Author Topic: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family  (Read 4181 times)

simonsez

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #50 on: September 12, 2023, 03:44:27 PM »
Similarly, in a work context: the reward for good performance is more work!
Project managers that have a good feel for the work going on and the resources assigned to those tasks are worth their weight in gold when they prevent scope creep - and can do it in a way with professional customer service that doesn't upset the stakeholder paying for the project.  It's also much easier in an environment where you work a defined number of hours and anything beyond that you can either say "No" to or you would get paid OT for it.

Metalcat

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #51 on: September 12, 2023, 03:52:41 PM »
Similarly, in a work context: the reward for good performance is more work!

Only if you don't know how to say "no," which we just established, most people don't.

My reward at work for high performance has always been more money/autonomy/freedom/etc, but that's because I'm really, really good at saying "no" and really, really, really good at asking for what I'm worth.

Freedomin5

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #52 on: September 13, 2023, 05:01:13 AM »
Similarly, in a work context: the reward for good performance is more work!

One of my old managers called it the ďcurse of the competentĒ.

Omy

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #53 on: September 13, 2023, 06:57:23 AM »
I hadn't really considered that many overworked, high performers might have poor boundaries...but when I think back, that was often the case.

Metalcat

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #54 on: September 13, 2023, 07:28:22 AM »
I hadn't really considered that many overworked, high performers might have poor boundaries...but when I think back, that was often the case.

Well yeah, corporate culture overtly encourages poor boundaries and unfortunately a lot of worker have been fooled into believing that their value lies in how little they say "no."

I know, I used to be *exactly* like that until I learned that I could be more exceptional at my job by refusing to do things than by agreeing to do them.

If you look at a lot of executives, they're all about boundaries, that's how they manage so much responsibility, they can't afford to be bogged down with anything even remotely unnecessary.

They ferociously guard their time and resources and have junior executives and EAs below them with zero boundaries to gatekeep and handle all of that shit for them, lol.

Good boundaries are the key to efficiency. Ironically, a lot of high performers throttle their own potential by having poor boundaries.

Omy

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #55 on: September 13, 2023, 09:09:07 AM »
I realized it relatively late in my last career. The more I said "no", the more successful I became. I just stopped agreeing to do the things that weren't fun. Management wanted me to run around doing lots of things that weren't building my business. I wanted to focus entirely on my clients. FU money made it easy to say no...and every single "no" resulted in better service to my clients, more money in my pocket, and better work-life balance. Too bad it took so long to figure that one out!

Cassie

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #56 on: September 13, 2023, 09:51:26 AM »
Unfortunately when you work for the government saying no doesnít work. You can try to state your case with reasonable people but basically itís like being in the military complete with a chain of command that you had better not overstep.  You just have to keep your eye on the end goal which for most is the pension.

Villanelle

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #57 on: September 13, 2023, 09:53:50 AM »
Gosh, I see so very, very much of DH in the comments about executives without boundaries. I have so many examples, but they relate to people's personal lives so I shouldn't share here.  But these are the things that are expected at a certain point in military life, because at a certain level, you are considered responsible for every aspect of the welfare of your people.  (What other corporate leadership position would require you to be in charge of finding an in-patient treatment bed for one of your people in a mental health crisis, for example?  And have you getting calls from your boss or his boss about whether you've found a suitable spot yet, as one example.)   Suffice it to say, you are involved--and expected to be involved--in the personal lives of your people in ways that not only don't exist in the civilian world, but would likely be considered inappropriate. That has also meant things like meeting with the family when a sailor in his command died, helping the widow sort out financial entitlements (though there's someone specifically assigned to that when it happens, but the family's instinct is to reach out to the commanding officer, and the Navy never wants the family to feel like the CO can't be bothered with that).  I could go on and on, but it's just not the kind of thing that encourages boundaries. 

So for someone who is already not good with boundaries, it's not a great situation.  We are both hopeful that civilian life will be somewhat better in this regard.  Maybe that's false hope, but we both have it. 

I never before made the connection between corporate culture and boundaries, but it does make perfect sense.  Does anyone happen to have a book to recommend that discusses this point?  DH does well with books on this kind of thing.  I'd love to help him make the connection and maybe take some mental steps to prepare for this next work-life, which is a great opportunity for him to start new habits.  Like me, he's never going to be great at boundaries, but also like me, I think he can get better. 

Anyway, thanks for the thought-provoking comments and connecting some dots I never had. 

Metalcat

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #58 on: September 13, 2023, 11:30:26 AM »
Unfortunately when you work for the government saying no doesnít work. You can try to state your case with reasonable people but basically itís like being in the military complete with a chain of command that you had better not overstep.  You just have to keep your eye on the end goal which for most is the pension.

I think "government" is a pretty broad category of employer. My DH works for the government and he says "no" all the time. Obviously he can't refuse to do his job, but he can say that he doesn't have the bandwidth for a specific tasking if they want him to get something else done on the timeline they've asked for. He can absolutely refuse to attend a meeting that isn't actually necessary for him to attend.

What we're talking about is saying "no" in the context of not having shitty boundaries, and I think anyone can assert reasonable boundaries in any job, and if those boundaries are flat out not respected, then that's a sign that the employer is terrible, and plans should be made to move in, because just accepting an employer who continually violates reasonable boundaries is not a healthy way to live.

Remember, everyone who is emphasizing the power of saying "no" is talking about how they became *better* employees by doing so, we're not talking about people just not doing their jobs properly.

roomtempmayo

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #59 on: September 13, 2023, 01:44:28 PM »
Just tell everyone you are a consultant.  Theoretically you are and you could be hired at any time.

That's what my brother has been saying.

My brother was laid off from a tech job last year. AFAIK he hasn't been actively looking for a job, when asked he says that he's "working on some projects." It isn't really my business but I can tell that his family is financially secure as he lives in a HCOL city, his wife's job isn't the most stable, and has two kids in private school but doesn't seem hard up for cash. Of course he could be insanely leveraged and I wouldn't know as he's always been discrete. The only I know for certain is that he hasn't asked my parents for a "loan" and I'm guessing the in-laws haven't helped as they are trying to retire.

His response seems to get people to back off and not ask any more questions. Then again he's known as being discrete so I think people know he wouldn't say any more.

I have a few good friends who are in their late 30s and early 40s and now are comfortable enough financially to work irregularly and sporadically, some more than others.  Nobody says they're retired.  They just say what they're doing - taking time to be with their kids, developing a new program, consulting, helping a friend with a new startup, whatever - since they are all doing things, and most of them are getting paid.  It seems weird to say you're retired when you are spending a significant part of your day getting paid to work, but that's a whole 'nother can of marketing/branding worms.


Freedomin5

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #60 on: September 13, 2023, 02:55:15 PM »
I never before made the connection between corporate culture and boundaries, but it does make perfect sense.  Does anyone happen to have a book to recommend that discusses this point?  DH does well with books on this kind of thing.  I'd love to help him make the connection and maybe take some mental steps to prepare for this next work-life, which is a great opportunity for him to start new habits.  Like me, he's never going to be great at boundaries, but also like me, I think he can get better. 

Anyway, thanks for the thought-provoking comments and connecting some dots I never had.

Iíve just started reading Boundaries for Leaders by Dr. Henry Cloud.

Villanelle

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #61 on: September 13, 2023, 05:04:10 PM »
I never before made the connection between corporate culture and boundaries, but it does make perfect sense.  Does anyone happen to have a book to recommend that discusses this point?  DH does well with books on this kind of thing.  I'd love to help him make the connection and maybe take some mental steps to prepare for this next work-life, which is a great opportunity for him to start new habits.  Like me, he's never going to be great at boundaries, but also like me, I think he can get better. 

