A lot of people spend the majority of their days at work. Creating boundaries around your workplace is critical because when you respect your boundaries, others typically will too. Although it may seem sometimes that saying ‘yes’ might make you a better employee on the short term. But think about the long term benefits when you’re able to be honest to your boss and colleagues about certain points at work. For example, when a colleague asks you to help her with a task and she emphasises the urgency because of the deadline that ends that day. How can you respectfully say no to her without getting worried about the consequences? Here are a few tips for setting boundaries at your current workplace:
Learn to define your boundaries
Make shore you know how to be able to recognise your own boundaries. Our emotions tell us a lot about our well being. Anger, sadness or irritating are often signals from our body telling us that we reached a certain point of stress or maybe exhaustion. This means you have to listen to your own needs. When you’ve reached that point, you’re not able to fulfil more tasks at work. Keep in mind to understand your own values as well. Because understanding your own values helps you figure out to set up systems that you get those needs.
How to set boundaries?
- Focus on concrete explanations. Tell your colleague that you’re not able to help her with the task because otherwise you’re not able to focus on an important client. This may cause the company to lose a big client.
- Try to turn outward to your colleague instead of turning inward and making your anxiety worse. “Tell me more about why you need my help with this task” is an example. Doing so helps you diffuse your anxiety and this way it can you can help yourself to think rationally.
- Try to emphasise the consequences for you if you don’t set your boundaries.
- Prepare yourself for violations of your own boundaries. It’s helpful to visualize your boundaries getting crossed by your colleague and try to think about how you want to handle those situations. Also try to keep listening to the other and make sure the other person knows your listening. You might need to repeat yourself to make yourself clear.
- Think about your attitude. When your talking to your colleague try to look the person right in the eye. Your body language is important and the other person needs to be convinced what your talking about.
It takes time and practice to be able to build boundaries. Try to practice with a friend or a relative. Be patient with yourself and remember that not everyone is going to respect your boundaries. Every time someone violates your boundaries, take a step back and see them as an opportunity to gain more insight and to improve yourself.
Do you have a hard time setting your own boundaries? Try filling in some registrations within the NiceDay app to get to know your own values.