HIS BREATH STANK...

He had no idea of personal space either...

So close, I could feel his breath on my face!

But how could I tell him?

So I did what I always did....

Avoided him...

But I really liked him...

He was a nice guy, friendly .... but his breath was too much.

I mean, how do you tell someone that you like that they breath is like a bad day at the tip?

This was more awkward than watching a sex scene on a TV program with your parents in the same room.

Then my mate called me out on my behaviour...

Oh god, could this get any worse I thought?

Why are you avoiding John, he is really upset that you keep avoiding him...

So I explained about his "tip breath" and my mate agreed...

He said that is just how he is...

"but what should I do about it, I don't want to upset John but..."

My mate explained how this was a personal boundary of mine...

and as such, I needed to explain that this was not something John had done wrong, but was around a feeling I had...

So I got thinking...

How can I present this in a nice way...

Was the problem really John's breath...

Or was it something else...

As I thought, I realised it was more about my personal space...

Great now I had a way of explaining it.

The next time I saw John I went to greet him and instead of the usual hug...

I extended my arm in the way of a handshake...

John accepted the handshake and I held onto his hand and explained...

"John, I have this thing about personal space... I am sorry I have been avoiding you, but it is because you always get so close..."

"Would it be Ok if we just kept this distance apart" and I gestured with my other hand, the arms distance between us.

John nodded and agreed... "no problem mate"

He went on to say that others had spoken to him about this too and that he would do his best to keep that gap...

I am pleased to say, John and I are still great friends and whenever he see's me and comes in for a hug...I extend my hand for a handshake and we are cool.

The lesson I learned here was the importance of communicating personal boundaries.

And when I do, to remember, it is me that is setting those boundaries.

They are not the other persons boundaries, they are mine.

The other person has generally no idea, until I tell them, that there is even a boundary.

So now I use this simple process...

I explain that it is my boundary and that it is in no way their fault or anything they have done wrong.

I then communicate what the boundary is...

and where possible, demonstrate it.

Then ask for their agreement.

It is their choice if they agree to my personal boundary or not...

If they choose not too...then it is my choice as to whether I want to still be around them or not.

This means, I am in charge of my own life more, I have people around me that are my kind of people and I enjoy life even more because of this...


Contact

Steve Barker

Tanami Street

Wagga Wagga

NSW 2650

0499 152 552

steve@iamenoughcoaching.com

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