Whether you work from home or go to an office, serve clients or run a business site, or have a boss or your own boss, the biggest lesson I learned when I entered the job market is that People will take what you are willing to give. This is not a ruling. It’s just human nature.
I first discovered this in the early 30’s, when we were trying to develop the software, and I was the only one in charge of the email and our Facebook page. If a question was asked at 9 pm, I felt like It was to answer it. If a workshop request arrives on a Sunday morning, I’ll hold off on rehearsal, lunch, or errands to respond. If someone sends a question to the blog, I’ll stay up until midnight to write the answer. I was running myself rough trying to be in ten places at once, feeling reactive rather than proactive, and quickly approaching exhaustion…until a friend and fellow entrepreneur told me, “Melissa, people will take as much as you wish they are given. You have to put in some limits.” This brings us to one of my main principles of boundaries:
It’s not your job to guess my limits. It’s up to me to set them and keep them.
This applies to every category of relationship, but is often overlooked at work, especially if you’re working with someone else. We tend to assume our boss’s expectations, workplace culture, or work demands all supersede our personal need (and right to) healthy boundaries—but these assumptions are wrong. Yes, I accepted the job. Yes, they pay you for your work. But you have every right to demand a healthy, safe and respectful work environment, and that always includes setting limits.
The thing is, your company is not likely to proactively set healthy boundaries for you. It’s rare for a manager to say to an employee, “I notice you haven’t taken time off in a year—make sure you use the time you got, and I promise we won’t ever bother you to ‘re-off.’ The truth is that if you leave unchecked, your company, your manager, your co-workers, and clients They will absorb hunger All Of your time, energy, space and interest. This does not make them evil; It’s just the way the world works. Everyone is under pressure To do more, produce more, and earn more money. (It’s called capitalism, baby.) For this reason You are Need to establish strong, healthy boundaries in the workplace.
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