until now?”, how did you feel? Definitely discomfort. That's right, because no one has the right to flatter you into your personal life. This is an emotional boundary violation.

By the way, in some countries, candidates are prohibited from asking personal questions during interviews, so as not to violate their personal boundaries.

  1. Boundaries of personal space and the right to property . Each of us, to one degree or another, needs personal space. Someone loves privacy, and for this he needs a personal room or corner where outsiders are prohibited from entering. For example, a friend comes to you and asks you to shelter him for a couple of days, supposedly he has difficulties with housing, but he will soon solve this problem. Of course, if you are a good friend, you will let him in and let him stay for a couple of days. But what to do if a friend is staying over and is in no hurry to look for another place to live? Of course, he grossly violates your personal space. You cannot take a deep breath and be alone. Or another example: at work, someone used your personal dishes, and you didn’t like it. If you express your dissatisfaction, you will most likely receive a negative response. They may call you an offensive word, but for what? They violated your right to property.
  2. Time Boundary . Punctuality is a very good quality in a person. A punctual person will never violate another person's time boundaries. Agree, it’s an unpleasant situation: you agreed to meet with a friend, but he is very late. And you are wasting your precious time, which could be spent on something useful.


It should be borne in mind that psychology is not a very precise science, since the individual characteristics of each person must be taken into account. Some people are comfortable communicating from afar, while others feel comfortable communicating face to face. It is difficult for those people who have heightened feelings about safety when they need some distance from others. After all, then at concerts they experience panic, on public transport irritation, disgust and anxiety, the same in the elevator, at work, and so on.

Let’s assume that each intrusion is akin to a slap in the face, but now imagine how many slaps in the face a person experiences during the day? In this case, the emotional sphere is exposed, the person is not able to adequately respond to the slightest stimuli, because he had to endure and experience stress, and for a long time. But what about a child who is called capricious, but in fact was “tortured” with hugs and kisses that he did not want?

Have you noticed that there are people who like to talk when their faces are too close to each other? It seems that you move away a little or lean back, and this person approaches again. And he seems to be a good person, but you want to end the conversation with him quickly. And when something has to be endured, we are talking about boundaries. After all, what prevents an obsessive person from telling you to move away a little, otherwise you’re not particularly comfortable?

Examples of violation

It often happens that a person seems to understand this, but is ready to “betray” himself in order to get something. Therefore, women can endure the bullying of their men for years, thinking that through obedience and sacrifice they will win their love, which can change the tyrants. Or because they are afraid to take responsibility and break this vicious circle. Loneliness scares what others will say...

Or, for example, an employee is ready to follow any instructions, even going to the extent of going out on a day off, just to please the bosses, who will appreciate it and definitely give it a raise. Do you know the fables about how a true friend will never leave you in trouble, so he will wake up at any time of the night and rush to help bury a corpse and the like?

There are many reasons why a person ignores his own self, but a more common reason is ignorance of himself or the fact that everyone has the right to their own opinion and personal space.

Well, let’s say I don’t like sweets, what should I do now, stuff myself with it in order to meet someone’s expectations? No, you just have to learn to keep a balance between your “I” and the demands of society.

Signs of weak personal boundaries

You have weak or violated personal boundaries if you:

  • Constantly making excuses or making excuses for your aggressor, instead of fighting back.
  • You continue to communicate with those who do not love or respect you.
  • You trust others because you believe that their opinions are more important than yours.
  • You don't know how to say "NO".
  • You solve other people's problems, but not your own.
  • Having difficulty asking for help.
  • Shy.
  • Sensitive to criticism.
  • Afraid to show your true self.
  • You can't be alone with yourself.
  • You envy others.
  • You cannot express your opinion openly.
  • You often feel angry.

Do you recognize yourself? Then forward to the new “I”, where your interests will be above all!

When there is no punishment

According to norm 20 of the Criminal Code, punishment is not provided for violating the secrets of private and family life in cases where the person who committed this crime has not reached the age of 16 years.


