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countering broken record

I did search the forum with no luck.  Apologies if it is covered in PU not all the way through yet.

Got a smart and useful friend who is overbearing.  He s english and short etc.  A few issues.  He often tells me what my priorities should be and doesn't take a hint.

I ve seen the same broken record used at work  too, by managers who are not your line manager trying to set your priorities.

On Friday he tried again via txt and I tried to block the frame  as soon as he started saying:

Sure thing Mom and I’ll tidy my room too.

He always responds the same way by broken record-ing the task.  Normally at that point i just say nah mate and ignore his texts.   But then he tries to re-establish the frame later on by pretending that I was meant to do this task and have just been slack.

I m specifically asking about the broken record to keep the post OT.    Any Smoother way of handling this?


Hello Transitioned,

I'm not seeing any broken record being used here, an example of someone using it with you, like that friend of yours, would be helpful.

But as a general rule, a broken record is nothing but a frame domination attempt.

It's re-instating the same frame over and over again, and accepting no input.
So a good way of handling that is using the same frame domination back:

Him: You need to this task
You: I'm working on other priorities right now
Him: Yeah, but you need to do it
You: Maybe someone needs to do it, but I'm working on other priorities
Him: The company needs it, you need to do this task
You: With all due respect sir, it's not up to you to assign me tasks, and I'm working on other priorities
Him: This task needs to be done, and you can do it
You: That I can doesn't mean I must, I'm working on other priorities

One way the broken record can be unnerving -and why it can also be effective- is that while people try to come up with different reasons of why something needs to happen -or cannot happen- the broken recorder seems stronger because he always repeats the same.

So you might also want to find a reason that is valid enough and that you can keep repeating.

If it's a decision you can take, you can simply repeat "I have decided to do (don't do) X".
In many life-situations, it's a mental trap to think that you need to justify things (see the section "assertiveness beliefs", or better see the same section in PU).


When he re-establish the frame as if you were meant to do a task, that's manipulative -and I personally find it very annoying-.

A perfect occasion to "go meta" and explain their own game (pretending it was agreed), why it's manipulative (because you never agreed to it), why it's not working with you (you ain't no fool, you know better, and it's offensive to believe otherwise), and why you expect them to drop that sh*t going forward (because you expect honest and straight communication).

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Broken record was ( talking about the weekend):

He: Buy alarm kit ( old low value series 3 BMW and I think the immobiliser is enough - had an alarm previously and it caused trouble with the electronics)

Me: other priorities mate

He: Geeze mate you're rocking on the porch now. Buy the alarm.

It's extremely annoying because he knows I know.  Looks like I am going to have to confront.  At which point I m sure he will say I m overreacting and it's all just in fun.

This guy is a project scheduler  by trade, spends a lot of week nagging people for actions.  Job's possessed him, turned him into a tasker.