Practice Member or Friend?

By: Dr. Barbara Eaton

Do you have difficulty with boundaries? 

Yep, most of us do. 

So, let’s talk about that.

Let’s start with what a boundary is. The simplest definition is: a line that marks the limits of an area. It’s a dividing line, or a limit of a subject or sphere of activity. 

One of my amazing Boot Campers recently asked for some advice on how to differentiate between her practice members and her friends, and how to have healthy boundaries with both. Because, like a lot of us, she is outgoing and friendly, and truly cares for her practice members, but also wants to have healthy boundaries. 

All right, so let’s start with drawing the line between practice member and friend. 

My first question is, why do we have to draw the line? Why not have people be both our practice members and our friends? 

My philosophy with referrals kind of answers this question. This is something I’ve repeated over and over again: asking for referrals is an act of love and service. 

So why wouldn’t we be referring our friends and asking our friends for referrals? 

Here’s the deal, if we are committed to caring for our practice members even to the point of who they are around, then we are probably going to be friends with them. 

If you’re my friend, then the best thing that I could do for you is to help you surround yourself with healthy, happy, optimistic people who are in a high demand environment. And that’s exactly what I am doing for my practice members; I’m caring for them, and doing what’s best for them. So, they are friends!

So if you’re having a hard time drawing the line between practice members and friends, it’s because they’re the one in the same!


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