The Civil Code, in the second paragraph of part 1 of norm 152.2, removes liability for violation of privacy and the dissemination of personal information in state or public interests.

According to the Supreme Court Resolution No. 16 of 2010, paragraph 25, in judicial practice a distinction should be made when publishing information in the media about the private life of officials, when it has a positive effect on public discussion, and publishing information in the press about the private life of citizens, not engaged in public activities.

When considering cases involving the publication in the media of details of the personal lives of public and government figures, the court is guided by the principle of journalists fulfilling their public duty.

Why do we allow our personal boundaries to be violated?

A person is not born with already formed personal boundaries; he forms them independently throughout his life. Nevertheless, the process itself begins in childhood. Most parents in the process of upbringing do not allow the child to feel like a separate person; they set their own boundaries of thoughts and actions for him. Of course, they thereby protect their children from troubles and misfortunes, but at the same time they do not allow them to live their own lives. This is the main reason for violating personal boundaries in adulthood.

Growing up, we no longer unquestioningly do everything our parents say, but in order not to offend them, many spit on their own thoughts and desires. Surely, many of us feel a sense of debt to our parents for raising and educating us. Parents do not wish us harm, but by doing so they destroy our personal boundaries. Or maybe you are such a parent yourself?

Of course, when we do everything to make our family feel good, this can be understood, but what makes us allow “strangers” to cross this line? It's probably a fear of loneliness.

We are afraid that if we refuse a person, we will lose his love or make him angry.

What determines the size of the so-called boundaries?

The size of the boundaries depends on the density and size of our biofield. Density in this case has priority.

If the field is dense, then there is good protection; if the field is “broken,” then there is no such protection.

What is protection needed from?

From the energies emitted by another person, from his thoughts charged with negativity, from his experiences.

If there is no protection, then his energy calmly penetrates our field and begins to rule there.

I would like to note one thing: if a person does not have any negative vibrations of his own, then strangers will not be able to have a strong influence.

In this case, “like attracts like” works. If the thinking style is more negative and a person expects troubles in his life, then they come.

Although, as a person himself, it seems that if he thinks about any troubles, it is only for the purpose of prevention.

But the universe takes everything literally - you thought about nasty things - you get nasty things!

But back to boundaries, do you need to somehow increase your boundaries?

In my opinion, it is a must!

Your own self-respect, dignity - all these feelings about yourself increase the boundaries of your own personal space.

People who have less of it will “compress” even more in order to increase the density of their field. This means that your influence on other people will be more significant.

The most important thing is to use it for good!

I look forward to your feedback, what do you think about your own personal space boundaries?

Who most often violates a person’s personal boundaries?

There are three types of people who are capable of violating our personal boundaries:

  • The first type is people who know what everyone’s personal boundaries are, respect them, but under some circumstances, for example, during stress or conflict, they reluctantly destroy them.
  • The second type is simply ill-mannered people. They are not evil, they just don’t know what personal boundaries are; their parents didn’t teach them this.
  • The third type are true manipulators. They know what to do and how to do it. How to achieve your goal while causing pain or inconvenience to another. For them, this is the easiest way to achieve their goal. This is probably why there is so much manipulation in our lives.

How to determine personal boundaries?

Before you start building personal boundaries (if you didn’t have them before), you need to define them. We offer you two methods:

  1. Individual rules method.

Sit down and write down your personal rules on a piece of paper, what you like to do, what makes you happy and comfortable.

For example, the list might look like this:

  • Working hours are 9-18 hours and no more.
  • I don’t do other people’s work, even if I’m asked to do so. The same goes for children's homework.
  • After work every day I spend time with my family, and no one has the right to disturb me.
  • On Saturday I deal with personal matters (sections, clubs, courses, etc.), I don’t answer calls for work.
  • On Sunday I relax (with family, friends or a loved one). I don't use social networks.
  • I don’t go on a visit without warning and I don’t allow guests who had the audacity to come to me without warning.
  • I don’t give advice unless I’m asked for it.
  • I only talk about topics that interest me.
  • I don’t answer calls after 10 pm and I don’t call myself.
  • If I don’t have free time for a telephone conversation, I will tell the caller about it.
  • If I don’t want to do something, I will say “NO” to the person asking, even if he does not understand my refusal and is offended.

