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  • Ms. Jahzeel

Redefining Boundaries

When it comes to working whether it’s online or face-to-face, we are often met with circumstances that test our boundaries. Whether it’s professional or personal boundaries, we need to set some for ourselves.


You see, we commonly see boundaries as things we don’t want other people to do. However, another way of seeing it is that it’s the things we do for ourselves in certain circumstances.


Boundaries are much less of a rule or ultimatum nor is it a threat or demand that we have for other people. Rather, it’s the things we can do for ourselves whenever there’s a certain circumstance.



Here are some examples of situations where we need to set a clear boundary between us and the other person, how we would normally set boundaries, and how we can set a proper boundary:


Your coworker or manager keeps on emailing you outside of work hours


Most of us would think that setting our boundaries would be something like, ” You can’t or shouldn't email me on the weekends.” This is more like a rule and doesn’t always work out, especially if the other person has more power than us.


What we should do instead is say something like, “ If you email me on the weekends, then I wouldn’t be able to respond until Monday.” This sets the situation clear for the other person instead. It still lets them know what they are discouraged to do but sets the focus on the circumstances instead


Your employees or team keeps idling during the meeting


We’ve all experienced having a meeting that is unproductive because of so many reasons. We might be tempted to just tell other people to respect our time, but this might not be too effective in the long run.


What we should do instead, is say something like, “ The meeting will end exactly at the scheduled time” this lets the other people know that time is truly limited and that they have to move along if they want to accomplish something.


Someone is always late


Setting boundaries with someone who is always tardy is also a very common occurrence. However, instead of just telling the other person, “Please don’t be late”, what we can do instead is tell them that we will not wait for them if they are late. This sets it clear that there will be consequences if they are late and that this is not simply a request.


Being disrespected over the phone


We’ve all encountered someone being rude while on a call, right? This may be clients, coworkers, or even our business partners, but what we can do instead of just elling them they shouldn't speak to us like that, is to tell them that we will end the call and hang up if they continue being rude.


Your partner isn’t being considerate


Asking our significant other to do something for us is normal and most of the time, they should take it into consideration. These things can include helping out with the household chores, helping us in getting groceries, and other things we would like our partner to do.


However, if it ever happens that your partner is too cold and refuses to go beyond the bare minimum, then telling them that we are willing to end the relationship if they continue being stubborn is the only way to a boundary.


These are some of the most common situations where we want to set boundaries between ourselves and other people. Other situations may include an employee not working well, so the proper boundary for that will be to give them a performance review and tell them how they are lacking and what consequences you can give them.


As you might have noticed by now, the common ways we tend to set boundaries tend to sound more like rules, ultimatums, threats, or requests from other people. However, the proper way to set boundaries is more focused on ourselves and what we will do to stop the behavior from occurring ever again. So make use of these tips and you will be able to set clearer boundaries than ever before.


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