Don't Be Afraid to Set Boundaries

Have you ever heard the saying "fences make good neighbors"? This is so true. I had a neighbor that would purposely walk her dog on my lawn so it could go to the bathroom on my side. Say what? Yes, most definitely so and I believe she thought we could not see her. Her son was walking the dog on the day my husband caught sight as he let out a yell out the window "walk your dog on your lawn so you can clean up after it".

This is sad but very true for many things in life. That is why I am here to tell you that you need to set boundaries. Boundaries in all areas of your life to prevent any intrusion of your peace of mind.

The best time to set boundaries at your job is when you first start. Make sure you know your duties clearly and who you report to and have to prepare projects for. If you do not quickly undestand your position, other employees will try to control your work space for you. Also, own your skills and experience. It is human nature to want to look good and do well. This is great but sometimes it is at the expense of others. By this I mean if you do not have boundaries, you can easily fall into the scapegoat setting where you are quickly referred to as the one giving wrong information or not doing the job when it is actually the person accusing you that is doing such things. This is especially important if you are in a supervisory role. If you come in and show everyone that you are easy going, you are going to find the employees will take full advantage of this and you. Be careful here, I am not saying be a military saergent but definitely set boundaries and make sure they know you mean business, in a professional manner of course. I had an employee that thought they could tell me they were not doing projects and turning me away when I approched them. This had to come to a stop at the instance it started or I would have lost the respect of the position I held. There are tactful ways to do this but also remember, keeping track of conversations and issues as per your human resource guidelines will protect you and the company in the long run from renegade employees.

Boundaries at home are also needed. Our children tend to get cozy with mom and dad caring for them. We do them no good if we continually do this. They need to have chores and delegated tasks to grow and become responsible adults. Remember they will someday be on their own and you want them to succeed or Heaven forbid, something happen to you. Anyone living in your home should share responsibilities and it should not be a chore to delegate these items out to them.

Now we have our neighbors and friends. It is great to keep relationships open and caring but don't be afraid to set limits on time and resources. You time is valuable just as much anyone else values their time. Just like the saying "time is money", time is precious resource that we have little of each day to accomplish many duties and tasks. Reserve your resources for you and your family first! If you cannot take care of yourself you cannot take care of others. Boundaries are healthy way to be at peace in all of your surroundings.

It has taken me many years to realize this and know that it is not a bad or selfish thing to do. It actually will make for better relationships and use of everyone's time. It will also help weed out those that are life suckers. The ones that take, take, take and when you say no or you are unable to meet their next request they tend to play the poor pitiful self. As if you are letting them down, playing on the guilt factor to make you feel like you are letting them down if you do not do the task. I have a "Maggieism" on this and it is "people only make you feel how you let them make you feel". That is so true. Think about it, how often do you let emotions steer your decisions? If you let people sway your emotions you surely will bend in their direction and do all they ask. Now, I am not saying to say no all the time, if you can do the task and it is not intruding on your priorities then go for it. But be careful how you let emotional requests control your thinking. It will become controlling if you let it.

Enjoy your life, and remember to Keep on Keepin' on and Just Be You!


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