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An invisible though often effective barrier within a relationship that governs the level of contact.

Boundaries can appropriately shape and regulate relationships.

Two dysfunctional types of boundaries are those that are (1) so rigid, inhibiting meaningful interaction so that the people in the relationship are said to be "disengaged" from each other, or (2) so loose that individuals lose a sense of independence so that the "enmeshed" relationship stifles individuality and initiative.

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