Anyway, thanks for the thought-provoking comments and connecting some dots I never had.

Iíve just started reading Boundaries for Leaders by Dr. Henry Cloud.

Thanks.  I'll check that out and then see if I think it's a good suggestion for DH. 

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #62 on: September 14, 2023, 05:52:46 PM »
This boundary information is such good advice. It's a great test for the employer. My place of employment was good at first but went substantially downhill. Early on, I could have benefited tremendously by knowing how to set boundaries when it would have been possible. Later on, I could have benefited from knowing that when you try to set boundaries and the company doesn't respect them, it's time to leave that company.

Great advice either way!

Cassie

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #63 on: September 15, 2023, 09:41:09 AM »
Unfortunately when you work for the government saying no doesnít work. You can try to state your case with reasonable people but basically itís like being in the military complete with a chain of command that you had better not overstep.  You just have to keep your eye on the end goal which for most is the pension.

I think "government" is a pretty broad category of employer. My DH works for the government and he says "no" all the time. Obviously he can't refuse to do his job, but he can say that he doesn't have the bandwidth for a specific tasking if they want him to get something else done on the timeline they've asked for. He can absolutely refuse to attend a meeting that isn't actually necessary for him to attend.

What we're talking about is saying "no" in the context of not having shitty boundaries, and I think anyone can assert reasonable boundaries in any job, and if those boundaries are flat out not respected, then that's a sign that the employer is terrible, and plans should be made to move in, because just accepting an employer who continually violates reasonable boundaries is not a healthy way to live.

Remember, everyone who is emphasizing the power of saying "no" is talking about how they became *better* employees by doing so, we're not talking about people just not doing their jobs properly.

It seems like your husband is allowed to do things that I as a professional for the state wasnít allowed to. Refusing to go to a meeting would have been cause to be written up. Expectations were different depending on who was in charge. Since I wanted a pension I learned to roll with ever changing expectations. 

  By the time I retired I was doing the work of 3 people because when people left they transferred the positions to Vegas.  I was beyond exhausted and retired 2 years early with a penalty. They were upset of course and no one that came after me could do nearly the amount of work that I had and no one stayed more than a few years.

I had friends working in many different departments and very few ever made it to full retirement age but luckily the pension is big enough to retire early with the penalty.  It was worth it as I now have been collecting a pension for 11 years and I am only 69. My friends all feel the same. Prior to the state job I would leave if unhappy but I realized that at age 43 I needed to commit to the long haul for my future self.

Metalcat

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #64 on: September 15, 2023, 10:28:33 AM »
Unfortunately when you work for the government saying no doesnít work. You can try to state your case with reasonable people but basically itís like being in the military complete with a chain of command that you had better not overstep.  You just have to keep your eye on the end goal which for most is the pension.

I think "government" is a pretty broad category of employer. My DH works for the government and he says "no" all the time. Obviously he can't refuse to do his job, but he can say that he doesn't have the bandwidth for a specific tasking if they want him to get something else done on the timeline they've asked for. He can absolutely refuse to attend a meeting that isn't actually necessary for him to attend.

What we're talking about is saying "no" in the context of not having shitty boundaries, and I think anyone can assert reasonable boundaries in any job, and if those boundaries are flat out not respected, then that's a sign that the employer is terrible, and plans should be made to move in, because just accepting an employer who continually violates reasonable boundaries is not a healthy way to live.

Remember, everyone who is emphasizing the power of saying "no" is talking about how they became *better* employees by doing so, we're not talking about people just not doing their jobs properly.

It seems like your husband is allowed to do things that I as a professional for the state wasnít allowed to. Refusing to go to a meeting would have been cause to be written up. Expectations were different depending on who was in charge. Since I wanted a pension I learned to roll with ever changing expectations. 

  By the time I retired I was doing the work of 3 people because when people left they transferred the positions to Vegas.  I was beyond exhausted and retired 2 years early with a penalty. They were upset of course and no one that came after me could do nearly the amount of work that I had and no one stayed more than a few years.

I had friends working in many different departments and very few ever made it to full retirement age but luckily the pension is big enough to retire early with the penalty.  It was worth it as I now have been collecting a pension for 11 years and I am only 69. My friends all feel the same. Prior to the state job I would leave if unhappy but I realized that at age 43 I needed to commit to the long haul for my future self.

I'll repeat again, he can't refuse to do his job, but if he is asked to go to a meeting that isn't necessary, he can insist that it's not necessary for him to go to that meeting and explain what other priorities he has been tasked with that will be compromised if he does.

I feel like you're picturing a totally unreasonable use of the concept of saying "no" and I keep clarifying that what I'm talking about is having *reasonable* boundaries for the sake of being able to perform better at the job.

A lot of employers have no idea the impact that demands have on their staff, and a lot of staff are absolutely terrible at pushing back.

If my DH says "no" to a meeting it looks like "No, I can't go to that 4 hr meeting today and still deliver the memorandum to cabinet by the deadline. Danny is also familiar with that file and not on any deadlines, perhaps he can go instead and brief me."

That's saying "no." It's not saying "Fuck you, I don't feel like doing my job." It's politely saying "No, the demands you've put on me cannot be feasibly met, you will have to find another strategy because I have work to do and that's *your* job to figure out, not mine, but here's a suggestion if that's helpful."

Fru-Gal

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #65 on: September 15, 2023, 11:55:47 AM »
Quote
  realized it relatively late in my last career. The more I said "no", the more successful I became. I just stopped agreeing to do the things that weren't fun. Management wanted me to run around doing lots of things that weren't building my business. I wanted to focus entirely on my clients. FU money made it easy to say no...and every single "no" resulted in better service to my clients, more money in my pocket, and better work-life balance. Too bad it took so long to figure that one out!

This is amazing! Another way to think about it is that setting boundaries allows you to align fully with your strengths, motivation, purpose, etc.

As for OPís original question, I have not explicitly said Iím retired to anyone other than husband and kids. In general my family figured it out but makes subtle comments about it (What are you doing for money, how can you afford that, itís too bad you left that great job, If only you hadnít had that bad bossÖ).

I am careful about what I say about investments and finance since I have found money makes people weird/avaricious and since we also support some family members, talking about being retired could result in more requests for money.

However, there are visible/obvious ways I am frugal and people chalk my independence up to that rather than having the foresight and sang froid (along with everyone else on this great forum) to execute a five-year corporate escape plan at the peak of my professional career. Ironically most think I am weird/frugal/struggling due to our ancient car, the fact that I donít drink, and frequent biking and transit.

Cassie

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #66 on: September 15, 2023, 01:06:51 PM »
Unfortunately when you work for the government saying no doesnít work. You can try to state your case with reasonable people but basically itís like being in the military complete with a chain of command that you had better not overstep.  You just have to keep your eye on the end goal which for most is the pension.

I think "government" is a pretty broad category of employer. My DH works for the government and he says "no" all the time. Obviously he can't refuse to do his job, but he can say that he doesn't have the bandwidth for a specific tasking if they want him to get something else done on the timeline they've asked for. He can absolutely refuse to attend a meeting that isn't actually necessary for him to attend.

What we're talking about is saying "no" in the context of not having shitty boundaries, and I think anyone can assert reasonable boundaries in any job, and if those boundaries are flat out not respected, then that's a sign that the employer is terrible, and plans should be made to move in, because just accepting an employer who continually violates reasonable boundaries is not a healthy way to live.

Remember, everyone who is emphasizing the power of saying "no" is talking about how they became *better* employees by doing so, we're not talking about people just not doing their jobs properly.

