Codes of behaviour, belief systems, attitudes—often unconscious—you live within, or are protected by; the boundaries of behaviour or thought you keep within, are fearful of extending beyond, or are trapped by, thereby what one feels to be barriers or restrictions, one’s feelings of confidence which protect against anxiety or social knocks’; the feelings or attitudes you keep people away with—the walls we put up between us to maintain privacy, stop being hun, or to maintain a role or status. Also a special feeling which you have created, such as developing a sense of one’s own value.
Example: I realised T had been in Bill’s room and not respected his need for privacy, so Bill had tom down the wall as a protest and made the room, which now appeared about four times its usual size, into a public sitting room’ (Cyril A). Sometimes what the wall depicts is obvious, as in the example, where it is shown as the way Cyril maintains his separation from others and thus is a private individual. The fall of the wall shows how exposed’ one might be. The description of private areas of our life in a newspaper might be an example of just such a wall coming down. Idioms: drive up the wall; go to the wall; writing on the wall; back to the wall; knock one’s head against a wall. See wall, fence.