You’ve heard the proverb, “Fences make good neighbords.” It turns out there is more to that proverb than meets the eye.

‘People often turn to aesthetic boundaries in their environment to give them a sense that their world is ordered and structured as opposed to random and chaotic,’ writes author Keisha Cutright (University of Pennsylvania).

Cutright’s research indicates that people who feel a lack of control seek tangible boundaries, such as frames around paintings, fences around yards, or prominent borders surrounding a firm’s logo. “When individuals no longer feel in control of their lives, they seem to seek the sense of order and structure that boundaries provide — the sense that ‘there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place,'” Cutright explains.

The author also found that individuals who have other places to turn for a sense of structure had less need for physical boundaries. “Individuals who rely on God for a sense of order and structure were less likely to heighten their preference for boundaries in the face of low personal control than individuals who do not,” Cutright writes.

In a world where consumers face natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and everyday chaos at home, they will seek whatever small comfort they can. ‘In other words, don’t be alarmed if you find yourself craving thicker picture frames and a new fence for your yard. You may just need a little control in your life,’ Cutright concludes. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a character sketch showing how your character feels a lack of control and how he or she tries to get it back.

Journaling Prompt: How do you respond when you feel a lack of control.

Art Prompt: Fences

Photo Credit: guzzphoto on Flickr

4 Responses to Prompt #187 Why We Need Boundaries

  1. I know that one missing boundary that bugs me when I read is lack of paragraph breaks. Few things as irritating as turning the page – and there’s no white space.

    We need “breathing space” between ourselves and loved ones, friends, neighbors, etc.

    • Liz says:

      I agree. I love paragraph breaks. Allows the brain to breathe. With so much stress in the world, we all need the release of uncrowded breathing.

  2. Leah says:

    Love this post idea! I’m a big fan of boundaries. Will definitely write something about this.
    Leah recently posted..Peppermint Swirl CupcakesMy Profile

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