BOUNDARIES IN THE WORKPLACE

Yes yes – it has been a while since my last blog. I know that very well. I don’t have any excuse as I know very well that you should make time for the things that matter to you. And given all that I have written in my blogs about forming habits, the last thing I want to be is to be a hypocrite. So let’s get straight into the topic on my mind today – boundaries.

I think boundaries are extremely important in keeping relationships healthy. You might think it is immature or even cruel to completely ‘burn bridges’ but from my experience, it can only be beneficial to yourself. While I don’t have much problem in maintaining boundaries in my personal life, I oddly struggle with this in my professional life.

As an INTJ, I am incredibly task-oriented. When I am focused on a task, I will tend towards wanting to do everything to get the task done, no matter what. But this means I run the risk of over-stepping into someone else’s territory. In addition, it also puts me at risk of giving others the impression that I can do all the little things for them. It took me a while to realize that being helpful can actually be…a bad thing. And saying ‘no’ in a non-offensive way is a ‘must have’ skill in the workplace.

So how do I fix this? I actually like that ‘task-oriented’ part of myself and it is not something I want to change. I also like being helpful and curious as it is how I picked up all the skills I now possess.

However, I think I would have to readjust my concept of a ‘task’. It should now include considering the perception of others (aka being ‘people-oriented’) before making an action. I should also consider the function of the various departments in the workplace before deciding on a course of action. It’ll be a challenging thing to do, yes, but once I make it a habit at the workplace, everything else should fall into place.

As for being ‘too helpful’, I think I need to consistently remind myself that there are various departments in a company for a reason. I can’t do ‘everything’ like when I was in a smaller company. It is not to my benefit if I try to cover all grounds for a task. It may be a benefit to the company in the short term but it most definitely won’t be in the long run. This is because of the uneven workflow process.

I am writing this blog as a reminder to myself that this is something I must and should work on in the workplace.  

5 ACTIONABLE STRATEGIES FOR GRIEF & ANXIETY MANAGEMENT (INTJ-STYLE)

There will always be times in our lives where we will hit rough spots. They are never pretty, and most of the time, you will feel that you don’t even recognize yourself. However, I also believe that these are the times where you learn the most about how to lead a better life because you have the most motivation to improve your current lifestyle and routines.

For me, mental and emotional peace is incredibly important. I cannot tolerate delaying issues and letting them fester inside of me. Part of me figures it is because I am an INTJ type, which means I am not used to holding onto loads of emotions within me.

Another thing most INTJs are not used to is managing these bad emotions, which then led me to create this blog. Of course, these strategies are potentially applicable to anyone. But I would also like to acknowledge that strategies that work for some may not necessarily work for others. Also, there is probably a chance that these strategies work better for people who are more like me, such as introverts.

Before I go into the actionable strategies, I would also like to point out that all of these are also acts of self-love, which is the best medicine for grief.


1) Listen to music without lyrics

While I can appreciate music like most people, but I have a tendency to get distracted by lyrics, especially if I can understand them. Therefore, when I am trying to set a calming mood, I tend to go for songs that do not have lyrics and have a slow beat. If you are an RPG gamer like me, you will probably appreciate songs like these:

Zelda: Breath of the Wild OSTs: 1, 2, 3

The Kalimba is also excellent for getting yourself into a calming mood:

April Yang’s Kalimba Playlist

And last but not least, Studio Ghlibi Music (always live radio)

2) Drink something hot (while under covers)

Heat is comforting. A warm sensation in your tummy is especially so. As for what to drink exactly, I’ll recommend chamomile tea…or something without caffeine. Chamomile is known to have a long list of benefits, including putting you to sleep. While doing this, I like to get under some covers. I learnt from an occupational therapist once that by adding pressure to your body, it gives you a sense of comfort. It is also why people find hugs so incredibly relaxing. Now, if you are a book lover and/or an introvert, wouldn’t you agree this is the best way to enjoy a good book?

3) Exercise

Since this is a universal suggestion, I won’t bother going into details. But here are some youtube links you can take a look at if you need further recommendations:

Sarah Beth’s Yoga Channel

Wim Hof’s Youtube Channel for Breathing Exercises

4) Talk to friends or close loved ones and/or CRY

Now, this is a tricky one for INTJs. We instinctively avoid talking about emotions because of several reasons. When I was young, I felt that emotions make me come off as weak. And this is despite the fact that I am a girl, who are expected to be emotional. (I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for guys.) For the longest time, I didn’t even bother understanding my emotions and simply let them pass through me when they get ‘too much’. It worked, up until it didn’t. Following that, I started talking to anyone and everyone willing to lend a listening ear. It was then I realised it is an immensely useful way to get your anxious or grief-stricken thoughts back into order. When you are an emotional mess, what you need is a good dose of objectivity and evidence that you are not alone. How can you expect to feel like you are NOT alone when you are the one who chose to close themselves off? Yes, being vulnerable to someone is always a risk. However, it is one of those risks that I believe is worth taking.