It seems like your husband is allowed to do things that I as a professional for the state wasnít allowed to. Refusing to go to a meeting would have been cause to be written up. Expectations were different depending on who was in charge. Since I wanted a pension I learned to roll with ever changing expectations. 

  By the time I retired I was doing the work of 3 people because when people left they transferred the positions to Vegas.  I was beyond exhausted and retired 2 years early with a penalty. They were upset of course and no one that came after me could do nearly the amount of work that I had and no one stayed more than a few years.

I had friends working in many different departments and very few ever made it to full retirement age but luckily the pension is big enough to retire early with the penalty.  It was worth it as I now have been collecting a pension for 11 years and I am only 69. My friends all feel the same. Prior to the state job I would leave if unhappy but I realized that at age 43 I needed to commit to the long haul for my future self.

I'll repeat again, he can't refuse to do his job, but if he is asked to go to a meeting that isn't necessary, he can insist that it's not necessary for him to go to that meeting and explain what other priorities he has been tasked with that will be compromised if he does.

I feel like you're picturing a totally unreasonable use of the concept of saying "no" and I keep clarifying that what I'm talking about is having *reasonable* boundaries for the sake of being able to perform better at the job.

A lot of employers have no idea the impact that demands have on their staff, and a lot of staff are absolutely terrible at pushing back.

If my DH says "no" to a meeting it looks like "No, I can't go to that 4 hr meeting today and still deliver the memorandum to cabinet by the deadline. Danny is also familiar with that file and not on any deadlines, perhaps he can go instead and brief me."

That's saying "no." It's not saying "Fuck you, I don't feel like doing my job." It's politely saying "No, the demands you've put on me cannot be feasibly met, you will have to find another strategy because I have work to do and that's *your* job to figure out, not mine, but here's a suggestion if that's helpful."

I totally understand what youíre saying and when I first started with the state the management was reasonable and awesome. Unfortunately, after 4 years different people were in charge and things went from being great to not very good. However, the not so good was pretty much the norm in most departments. Your husband is lucky and I hope it lasts.

Villanelle

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #67 on: September 15, 2023, 01:10:48 PM »
Unfortunately when you work for the government saying no doesnít work. You can try to state your case with reasonable people but basically itís like being in the military complete with a chain of command that you had better not overstep.  You just have to keep your eye on the end goal which for most is the pension.

I think "government" is a pretty broad category of employer. My DH works for the government and he says "no" all the time. Obviously he can't refuse to do his job, but he can say that he doesn't have the bandwidth for a specific tasking if they want him to get something else done on the timeline they've asked for. He can absolutely refuse to attend a meeting that isn't actually necessary for him to attend.

What we're talking about is saying "no" in the context of not having shitty boundaries, and I think anyone can assert reasonable boundaries in any job, and if those boundaries are flat out not respected, then that's a sign that the employer is terrible, and plans should be made to move in, because just accepting an employer who continually violates reasonable boundaries is not a healthy way to live.

Remember, everyone who is emphasizing the power of saying "no" is talking about how they became *better* employees by doing so, we're not talking about people just not doing their jobs properly.

It seems like your husband is allowed to do things that I as a professional for the state wasnít allowed to. Refusing to go to a meeting would have been cause to be written up. Expectations were different depending on who was in charge. Since I wanted a pension I learned to roll with ever changing expectations. 

  By the time I retired I was doing the work of 3 people because when people left they transferred the positions to Vegas.  I was beyond exhausted and retired 2 years early with a penalty. They were upset of course and no one that came after me could do nearly the amount of work that I had and no one stayed more than a few years.

I had friends working in many different departments and very few ever made it to full retirement age but luckily the pension is big enough to retire early with the penalty.  It was worth it as I now have been collecting a pension for 11 years and I am only 69. My friends all feel the same. Prior to the state job I would leave if unhappy but I realized that at age 43 I needed to commit to the long haul for my future self.

I'll repeat again, he can't refuse to do his job, but if he is asked to go to a meeting that isn't necessary, he can insist that it's not necessary for him to go to that meeting and explain what other priorities he has been tasked with that will be compromised if he does.

I feel like you're picturing a totally unreasonable use of the concept of saying "no" and I keep clarifying that what I'm talking about is having *reasonable* boundaries for the sake of being able to perform better at the job.

A lot of employers have no idea the impact that demands have on their staff, and a lot of staff are absolutely terrible at pushing back.

If my DH says "no" to a meeting it looks like "No, I can't go to that 4 hr meeting today and still deliver the memorandum to cabinet by the deadline. Danny is also familiar with that file and not on any deadlines, perhaps he can go instead and brief me."

That's saying "no." It's not saying "Fuck you, I don't feel like doing my job." It's politely saying "No, the demands you've put on me cannot be feasibly met, you will have to find another strategy because I have work to do and that's *your* job to figure out, not mine, but here's a suggestion if that's helpful."

Because boundaries and "no"s are tough for me, I've found I often say "yes, but" instead, to nearly the same effect.  In this case, that could sound like, "I can attend this new meeting, but I'm working on XYZ deliverable which is due Tuesday. If I lose 3-4 hours to this meeting, there's no way I can meet that deadline.  Would you rather I attend the meeting and miss the deadline by about half a day, or keep the deadline as-is, and send Danny to the meeting instead?"

I offer this as an alternative for people who struggle with this kind of thing.  You show the outcome of both options and let the boss decide after it's very clear what his decision means.  (Yes, I know this doesn't work in every circumstance, but when it does, I find it to be pretty effective.)

Metalcat

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #68 on: September 15, 2023, 02:35:08 PM »
I totally understand what youíre saying and when I first started with the state the management was reasonable and awesome. Unfortunately, after 4 years different people were in charge and things went from being great to not very good. However, the not so good was pretty much the norm in most departments. Your husband is lucky and I hope it lasts.

Oh, for sure, DH has been on government for decades and had plenty of unreasonable managers, and when he faces one, he leaves. He's lucky because he has a lot of mobility within government, so if he lands on toxic management, he can just hop laterally within a few weeks, so if his current team goes toxic, he'll just leave. For other people, leaving toxic management isn't so easy.

My point was that an inability to say "no" is not a product of working for government, it's a product of working for toxic management, and no one should voluntarily work for toxic management if it can at all be reasonably avoided.

I stand firmly by my stance that if your management can't handle you reasonably saying "no" to a demand where you can perform your job better if you didn't do it, however you phrase that "no," then it's not a healthy situation to be in and the person should probably start considering their other options.

Toxic management is common in all sectors, not just public sector.

But even if you have no choice but to work in a toxic environment, having good boundaries is always going to help you more than having poor boundaries. I would think you of all people with your background would agree with that.

Cassie

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #69 on: September 18, 2023, 03:22:34 PM »
I donít disagree with you about boundaries at all. Unfortunately myself and some of my friends had highly specialized occupations where literally you either work in the private sector or for the state. For mine thereís maybe 7-12 people needed per state. So when I found myself working in a toxic workplace in Kansas I moved to Nevada.

I couldnít keep changing states if I wanted a pension. I decided that no matter what happened in the future good or bad I would have to stay. Iím a very practical person and itís a choice I made. I absolutely loved Reno, my friends and my kids relocated here. So the good outweighed the bad although things ebbed during my time from great to horrible to just okay.

TreeLeaf

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #70 on: September 18, 2023, 04:59:36 PM »
I donít disagree with you about boundaries at all. Unfortunately myself and some of my friends had highly specialized occupations where literally you either work in the private sector or for the state. For mine thereís maybe 7-12 people needed per state. So when I found myself working in a toxic workplace in Kansas I moved to Nevada.

