LIndsay Lapaquette

LIndsay Lapaquette

Working with leaders and teams who want to unlock the secrets
to stress-free communication for more invested employees.

How to Deal with Boundary Pushers

Interacting with someone who just will not listen to your “no” can be infuriating. Have you ever had this experience?

You try to say no but the person keeps insisting? You say no again and they insist some more.

They might pull a guilt trip on you, or might keep insisting on ways that you can make their request work for you, even though you have already said no.

No matter how many times you say no, the person does not move on from their request to you.

Do you know anyone who fits this description?

It might be a boss… or a colleague… of even a friend or family member.

I call these types of people boundary pushers.

Boundary pushers simply will not take no for an answer. Their needs come above and beyond the needs of everyone else, whether or not they are consciously aware of this. They are only satisfied when they can get you to do what they want you to do.  Their needs come first.

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret…

NO ONE WANTS A BOUNDARY PUSHER IN THEIR LIFE.

No one.

Trust me. Ask around on the street, do a poll…

No one wants a boundary pusher in their life.

Now, you may attract boundary pushers…

There may be a certain level of comfort or familiarity in interactions with boundary pushers…

But when it comes down to it, no one truly wants a boundary pusher in their life.

Interactions with boundary pushers can be tricky and stressful to navigate. Encountering a boundary pusher at work can be complex because you may feel an obligation towards your boss or your team. Or you may fear that you could lose your job if you don’t just do what the boundary pusher keeps insisting upon.

But here’s another little secret for you…

Boundary pushers lose their power when you push back with calm, direct communication.

In previous posts, I’ve explored Setting Boundaries and Sticking to Them and Setting Better Boundaries.

Today, we’re going to look at how to push back in a way that will bring you closer to stress-free communication at work.

Pushing back does NOT mean being aggressive. 

Dealing effectively with a boundary pusher involves:

1.  Identifying how you are feeling when your needs are not being respected.

2.  Calmly verbalizing how you are feeling. For example, “I am not feeling heard right now”.

3.  Standing your ground with respect to your needs.  The broken record technique, where you repetitively keep using the same sentence, can be effective.

4.  Letting the boundary pusher deal with their own emotions and frustrations instead of feeling responsible for disappointing or upsetting them.

Boundary pushers retain their power over you:

1.  If you choose to not verbalize that your needs are not being respected.

2.  If you address the issue while your emotions are too volatile and react in an overly aggressive, or irrational manner.

The choice of how to respond is up to you.  Choose carefully.  Because whether or not a boundary pusher keeps pushing you or moves on to someone else is up to you.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

Find Balance by Saying Yes to Yourself First

Setting Boundaries and Sticking to Them

The Integrated Brain State:  Balancing Thoughts and Feelings

Lindsay Lapaquette works with leaders and team who want to unlock the secrets to stress-free communication for more invested employees.  Her clinical background as a former Speech-Language Pathologist and her work with First Nations organizations have led to a holistic, client-centered, analytical approach to improving communication. 

Lindsay’s work has been profoundly influenced by her experience as a parent to two children who have pervasive mental health challenges, as well as the premature loss of both of her parents.  These experiences have contributed to Lindsay’s passion in helping others shrink their reactive zone so as to attain stress-free communication.

To learn more about Lindsay’s keynotes, workshops and consultations, visit lindsaylapaquette.com

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