Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for themselves what are reasonable, safe and permissable ways for other people to behave around them and how they will respond when someone steps outside those limits.
Boundaries represent the ability to recognise what is our responsibility (and what is truly within our power to control) and what isn't. Boundaries are an essential ingredient to create a healthy self. They define relationships between you and everyone else around you.
Healthy boundaries help us to ensure that we are taking responsibility for our own lives, that we knowlingly accept the consequences or reap the benefits of our choices. Just as importantly, they ensure that we let others do the same for themselves.
Different members of the University staff will have different boundaries in terms of their relationships with students. There is no 'one size fits all'. Relationships with students may differ depending on whether they are (for example) undergraduates of PhD students you supervise. However, you might want to think about your own boundaries.
This article was published on Jul 21, 2010