Boundaries are not a selfish thing, as is the popular thought. Think about it: if you are not well how you can you take care of anyone or anything else? That’s a boundary.
I often hear from parents that they let their children eat breakfast whenever they want because they don’t want to bring up robots. Although we want our children to be independent and have choices, we also need to balance that with demonstrating proper boundaries. Our time is important. I have things that need to get done, so if you don’t eat breakfast when it is time for breakfast, guess what, breakfast time is over because now it is school time.
Fast forward a decade. Can you see how this can be a valuable lesson in organization later on in life?
We want our children to be independent and drive one day, but at 4 years old, when thy ask for the keys of the car we just don’t hand them over do we? No, we ourselves demonstrate safe driving by stopping at red lights, talking about the different lights and signs.
Same thing with boundaries.
With strong boundaries, self confidence and self worth rise, so when in high school there is the peer pressure of drugs or sex (and there will be), that child will be able to say no and not submit to the “if you love me you will” because through boundaries, we have taught them that it is okay to say no, and if that person doesn’t respect it, they don’t love you.
In business, boundaries are always present, particularly when networking and building relationships. These boundaries exist to keep business relationships from getting too personal, which can lead to emotional responses that need to be controlled when making deals to get things done in business. It’s like dealing with first impressions. The idea goes that there are three things you don’t talk about in a first impression: religion, politics, and sports. Why? Because these can be very personal issues for people (yes, even sports) that can spark debate that is useless when speaking to someone for the first time. In business, that first impression is a huge gamble. you may connect with the person you are talking to, but there is probably a 90% chance that you will be at odds with the person, which can lead to a breakdown of any interest in dealing further with you.
By upholding boundaries in networking, you stand a better chance at sparking a relationship on safer ground.