Verbal Boundary Agreement: What It Is and Why It Matters
Communication is key to successful relationships, both personal and professional. But what happens when lines get blurred and expectations aren`t clear? That`s where verbal boundary agreements come in.
A verbal boundary agreement is a mutual understanding reached between two or more parties regarding acceptable communication and behavior. It can apply to a variety of situations, including workplace relationships, personal relationships, and negotiations.
Verbal boundary agreements are important because they establish clear expectations and help prevent misunderstandings. They also create a sense of safety and trust, as both parties know what is and isn`t acceptable.
Here are some tips for creating a successful verbal boundary agreement:
1. Start with a conversation: Begin by discussing what each party wants and needs in terms of communication and behavior. Be honest and open about your expectations and listen carefully to the other party`s concerns.
2. Be specific: Clearly outline what is and isn`t acceptable. For example, if you`re setting boundaries in a workplace setting, you might agree that it`s not okay to gossip or interrupt during meetings.
3. Use “I” statements: Instead of using accusatory language, focus on your own feelings and needs. For example, instead of saying “you always interrupt me,” try “I feel frustrated when I`m interrupted.”
4. Be flexible: Verbal boundary agreements should be adaptive and allow for changing circumstances. Don`t be afraid to revisit and revise the agreement as needed.
5. Hold yourself accountable: A verbal boundary agreement is only effective if both parties hold themselves accountable. Be willing to admit when you`ve crossed a boundary and apologize if necessary.
In conclusion, verbal boundary agreements are an important tool for establishing clear communication and preventing misunderstandings. By having an open and honest conversation, being specific, using “I” statements, being flexible, and holding oneself accountable, parties can create a successful verbal boundary agreement.