You’re entitled to keep a few things private
Although in an ideal world, we’d be able to draw a clear line between our home and work lives, the reality is that it’s never that simple. Your boss follows you on Twitter, family members frequently call you at work, and your colleagues constantly overshare or ask prying questions.
So where do you draw the line between being sociable at work and keeping your private life private? And how can you do this without seeming like an insensitive jerk? If you’ve struggled with this issue at work, here are a few tips for maintaining a healthy balance.
Identify Your Personal Boundaries
Protecting your personal space and setting clear boundaries at work can benefit your mental well-being, reduce stress, and even improve office social dynamics.
Start by identifying some of the main things people do at work that make you feel uncomfortable or cause you unnecessary stress.
Then Assert Those Boundaries
Once you’ve defined your personal boundaries, you need to clearly communicate these to your managers and co-workers. If you’ve never set boundaries at work before, you’ll probably feel a bit uncomfortable or even guilty at first, but if you remain polite and professional, clearly outlining your boundaries will help prevent any misunderstandings in the long run.
Use Different Social Networking Sites for Different Purposes
If you’d like to separate your work relationships from your personal ones, it’s a good idea to keep them separate online as well. The easiest way to avoid overlap is to use different social networking sites for different purposes.
For example, Twitter and LinkedIn are excellent tools for developing your professional network, whereas Facebook is often better suited to sharing photos and news with your family and close friends.
Accept That You’ll Never Be Able to Fully Separate the Two
Because our work and private lives are so interconnected, fully separating them isn’t always a realistic goal. Research shows that enforcing overly strict rules about when and where we’re allowed to think about work or deal with personal issues can lead to unnecessary stress in both areas of our lives.
Instead of trying to separate your private life from your work life, make it your goal to find a comfortable balance by maintaining professionalism in your personal life while also setting realistic boundaries at work.