We all know someone who is too bossy. You know the one – they know exactly what you should do when you should do it and how you should do it. Sometimes they may even be right, but it is hard to agree with someone like that.
How do you deal with these people? Below is a visualization technique to help you to stay “grounded” in the presence of pushy people. Practice this visualization a few times first so it is easy to remember and use when you are confronted with a bossy person.
I find this visualization works best when I take a moment to really picture and feel as though it were real. You will likely have a few moments to do this because most of the pushy people I know also talk a lot.
When you sense someone is going to get pushy with you, breath deep and IMAGINE …
You are like a tree, strong and flexible.
You have a deep, wide, strong system of roots that anchors you to the earth and to your own good sense. This system of roots helps you to pull energy, strength and calmness from the earth.
Draw strength from those roots.
As you breath in, imagine you are pulling energy and calmness up from the earth. Let the person’s words flow past you, like a breeze flowing past a tree. There is no need to react with fear or anger because you are so well rooted that their words can’t hurt you let alone blow you over.
Imagine yourself as being so confident in your ability to make your own good decisions that you can be objective about what that person is saying. Instead of reacting with anger or fear, you are able to hear what they say without judgement.
See yourself as being so calm that you can pick out (and keep) any good information they give you. Let everything else flow right past you. Their emotions and judgement are their problems, not yours.
Of course they will probably expect you to respond. Before you do, take a deep calming breath and respond in a firm calm manner. (Practice this. Before I learned to say no with calm certainty people kept pushing me to do things their way. Once I learned to say no with confidence I was surprised at how often people actually accept no when I act like I really mean it.)
Some example phrases you could use as is or change to suit your situation:
If there is some merit in what they are saying but you require time to think about it
- “Thank you, I will take that into consideration.”
- “That is an idea that I will certainly consider, thank you for pointing it out to me”
If it is something you know is inappropriate for you
- “Thank you for pointing this out to me. I have considered that and I don’t feel that it is in my best interests.”
If it is something you know is inappropriate for you but they won’t accept your no – how about
- “I will think about it.” You are not saying you will comply with their wishes only that you will think about it This buys you some time to think of a good response that will make it perfectly clear that you will not comply with their wishes.
- “I will think about it and get back to you.” This give you time to practice saying no in a calm no-nonsense manner before you get back to them.
Often a simple no thank you (repeated as often as needed) will deter a determined sales person. In this case less is more because a good sales person likely has a practiced argument for whatever reason you give them for not buying their product.
You notice I usually say thank you. Those two little words can help diffuse a tense situation because it lets the other person know that you recognize they gave you something (even if it was something you didn’t want). Bossy people are often trying to help you but don’t have the personal skills to give information and advice in a more helpful manner.
If the person has a habit of pushing you around you will likely have to use this technique quite a few times before they realize that you no longer give in to their every wish, persistence is key.
Please note - if the person is someone close to you and they start to become aggressive you may want to consider other techniques and/or professional counseling to help you in this matter.
I hope you find this technique as useful as I do!