I couldnít keep changing states if I wanted a pension. I decided that no matter what happened in the future good or bad I would have to stay. Iím a very practical person and itís a choice I made. I absolutely loved Reno, my friends and my kids relocated here. So the good outweighed the bad although things ebbed during my time from great to horrible to just okay.

I think when discussing things with Metalcat it might be more helpful to view her stance as debating a certain concept or topic in an impersonal manner. Not like a normal conversation, but more like something you would expect on a debate team or in an academic setting.

It might seem like she is dismissing or invalidating your personal experiences at times, but from her point of view she might conclude that you're interjecting your personal experience to dismiss her point of view about a particular topic and then engages to defend or further explain her perspective because she feels like she is not being understood correctly at times.

But from your point of view you may just be talking about your life, personal experience, or just adding on to the conversation without meaning to dismiss her points...and her responses may seem like she is invalidating your personal experience when she may actually just feel like she is misunderstood and try and continue to get her point across.

I think some people view the forums as more of how they would converse with someone in real life in a personal manner, and other people view it more as debating or explaining different perspectives in an impersonal manner to learn more or explain things to other people in more of an academic/impersonal manner.

I think sometimes these different conversational styles and expectations can lead to misunderstanding and misinterpretations.

Metalcat

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #71 on: September 18, 2023, 06:29:01 PM »
I donít disagree with you about boundaries at all. Unfortunately myself and some of my friends had highly specialized occupations where literally you either work in the private sector or for the state. For mine thereís maybe 7-12 people needed per state. So when I found myself working in a toxic workplace in Kansas I moved to Nevada.

I couldnít keep changing states if I wanted a pension. I decided that no matter what happened in the future good or bad I would have to stay. Iím a very practical person and itís a choice I made. I absolutely loved Reno, my friends and my kids relocated here. So the good outweighed the bad although things ebbed during my time from great to horrible to just okay.

I get that, but I would consider your very specific career situation to be an exception to the rule, and definitely not representative of the general experience of working for government.

My point all along has been that boundaries are beneficial in the workplace and learning to say "no." is an important professional skill, however that "no." Is actually said.

There are, I suppose, careers where it is just worth it to take abuse and have poor boundaries and never push back. I personally cannot fathom any career being worth that, but obviously there are plenty of famous actors who have tolerated it for an extraordinary dream, so I won't say it's never worth it for anyone.

However, I would say that for the vast majority of people, if their only option is to take a beating and not push back, then they're much better off pursuing a different career.

That's what the general advice has been here for as long as I've been on these forums.

I think not having good boundaries and never pushing back against unreasonable management should be an extremely, extremely rare situation that someone decides to accept.

It just doesn't sound healthy to me.

Or maybe I'm confused and I just don't get what point of mine you have been trying to argue with??? That's very possible.

Cassie

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #72 on: September 18, 2023, 06:48:26 PM »
Metalcat, for some reason you and I donít seem to communicate well.  No big deal:)).

Cassie

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #73 on: September 18, 2023, 06:50:56 PM »
I donít disagree with you about boundaries at all. Unfortunately myself and some of my friends had highly specialized occupations where literally you either work in the private sector or for the state. For mine thereís maybe 7-12 people needed per state. So when I found myself working in a toxic workplace in Kansas I moved to Nevada.

I couldnít keep changing states if I wanted a pension. I decided that no matter what happened in the future good or bad I would have to stay. Iím a very practical person and itís a choice I made. I absolutely loved Reno, my friends and my kids relocated here. So the good outweighed the bad although things ebbed during my time from great to horrible to just okay.

I think when discussing things with Metalcat it might be more helpful to view her stance as debating a certain concept or topic in an impersonal manner. Not like a normal conversation, but more like something you would expect on a debate team or in an academic setting.

It might seem like she is dismissing or invalidating your personal experiences at times, but from her point of view she might conclude that you're interjecting your personal experience to dismiss her point of view about a particular topic and then engages to defend or further explain her perspective because she feels like she is not being understood correctly at times.

But from your point of view you may just be talking about your life, personal experience, or just adding on to the conversation without meaning to dismiss her points...and her responses may seem like she is invalidating your personal experience when she may actually just feel like she is misunderstood and try and continue to get her point across.

I think some people view the forums as more of how they would converse with someone in real life in a personal manner, and other people view it more as debating or explaining different perspectives in an impersonal manner to learn more or explain things to other people in more of an academic/impersonal manner.

I think sometimes these different conversational styles and expectations can lead to misunderstanding and misinterpretations.


Tree leaf, I think you have identified the problem. Thanks for the explanation.

Freedomin5

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #74 on: September 19, 2023, 03:12:11 AM »
I donít disagree with you about boundaries at all. Unfortunately myself and some of my friends had highly specialized occupations where literally you either work in the private sector or for the state. For mine thereís maybe 7-12 people needed per state. So when I found myself working in a toxic workplace in Kansas I moved to Nevada.

I couldnít keep changing states if I wanted a pension. I decided that no matter what happened in the future good or bad I would have to stay. Iím a very practical person and itís a choice I made. I absolutely loved Reno, my friends and my kids relocated here. So the good outweighed the bad although things ebbed during my time from great to horrible to just okay.

I don't really see this as being a lack of boundaries. To some extent, boundaries are internal -- it's a personal line in terms of what you are willing to put up with or what you are willing to engage in. I have some rather toxic coworkers, and my boundaries do not involve telling them to shove off or refusing to work with them or quitting my job. I have to work with them on the same team, but my boundaries might be to choose not to lower myself to their level or respond to their mean-spirited remarks, or to "just go with the flow" and not push back nor let them get to me. Obviously, it's not a long term solution, but it is a healthy response in a situation that I cannot immediately change or get myself out of.

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #75 on: September 19, 2023, 09:14:29 AM »
Freedom, itís nice that you understand my point. Plus systems change management all the time so you may leave toxic management just to have things change for the better at your old workplace and become concerning at the new one.  Most of my friends locally have also retired from the state and we are all so happy to be collecting a nice pension which doesnít make you wait until traditional retirement age depending on years of service and have retiree health insurance until Medicare kicks in.

I would do it all again and it was one of the best choices Iíve made. Plus I had a career that I loved so much that I still consult part time in the private sector at age 69.

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #76 on: September 19, 2023, 09:49:20 AM »
Freedom, itís nice that you understand my point. Plus systems change management all the time so you may leave toxic management just to have things change for the better at your old workplace and become concerning at the new one.  Most of my friends locally have also retired from the state and we are all so happy to be collecting a nice pension which doesnít make you wait until traditional retirement age depending on years of service and have retiree health insurance until Medicare kicks in.

I would do it all again and it was one of the best choices Iíve made. Plus I had a career that I loved so much that I still consult part time in the private sector at age 69.

I think every boundary has trade-offs.  If you tell an addict they can no longer live with you while using, you've set a boundary.  The trade-off may be their anger, or losing the relationship.  If you tell your boss that you can't cram 18 hours of work into your workdays, the trade-off may be that you don't get promoted, or are the first laid off, or even that you get let go.  If you set a boundary that your racist uncle can't say Those Things when you are around, the trade off is that you may lose the relationship with him, or that holiday dinner might devolve into chaos (and maybe your family gets mad about that and blames you), and you may not get Aunt Racist's amazing pie next year because you aren't invited. 

Maybe some or all or none of those things happen.  But yes, boundaries definitely have consequences.  If the pension is worth it, then you work the 18 hour days.  If the pie is worth it, you smile through talk of space lasers and cabals and racial purity.  No one is unable to say 'no', in any of these circumstances; it's just that they may not feel strong enough to, or they may feel perfectly capable of doing so but decide that the tradeoffs aren't worth it.  It's not that saying no doesn't work, so much as it is that in those situations those people have decided it's not worth it.  That's fine, but it's definitely a choice and a decision, not something which they are helpless to change. 

