Boundaries aren’t about keeping people out of your life, although they will have that effect, they are how we manage our energy flows. ~ Jennifer Hoffman
Boundaries are so important both in the professional and personal realm. We don’t tend to think about it in the digital age, as we do in our personal age, and some don’t think about it at all. Boundaries are a healthy habit to have. It helps define the relationships you have, it helps keep relationships in certain boundaries, that you wish to maintain.
Some boundaries are learned and reinforced. Some boundaries are the foundations of relationships. Some boundaries are instinct. You have friend boundaries, work boundaries, business boundaries, family boundaries, different level of boundaries depending on the relationship, etc. There are boundaries throughout life, not just relationships. But boundaries dealing with time, money, housing, functions, material items, stuff, pets, etc.
What you will do for something or won’t do for something, is a boundary.
How much time you choose to spend on something or with some one can be seen as a boundary. Boundaries are important for your sanity, your health, and your business (employment).
For years, all the way from childhood, I could tell my Mother anything, and she would be my sounding board. But one night in Winter a couple years ago, I had dinner with my parents, and my Mother was triggered by something. I don’t remember what she said, but I do remember how it made me feel, and how long it took for me to recover from it. So from that point on, I made sure I had a buffer till I was sure I could address new boundaries in the relationship. When I did, I told her that I couldn’t tell her anything anymore, because I couldn’t risk the pain and hurt later when she used it against me. It hurt to do that, because she is my mother. But it was necessary for my physical and mental health.
One of my first Massage clients asked me out on date, and I said no. It actually made me feel very uncomfortable, because it was an unspoken boundary learned in school. Don’t date clients. It alarmed me to a point, and the dynamic of the relationship changed, because he continued to push. And we mutually didn’t continue seeing each other at all. Though he is still in an outer circle.
While going to school and working full time, one of my boundaries was nature time. Nature time came before homework.
I don’t friend everyone on under the sun on FB or Linked In. It’s important to me to have a connection of some sort whether in a professional network or some link on either site. But it’s also important the history of the relationship that was had with that individual. Example: I’m not going to friend a woman who made my life hell in high school…umm…no. I’m not going to friend the Married Guy that has no boundaries when flirting. I’m most likely not going to friend you when there isn’t any common denominators between us, or there was some sort of animosity between us. Bad form really. FB for a more personal connection, at least for me. LinkedIn is a more profession networking site, at least for me.
Boundaries can work, and if they don’t work, then new boundaries need to be made. My boundaries, and your boundaries are going be different.