You know that I stand for honesty, openness and truthfulness in relationships. But I also believe that these things need to be tempered by our self-respect, as evidenced by the boundaries that we place for ourselves on our relationships with others.
How firm are your boundaries? Do they keep you where you want to be while allowing for exceptions and special circumstances?
Sometimes, we allow our boundaries to shift under the force of another’s agenda or in response to a more important agenda of our own.
You’ve probably heard that some corporations insist on shoulder-surfing the Facebook pages of applicants during the interview. Their agenda is to see information about the applicant that they cannot legally ask, information to be used as part of the hiring decision that is not related to the person’s job qualifications. Applicants, hungry for the job and facing competition, are complying. Applicants have one agenda: get the job. They may well allow their boundaries to shift, choosing to sacrifice some self-respect in exchange for a chance at a paycheck. Anyone who has been unemployed for a while has already sacrificed some self-respect just to survive. It’s easier to sacrifice a little more.
I don’t know what I would do in that situation. Continue reading
“Just be yourself and everything will be fine.”
These words of wisdom have been passed from countless parents to their children at the beginning of every momentous childhood event: the first day of school, summer camp, a new neighborhood, leaving for college, starting a career job.
Artist Nicholas Simmons’ watercolor, “After all the violence and double-talk”
Yet somehow we keep forgetting the message.
We listen to criticism inflicted by others and by our own inner critic and we respond by trying to be who we are not. We seek to alter our authentic selves and to silence our critics by hiding behind costumes of clothes and sets replete with cars and houses. We eat in the right restaurants, go to the right cultural events, support the right charities, cheer for the right teams. In listening to the critics, we lose the joy of living our own life. Continue reading
When a mistake happens at work or at home, do you dwell on it, or do you experience it, let go of it and move forward from it?
When we let something wash over us, we experience it and are changed by it, but we do not stay immersed in it.
It’s not always easy to let go of a bad experience, but we always have the freedom to choose whether we dwell on it, or move on from it.
A bad experience gives us the chance to learn from our own mistakes and the mistakes of others. It gives us reason to listen carefully in conversation about what went wrong and to listen carefully in conversation about how to handle similar situations differently in the future. Continue reading