I'm way better at boundaries than I used to be, but I still too-often default to either not setting the boundary, or setting it further back than I actually want it. I decide that the chaos that may come from it--unhappy people, angry Uncles, whatever--is not a fair trade for me that makes it worth having the boundary in place and enforced.  Sometimes, that's short-sighted on my part, and just makes it more likely that there will be another unreasonable demand.  But sometimes, it's truly not worth it.  Either way, I recognize that it's not that I didn't have a choice or that the boundary was impossible.

In your case, you absolutely could have set a boundary and told your boss 'no'.  It wasn't worth it to you, which is fine.  It sounds like you are happy with what it bought you.  But it's not that you didn't have a choice or that saying no wouldn't have worked to free you from unreasonable work demands.  It's just that you might have been free of them because you were also free of that job.

I could be wrong--it happens often--but I think maybe that's part of what MC is reacting to in your posts.  You make it sound like setting the boundary wasn't an option, rather than that it was an option for which you didn't like the potential consequences, more than you didn't like the status quo, so you opted for the status quo rather than the boundary. 

Cassie

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #77 on: September 19, 2023, 10:21:04 AM »
Freedom, itís nice that you understand my point. Plus systems change management all the time so you may leave toxic management just to have things change for the better at your old workplace and become concerning at the new one.  Most of my friends locally have also retired from the state and we are all so happy to be collecting a nice pension which doesnít make you wait until traditional retirement age depending on years of service and have retiree health insurance until Medicare kicks in.

I would do it all again and it was one of the best choices Iíve made. Plus I had a career that I loved so much that I still consult part time in the private sector at age 69.

I think every boundary has trade-offs.  If you tell an addict they can no longer live with you while using, you've set a boundary.  The trade-off may be their anger, or losing the relationship.  If you tell your boss that you can't cram 18 hours of work into your workdays, the trade-off may be that you don't get promoted, or are the first laid off, or even that you get let go.  If you set a boundary that your racist uncle can't say Those Things when you are around, the trade off is that you may lose the relationship with him, or that holiday dinner might devolve into chaos (and maybe your family gets mad about that and blames you), and you may not get Aunt Racist's amazing pie next year because you aren't invited. 

Maybe some or all or none of those things happen.  But yes, boundaries definitely have consequences.  If the pension is worth it, then you work the 18 hour days.  If the pie is worth it, you smile through talk of space lasers and cabals and racial purity.  No one is unable to say 'no', in any of these circumstances; it's just that they may not feel strong enough to, or they may feel perfectly capable of doing so but decide that the tradeoffs aren't worth it.  It's not that saying no doesn't work, so much as it is that in those situations those people have decided it's not worth it.  That's fine, but it's definitely a choice and a decision, not something which they are helpless to change. 

I'm way better at boundaries than I used to be, but I still too-often default to either not setting the boundary, or setting it further back than I actually want it. I decide that the chaos that may come from it--unhappy people, angry Uncles, whatever--is not a fair trade for me that makes it worth having the boundary in place and enforced.  Sometimes, that's short-sighted on my part, and just makes it more likely that there will be another unreasonable demand.  But sometimes, it's truly not worth it.  Either way, I recognize that it's not that I didn't have a choice or that the boundary was impossible.

In your case, you absolutely could have set a boundary and told your boss 'no'.  It wasn't worth it to you, which is fine.  It sounds like you are happy with what it bought you.  But it's not that you didn't have a choice or that saying no wouldn't have worked to free you from unreasonable work demands.  It's just that you might have been free of them because you were also free of that job.

I could be wrong--it happens often--but I think maybe that's part of what MC is reacting to in your posts.  You make it sound like setting the boundary wasn't an option, rather than that it was an option for which you didn't like the potential consequences, more than you didn't like the status quo, so you opted for the status quo rather than the boundary.

Unless you are in a position where you never have to work again setting boundaries has consequences. Itís up to each individual to decide what works for them. If you freely choose then you are not a victim. I have left jobs because of toxic people but in the end freely decided it was in my best interest to stick it out.  The environment went from excellent to terrible to in between.

 Setting boundaries for your personal life may look different than the ones you set for your professional life. Or they may not but again itís a personal decision and not a one size fits all approach.

It reminds me of a friend of mine thatís a life coach. His career advice was do what you love and the money will follow. Part of my job was providing career counseling to people with disabilities that needed to work. So itís great that you want to be an artist and you can do that in your spare time. But no we arenít paying for college for you to be an artist.

While vocational interest is important whatís also important is having your occupation be compatible with your disability and the local job market if you donít intend to move after graduation because the end result of spending taxpayer money is gainful employment. Itís called being practical and living in the real world.  This is where most people live especially clients using our services.

lhamo

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #78 on: September 19, 2023, 11:55:30 AM »
I never before made the connection between corporate culture and boundaries, but it does make perfect sense.  Does anyone happen to have a book to recommend that discusses this point?  DH does well with books on this kind of thing.  I'd love to help him make the connection and maybe take some mental steps to prepare for this next work-life, which is a great opportunity for him to start new habits.  Like me, he's never going to be great at boundaries, but also like me, I think he can get better. 

Anyway, thanks for the thought-provoking comments and connecting some dots I never had.

Iíve just started reading Boundaries for Leaders by Dr. Henry Cloud.

Thanks.  I'll check that out and then see if I think it's a good suggestion for DH.

Cloud's Necessary Endings was very helpful for me in identifying where my lack of boundaries in work settings was effectively self-sabatoging.  And in making the decision to quit.

lhamo

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #79 on: September 19, 2023, 12:06:49 PM »
Another thing that may be helpful to note:

There are whole sectors of the economy that by the nature of the kind of work they entail and the ethical/philosophical/psychological orientation of the people who are drawn to those fields tend to be a minefield for poor boundaries.  Social services, higher education, and the non-profit sector are certainly like this.  Many people enter these fields because they are more motivated by a sense of mission/purpose than by salary and benefits.  And dysfuntional organizations will play on that sense of and/or willingness to want to serve/sacrifice for the benefit of others.

So somebody who works for "government" in a social service role is probably going to have a VERY different experience/set of expectations than somebody who is designing waste water treatment systems or highway interchanges or traffic flow patterns. 

Metalcat

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #80 on: September 19, 2023, 12:26:04 PM »
Another thing that may be helpful to note:

There are whole sectors of the economy that by the nature of the kind of work they entail and the ethical/philosophical/psychological orientation of the people who are drawn to those fields tend to be a minefield for poor boundaries.  Social services, higher education, and the non-profit sector are certainly like this.  Many people enter these fields because they are more motivated by a sense of mission/purpose than by salary and benefits.  And dysfuntional organizations will play on that sense of and/or willingness to want to serve/sacrifice for the benefit of others.

So somebody who works for "government" in a social service role is probably going to have a VERY different experience/set of expectations than somebody who is designing waste water treatment systems or highway interchanges or traffic flow patterns.

None of that negates the importance of boundaries and the ability to say "no."

I think Cassie just had a very, very specific interpretation of what I was describing, when it was actually much more general.

Boundaries doesn't mean getting what you want, it means doing what you think is right.

I'm 1000% positive that Cassie has been happy working in such a difficult environment because she has figured out her personal boundaries of what is worth doing and what isn't and stuck with them.

I've never met a single person who talks about their work the way Cassie does who has shitty, unhealthy boundaries and doesn't know how to push back when it's worth it to do so.

I'm just not buying that, and I don't think that's what she actually means.

Obviously it's easier to push back in some industries, in some roles, at some levels compared to others. It would be insane to think otherwise. But none of that negates the value of learning how to push back when it makes sense to do so.

