September 27, 2022

Repeatedly “violated” at work because of: lack of personal boundaries


In your work, are you the kind of people who are often asked by colleagues to do things that are not within the scope of your job responsibility? Accidentally promised to help colleagues make a PPT and think of a plan, so you often work overtime until late.

The boss always likes to look for you during the break, you have to respond to the other person all the time, and even help the other person to do some personal things.

Whether it is a colleague or a boss, they seem to “invade” you at work, make improper demands, and make you do a lot of things you shouldn’t do.

Although you are reluctant, but out of fear of offending your boss or colleagues, you will still accept it.However, these people will not stop because of your kindness, but will come to you intensified…

Why don’t colleagues ask for help, but instead find you? Just because your ppt is doing well? Why doesn’t the boss look for other people during the break? Just because of your conscientious attitude?

And the reason why you are treated like this may not be because your boss and colleagues deceived too much, but because you are “excessively soft” and lack personal boundaries, and people will involuntarily “invade” you.


What is a personal boundary?

Personal boundaries refer to the criteria and limits established by a person to distinguish between what is reasonable and safe, what is allowed, and how one should respond when others cross these boundaries.

In the workplace, a person who lacks a sense of boundaries is often “invaded” by his boss and colleagues, and does something outside the scope of his duties against his own intention. In order to maintain and maintain a good relationship with superiors and colleagues, it is difficult to refuse the other’s requests and requests.

Generally, there are four different types of styles of personal boundaries:

Rigid type. A person with a rigid personal boundary gives people a “hard” feeling and is difficult to approach.

Soft type. People with soft personal boundaries are easily influenced and manipulated by others, and it is difficult to refuse improper and excessive requests from others.

Sponge type. People who have a sponge-like personal boundary are often contradictory, a mixture of rigid and sponge-like.

Flexible. People with flexible personal boundaries can freely control their own boundaries, and will not infringe on others or be easily invaded by others.


What kind of people lack a sense of boundary?

/ Low self-esteem, low sense of value /

Generally, those who do things that go against their own intentions and responsibilities in order to maintain good relationships with their bosses and colleagues at work tend to have low self-esteem. They always have a “feeling of deficiency”, believing that their work ability is insufficient and they need other things to make up for. Therefore, I was cautious all day long, worrying about refusing the request of colleagues and superiors and causing job loss.

A person who has core competitiveness and can create value at work will not deliberately please others, do what he does not want or should not do, and do his job well, that is the right thing.

/ I care too much about the opinions of others /

Big Five Personality believes that personality traits are composed of five dimensions: neuroticism, extroversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. People with high neuroticism scores are sensitive to other people’s emotions and care about others’ evaluations of themselves.

Humans are social animals and need to adjust their words and deeds by observing the attitudes of others to ensure that their behaviors are appropriate. Caring too much about the opinions of others will often cause individuals to lose themselves, neglect and violate their own intentions, and agree to improper demands from the party in exchange for the love and recognition of colleagues and superiors.


So, how to establish personal boundaries at work?

/ Establish principles, bottom line /

Think about what you cannot accept at work. Which bottom lines are adjustable and which are not.

If you don’t like to work overtime, especially don’t like to work overtime on weekends. Then you can use this as the bottom line to set a rule for not working overtime. However, if you really need to work overtime in a special situation within your responsibilities, you can work overtime occasionally.

If you stick to the bottom line no matter what the situation is, it will make people feel too uncomfortable and uncomfortable. Give the bottom line an adjustable range, which is the ideal personal boundary.

/ Show your attitude /

Sometimes, being angry is also an attitude. When the other party makes an excessive request, you don’t have to work hard to pretend to be kind and show your dissatisfaction. This can make the other party aware of the signs of your anger and know where your bottom line is.

If you always smile, don’t be angry or refuse, and don’t know where your bottom line is, you will keep making excessive requests. Once you have indicated the bottom line, your colleagues and supervisors will no longer “step on the line”.

What kind of attitude you have is what others will treat you. Establishing principles and bottom lines is the way to protect yourself at work.