Did you ever come across a situation where you have been questioned on personal life at the workspace and confused about what to answer? Since you don’t want to answer!
Are you aware of how much to share about your personal life with your managers or co-workers?
5 Important points to know about how to draw the boundaries between professional and personal life
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, and you tend to get confused about where and when to put a hold once you are already into the flow of discussing.
Later you regret the topic of the discussion or the person you discussed was right or wrong?
And also you may feel is that I should never talk about the personal life at office?
Is that no one is trustworthy at the office?
Below 5 prime points can help you to come out of the hesitation and make your own decision on what’s the boundary line to talk about the personal life at the office, how much to talk about, with whom to talk.
1. Prepare what not to talk about!
First, you need to decide where the boundary lines you want to place between professional and personal life should be. There is no set rule on the boundary lines since it varies from person to person.
Most of the time, you may face the situation where you will be questioned about your personal life, and you get stuck/confused, and you will be thinking, “Why such question?”, “Why should I answer?”
So start preparing yourself, make a list so that you don’t feel awkward in any such unexpected situation. Below few tips that may help you to prepare your list.
- Brief of Family background
- How much each of them earning
- Your siblings are married
- Sibling’s marriage problem
- Reason for the leave: Marriage anniversary.
- What did you gifted to your spouse and how much it costed
- How was your weekend
- 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 letting people know about it. It is just for your reference.
2. Do not ask
When you have certain boundary lines for yourself which you feel that you no need to share at the office, understand that even your co-workers or manager have the same. By asking a personal question to your co-workers, you are actually opening the door for them to enter your boundary line.
So be aware of the question that you put across to your co-workers and the Manager. If you feel that they share too much, which you should not know about it, try to divert the topic.
Well, you will find few co-workers at the office who is always willing to share about their personal life more than is required. Try avoiding such conversation since you never know they may 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 the personal call during work or in the meeting. If something emergency, take a walk outside the office or lookout a place where no one around so that you can have the proper talk.
4. Family Issues
The world should not know about your personal issues by looking at your face. A smile on your face is the best outfit every day when you enter the office premises. So try not to bring that emotional expression on your face of your personal issues.
If you feel it’s 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 make a call to 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 strongly on what you are trying to convey.
Most of them may get irritated/annoyed by the comments, or the question asked on personal life from your co-workers. So try to stay calm, and hold on to your words coming from your emotional thoughts. Since it’s easy to say what is coming out of your mind rudely, but difficult 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 good working relationships.
Behavior/Attitude is the topmost important in any organization which they look at their employees.
When any of the top 5 points does not work for you, then be direct in answering:
- 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.
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 so simple as we think; following 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 they are 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.