I don’t like being spoken to like that

“I don’t like being spoken to like that, please stop”

I was blown away when I first heard those words because I had never heard someone communicate their needs so directly.

I first heard the words in the context of my counselling training, a therapist who was asserting her personal boundaries with a very aggressive client.

I had no idea it was even possible to respond like that, breaking so many unspoken taboos. They are really uncomfortable words to say if you don’t like conflict or upsetting others.

“I don’t like being spoken to like that, please stop”

I’ve uttered these words a few times in personal matters, which felt bold at the time. But I’ve never actually spoken them in a workplace setting.

On the handful of occasions where that response would have been 100% appropriate, I’ve been too scared and just ‘sucked it up’.

However, the idea of honestly and confidently communicating good boundaries is an idea with good merit and shouldn’t be discarded too quickly.

When done with empathy and mutual kindness, I suspect the very act of confidently speaking up about what you need will come across much better than I fear.

Frank Ray Consulting. Software requirements for agile development teams, particularly distributed, remote and offshore development teams working in financial services.

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