Say NO, It is healthy.
Of course, you don't start with that asking for personal space with anyone otherwise, you may end up hurting some feeling. If this is the situation in the workplace, it may create an unnecessarily awkward situation and ongoing resentments.
After long working hours and juggling through all hustle and bustle of the day, I took a flight to Dallas.
It was an end of the tiring day, and I was planning to unwind mid-flight.
I finished my dinner at the terminal at the airport terminal in Toronto and was looking forward to having a nap.
Flight boarding started. I am hoping that the neighboring person should be at least quiet.
The flight is still boarding, and the seat next to me is still empty.
I am getting happier. What if the seat stays empty.
And, as anticipated, a decent looking middle aged man walked in looking for the seat next to me.
Yup, he seemed decent. He even greeted, and we introduced each other. And, he agreed to give away his window seat to me.
Finally, I am gonna have a long-awaited rest.
The flight took off, and I stick my oversize headphones over ears.
WTF, who pulled my headphones. "Are you gonna sleep the entire flight?" "Are you visiting family in Dallas?" "Where do you live? Dallas or Toronto"
And the train of million questions started?
So, what do I do? Do I say F*** Off let me sleep
He seems a nice person. Let's just don't hurt any feelings!
The most common non-verbal gesture of sticking headphones and informing him to not to disturb me is already down the drain.
This was a story of short term interactions, think what happens when you have everyday interactions with similar annoying coworkers!
People may question you that you are not a team player but strategic withdrawal and turning down contentious and intrusive requests can, in fact, boost career and reduce burning down at work.
So how did the resistance of saying "No" embedded in our psyche as an adult?
The family values were saying 'No' is sometimes off limits selfish to elders, and 'yes' is a respectful and likable response as a child. We continue our childhood beliefs into adulthood and the workplace.
Frequently low self-esteem, deep feeling of discomfort and guilt to say NO at the, and sense of exclusion, and fear of Missing out (FOMO) play out.
It seems paradoxical, but here are a few useful ideas I found helpful in situations like this one or at the workplace or at home.
It seems paradoxical but here are a few useful ideas I found helpful in situations like this one or at the workplace or at home.
Start with subtle body language and move on to visible signs that you are getting annoyed.
Look Busy and express annoyance. Make purposeful inattention to the talk.
Stick headphones. Pull out some paper or turn on the laptop and start working.
Be Firm but Respectful.
Start refusing increasing interactions and ongoing discussions but at the same time being disrespectful, you can end up failing to protect personal space and purpose.
Appreciate the offer random chat to kill time, but at the same time acknowledge that you are busy or involving into something else and can't talk.
Just acknowledge that you need your personal time and you can't be bothered till some time. Design and conceive simple but polite sentences, put in to practice.
Set Clear Boundaries.
Personal space is critical in the workplace. Failing to protect it, you may end up burnout, fatigued and self-critical.
It can cause a substantial reduction in self-esteem.
Set clear boundaries based on your needs and expectations.
Telling someone to honor your space required an extreme amount of self-awareness and confidence.
I ended up chatting entire flight and crashed at the hotel I was staying. I failed to secure my space on that trip, although I was exhausted.
Asking for personal space and saying NO is a way to self-care.
Next time when you say unnecessary "yes" consider if it is worth it not to refuse. Consider agony and antagonism after saying yes caused you.
Feel empowered free and stay in control.
p.s. If you like, please share.
Reading time 2 min 45 sec
Speaking time 5 min 18 sec