For Enforcing Personal Boundaries
Julie Fuimano, Personal & Career Coach
anyone ever spoken to you in an inappropriate
manner? Often, we are caught off guard and are
not prepared to handle these challenging situations.
But whenever you are in a situation that's uncomfortable,
it's imperative that you speak up; the person
needs to know that their behavior is inappropriate
and that you will not tolerate it.
you say nothing, there is a negative impact for
both you and for the other person. Saying nothing
conveys the message that the behavior is acceptable;
thus the person is more likely to repeat it. Saying
nothing can also leave you feeling victimized.
to assert yourself in a manner that gets your
point across with grace and style is part of becoming
a strong leader; it takes tools, a little practice
and a lot of courage. Becoming assertive will
build your leadership muscles and foster self-respect,
as well as decrease your levels of stress.
Are Personal Boundaries?
Personal boundaries are the limits you set for
how others may act or speak in your presence.
They are lines you draw that define your values.
They are not walls to shut people out, but rather
limits that keep the unwanted behaviors of others
from entering your space. Boundaries are essential
for personal health. They act as filters, permitting
what's acceptable into your life and keeping other
elements out. Your boundaries are about what others
may say or do to you or in your presence.
in mind that another person's offensive behavior
is not about you even though it may feel personal.
Another person's behavior is always about him
or her and what thoughts she harbors in her mind.
For example, if someone raises her voice, swears
or speaks down to you, she may want power; she
may need to be heard; she may want attention;
whatever the reason, it's about her.
First you'll need to identify your boundaries.
Ask yourself how you want to be spoken to and
how you want to be treated. What behaviors are
acceptable? What behaviors are marginally acceptable?
how parents do this with their children in order
to socialize them and to help them grow. Yet,
rarely do people leave childhood feeling they
know how to stop people from hurting them. Our
parents do the best they can; as adults, we must
pick up where they left off. We are responsible
for how we experience life and for how we allow
others to treat us.
notice of your feelings. When a boundary is crossed,
there is a definite physiological response. If
someone's comments or actions make you uncomfortable,
notice how you react. Notice and acknowledge the
feeling. Note what the person is doing or saying
that is causing this reaction and empower yourself
by responding appropriately.
Once you are clear about your boundaries, you
must educate people as to how to act in your presence.
If you never tell anyone how to treat you, they
will treat you in whatever way they choose. When
you say nothing, you give your power away. It's
one thing to confide in a co-worker, "I don't
like the rude manner in which he spoke to me,"
and quite another to tell the person directly,
"Please don't speak to me in that tone."
When you assert your boundaries, you are telling
others how you expect to be treated. This reflects
may become angry, frustrated or sad when a boundary
is crossed. Don't suppress your feelings; when
you suppress your emotions, you only hurt yourself
by increasing your stress and expending energy
on keeping the feelings pent-up, which eventually
can cause physical harm to your body. On the other
hand, you don't want to react inappropriately
to your emotions either.
a leader, you need to learn to identify the source
of negative emotions and whether or not they were
caused by someone's inappropriate words or actions.
And you must learn to respond appropriately to
ensure positive change.
There are several ways to assert yourself and
enforce your boundaries. Here are some tools for
you to use:
Inform by pointing out the behavior you find
unacceptable. "Did you realize you were
speaking very loudly?"
Make a request. "Please do not raise your
voice to me."
instructions. "I need for you to lower
the person. "You may not speak to me in
a demand. "Stop it! I demand you stop yelling
at me right now!"
"What you are doing is unacceptable to
me. I am willing to work it out with you when
you are able to be reasonable. I must leave
now to protect myself."
a leader means expecting excellence from others.
That includes asking for and expecting others
to treat you appropriately. When they miss the
mark, you need to bring it to their attention.
When you assert yourself and point out inappropriate
behavior, you demonstrate leadership, exhibit
self-respect and become a role model for others.
Fuimano, MBA, BSN, RN is a Success
Coach and author of "101 Tips For Developing
The Leader In You!" Her passion is coaching
executives, managers, entrepreneurs and professionals
to achieve more - more money, more time, more
energy, more fun and less stress! For your free
consultation, visit Julie at http://www.nurturingyoursuccess.com,
write to her at Julie@nurturingyoursuccess.com
or call her directly at (484) 530-5024.