Balance – finding the tipping point. Give me a place to stand and I will move the world!

So I am probably a pain in the ass as an employee.  I have a family that is …  well ….  Conventionally speaking quite small.  But is absolutely packed with issues.  Not all the boundary issues I have to deal with are workplace related ….  Big surprise huh?

So I have had to learn to use the word ‘no’ more often in the past few years ….  Hell I have had to learn to use it at all!

But the simple thing is saying “No I will not jump straight up to get you a drink/breakfast/glasses” (or whatever the request may be)

The boundary issues I struggle with the most are things like – honey you and your mother are having big issues, explain to me again how I am supposed to get along with her when you two are barely talking?

So work on returning to work boundaries.

Some I can dictate, some I end up having dictated to me, and hate it, but have little choice but to live with it.

Take clothing, I would much rather be a bit less formal and a bit more comfortable, I would rather not have to wilt in long pants in scorching muggy summer heat.  But North America says that only select people get to wear shorts to work.  And since I am not a postie, courier or bus-driver, I am not one of those select people.  I have, I believe, already ranted and vented about this.  So onward ever onward.

I have hours dictated to me – that, honestly, is not a problem for me.  But I really can’t just drop everything and walk out for lunch.  I operate that I must finish the notes etc before I head out, really that’s a self care issue, it reduces my stress.

Beyond that, so far, work boundaries have really not been much of an issue for me.  But I am new to the industry and the career is young  😀

So what really needs to happen is that I need to be able to enforce my boundaries with enough balance and flex to survive the enforcement, and in such a way that doesn’t disable my working or living.

So what’s with the funny title?  “Give me a place to stand and I will move the earth.”  Archimedes

What did that have to do with boundaries?  Well, on first blush, nothing.  Archimedes was talking about the mathematics of leverage.  And let’s face it, we’ve all done more than enough mathematics in our schooling to not want to touch it again right?  So why the funny quote from the ancient Greek?

Well let’s look a little deeper.

A lot of work and understanding of boundaries is about balancing the needs and wants of others with your own needs and wants.  Balance, weighing one thing against another.  Obviously my own issues are going to weigh on myself more heavily than those of others, simply because I am the one living with them.  I cannot expect others to value my own issues as highly as I do, they have their own issues to work with.  As a social service worker, the client’s issues need to be of primary importance.  After all, they are what I am here to fix, and those same issues are why the client has come to me.

Now when we are operating in a group of other people, we try to get others to do things that help our own cause.  This is called manipulation, and requires that one person gain some kind of social leverage over another.  Ohhh look – there it is, leverage!!  Not so much about mathematics but the principals are about the same …  Find a place to put a force that minimizes the need for more force, so as to get someone to do something you want.

Sometimes that force required is no more than a simple request.  This can, of course range, right the way up to threats of violence or death and everything in between.

As a worker, it is my job to avoid the application of more extreme manipulations against me, while responding appropriately to the lower end of the scale.  Sound counter-intuitive?  Damn skippy!!


~ by scawalrus on June 21, 2012.

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