Most people are WAY too terrified to push back at all and never learn how to do so responsibly.

It's disturbing to watch.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2023, 12:27:47 PM by Metalcat »

Freedomin5

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #81 on: September 19, 2023, 03:42:14 PM »
I have to admit, itís a lot easier to set boundaries when you have a ton of FU money and arenít afraid of losing your job. Not that you shouldnít set boundaries; itís just easier when youíve mitigated some of the potential financial fallout.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2023, 03:44:04 PM by Freedomin5 »

TreeLeaf

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #82 on: September 19, 2023, 04:41:06 PM »
Freedom, itís nice that you understand my point. Plus systems change management all the time so you may leave toxic management just to have things change for the better at your old workplace and become concerning at the new one.  Most of my friends locally have also retired from the state and we are all so happy to be collecting a nice pension which doesnít make you wait until traditional retirement age depending on years of service and have retiree health insurance until Medicare kicks in.

I would do it all again and it was one of the best choices Iíve made. Plus I had a career that I loved so much that I still consult part time in the private sector at age 69.

I think every boundary has trade-offs.  If you tell an addict they can no longer live with you while using, you've set a boundary.  The trade-off may be their anger, or losing the relationship.  If you tell your boss that you can't cram 18 hours of work into your workdays, the trade-off may be that you don't get promoted, or are the first laid off, or even that you get let go.  If you set a boundary that your racist uncle can't say Those Things when you are around, the trade off is that you may lose the relationship with him, or that holiday dinner might devolve into chaos (and maybe your family gets mad about that and blames you), and you may not get Aunt Racist's amazing pie next year because you aren't invited. 

Maybe some or all or none of those things happen.  But yes, boundaries definitely have consequences.  If the pension is worth it, then you work the 18 hour days.  If the pie is worth it, you smile through talk of space lasers and cabals and racial purity.  No one is unable to say 'no', in any of these circumstances; it's just that they may not feel strong enough to, or they may feel perfectly capable of doing so but decide that the tradeoffs aren't worth it.  It's not that saying no doesn't work, so much as it is that in those situations those people have decided it's not worth it.  That's fine, but it's definitely a choice and a decision, not something which they are helpless to change. 

I'm way better at boundaries than I used to be, but I still too-often default to either not setting the boundary, or setting it further back than I actually want it. I decide that the chaos that may come from it--unhappy people, angry Uncles, whatever--is not a fair trade for me that makes it worth having the boundary in place and enforced.  Sometimes, that's short-sighted on my part, and just makes it more likely that there will be another unreasonable demand.  But sometimes, it's truly not worth it.  Either way, I recognize that it's not that I didn't have a choice or that the boundary was impossible.

In your case, you absolutely could have set a boundary and told your boss 'no'.  It wasn't worth it to you, which is fine.  It sounds like you are happy with what it bought you.  But it's not that you didn't have a choice or that saying no wouldn't have worked to free you from unreasonable work demands.  It's just that you might have been free of them because you were also free of that job.

I could be wrong--it happens often--but I think maybe that's part of what MC is reacting to in your posts.  You make it sound like setting the boundary wasn't an option, rather than that it was an option for which you didn't like the potential consequences, more than you didn't like the status quo, so you opted for the status quo rather than the boundary.

Unless you are in a position where you never have to work again setting boundaries has consequences. Itís up to each individual to decide what works for them. If you freely choose then you are not a victim. I have left jobs because of toxic people but in the end freely decided it was in my best interest to stick it out.  The environment went from excellent to terrible to in between.

 Setting boundaries for your personal life may look different than the ones you set for your professional life. Or they may not but again itís a personal decision and not a one size fits all approach.

It reminds me of a friend of mine thatís a life coach. His career advice was do what you love and the money will follow. Part of my job was providing career counseling to people with disabilities that needed to work. So itís great that you want to be an artist and you can do that in your spare time. But no we arenít paying for college for you to be an artist.

While vocational interest is important whatís also important is having your occupation be compatible with your disability and the local job market if you donít intend to move after graduation because the end result of spending taxpayer money is gainful employment. Itís called being practical and living in the real world.  This is where most people live especially clients using our services.

Yeah - in the real world it's great to have boundaries but one cannot simply say no to everyone and everything they disagree with and mute everyone without consequences - unless they are the one in charge or were born with wealthy parents or something.

Actions have consequences. Sometimes they are minor and simply change how someone views a person. Other times they involve a person concluding you're not particularly beneficial for them and booting you out of their life.

There has to be some balance of power between people and their needs and desires in life and relationships, wether that be employee employer or spouse or friends or family.

Some give and take between people and taking into account the needs, anxieties, desires, nature of the relationship, etc when setting boundaries so that the overall relationship is mutually positive and beneficial for both parties.

One cannot simply mute everyone and everything in life which they disagree with just because, in their opinion, it isn't right.

Even on this forum one cannot simply completely mute someone unless they own the forum or are a moderator. Best case scenario they can block a person, but then other people will quote them so they will pop right back up again in the conversation.

A completely anonymous forum is precisely the kind of place that one would think they could easily set boundaries. But no, even here one cannot simply mute a person they don't like.

So yes - boundaries are important but how one sets them up and considers the needs of another person should really depend on their overall goals and priorities and situation in life and what they value in life, etc. One has to take into account the overall context of a person's life and goals, not simply what feels right to them in that given moment.

If one simply never takes into account the needs of the other person when setting boundaries, they will eventually find themselves pretty alone.

This conversation kind of reminds me of a conversation with a therapist I read online once:

Young adult client: Complains about all the toxic and incredibly abusive things his parents say and do. 

Therapist: Oh wow - It seems like your parents are fairly bad for your mental health - have you considered...not talking to them anymore?

Young adult client: Well, my parents are the ones paying for this therapy so that would mean this would be our last therapy session together.

Therapist: Oh, well, let's forget about that idea then.

Boundaries may be incredibly important in life, but one should still be able to, after careful thought and considerations, consciously do something they may not enjoy doing, like their job, to enjoy something they will get later - like their paycheck - if they have carefully and thoughtfully concluded that this the best option they have that fulfills their needs in life.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2023, 05:14:13 PM by TreeLeaf »

TreeLeaf

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #83 on: September 19, 2023, 07:04:28 PM »
Another thing that may be helpful to note:

There are whole sectors of the economy that by the nature of the kind of work they entail and the ethical/philosophical/psychological orientation of the people who are drawn to those fields tend to be a minefield for poor boundaries.  Social services, higher education, and the non-profit sector are certainly like this.  Many people enter these fields because they are more motivated by a sense of mission/purpose than by salary and benefits.  And dysfuntional organizations will play on that sense of and/or willingness to want to serve/sacrifice for the benefit of others.

So somebody who works for "government" in a social service role is probably going to have a VERY different experience/set of expectations than somebody who is designing waste water treatment systems or highway interchanges or traffic flow patterns.

None of that negates the importance of boundaries and the ability to say "no."

I think Cassie just had a very, very specific interpretation of what I was describing, when it was actually much more general.

Boundaries doesn't mean getting what you want, it means doing what you think is right.

I'm 1000% positive that Cassie has been happy working in such a difficult environment because she has figured out her personal boundaries of what is worth doing and what isn't and stuck with them.

I've never met a single person who talks about their work the way Cassie does who has shitty, unhealthy boundaries and doesn't know how to push back when it's worth it to do so.

I'm just not buying that, and I don't think that's what she actually means.

Obviously it's easier to push back in some industries, in some roles, at some levels compared to others. It would be insane to think otherwise. But none of that negates the value of learning how to push back when it makes sense to do so.

