The line that rang true for me the most was "Boundaries have been everything". My boundaries are absolute, and I really can't imagine living without them.
The simplest one is probably about touch. I don't like to be touched, ever, by anyone (or anything - I don't even like air touching me, but, well, nothing I can do about that I guess.) If someone touches me, I immediately tell them not to. If they do it a second time, they immediately go in my category of Very Bad People To Avoid As Much As Possible, and they do not pass Go and they do not collect $200. Touchy-feely people who forget occasionally get an exception, but if I don't think they're trying hard enough, there's no hope for them - and deliberate or unapologetic touching has no exceptions. Even if it was a close friend who did this, they would immediately cease to be a close friend and go to the bad-people roll.
Of course, you never get to be a close friend if there's a non-zero probability that you'd do that! I'm in the enviable position of never having been without my boundaries - I never had the issue Harriet discussed of figuring out what to do with friends I could no longer trust, because I never made those friends in the first place. You see how I mention the "close friend" category in the last paragraph - that's a new category this year, since I never made any close friends until this past year (my first year at college). And thank goodness I'm asexual/aromantic, I guess, because I have even stricter rules about who I would engage in emotional or sexual relationships with. Here are a few ways to not ever be my friend (and bear in mind that you only have to do any of these once):
- Make a stereotype-about-a-category-of-humans joke.
- Not immediately stop doing something near me (or someone else), no matter how mundane, when I (they) tell you to stop.
- Try to get me to do a group activity after I've told you that I won't do it (and it is very common for me to refuse to participate in group activities, including classroom activities, for a wide variety of reasons.)
- Play a trick on someone, or worse, participate in a group playing a trick on someone.
- Complain when I (or someone else) hold you to an agreement you made.
So... my boundaries, are they preventing me from friendships? HECK YES. THAT IS PRACTICALLY THE POINT OF THEM.