My pal Rem Langan suggested I share this idea with my blog community.
The concept is simple but very hard to manifest consistently. The idea is to imagine a Square around you. I think of it as four lines in the ground surrounding me. Each line is a critical principle that makes up my ethos/values. My 4 key principles are subjective and constitute how I behave with others and how I expect others to behave with me: human dignity, respect, thoughtfulness, and generosity. Yours will probably be different, but for now, let’s go with mine.
Now that I have established my four “lines in the sand”, I use these lines in all my personal interactions, whether in business or friendship.
Whenever I am in a situation in which someone crosses these lines, I say “ouch”. In the sense that I say to the intruder that they have crossed a line which I feel they should know about me (all said unemotionally and with kindness/respect). I explain that I am not judging them for their inappropriate behavior (according to my ethos), but letting them know that if they wish to have a fulfilling relationship with me, these line(s) must be respected. A couple of incredible things happen. First off, no one has ever told me to “F” off. And going forward, they have always tried respecting my line(s). I make sure to describe the Square principle. What comes next is breath-taking because, to a person, their relationships have all become more intimate and deeper with me. And they all (usually) say something like, “I wish more people would use your concept, because most of the time, I don’t know when I am being appropriate/insensitive in my behavior. I will try this myself”. And again, these lines are my personal lines but they are sacrosanct because I don’t want to be with people who are disrespectful, insensitive, etc.
I am not judging anyone, just enacting my “free will”. This is one of the few things that really is “free will”. I can decide who I want in or out of my circle, business or personal.
Give it a try. Nothing to lose. And you may be surprised at the new, deeper, and more meaningful relationships you will have created.