Barrier methods of interpersonal relationships prevent others from getting close to you. Commonly used barriers include refusing to talk, refusing to compromise, refusing to show affection, refusing to have sex, and refusing to discuss emotionally charged issues.

Such barrier methods are most effective if deployed early in a relationship. In an emergency, they may also be deployed after a level of intimacy has been developed, though such timing carries a greater risk of injury.

Someone using the barrier method will appear withdrawn. In fact, sometimes the barrier method is called the withdrawal method. While these methods of interpersonal relationships are equivalent, for birth control the barrier method is far more effective.