This list can be supplemented or adjusted based on your “personal” rules and preferences.

  1. The reverse method.

Using this method there is no need to make lists, everything is quite simple: If you don’t like something or cause discomfort, you tell yourself: “Stop! Enough! No one will take advantage of me anymore.”


Each person is characterized by an individual way of building his or her own boundaries. In general, it includes four zones:

  1. Intimate:
    15-45 cm. Only the closest people are allowed into this zone - parents, children, spouses, partners.
  2. Personal:
    46-120 cm. We keep friends and acquaintances at this distance.
  3. Social:
    120-360 cm. This is the distance for communicating with strangers - a plumber called to repair an apartment, a postman or a new colleague.
  4. Public:
    further than 360 cm. This distance is maintained whenever possible when there is a large group of people in front of us, for example, at conferences.

In addition to distance from others, personal space also includes what we consider property space: our own room, telephone, clothes, shoes, dishes, hygiene items. If each person has sufficient property space, conflicts in the family arise less frequently. It gives you a feeling of confidence.

For example, the situation in queues contributes to the emergence of conflicts, in contrast to sparsely populated areas.

For a person, a natural need is the desire to be alone for at least a couple of hours a day. With this opportunity, the perception of surrounding people improves and aggressiveness decreases. In the case of forced communication, a feeling of discomfort arises, which in turn causes stress.

When forced to communicate with an unpleasant person, the distance should be maximized. In this case, he may seem quite friendly. After we leave places with large crowds of people, where there is a lack of intimate territory, for example, a clinic, public transport, our condition improves and a sense of comfort returns.

How to learn to build personal boundaries

How to set personal boundaries?

Finally, in this article we come to perhaps the most important paragraph - the skills of setting personal boundaries. As we have already said, building personal boundaries lasts a lifetime. If you have met a new person, you need to “set up border guards” again, based on their characteristics of your communication. And in order to achieve results, it is recommended to fulfill the following conditions:

1. First you need to increase your self-esteem! A person who allows himself to be manipulated by others has low self-esteem. You need to understand that you are an individual and have the same rights as others.

2. You must know what you want! It is very easy to manipulate and impose your opinion on a person who does not know what he wants. Therefore, it is important to determine your desires and goals. Allow yourself to do what you love, and the opinion of others in this matter does not matter.

You must define your responsibilities and rights! Boundaries cannot be built without clearly defined rights and responsibilities.

3. Learn to say: “NO”! If you are asked to do something and it is not part of your responsibilities, you can choose to agree or refuse, but you should not feel guilty.

Advice! Phrases that will help you say NO: “I’m busy right now,” “I need to think,” “I can’t answer this question right away,” “I’m not ready to discuss this.”

4. You need to fight back! If someone has violated your personal boundaries, you cannot remain silent, you need to fight back and stand up for yourself. For example, you can refuse imposed advice or ask not to ask personal questions.

5. Stop blaming everyone around you! The culprit of all your failures is you, and only YOU! There is no need to blame your parents who once forbade you from dancing or boxing. Is there anything holding you back right now?

  • Stop communicating with those who “suck your blood”! Why communicate with people who say nasty things, why work where you are not valued, why do you need such a “best” friend who is ready to discuss only her own problems and doesn’t give a damn about yours.
  • Accept others for who they are! If you want your “NO” to be respected, then respect the “NO” of others.

The influence of gender on attitudes towards personal space

For men, protecting personal space is intuitively important. They have a very clear marker when boundaries are overly violated. Then they clearly set verbal or physical blocks, letting others know that boundaries are protected.

