Why set personal boundaries
Without personal boundaries, life and work turn into a living hell — people invade your space, are rude, pester you with uncomfortable questions, want you to sacrifice your personal time, and so on. They do it all because they don't know that it's wrong with you. Install them, and the team will respect you and your personal time.
At the same time, personal boundaries denote the zone that you control, for which you are responsible. And understanding your area of responsibility is one of the fundamental things for comfortable and productive work.
Why are we afraid to define personal boundaries
Firstly, in our society it is not customary to defend our borders and respect others'. This is why such a high level of aggression and rudeness is associated with it.
Secondly, it seems that it is simply dangerous to set personal boundaries at work. God forbid the boss finds you uncomfortable — it will hurt your career growth, and it will affect the bonus, and in general it is not known what else it will lead to. Therefore, we too often turn a blind eye to all these violations of personal boundaries. And this eventually drains our resources.
How to understand that my boundaries are violated
I have collected a few statements that will help you understand how much your personal boundaries have been violated and whether they have been violated at all. Mark theses that reflect your working reality:
- I often overwork, I work on weekends.
- I am delegated tasks that are not in my area of responsibility.
- I am uncomfortable communicating with colleagues. They ask uncomfortable questions, get into personal life.
- My colleagues make fun of me, and I don't like it.
- Tasks arrive on vacation or during non-working hours.
- I am overly controlled by my superiors.
- I feel sexual interest from someone from the collective.
- I was harassed.
The more statements there are, the more boundaries are violated. But even if you have noted only one thesis to yourself, this is already a reason to think and establish personal boundaries. Otherwise, intrusions into personal space, unprofessional interest on the part of colleagues, overwork and nervousness will lead to burnout. You risk hating the work and the team if you don't show what attitude you accept and what you don't.
How to set personal boundaries
Here are some tips that will help you competently build personal boundaries and create a comfortable atmosphere around yourself at work.
Analyze where your personal boundaries are
Most people don't even think about personal boundaries. Therefore, first you need to understand where your personal boundaries begin and what is OK for you and what is not OK. Listen to yourself and make a list of personality-related things that you don't want to face at work. Discussing your personal life (and not necessarily yours — when someone tells the whole office about their sexual adventures, this is also a violation of personal boundaries), touching, processing, etc. - write down everything so that you can later indicate this to colleagues.
Maintain a respectful relationship
Do not get into the disputes of colleagues, so as not to be guilty later, and do not discuss anyone behind your back, so as not to spoil relations and not provoke conflicts. Treat everyone with respect if you expect the same from the team.
Discuss what you're ready for
If colleagues ask uncomfortable questions, don't ignore it. If discussing some topics at work is unacceptable for you, immediately tell your colleagues about it.
Learn to say "no"
We agree to overwork or take on tasks outside our area of responsibility, sacrificing personal time in order to appear hardworking and create a reputation as an irreplaceable team member. But the problem is that self—sacrifice will not increase your value - colleagues will just use it and fill up with tasks. To set boundaries, to make colleagues respect your time, start saying "no".
Observe the work-life balance
If colleagues are flooded with messages in messengers during non-working hours, and you are not satisfied with this, remind them that there are working hours for work, and you do not plan to sacrifice personal ones. Of course, there is such a thing as a production necessity, and for the sake of super urgent tasks you have to sacrifice personal time, but by setting personal boundaries, you will at least minimize such situations.
No work on vacation
There is a simple rule: on vacation, rest. Don't sit with a laptop on the beach if colleagues can't cope in the office. This will worsen the quality of rest — the body will not have time to recover, as it gets back to work and will begin to accumulate stress in addition to the one that it did not have time to get rid of.
Warn your colleagues in advance that you are going on vacation, distribute your tasks among them and explain what to do and how.
Broadcast your position
If you feel that your boundaries have been violated, do not ignore it, but discuss the issue with the "violator". If you pretend that it didn't hurt you, the situation will only get worse.
Do not go to extremes, demanding respect or apologies — scandal will achieve little. Calmly tell your opponent your position — what you don't like or that you don't agree with his actions. Explain your position and be adamant if you want to protect your personal boundaries.
Personal boundaries help to define a safe space and show which attitude you accept and which you don't. If the boundaries are not marked, colleagues and superiors will unceremoniously invade this space — fill up with tasks, make inappropriate jokes, etc. To avoid this, analyze what causes discomfort (remember the situations in which you experienced negative emotions because of the team), and then draw a line - openly express your position to others.