Have you ever fallen into confusion and awkward situations when you have faced personal questions asked by your co-workers or the manager at the workspace?
Commonly, the boundary lines between the professional and personal life get fade when you spend 8 to 10 hours a day or 40 to 50 hours a week at the office. You tend to get confused about where and when to break once you start the conversation about personal life.
Later you regret the topic of the discussion, and the person you discussed was right or wrong?
You may feel is that I should never talk about my personal life at the office?
Is that no one is trustworthy at the office? Below, points can help you decide how to maintain professionalism at the office.
5 Important points to know about how to draw the boundaries between professional and personal life
1. Prepare what not to talk about!
It would be great to decide what and where you want to place the boundaries between professional and personal life. There is no set rule where should be the boundary lines since it varies from person to person.
Most of the time, you may face a situation where you will be questioned about your personal life and get stuck/confused, and you will think, that do I need to answer?
So start preparing yourself to not feel awkward in any such unexpected situation. The below situation may help you to understand:
- Brief of Family background
- How much is each of them earning
- Your siblings are married
- Sibling’s marriage problem
- Reason for the leave: Marriage anniversary.
- What did you gift to your spouse and how much it costed
- Why should you pay rent to your Parents
- Break up reason
Once you make your own list, you are ready—no more confusion.
Remember no need to publish the list or let people know about it. It is just for your reference.
2. Do not ask
When you have certain boundary lines for yourself, you feel that you no need to share at the office and understand that even your co-workers or managers have the same. You are opening the door for them to enter your boundary lines.
So be aware of what you talk to your co-workers and the Managers’ personal life. IF you feel that they share too much, which you should not know about it, try to change the topic.
Well, you will find a few co-workers at the office who is always willing to share about their personal life. Avoid it since you never knew they might take advantage of you knowing it.
- You know about my financial status can you lend me some money.
- I need a leave tomorrow for some personal reason, give me some ideas to lie to boss.
3. No Personal Calls
Have set timing on your breaks and let your family know about the timings so that you can have the personal calls during those times. Make a routine of this transition; this will help you to be very professional at work.
Avoid personal calls during work or at the meeting. If something is an emergency, take a walk outside the office or find a place to talk where no one is around.
4. Family Issues
The world should not know about your personal issues by looking at your face, wear a smile when you enter the office premises. Try not to bring any negative expression on your face.
If you feel it is difficult to avoid the tension/emotions on your face, take a short walk outside the office exactly before entering the office or listen to the music for 10 mins or call your friend to talk about something other than the family issues. Else you will be the topic of the gossip on that day.
Try keeping the conversation simple but messages firmly on what you are trying to convey.
Most of the time, you may get irritated and annoyed by the comments or questions asked by co-workers to stay calm. Hold on to your words, which are coming from your emotional thoughts. Since it is easy to say what is coming out of your mind rudely, it is challenging to get rid of the impression you would have made on yourself.
Even if you don’t want to share anything about your personal life, you can always have a friendly relationship with co-workers and maintain excellent working relationships.
Use Professional Language
- Why are you asking?
- Why does this interest you?
- Let me tell you, I am not comfortable with this question. Don’t mind me, please.
- I prefer not to talk about that.
- I am sorry that’s private.
- I prefer not to discuss this right now in this event.
- That’s too personal. That’s not appropriate to discuss.
And the best way is to smile and change the topic, and the person will definitely understand that you don’t want to answer it.
It is not as simple as we think; the list also sometimes does not help. Practice only can help you have a balanced behavior in your personal and professional life.
It’s not because it’s wrong to share, not because he/she is not a good friend of you, because it’s not worthy of sharing the personal matters at the office since they can’t do anything about it other than making us feel low and feel negative at times.