How to respond to a pushy person

We’ve all met the pushy person who keeps coming at you and won’t back off. Pushy people often miss social cues and are overly assertive about what they want, invading the personal boundaries of those around them. Pushy people can be exasperating and exhausting to be around.

People who really want something can be relentless. A family friend’s teenager kept demanding that his family send him on a trip to Europe with his grandma. Even though his parents had sent him on two school trips plus a US trip the previous year, he was obsessed with going to Europe and wouldn’t stop hounding his parents to pay for the trip.

Desperately needing a trip to Europe is definitely a First World problem. Tired of their son’s demanding and pushy ways, his parents told him that they would only pay if he raised $1,000 of the money himself.

You have no obligation to fulfill other people’s demands. When someone can’t respect your personal boundaries, you may need to take a break from the person for a while.

If the pushy individual doesn’t get the hint, here are some snappy comebacks you can use to get your point across.


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Top ten comebacks for pushy people

1. What part of NO do you not understand?

2. I never do X on days that end in “Y.”

3. No means no, now let it go.

4. You go girl! And don’t comeback!

5. Hey, I found your nose. It was in my business again.

6. Does your X pay you some sort of recruiting bonus or are you just this pushy normally?

7. Did you mean to be so pushy?

8. There will always be some that don’t understand the word “no.”

9. Thanks for your 2 cents but I’ll give you a quarter to shut up.

10. And now I’ll do what’s best for me.

Definition of a pushy person

A pushy person is someone who is unpleasantly assertive in trying to get what they want. They will use tactics and manipulation to pressure you into doing something that may not be in your best interest.

In practice it goes like this:

If pushy individuals want you to commit to something, they’ll use phrases like “we should” and “we must.” Conversely, if they don’t want to do something, you also shouldn’t have to.

Being the target of this pushy behaviour is not fun at all. It gets exhausting to be asked for favours and information constantly. But because these people are experienced in pure intimidation, they’ll achieve their goal in the end.

How to deal with a pushy person

If you have pushy people hovering right now, your life is ten times more stressful than others.

To help you take a breather from these folks, you can try these tips for size.  

1.      Set boundaries with pushy people

Set your limits and let the people around you know about it.

These invisible borders will keep manipulators and pushy people at bay.

2. Communicate effectively

Though it’s going to be a challenge to get your voice heard around a pushy person, you have to let it out.

It’s crucial that you stand up for yourself, starting by communicating your feelings and needs. Like we said, pushy people couldn’t care less about any of them. So, it is up to you to point out how their behaviour is affecting you.

3.      Don’t give in

Learn to say, NO!  Say it, NO!

If someone is forcing you to do something you don’t want to do, don’t do it.

Don’t give in to their pressures and stick to your values.

4.      Be assertive

Be confident when dealing with a wordsmith master manipulator. If they can sense you’re not self-assured, it will egg them on.

Look them in the eyes with your voice firm, show them that you are serious about saying, NO!

5.      Don’t engage in arguments

You don’t have to argue with a pushy person. You might end up saying things the wrong way, and mislead the conversation. Remember, these people are really good at talking you out of something.

Instead of hurling nasty words at each other, be calm, say something nice, and then let them know you are not interested.

6.      Seek support

Pushing a pushy person out of your space is like pushing a huge stone, it’s exhausting.

Draining all that emotion and physical energy, you’re going to need something positive to fill you up. You can find that in friends and family.

But by all means, if they don’t stop, you can ask help from a trusted mentor or a professional therapist.

You need more than just social skills to remove a pushy person from your personal space. But you can start from there and proceed with effective management of your interactions.

It’s going to take time to practice to master all these tactics though. But with your continuous encounters with an overbearing person, you’ll be an expert in no time.

More top ten comeback lists you might like

Famous people called out for being pushy

Okay, these people are pushy in the sense that they don’t back off.

So, without further ado, here are the top 3 famous celebrities who made this list.

1.      Ellen DeGeneres

Celebrities have a hate-and-love relationship with the funny and quirky Ellen DeGeneres. If you watch her show, you can see Ellen pushing celebrities to spill more about their personal life.

Off the set, the talk show host is the same and has allegedly bullied employees by being overly demanding of them.  

2. Lea Michele

Lea Michele made a buzz in recent years for being such a demanding-slash-pushy

Queen B onset of the hit show “Glee.”

Lea being the main female lead, was accused of making her lesser castmate’s working experience extremely toxic, leaving them in tears.

3.      Kanye West

Whether professional or personal, Kanye West stirs up trouble.

The American rapper is demanding and pushy when it comes to his attention and time. His former wife Kim Kardashian and past collaborators and partners are living proof of that.

Sure enough, the presence of pushy people, regardless if they’re celebrities or not, is very uncomfortable. While it’s going to be hard to get them to change, you can always modify how you respond to them.

By changing your attitude and your behaviour around them, you can create a much more comfortable space for you to thrive.

The Role of counselling and self care

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When you are dealing with a pushy person who keeps coming at you and won’t back off and you find it stressful, consider getting support from a professional. Talking to a counselor is a great way to work through a challenging situation, and help you find some strategies to work through the person’s behaviour.

Better Help is a great resource where you can talk to a counselor from the comfort of your own home.

Taking care of your own needs isn’t selfish, and you will feel better in the long run.

Pushy people meme funny

Got any comments, questions or tips for dealing with someone who is pushy? Share them in the comments below.

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