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  • Posted May 13, 2019

Know When To Stop Pushing

It can be difficult to overcome inertia, speaking for myself I know I’ve needed a “gentle” push to do something I “know” will help far too often. And I’ve also been the one to offer the push as an Advisor and friend. But there is a line separating :ready to do something, I just need a push” and not ready (regardless of how strongly someone else believes otherwise).

I think people mean well, and I am working on being more gracious, less angry bear, when someone crosses the line with me. Over the years I’ve taught myself to get permission to push, because I’ve learned when someone gives you permission it’s a good indicator they are ready to listen (this does NOT mean they are ready to take action).

Observe cues – things like someone changing the subject, redirecting the conversation or flat out telling you they will not do something. Rather than continuing to push, drop it. It doesn’t matter how much of an impact you believe what you are recommending to someone will have on their lives, if they are not ready to take action all you are going to do is get them to dig their heels in deeper. Being on the defensive is no fun, and (speaking for myself) once on the defensive the topic is closed for further discussion – regardless of the new argument(s) attempted.

I believe as parents and individuals we want to share our successes, help other parents and individuals have the same experience; but we MUST respect the fact we do NOT know where someone else is in their life. If you’re not sure where the boundaries are, ask; and be human – I believe we’ve all been pushed too hard at some point, so respect the person and assume they know where their boundaries are.

What you CAN do is seek to understand. What is the other person’s frame of reference, what else do they have on their plate? What are their priorities? How are they feeling? Speaking for myself, I tend to push back the hardest when I feel my back is against the wall or overwhelmed. Back off and be there for them.