“Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.” – Anonymous
Establishing boundaries between you and your work colleagues is vital for you to ensure your wellbeing and sense of respect. A boundary is a limit or a space that you put between yourself and another person. Boundaries can be established in almost any setting, so even if you are not currently working, this article may be of interest to those of you in college or in various social groups.
A “healthy” workplace boundary reflects a distance between work and leisure. An “unhealthy” workplace boundary is when an individual finds themselves bringing their work issues home, letting work disrupt their weekends or leisure time. When it comes to work relationships with colleagues, a “healthy” boundary reflects a colleague relationship that is based on open, effective communication and respect. Unhealthy boundaries between workplace colleagues would reflect instances where boundary lines are blurred. When this happens, individuals may become more intimate than professional colleagues are expected to be. Another example of blurred limits occurs when an individual is deeply hurt by the words or actions of another colleague and it impacts on their mood and behaviours outside of work.
Setting boundaries is a healthy way to protect yourself and make it clear to others how you expect to be treated. In the beginning it can be difficult to address setting boundaries. Once you take the first step in setting them you will soon realise the benefits of having them in place.
Written by Nicola Keane, Assistant Psychologist