Posts Tagged ‘confidentiality’

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Setting Boundaries and Gossip

May 30, 2008

I recently went through a very difficult situation in which I learned some very hard lessons. In the process of learning them, I made some mistakes. Those lessons cause me to feel a need to set a firm boundary with everyone I come in contact with. Basically, it amounts to this:

Do NOT talk negatively to me about ANYone. If you have a problem with another person…take it up with THEM. Unless you are coming to me for some kind of counseling and seriously want help to work through the issues (which requires rigorous honesty and willingness to be self aware on your part)…do NOT tell me about it.

Do NOT try to get me to take sides in your squabble or dispute. Do NOT try to turn me against the other person. This is ESPECIALLY the case if you are not willing to take responsibility for the words you share.
I do NOT want to hear gossip. If you gossip to me about another person, I will assume that are also spreading gossip about me to others.

If you do share something with me and I believe it to be serious, especially if it causes me concern for that other person’s well-being…whether it be their physical well-being or their emotional and mental well-being…I WILL share it with him/her.

For those who are not sure what I mean…I will give an example. If you tell me that someone’s confidentiality has been broken by one of their key support people…I DO consider that a serious issue of emotional safety for that person. As a result I WILL make sure that the person learns about what you shared so that they can protect themselves. I WILL give you the opportunity to share it with them yourself…but bear in mind…it WILL be shared…either by you or by me.

I will not play games. I will not waste my time and energy on diversionary tactics — like responses that don’t even relate to the issue brought up. I am just not going there.

I am going to do my best to make sure I do the same thing for others that I am asking them to do for me. I know that we are all human and we will all make mistakes. We DO need to show one another grace. But there are some things that do cross a line, things that are serious. Things that…once shared…just cannot be swept under the rug.

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