Boundaries -vs- Barricades

Merja Sumiloff
2 min readNov 12, 2020

Why boundaries can transform your life, while barricades may ruin it.

When it comes to those closest to us; our partner, children, co-workers and family, it is wise to note the difference between Boundaries and Barricades.


  • Are like a gate — we can let people and ideas in and out as we choose.
  • Give us freedom to be ourselves and claim our own personal space.
  • Are rooted in self love, self care and compassion. This connection to self allows our creative power to come forth, as our healthy boundaries creates a space for self expression.
  • Allow us to more consistently and easily reach our goals in life.


  • Are like a shield that we carry around us constantly, because we are waiting for the next violation to occur. Watching over our shoulder constantly can lead to psycho-emotional exhaustion.
  • Are keeping others from seeing who we really are. People who protect themselves with barricades feel lonely.
  • Are rooted in self protection and seeing ourselves as a victim. We are so used to fighting for a cause, our business or people we love, that we lose our sense of ourselves. Most barricades are built to facilitate the recovery of the lost self, when all we had to do was to learn the skills of setting and having boundaries with ourselves and others.
  • Stop us from seeing opportunities and they invite an inherent sense of struggle to our aspirations. When we have barricades around us, we don’t tend to expand. Building a meaningful life or a successful business is hard. When we keep the barricades up, we feel like we are constantly driving with a hand break on.

Although boundary issues are common, we don’t have to build barricades to protect ourselves. If we can just accept that boundary issues will occur, and if we can give ourselves a permission to fail forward, we can learn new, more effective boundary skills. The main skills to learn are: how to identify what our boundaries are, and how to express our them in an authentic, compassionate way.

Feel free to google “how to”, or if you want to keep working together, check out our best-selling 4 People Within Course.



Merja Sumiloff

Integration Mentor, personality profiler, Founder of Sumiloff Academy of Human Integration