Dealing with pushy people....

I was reading today about dealing with pushy people who just don't know how to respect boundaries. I learned about a tool called the Broken Record.

Basically what you do is repeat your refusal continually regardless of what the pushy person is saying or doing. Regardless of the manipulation. You don't get distracted from your main objective, which is to say no.

It mentions trying to stay calm and as you focus on this goal.

For example, let's say your neighbor comes over and says, "Hey there! There's this big shindig down at Hoffman's Club Saturday night. Do you want to go with me?"

But you don't want to. So you say, "No, thank you. I'm not really interested in that."

And then he says, "Are you sure? It's going to be awesome! So and so band is playing!"

So you say,
I'm sure you'll have a good time, but "No, thank you. I'm not really interested in that."

"But haven't you been saying he wanted to get out and try new things?"

"That's true. I do you want to get out and try new things, but "No, thank you. I'm not really interested in that."

Notice how it's repetitive it is.... LIke a Broken Record. You can practice various ways to say no to people, and feel free to practice them over and over.

I just thought this was a pretty good tool so I thought I'd share it with ya'll.
  • 6 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • I'd say the best way to deal with pushy people is to just not associate with them. If they are constantly forcing you into something you don't want to do, aren't adding value, or making it difficult to be who you want to be, then it might be best to take a break from their company.

    However, that isn't always realistic, so this is a good topic. Personally, I don't put too much stock in the "Broken Record" method. It might be successful, but pretty annoying in the process, and if someone gets the broken record off its track, it can be tough to recover. Eventually it just comes down to who can keep it up the longest, the record, or the pursuer, with both getting frustrated and irritated at each other.

    I find modifying the "3 D's" of Direct, Distract, or Delegate to be useful. Direct is what it sounds like, just a flat "no", maybe with justification. If someone doesn't respect that, then they are losing friend points in my book. Distract can used in a variety of ways, "No, I don't want to do that, but what about if we do this instead?" or "I don't want to do that, but maybe Ricky wants to". Delegate can be used to have someone else step in. "Ricky is really bugging me, can you talk to him?" or something like that.

    One can switch between the 3 as needed, and sometimes go back and forth throughout the conversation. The important thing to remember is that if someone is more concerned about their good time than your boundaries, there is no room for pride, peer pressure, or "being a good friend". After all, the pushy person stopped being a good friend as soon as they stopped taking "No" for an answer.
  • Interesting tool, @dominica. To be honest, it sounds little childish (to me, anyway), but that doesn't mean it couldn't work. And it would definitely keep you focused on your main objective. Thanks for sharing.

    @Leaker... The "Direct, Distract, Delegate" concept is interesting, too. I'd never heard of that. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Also, avoiding pushy people is for sure the best way to avoid having to deal with them!
  • @Leaker Very good insight and I like the 3DS! I totally agree that if someone is pushy or manipulative, it's best to steer clear of them. I know some people who have a very difficult time saying no in any way, shape, or form out of fear of rejection or abandonment or something like that.

    And working with them, helping them see that their wants and needs matter helps them to be able to say no. But sometimes they physically have to practice saying ...."No thank you." (Or however they want to decline)

    For those that say yes automatically without even thinking about what they want or need, it can be helpful to learn how to pause and check in with oneself.
    What is it that I want and need for real here? And then not be afraid to speak it. Self-care at its finest :)

    Thanks for sharing!
  • @dominica that's a great point! Sometimes it is just fine to say "no". It is also not the end of the world to be called, a "buzzkill", "loser", or "lame". Heck, I'd rather admit to being "lamer than a 2 legged mule" than get myself into a situation I felt could easily get out of control, or one that I knew I would not have any fun at (obviously my wife trumps a lot of that and I often end up getting dragged to a wedding of one of my wife's friends or some other estrogen soaked "good time"). Good advice about practicing too, especially for those that need some experience with the Art of Being Lame and Totally Good With That.

    If anyone needs any tips on that one, please let me know. I'm an expert!
  • I've got to side with @DeanD on this one. After all, look how well "Just Say No" did for the country's war on drugs. I find being rude to someone usually drives the point home. After being polite in saying no once, it's amazing how effective a simple, "F-off, I said 'No'" works.
  • @Leaker I hear you on getting dragged to places you'd rather not be.... (sigh) and trust me, i've said "no" plenty of times (b/c that is my right).... but you know... as a partner.... there's got to be "yes, i'd love to go and be supportive"...too at times...

    thanks for the feedback!
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