How to set and protect personal boundaries at work

Boundaries are just as important in business relationships as they are in personal ones. They show the people around us what to expect from us and what we consider acceptable or unacceptable. There are many psychotherapists who talk about how to set them properly and be afraid to declare them! Most spend most of their lives at work. So you deserve to be treated with respect by your superiors and colleagues, no matter who you work for or in what country : Dubai it is, Kuwait or another country.

Borders are not a luxury, they affect the physical and psychological well-being, as well as the well-being of the family, so you need to keep them in mind.

What are the problems associated with personal boundaries and can be encountered at work?

Most often it concerns time, responsibilities, and various ethical issues.

Now we will give you some examples of boundary violations:

  1. You stay up late at work despite family commitments and obligations, you work on weekends and lunch breaks, forgetting about your personal boundaries.
  2. You answer emails from work after hours or during vacations.
  3. Your supervisors or bosses, colleagues treat you disrespectfully.
  4. You do not have complete clarity about who is responsible for certain work tasks, which can lead to too much work.
  5. Colleagues or supervisors often approach you too closely, violating your personal space, but you cannot tell them about it.
  6. Your colleagues are often late, and you have to do something for them.
  7. A colleague sends you emails written in a passive-aggressive tone.
  8. You are required to do unethical things, such as falsifying reports, which is not your job.
  9. You are subjected to unwanted sexual interest.

Why do we need personal boundaries in working relationships?

Without them, we have to work harder than we should and feel unappreciated and disrespected. Boundaries help both us and our supervisors and colleagues feel better about our jobs and be more productive. They are absolutely essential if we want to get satisfaction and joy from our work.

We can offer you a great site-, where you can find the right job with nice co-workers and supervisors where your personal boundaries will be valued and respected!

What are the benefits of reasonable lined boundaries?

Every employee in your company clearly understands what he or she is responsible for.

Healthy and respectful relations are maintained in the team, employee morale and productivity improve, the loyalty of employees to the company increases and the “turnover” of staff decreases, psychological burnout decreases.

All team members know what to expect from each other, this builds stability at work.

If we all understand that healthy boundaries are so useful, why are we not always willing to set them? What’s stopping us?

Not only does work serve as a source of income, it also supports our self-esteem. Often we are afraid of losing it and don’t want questions, misunderstandings or conflicts.

Perhaps we are afraid that we will be considered “problematic”, or decide that we do not know how to work in a team.

If we are not used to defending our boundaries, we may be afraid to show confidence and get a decent working environment.

We are afraid that if we tell our bosses “no,” we will hurt our career development or get fired.

But it is worth thinking about the consequences of lack of boundaries.

Your health, productivity, morale, and maybe even family relationships suffer as a result.

How to set boundaries correctly?

  1. Explain clearly what you want. Before demanding a change, decide what you can and can’t do and in which area of your professional life you want to set those boundaries.

Each of us has different needs, so you may not see anything wrong with answering text messages from your boss on Sunday, while to another it may seem like unacceptable interference in your life outside of work hours.

  1. Keep it simple. You don’t need a long explanation. For example, if someone speaks to you in an inappropriate way (disrespectful, rude, aggressive, etc.), it is often enough to say, “You can’t talk to me like that.”
  2. Don’t keep quiet about problems. You shouldn’t wait until the problem brings you to the point of nervous exhaustion. The earlier and clearer you explain what you are dissatisfied with, the more chances that you will be listened to.
  3. Remember that you have the right to say no. You have the right to say no if you are asked to do something that is unacceptable or unpleasant to you, or could cause you a lot of stress.
  4. Exceptions and compromises are possible. Finding the right balance between hard and flexible boundaries can be difficult. You have to be willing to stand up for yourself, but you shouldn’t give up the opportunity to compromise when it’s appropriate. You may have to make some sacrifices, especially if you are new to this job or profession. But keep in mind the principles that you are not willing to compromise under any circumstances. For example, you might agree to work a few days off in an emergency, but you won’t tolerate it if your boss yells at you!
  5. Don’t expect everything to go smoothly. Most likely, you will meet resistance from those around you. Don’t get discouraged, any change takes time. Most colleagues will eventually begin to respect your demands.
  6. Unfortunately, there are those who in principle do not respect others. In such cases, it is up to you to put up with their existence or change jobs.
  7. Don’t just complain, but offer concrete solutions. When criticizing, offer suggestions.
  8. Ask your colleagues for advice. If you don’t know what to do, consult a colleague with whom you have a good relationship. Find out how he or she manages to maintain an optimal balance in communication, or have a brainstorming session to find a solution together.

What types of boundaries do you and I advocate?

  1. Emotional boundaries. They are violated when others disregard our feelings, talk rudely, push us around without asking permission (but expect to be addressed as “you”), yell, insult us, use foul language, and make inappropriate comments or questions.
  2. Boundaries of personal space. This includes our desk, locker, computer, mug, the workplace itself. Examples of violations: someone made a mess on your desk without asking, you were moved to another place without any explanation, your computer was used in your absence.
  3. Boundaries of the workplace. They are violated when we are entrusted with things that are not part of our duties, or deprived of authority.

Example: you are working on a project and suddenly you are informed that it has been transferred to another employee.

  1. Time limits.

They are violated when we are forced to sacrifice personal time in favor of work time. Examples: the boss demands that you stay late at the office; on your day off, everyone goes to a group event (training, a play, a marathon or other).

  1. Physical boundaries. Each of us has an individual sense of safe distance between us and the other person (and with different people, we may have different distances).

Examples of violations: a colleague hugs/kisses you when you meet and you feel uncomfortable; a boss or colleague standing too close during a conversation. This also includes sexual harassment.

We hope this article has been helpful to you and that you remember to respect yourself and your personal boundaries at work or with your supervisor!

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