Boundary Pushers!

Boundary Pusher!

Today I’m going to talk about boundary pushers!

A boundary pusher is someone who disrespects our boundaries.

First of all if you don’t know what a boundary is, it’s something we do for ourselves not others.

We set them in order to define what we will and will not tolerate.

If you don’t know how to set them, I’ll give you a quick example.

Boundary Pusher!

On one of my daily walks, I was actually thinking about math class and If, then, statements. If 2x = 4, then x=2.

If you aren’t a math genius, it’s ok.

Here’s Another Example!

If Johnny has 2 apples and eats one, then Johnny will have one apple left.

it’s the same with boundaries.

If you do this, Then I will do that.

With boundaries, there’s a request and a consequence.

Use this format to communicate to someone else:

* The request: If you do this
* The consequence: Then I will do that

Use this format as an unspoken boundary:

* The request: If this happens
* The consequence: Then I will, do this

So, I can say, If you yell at me, then I will leave.

Let’s say my husband’s ham radios are squelching.

I can say to myself, if his radio makes noise, I will leave the room.

Take out the word “then” if it sounds grammatically incorrect!

A boundary doesn’t mean anything unless you enforce it.


OK, back to boundary pushers.

Boundary pushers Disrespect or Violate our Boundaries!

Watch the video here:

Boundary pushers won’t take no for an answer and feel that their needs come before anyone else’s.

Check out the common tactics below!

Boundary Pusher Tactics!

  • Guilt you into rethinking the boundaries you’ve set
  • Insist on ways of making their request work
  • Attempt to get you to change your mind
  • Remind you how your boundary may look to others
  • Will tell you to stop overreacting
  • Refuse to acknowledge or disregard the boundary
  • Manipulate us into relaxing our boundaries
  • Have their own way and react badly if they don’t get what they want

Boundary Pusher!Sometimes boundary pushing can show up as Mama Drama!

You know what I’m talking about it you experience a difficult relationship with your mom!

Terri Cole, author of Boundary Boss, has a term called “boundary bullies”.

She says “boundary bullies are people who want what they want regardless of how you feel about it. They can act in overt or covert ways to ram their agenda through. Interacting with them can be stressful and leave you feeling defeated and drained“.

She also says “boundary bullies can be manipulative and crafty. They will play on your guilt and perhaps imply or straight up say how selfish you are for asserting your boundary or remind you of all they have done for you. Stay calm, state your simple request and restate it as many times as needed. Be sure to be clear, concise and consistent with your boundary language. Try to use “I” statements and stay away from shame, blame or guilt“.

I once had a difficult conversation with a contractor who was not doing the job she was hired for.

The last time I expressed dissatisfaction, she convinced me that everything would get better.

Being a people pleaser, and not wanting to cause conflict, I let it go and it never got better.

I nervously called her again months later, to remove her from the job, not knowing how she would react.

She again tried to change my mind. I stuck to my guns, and no matter how hard she pushed, I didn’t budge.

My heart pounded and I was uncomfortable, but so glad I did it.

I hired a replacement and it was the right decision.


Another example of boundary pushing came as we had friends wanting to stay at our home for part of their vacation.

We had other plans, and they wanted us to change our plans.

Didn’t happen!

We also had people who invited us over for dinner and we told them that our dog would need to go out, so we couldn’t stay late.

After appetizers, dinner, conversation and dessert, we mentioned needing to be on our way.

Instead of letting us leave, they kept talking and wanted us to see some project that they had done, ignoring our request to leave.

Unfortunately, by the time we got home it was too late!

Our dog had an accident in the house!

Great Learning Experience, Right?


Here are some steps to take if you encounter a boundary pusher:

  • Stay calm
  • Stick to your guns especially if they try to change your mind, like I did with the contractor.
  • Avoid arguing with them
  • Don’t engage
  • Practice canned responses in advance or write them down to keep with you and repeat the same thing over and over
  • Be consistent

Enforcing strong boundaries can be extremely uncomfortable, but being uncomfortable is the price of growth, right??

It doesn’t matter if another person reacts positively or negatively, as we’re not responsible for others’ thoughts or emotions.

People get to think and feel however they want.

Sometimes the only way to resolve issues is through difficult conversations.

Common boundary violations require predetermined canned responses (or scripts), in order to be prepared.

it’s best to keep an ongoing list and rehearsing them.

9 Response Scripts to Practice:

  1. I know this isn’t what you wanted to hear, but my mind is made up!
  2. I’m sorry if my decision makes things harder for you but I’m confident you’ll manage.
  3. I’m not feeling heard!
  4. I need some space!
  5. I need time to myself to decompress.
  6. If you don’t respect me enough to pay back the money you owe me, I will not be going out to dinner with you again.
  7. I would appreciate it if you didn’t talk to others about my private life.
  8. I can see that you’re worried about me, but I’m an adult and can make my own decisions.
  9. It’s ok if you’re mad at me!

When boundaries are pushed, it’s best to remain kind and calm.

Easier said than done because it’s easy to get flustered when you’re under attack!

Again rehearse, practice, do whatever you can to prepare in advance!

When someone pushes our boundaries, it’s often in the form of unsolicited advice, an invasive question, or blunt criticism sometimes by the people closest to us.

Need help setting boundaries? Go ahead and download this helpful Beyond Boundaries Blueprint!

if you’d like coaching around the subject of boundaries, or Mama Drama, schedule a call below!

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