What is the difference between 'restraint' and 'constraint'?
Senior Member2,018
The words are almost identical in meaning. Restrain means hold back from behind, constrain means hold back by setting barriers in the way ahead. A dog on a leash is restrained, a dog in a cage is constrained. (Wordreference.com)
Contributing Member1,001
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Anonymous:
Thank you for your clarification. Most memorable.

Y. McLain

Huntsville, AL USA
Louise has given you a good explaination. As she explained others can restrain or constrain you, you can only restrain yourself and not constrain yourself. I had to restrain myself from eating all those delicious strawberries.
Senior Member2,694
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Anonymous:
constraints are prompted by our own internal and deeply held VALUES (standards)

restraints seems to occur in 2 ways

either prompted by our own rational BELIEFS (rules) that counter our emotional feelings, urges or passions

or imposed upon by other people

it is the last "definition" that causes the confusion between the 2 words

is it the values or beliefs of another party that has prompted the imposition of restraints

constraint (being constrained) is the bipolar opposite of drive (being driven)

a person can be emotionally driven to do something or volitionally constrained from doing it

example: Jack's conscience constrained him from keeping the wallet that he found in the forest

restraint is the bipolar opposite of audacity or boldness

a person can be bold or restrained in the face of danger (or when considering rewards versus risks)

bold people quantify the potential rewards before thay quantify the potential risks

example: Jack challenged the lawyer with a boldness rarely seen in a court of law
Anonymous:
contraint = barrier.
restraint = opposing force.
If you keep that in mind it's easy to differentiate the two. If you want to do something and someone sets a restriction or a barrier that you cannot overcome then it's a constraint. Theoretically you could constrain yourself by placing barriers ahead, but fighting your own decisions in most cases means finding immediate reasons for the opposite action, which then means you're restraining yourself.
Anonymous:
AH020387 What is the difference between 'restraint' and 'constraint'?
Think of two strips of yellow police tape that you are to walk between. You are constrained as long as you walk between them. But if you turn to the side and walk into one of the strips, you are retrained from going any farther.
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