Health & Wellness

Guest Column

Establishing Healthy Boundaries with Self and Others


We all have personal boundaries. Our boundary defines who we are and determines how we are able to interact and relate to the world, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. My boundary lets me know where I end and you begin. My boundary allows me to express who I am and allows you to do the same. Boundaries exist for our protection. When our boundaries are intact, we know that we have separate feelings, thoughts and realties. If we grew up in a dysfunctional family, inconsistency and various forms of abuse influenced our ability to form and maintain our boundaries. We also have difficulty identifying the boundaries of others. Damaged boundaries is another symptom of codependency. 

When we have a lack of boundaries it becomes difficult to distinguish self from others. I feel my feelings and all your feelings too. I begin to define myself according to your definition. I lose my own identity. My feelings are your feelings, my thoughts are your thoughts, and I behave the way I think you want me to. I lose my own sense of self and cannot define myself.  I live my life through you.

You need an internal boundary so you can detach enough to accurately hear what another person tells you about who he or she is, and you can separate that person’s feelings and thoughts from your own. With a good internal boundary, you can be in a relationship without projecting your own skewed interpretations onto the other person or allowing that person’s fear or pain, for instance, to become your own and overwhelm you. And an intact internal boundary is especially helpful and necessary when someone is confronting you.

Sign Up for E-News

Emotional boundaries protect us like an internal shield, helping us determine which emotions are ours, and letting us deflect emotions that are not ours. When we have healthy emotional boundaries, we can honestly determine our feelings about any situation, person, place, or thing. If we take responsibility for expressing our emotions and notice the impact of our behavior on others, we have healthy emotional boundaries.

With healthy boundaries you can truly detach from other people while staying in caring relationships.  You can begin to choose your own behavior, thinking, and feeling.  Learning to set healthy boundaries is a very big part of recovery from codependence. Learning to set healthy boundaries usually takes time, practice and patience and does not happen overnight.

At the Hellenic Therapy Center, located 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, New Jersey,  we strive at enhancing a healthy self esteem and establishing healthy boundaries in relationships. We have a team of professionals who can assist you.  You may call 908-322-0112 or visit


The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Driver Escapes Icy River After Car Goes Off GSP Near Clark/Cranford Border

March 21, 2018

CLARK, NJ — A car went off the road and into the river on the northbound Garden State Parkway between the Clark and Cranford exits during Wednesday night’s snow storm.

According to Clark’s chief of police, Pedro Matos, the car’s driver managed to escape the water — divers went into the river and determined the car to be empty. The sole occupant was ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update, Feb. 13

March 14, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

Last week’s back to back nor’easters left a wave of destruction that Westfield hasn’t experienced since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Three thousand homes lost power. Over 40 roads were closed due to downed wires and/or trees. Our police responded to ...

Upcoming Events


Fri, March 23, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve


Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM


March for Our Lives - Westfield

Government Law & Justice

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Burent Middle School , Union

Union County Wide - March for Our Lives

Government Law & Justice

Westfield Police Blotter: More Than $2K Worth of Items Reported Stolen from Business, & More

March 21, 2018

March 11, 2018 6:42 p.m.

Marion Bethea, age 56, of Roselle, was arrested on the strength of an outstanding warrant for her arrest from Columbia Municipal Court in the amount of $500 pursuant to a motor vehicle stop. Subject was processed and released on recognizance.


March 16, 2018 11:16 a.m.

Blas Barquin, age 34, of Cranford, NJ, was arrested on the strength of an outstanding ...

All Are Invited to Learn More about Youth & Family Counseling Service

March 21, 2018

Youth & Family Counseling Service (YFCS) has been helping area residents coping with mental illness, substance abuse and behavioral health issues since 1918. As a celebration of 100 years of service, all are invited to a gathering on Sunday, April 8, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Community Room of The Pointe at Garwood.

Started 100 years ago as the Mission of Help by St. Paul’s ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

Can I Change My Partner?

March 21, 2018

Couples oftentimes look to change the “other.” “If only” the other would make these changes, or do as I say, our relationship would be great. We tend to focus on the other. We tend to focus on changing the other. We tend to focus on the other’s negative behavior. Couples like to report what their spouse/partner is doing and how they are ...

16 Homes Sold Last Week in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside & Cranford

Sixteen homes sold last week, March 11 to March 18, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside and Cranford:*


TOWN        ADDRESS                  STYLE           RMS    ...

Charitable Spirit Alive and Well in Westfield Public Schools

Students, staff and parents in Westfield Public Schools continue the district’s long tradition of helping others both in and outside of the community, with a number of students recently recognized for their efforts.

Fifteen Westfield High School juniors and sophomores were honored by the Community Food Bank of New Jersey for collecting more than 5,000 pounds of food items for families in ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


The Day After

Some years ago, the United Nations held the International Summit on Sustainable Development, here in Johannesburg. The Summit was a great success. One wonders, though, whether all the wonderful decisions and resolutions that were adopted were ever implemented. In other words, were they themselves sustainable?

Good ideas and worthwhile projects are suggested regularly. The question is, do they ...

Financially Savvy Charitable Giving: Donor-Advised Funds

Americans are known to be philanthropic, with an estimated 83% donating to charitable causes. Making the donation convenient and tax-effective is a win-win for both charities and those with a generous heart. Donor-advised funds (DAFs) are a simplistic funding structure available to those with both small and large charitable giving pots.  

Mechanics of Donor Funds

DAFs can be set up ...


Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

Suspended Hillsborough HS Athletic Director Charged with Theft

March 19, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ — Suspended Hillsborough High School Athletic Director Michael Fanizzi has been arrested and charged with the theft of $10,704 in athletic event receipts over a four-year period from 2013-2017, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Fanizzi, 53, a resident of Conover Way in Hillsborough who had been athletics director for 14 years, had been ...