But with women, as practice shows, there are often problems with violating boundaries. This is due to the fact that a woman’s nature is dual. On the one hand, she wants to dissolve in someone, strives for intimacy and maximum emotional warmth. But, at the same time, by opening up, a woman allows many other things to happen, things that destroy her and are not useful to her. She gives tacit permission... She allowed it once, a second time, and a third time they won’t even ask her. And she will be forced to accept on her territory and endure.

Patience is the main difference between women and men.

What a woman can do well is endure, which a man never does. The examples are banal. As soon as you raise your voice at a man, he immediately reacts, so the man gives a signal that you cannot talk to him in this form. He makes it clear in every way that this is unacceptable. But the woman expresses herself extremely unconvincingly.

How to withstand the pressure from loved ones?

If a “stranger” person violated your personal boundaries, you can tell him about it or stop communicating with him altogether, but what to do if your personal boundaries were violated by your close and beloved person, for example, mother, brother, sister, grandmother. All mothers love their children, and often pry into their lives, give advice, directions, and ask personal questions that you don’t want to answer. You won’t stop communicating with your mother because of this?! So how can you withstand this onslaught?

  • For example , if your mother gives advice that you don’t particularly need, then you can simply answer like this: “Mommy, I love you very much, but let me decide this issue on my own.” The main thing is that there should be no negativity or irritation in your words.
  • Or this : you have a best friend whom you love and value, but you are tired of listening to her endless complaints, invite her to talk only about pleasant topics.

Very often, women become victims of manipulation by their husbands and children. You came home from work very tired and decided to rest a little and take some time for yourself, but your children have other plans, they want to go for a walk or play with you: “Mom, you don’t give me time, that means you don’t love me.” Explain to your child in a calm tone that you are very tired and you only need half an hour to an hour to rest and recover, after which you will be able to fulfill any desire of your child.

Zoning of personal space2

One's own zone is a person's desire to sometimes be away from the proximity of other people. For example, sometimes on a bus you can notice that a person chooses a seat in such a way that no one sits next to him. He is so comfortable and comfortable. Own space is divided into intimate, personal, social and public zones.

If you extend your arm, the intimate area will be located. This is approximately half a meter. The intimate personal zone includes the family and closest people: children, parents, relatives, spouse.

The personal zone covers a radius of half a meter to one and a half meters. This includes friends, as well as well-known people.

The radius of the social zone ranges from one and a half to four meters. It is the most distant zone in space related to the individual.

How to learn to say: “NO”?

Perhaps the main rule in building personal boundaries is the ability to firmly and decisively say “no” without regretting what was said.

But, alas, not many can do this. How to learn to say “NO” while maintaining a relationship? We offer you five simple steps in the technique of correct refusal:

  1. Show your feelings . If a person asks you for something, you can show your dissatisfaction with this request, thereby preparing the ground for a soft refusal.
  2. Say: "No." Explain why you refuse, but only in multiples, based on your feelings. There is no need to make anything up, otherwise it will look like an excuse.
  3. Don't leave a person in a hopeless situation . Offer a solution to the problem.
  4. Perhaps the person will not stop there and will try to persuade you. Calmly and silently listen to everything he says .
  5. If your decision has not changed, then repeat everything you said before, taking into account the person’s words.

Remember that if there is a note of uncertainty in your voice, your partner will win and you will agree to do something that you did not want to do in the first place. Therefore, your words must be clear and confident.

A popular video on the RuNet about how to learn to say “no.” Why are people who are not ready to change their boundaries lonely?

What is meant by invasion of privacy?

The Criminal Code treats the collection of personal and family information illegally, as well as its public dissemination, as an invasion of privacy. Also, the private life of citizens is protected by the Civil Code. Article 152.2 specifies a direct prohibition on the receipt and use of personal data, including place of residence, marital status and other personal information. Within the framework of civil law, citizens can, on the basis of Article 150 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, demand the protection of intangible benefits.

In addition, Federal Law No. 152 “On the Protection of Personal Data” sets the main goal of protecting human rights and freedoms in the field of privacy, personal and family secrets, when transferring this information to third parties.

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