Understanding Progressive Boundary Setting

WHAT is Progressive Boundary Setting?

Progressive Boundary Setting is a strategy for limiting unwanted behavior. It consists of respecting, communicating and enforcing behavioral limits through progressive responses. Progressive Boundary Setting is done by individuals through visual, verbal, and physical means. It is done by society through social pressure, rules, and laws. Progressive Boundary Setting determines the “just right” response to almost all situations of interpersonal conflict.

Visual boundary setting is done primarily through the use of body language. Verbal boundary setting is done through assertive use of the voice. Physical boundary setting is done through physical actions. Therefore, the majority of conflict resolution and self-defense techniques, tips, and advice for interpersonal conflict may be viewed as a piece of Progressive Boundary Setting.

For individuals, Progressive Boundary Setting is not an instinctive reaction. It is a learned behavioral response that must be learned and practiced through trial and error in order to be effective.

WHY is Progressive Boundary Setting fundamental to both individuals and society?

Respecting behavioral limits is the defining factor the separates civilized societies from uncivilized societies. It is also the defining factor that separates social people from anti-social people. In a situation of interpersonal conflict Progressive Boundary Setting is the most effective pro-active method for determining whether a person respects the limits of civilized society and will not use violence, or is anti-social and may use violence to satisfy his or her needs.

Progressive Boundary Settingis used by the society as a whole to maintain respect and order. Every social structure whether private or public has some method of communicating and enforcing behavioral limits. Private organizations use rules, regulations, and penalties. The government communicates through legislative agencies and enforces through the police and the court system.

WHEN is Progressive Boundary Setting used?

When there is a conflict between fundamentally social people, the use of ineffective methods of conflict resolution such as passiveness or aggressiveness will most likely not lead to violence due to the adherence to behavior limits of the people involved. But these methods are ineffective and may escalate the situation towards violence when dealing with an anti-social person.

Progressive Boundary Setting has the flexibility to both handle social conflict and to provide the conviction needed to deal with the violence associated with conflict with an anti-social person.

The use of Progressive Boundary Setting provides the “just right” response during situations of interpersonal conflict.

WHO uses the concepts of Progressive Boundary Setting?

Everyone from children to adults uses the concepts of Progressive Boundary Setting in some form to limit unwanted, unacceptable, and anti-social behaviors. Progressive Boundary Setting applies to individuals, peers and bystanders, and to the policing agents. It applies to interpersonal conflicts ranging from bullying, harassment, dating and domestic violence, random violence, instances of self-defense, and to everything in between.


WHAT entities use the concepts of Progressive Boundary Setting?

All organizations and governments also use the concepts of Progressive Boundary Setting in some capacity to limit the behaviors of the people served for the common good.

Examples of Progressive Boundary Setting can be seen through the communication and enforcement of rules, regulations, and laws in every aspect of organized society.