A Time and Place for Business vs. Personal

When you’re growing up, life is about balancing work and play.  When you’re an adult, that balance is called business and personal.

Business is about competition, and winning, because winning is good for business.  Business is about money.

Personal is about having fun, because fun contributes to happiness and relieves stress.  Personal is about time, hence “personal time.”

Mixing or mistaking one for the other causes problems.  A friend who refuses to lend you money isn’t a bad friend: lending money is a business transaction, not a test of friendship.  Trust is a test of friendship, but you can not count on it in the business world: if a lawyer can screw you for it, prepare to be screwed.  Furthermore, one-upmanship and cutthroat competition belongs in business, not in personal.  Someone who criticizes and critiques all contacts is not fun to hang out with, but is exactly who you want if you’re trying to improve.  Also, taking a social game too seriously can ruin the fun, but taking a competitive game too causally can also ruin the fun.

In social situations, the line between when it’s business and when it’s personal is not only fine, but constantly moving.  A general good rule of thumb is to pay attention to body language and measure how receptive they are to what you’re doing, and listen for signals either to continue or stop.

In Personal, effort is awarded.  In Business, results are awarded.  Be careful not to judge people in your personal life with results.

More Social Skills Resources

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