You are sitting quietly, minding your own business, not bothering anyone, and here he comes. You know, the guy who likes to intrude in your space. The one who makes inappropriate comments and is oblivious to how others feel about it.

He offers his opinion, advise, or flat out tells you what to do, how to parent your children, how you should wear your hair or what you should do in a circumstance he really knows nothing about.

Or how about the in-law who comes to your house uninvited, when you are not at home, because she “noticed last week that you couldn’t keep up with the housecleaning.” Or the parent who brings their old furniture over and dumps it into your garage because “you have more room” — well, not anymore.

Or those grandparents who override your rules to your children right in front of their little eyes and ears. How about that well-meaning sister who comes over and plants a tree in your front yard because “it will be so nice to hide the cracked paint.”

These are “boundary busters.” Yes, Boundary Busters with a capital “B” who butt in, barrage, berate, belittle, and bursts every bubble. Busters who can not read a social cue to save their life. Busters who have difficulty managing their own lives, so they have to ‘help’ you with yours.

Boundary Busters are best handled with — you guessed it — boundaries. Don't be afraid to stand up to the Busters. Tell them ‘no thank you.’ Feel free to say “that is not going to work for me.”

You are allowed to stand your ground with your own rules, protect your space from intrusion, and to draw the line in the sand. “I will not allow you to . . . “ works pretty well.

Sometimes Busters will not hear the subtle hints, so be bold. Bust Boundary Buster in the — well you know.

— Linda Yearout

Licensed Clinical Marriage & Family Therapist