Most people are WAY too terrified to push back at all and never learn how to do so responsibly.

It's disturbing to watch.

I'm just curious - do you think Cassie is trying to argue or dismiss your points about boundaries?

Do you think Cassie doesn't understand the concept of boundaries?

It seemed to me that she wasn't actually debating the idea of boundaries, but was simply relaying her own life experience about the subject at hand, and did not intend to dismiss your points.

But it's possible I am misinterpreting this entire conversation, lol.

Metalcat

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #84 on: September 20, 2023, 04:14:55 AM »

I'm just curious - do you think Cassie is trying to argue or dismiss your points about boundaries?

Do you think Cassie doesn't understand the concept of boundaries?

It seemed to me that she wasn't actually debating the idea of boundaries, but was simply relaying her own life experience about the subject at hand, and did not intend to dismiss your points.

But it's possible I am misinterpreting this entire conversation, lol.

It's very unclear to me what Cassie thinks.

But I am kind of gobsmacked that someone who was a therapist sounds like they're advocating against having strong boundaries and learning to say "no" in unhealthy job situations.

I'm not overly concerned about what Cassie thinks, as she said, we often don't understand each other for some weird reason, but I respect her and know it's not personal.

But for anyone reading, I want my position absolutely, unquestioningly clear, because our society has an absolutely abysmal track record with boundaries in the workplace as they are systematically beaten out of people.

I firmly stand by my position that even in a toxic environment, in fact, especially inna toxic environment, boundaries are valuable and typically, they're the way to get treated better.

Yes, all boundaries have consequences, and typically those consequences will be getting more respect.

Having boundaries and saying "no" DOES NOT mean being defiant to your boss and refusing to do your job. That is the implication I want to staunchly object to.

Whether that's what Cassie meant or not, that's what it sounded like, and how it could be understood by others. And I think that interpretation of boundaries is common, but not helpful.

TreeLeaf

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #85 on: September 20, 2023, 05:21:02 AM »

I'm just curious - do you think Cassie is trying to argue or dismiss your points about boundaries?

Do you think Cassie doesn't understand the concept of boundaries?

It seemed to me that she wasn't actually debating the idea of boundaries, but was simply relaying her own life experience about the subject at hand, and did not intend to dismiss your points.

But it's possible I am misinterpreting this entire conversation, lol.

It's very unclear to me what Cassie thinks.

But I am kind of gobsmacked that someone who was a therapist sounds like they're advocating against having strong boundaries and learning to say "no" in unhealthy job situations.

I'm not overly concerned about what Cassie thinks, as she said, we often don't understand each other for some weird reason, but I respect her and know it's not personal.

But for anyone reading, I want my position absolutely, unquestioningly clear, because our society has an absolutely abysmal track record with boundaries in the workplace as they are systematically beaten out of people.

I firmly stand by my position that even in a toxic environment, in fact, especially inna toxic environment, boundaries are valuable and typically, they're the way to get treated better.

Yes, all boundaries have consequences, and typically those consequences will be getting more respect.

Having boundaries and saying "no" DOES NOT mean being defiant to your boss and refusing to do your job. That is the implication I want to staunchly object to.

Whether that's what Cassie meant or not, that's what it sounded like, and how it could be understood by others. And I think that interpretation of boundaries is common, but not helpful.

I get what you're saying, but how does one decide that it's ok to say no to someone and there won't be any particular consequences?

I mean sure - saying no all the time will force people to respect you, because they HAVE to respect you or you simply won't be at the job or in the relationship or situation, etc.

But at a certain point this may also come across as someone just being a dick, or as someone who selfishly refuses to compromise, and you eventually risk being fired or broken up with or your friend may just cut you off, etc.

For example, if your friend pays for your lunch on several occasions, then they ask you to pay one time and you say no, because you have strong boundaries, they could easily conclude you're being a selfish dick and break off the relationship, etc.

Or - if you immediately threaten to cut someone off that you just met just because they said one thing you didn't like, that you misinterpreted, you risk coming across as a cold person who isn't particularly interested in having a relationship.

You also risk people not feeling particularly comfortable with you, because they don't particularly feel secure in the relationship, so they are less likely to speak their mind around you and instead you get a watered down filtered out version of your friends. Which at least in my mind is truly horrible, because I prefer everyone to feel comfortable speaking their mind around me without fear of backlash.

So - I don't really want to risk people emotionally closing themselves off to me either, because then it just becomes a pretty dull and boring relationship no matter who it's with.

It just seems like the decision should be more complicated than 'just say no if it doesn't feel right'. It seems like I should take the other person into account, and how they feel, the overall relationship context, etc, before simply deciding to say no.

Sure - in a work setting - I will say no all day long because I don't care about my job.

But if I care about someone - and I tend to care about most people - I'm hesitant to just blindly put my needs above other people without stopping and thinking first.

It seems like having strong boundaries makes for a fairly self-centered relationship with people at times where all parties aren't always taken into account.

Omy

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #86 on: September 20, 2023, 05:48:18 AM »
Good communication skills seem to go hand in hand with setting good boundaries effectively. I never said no to my manager in a disrespectful way. I just let them know that the extra tasks they were asking me to handle weren't helping grow the business and was actually hurting their bottom line. If I sell less because I'm doing some of their busy work, I make less and they make less.

I suffered no negative repercussions. And I stopped being asked to do things that didn't serve me well.

I had a lifetime of training that encouraged me to say "yes" automatically to authority figures instead of thinking about my needs. I knew not to tolerate overtly abusive behavior - so as long as they were asking nicely and patting me on the back, I just kept adding their crap to my pile.

Something clicked when I became FI.  I started saying "no" respectfully. Every "no" freed up my time to take better care of my clients and my business flourished. I received accolades from management. And they found new "yes" people to do their busy work.

Metalcat

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #87 on: September 20, 2023, 05:55:25 AM »

I'm just curious - do you think Cassie is trying to argue or dismiss your points about boundaries?

Do you think Cassie doesn't understand the concept of boundaries?

It seemed to me that she wasn't actually debating the idea of boundaries, but was simply relaying her own life experience about the subject at hand, and did not intend to dismiss your points.

But it's possible I am misinterpreting this entire conversation, lol.

It's very unclear to me what Cassie thinks.

But I am kind of gobsmacked that someone who was a therapist sounds like they're advocating against having strong boundaries and learning to say "no" in unhealthy job situations.

I'm not overly concerned about what Cassie thinks, as she said, we often don't understand each other for some weird reason, but I respect her and know it's not personal.

But for anyone reading, I want my position absolutely, unquestioningly clear, because our society has an absolutely abysmal track record with boundaries in the workplace as they are systematically beaten out of people.

I firmly stand by my position that even in a toxic environment, in fact, especially inna toxic environment, boundaries are valuable and typically, they're the way to get treated better.

Yes, all boundaries have consequences, and typically those consequences will be getting more respect.

Having boundaries and saying "no" DOES NOT mean being defiant to your boss and refusing to do your job. That is the implication I want to staunchly object to.

Whether that's what Cassie meant or not, that's what it sounded like, and how it could be understood by others. And I think that interpretation of boundaries is common, but not helpful.

I get what you're saying, but how does one decide that it's ok to say no to someone and there won't be any particular consequences?

I mean sure - saying no all the time will force people to respect you, because they HAVE to respect you or you simply won't be at the job or in the relationship or situation, etc.

But at a certain point this may also come across as someone just being a dick, or as someone who selfishly refuses to compromise, and you eventually risk being fired or broken up with or your friend may just cut you off, etc.

For example, if your friend pays for your lunch on several occasions, then they ask you to pay one time and you say no, because you have strong boundaries, they could easily conclude you're being a selfish dick and break off the relationship, etc.

