No one can do anything to you unless you allow it. You cannot be treated disrespectfully as if you have no feelings, are stupid, slow or unworthy unless you allow that to happen.

For the most part good boundaries ward off disrespectful treatment. A personal boundary is a soft, invisible protection that you establish around yourself. You might compare a healthy boundary to a lung, expanding and contracting naturally to meet the needs of the present moment. Boundaries move farthest out when we are in public and close in with family and intimate friends. Our work boundaries come somewhere in between and depend on who we are interacting with ... boss or co-worker.

You reflect your boundary with body language. Watch for downcast eyes, soft childlike voice, facial expressions that don’t match the circumstance, off-balance posture and disjointed body movements as indicators of a too-soft boundary. Watch for a rigid body posture, clipped voice, lack of facial expression and eyes that don’t blink as signs of a too-rigid boundary. With either of these types of boundary you will not be able to respond to the present need only to react. To build a healthy boundary start with breathing. Next, check your posture, feel your feet meeting the floor. Do a quick check of your muscle tension and relax the tight spots. Be aware of your face and drain the tension away by lifting your chin and relaxing your eyes. Take a full breathe and allow your voice to come from deep in your chest, not from the throat. Now stand tall, make direct eye contact and see the other person for who they truly are.

Author's Bio: 

Michaela David

Course of Action

Toronto ON Canada


Michaela is a Personal Life Coach, Clinical Psychotherapist, Writer,
and Keynote Speaker with twenty-five years of experience in workshop
design & delivery. She has a busy private practice and writes a monthly
column entitled Surviving Work, dealing with day-to-day workplace issues.
Ms. David is a cancer survivor and brings the wisdom gained from this
experience to all aspects of her work in the form of humour. presence,
and openness.