7 Cups- Boundaries and Setting Expectations (part 2)
Setting boundaries between you and others are important. These boundaries can be set between you and other listeners, and you and members. These boundaries might include:
Asking listeners to not seek personal support from you: remember, as listeners, we need to uphold some level of professionalism here, and this in iteself is a boundary we must set for ourselves and ask others to respect. If a listener is needing support for themselves, they need to switch to their members account to get support.
Setting a time limit for your member chats: generally as a mentor, i recommend having at least 30 minutes of time on your hands before taking a chat, and I also recommend not letting the chat go for longer than an hour. We want to be able to give members enough time to talk about their topic and get the support they are looking for, but we also dont want to overwhelm ourselves by talking to members for hours on end. This leaves enough time that the member can express what is on their mind and get support, and gives us time to care for ourselves during the day as well. Here is a good example of setting a time limit in the beginning of a chat: 'Hello, welcome to 7 Cups, we are glad you are here! I have 60 minutes to talk to you today; what brings you here?'
Understanding what the member wants out of the chat: There are certain things that we offer here on 7 Cups, like emotional support, but we are limited in the amount of support we can give. We are not professionals here, which means we can't offer things like medical opinions or advice, legal opinions or advice, or advice in general. Advice can be very dangerous for some members, even if you mean well, so it is always best to not give advice to a member, even if they ask for it. Similarly, we should not be sharing our opinions to members either, as that could make them feel like we are judging them. In situations where the member asks for our advice or opinions, it is often best to remind them that we can't offer that here, and ask them what they think about the situation, or perhaps, what they might advise a friend to do if they were in the situation the member is going through.