Or - if you immediately threaten to cut someone off that you just met just because they said one thing you didn't like, that you misinterpreted, you risk coming across as a cold person who isn't particularly interested in having a relationship.

You also risk people not feeling particularly comfortable with you, because they don't particularly feel secure in the relationship, so they are less likely to speak their mind around you and instead you get a watered down filtered out version of your friends. Which at least in my mind is truly horrible, because I prefer everyone to feel comfortable speaking their mind around me without fear of backlash.

So - I don't really want to risk people emotionally closing themselves off to me either, because then it just becomes a pretty dull and boring relationship no matter who it's with.

It just seems like the decision should be more complicated than 'just say no if it doesn't feel right'. It seems like I should take the other person into account, and how they feel, the overall relationship context, etc, before simply deciding to say no.

Sure - in a work setting - I will say no all day long because I don't care about my job.

But if I care about someone - and I tend to care about most people - I'm hesitant to just blindly put my needs above other people without stopping and thinking first.

It seems like having strong boundaries makes for a fairly self-centered relationship with people at times where all parties aren't always taken into account.

N'ah man, having boundaries is what allows you to be close to people and have intimacy with them. Having boundaries is not about putting your needs before others, it's about engaging with people in healthier ways and not allowing others to push the dynamic into an unhealthy place.

We literally *just* talked about this in my journal and someone compiled a bunch of posts about boundaries as it relates to people pleasers. (For anyone reading, TL is a very active participant in my journal and we talk about mental health stuff daily).

And I don't know how many times I can repeat over and over again that having boundaries in the workplace is NOT about refusing to do your job, it's about trying to do your job as effectively as you can.

As many of us have said, it's the thing that allowed us to do our jobs *better* and be more valuable employees.

Perhaps it's best to conceptualize what having terrible boundaries is. Having terrible boundaries means being a doormat and doing whatever other people want from you no matter how bad an idea it is because you don't feel empowered and have given up your autonomy.

Having good boundaries doesn't earn you respect because you're a badass, it earns you respect because you consistently can be trusted to do what is best.

Sometimes what is best *is* giving in to your dumb boss, as Cassie has described, and that allows you to do your best work possible. But that *is* establishing a boundary of what you are willing to do for what you believe is the most important outcome.

That IS having boundaries and saying no.

I'm kind of horrified that people are conceptualizing it as an employee or friend or whatever crossing their arms and stamping their foot and being a dick and refusing to do whatever they don't feel like doing. That's unfortunately the common perception of what boundaries look like.

And that is so, so depressingly sad.

Seriously, go back and read that document where we talk about how boundaries are what allows people to be warm and trustworthy. It's what empowers people to be genuine and generous.

TreeLeaf

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #88 on: September 20, 2023, 06:15:57 AM »

I'm just curious - do you think Cassie is trying to argue or dismiss your points about boundaries?

Do you think Cassie doesn't understand the concept of boundaries?

It seemed to me that she wasn't actually debating the idea of boundaries, but was simply relaying her own life experience about the subject at hand, and did not intend to dismiss your points.

But it's possible I am misinterpreting this entire conversation, lol.

It's very unclear to me what Cassie thinks.

But I am kind of gobsmacked that someone who was a therapist sounds like they're advocating against having strong boundaries and learning to say "no" in unhealthy job situations.

I'm not overly concerned about what Cassie thinks, as she said, we often don't understand each other for some weird reason, but I respect her and know it's not personal.

But for anyone reading, I want my position absolutely, unquestioningly clear, because our society has an absolutely abysmal track record with boundaries in the workplace as they are systematically beaten out of people.

I firmly stand by my position that even in a toxic environment, in fact, especially inna toxic environment, boundaries are valuable and typically, they're the way to get treated better.

Yes, all boundaries have consequences, and typically those consequences will be getting more respect.

Having boundaries and saying "no" DOES NOT mean being defiant to your boss and refusing to do your job. That is the implication I want to staunchly object to.

Whether that's what Cassie meant or not, that's what it sounded like, and how it could be understood by others. And I think that interpretation of boundaries is common, but not helpful.

I get what you're saying, but how does one decide that it's ok to say no to someone and there won't be any particular consequences?

I mean sure - saying no all the time will force people to respect you, because they HAVE to respect you or you simply won't be at the job or in the relationship or situation, etc.

But at a certain point this may also come across as someone just being a dick, or as someone who selfishly refuses to compromise, and you eventually risk being fired or broken up with or your friend may just cut you off, etc.

For example, if your friend pays for your lunch on several occasions, then they ask you to pay one time and you say no, because you have strong boundaries, they could easily conclude you're being a selfish dick and break off the relationship, etc.

Or - if you immediately threaten to cut someone off that you just met just because they said one thing you didn't like, that you misinterpreted, you risk coming across as a cold person who isn't particularly interested in having a relationship.

You also risk people not feeling particularly comfortable with you, because they don't particularly feel secure in the relationship, so they are less likely to speak their mind around you and instead you get a watered down filtered out version of your friends. Which at least in my mind is truly horrible, because I prefer everyone to feel comfortable speaking their mind around me without fear of backlash.

So - I don't really want to risk people emotionally closing themselves off to me either, because then it just becomes a pretty dull and boring relationship no matter who it's with.

It just seems like the decision should be more complicated than 'just say no if it doesn't feel right'. It seems like I should take the other person into account, and how they feel, the overall relationship context, etc, before simply deciding to say no.

Sure - in a work setting - I will say no all day long because I don't care about my job.

But if I care about someone - and I tend to care about most people - I'm hesitant to just blindly put my needs above other people without stopping and thinking first.

It seems like having strong boundaries makes for a fairly self-centered relationship with people at times where all parties aren't always taken into account.

N'ah man, having boundaries is what allows you to be close to people and have intimacy with them. Having boundaries is not about putting your needs before others, it's about engaging with people in healthier ways and not allowing others to push the dynamic into an unhealthy place.

We literally *just* talked about this in my journal and someone compiled a bunch of posts about boundaries as it relates to people pleasers. (For anyone reading, TL is a very active participant in my journal and we talk about mental health stuff daily).

And I don't know how many times I can repeat over and over again that having boundaries in the workplace is NOT about refusing to do your job, it's about trying to do your job as effectively as you can.

As many of us have said, it's the thing that allowed us to do our jobs *better* and be more valuable employees.

Perhaps it's best to conceptualize what having terrible boundaries is. Having terrible boundaries means being a doormat and doing whatever other people want from you no matter how bad an idea it is because you don't feel empowered and have given up your autonomy.

Having good boundaries doesn't earn you respect because you're a badass, it earns you respect because you consistently can be trusted to do what is best.

Sometimes what is best *is* giving in to your dumb boss, as Cassie has described, and that allows you to do your best work possible. But that *is* establishing a boundary of what you are willing to do for what you believe is the most important outcome.

That IS having boundaries and saying no.

I'm kind of horrified that people are conceptualizing it as an employee or friend or whatever crossing their arms and stamping their foot and being a dick and refusing to do whatever they don't feel like doing. That's unfortunately the common perception of what boundaries look like.

And that is so, so depressingly sad.

Seriously, go back and read that document where we talk about how boundaries are what allows people to be warm and trustworthy. It's what empowers people to be genuine and generous.

Fair enough - I can accept the premise that I don't understand boundaries that well since I never actually went to therapy.

I will go and read chapter three of your book. :P

ender

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Re: Has anyone retired and not told friends and family
« Reply #89 on: September 20, 2023, 06:25:02 AM »
I've found considering ask vs guess culture insightful in understanding some of what seems like crazy requests.