Once I started to talk about my thoughts and emotions, it also triggered an immense amount of growth in me, which then provided a sense of achievement. So, to those who think being stoic and what-not is ‘cool’, I would advise you to consider just what made you think that way. Is it because of what society or your friends say? If so, then you are doing yourself a great disservice.

Crying is also similar. Again, I used to think crying is an act of weakness. But I have since learnt that it is actually an act of strength. You are BRAVE to cry because it means you are trying to get what you need (emotional peace) regardless of what (Asian) society thinks. If you are a male and deploy this tactic to manage your emotions, please know that you are amazing for that. It is, in my opinion, the healthiest way to get any kind of emotion out.

5) Write out your plan for the day or week

I am a future-oriented person…and it seems most INTJs are the same. Knowing what lies ahead of us gives us a great sense of comfort.

I know I get the most anxious about work when I have no idea what my next step is. Hence, I invest a bit of time every day into thinking about what I want to do and when I want to do them. A small list, which takes about five minutes to think up, is generally good enough.

Not only does it keep you on track for your goals, it also ensures that you have all the reminders you need for the things you need to do, reducing chances of you panicking when you realise you have forgotten them. And then, if you are dealing with grief, checking off items on your list gives you that constant reminder that time is passing and one day, you WILL be okay.

And that’s all for now! Now it is your turn – what stress-relieving tactics do YOU have? Don’t hesitate to let me know!  

HOW DO YOU GROW EMOTIONALLY AS AN INTJ?

While I am aware that Myer-Briggs classification is pseudoscience, I have often found it a useful way to get to know yourself better. In my case, it has been practically transformative.


For one thing, it explained a massive bunch of the difficulties I went through while growing up. In fact, I am still going through them now.

One main difficulty is handling emotions and relationships, something that women are supposed to be good at. Welp, not me.


For the longest time, I had scoffed at the notion of emotions, spirituality and all of that. I once thought mediation was a rubbish thing too. I had near-zero ability to connect to my feelings and went through life like some sort of a robot. In some ways, it was kind of liberating – not having to care about a significant number of things that bothered other people.

But I wasn’t alive, not one bit.

I realized this when I went through a few traumatic episodes. I had ignored all the signs that something about my life was wrong. This led to a failure that I am still not proud of. Nevertheless, I am glad that it happened. If not, I wouldn’t have learnt.

Due to these events, I began to recognize the importance of acknowledging what your emotions are saying. They are like warning signs – not very different from the big yellow/red ones that you see on the roads.

And then, through this, I started to become more aware of how I affect the emotions of others. I used to be frustrated that people do not appreciate my direct way of engagement. I still am, actually. But now I also acknowledge the importance of tailoring your message in a way that will help other people accept the message that you are trying to convey. At the end of the day, isn’t that more important?

I used to be a big loner, but now I make an effort to maintain my relationships with the people I want to keep in my life. I did not realize the importance of having a supportive network of loved ones until I needed them. And now, I aspire to be part of someone’s supportive network too.

Finally, in recent times, I realized I am getting more attuned with people’s manipulative intentions too. Before this, I was incredibly naïve.


So how did I get here? These are the critical steps I took.

1) Introspect +++


Yes, my growth was triggered by big negative events. But I don’t think you necessarily need one to allow for that sort of growth. I do believe it will impact your rate of growth, however. Anyways, what you really need is the motivation to do so. For INTJs, that usually means a good and logical reason. So fellow INTJs, consider this – are emotions really all that useless? Do you really not crave for quality companionship? Do you NOT want to learn about what life can offer? Is staying alone and safe in your bubble really worth not trying? I used to think so, until I personally experienced what being out there and learning from other people could do for me. To put it simply, my life is now filled with colour. Previously, it was like some dull grey-white newspaper. And now, because I am able to feel more, my memories of the recent past are abundantly clear. In comparison, my teenage years were blurry as heck.


2) Be Open To Growth


I don’t think INTJs usually have a problem with this, but I do think we have some difficulties with being open to growing in certain areas. I know I have a tendency to not work on things I am bad in coughdirectionscough but…that really isn’t a good reason to stop working on it altogether. It takes a bit of grit, but over time, I really do think it will all work out. If there is one thing we ARE good at, it is picking up on new things. If you want to get an idea of how to build emotional growth into your routine, you can check out my blog on how to build a new habit .

3) Practice & Ask For Feedback. Rinse & Repeat.


Sounds kind of redundant but let’s be real – do people really do this? Especially when we’re talking about building up social skills. Engage others and watch their reactions. If they are people who matter to you and are willing to be honest, I am sure they will give you the feedback that you ask for. Emotions are the INTJ’s blindspot so there is no way in hell we will be able to navigate this alone.

So – what do you think? Do you have any questions on growing your emotional side? I’m all ears 😀