Boundaries with Strangers

Remember that boundaries are personal rules. It is very important that you have boundaries with strangers so that you are safe.

You will have more boundaries with strangers than you do with any other kind of relationship.

Here are some common boundaries:

Hugging and other touching

Strangers usually don’t touch each other at all. You don’t have to talk to or touch a stranger at all if you don’t feel like it. Sometimes you might nod your head, wave, or shake hands with a stranger the first time you meet them. You do not hug, kiss, or have sexual contact with a stranger. 


Borrowing or lending money

Your money is your money and you get to decide how to use it. You should not be giving or taking money from acquaintances, coworkers, strangers, or staff. If someone like this asks you for money, talk to someone you trust about this first.


Borrowing or lending things

Just like with money, your things belong to you. Other people’s things belong to them. You should be careful when lending or borrowing things from acquaintances, strangers, or staff. Lending a book or a DVD can be a way to share something in common and get to know someone better. But if something is very important to you and you would be sad if it got lost, damaged, or stolen, then it might be risky to let someone borrow it.



Secrets are conversations that are supposed to be kept private and not told to others. Sometimes people talk to someone they trust and don’t want everyone else to know about it. Sometimes secrets are happy things, like planning a surprise party, or getting a new job that you aren’t ready to tell everyone about. Sometimes secrets are sad or upsetting things. You should not share secrets with acquaintances or strangers.


Personal space

Personal Space is the amount of space you like to have between yourself and another person. Different people have different needs for personal space. It is a safe and healthy habit to have space away from strangers. Sometimes you might have to sit close to a stranger, like at a movie or on a bus. Even if you are sitting close, strangers try to keep their bodies and faces apart.


Talking about personal problems

Everyone has personal things that are going on in their life. It can be helpful to talk about your personal life with someone you trust. It can also be exciting to share your personal life with other people when something good is happening. Strangers never share their personal information with others.


Accepting or giving a ride

You should only take a ride from someone you know and are supposed to be with, like a family member, a friend, or staff.  You should never take a ride from or give a ride to a stranger.