Intended for healthcare professionals


Unwise words: now that’s wasn’t very clever

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 02 December 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4530

Respect Ego Boundaries

“Ego boundary” is a psychoanalytic term that refers to the ego function of
distinguishing between self and non-self. One example of an ego boundary
problem is the person who invades your privacy and violates your dignity by
making gratuitous, unkind remarks to or about you. How should we respond to
such remarks? In general, it is best not to respond, for if we do, we only dignify
the unkind remark and invite more of the same. So let’s not reward boorish,
uncouth behavior, and instead demonstrate that it is unworthy of comment.
Let’s promote a healthy respect for ego boundaries.(1)

(1) Mann, H. Respect Checklist

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

05 December 2009
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA