Are you one of those people who are constantly apologizing about everything?
And if someone points it out to you, you apologize for constantly apologizing.
Maybe you are always afraid that people wouldn’t like you until you give them exactly what they want.
Perhaps you have always wanted to try this new restaurant that opened up near your place.
But your friends never seem to agree. To avoid being rude and to please your friends, you just give in to their wishes.
Or maybe you have a favorite seat on the local bus. To make sure you get the seat, you always try to arrive early at the bus station.
But then some latecomer arrives and insists on taking your spot. Again, you don’t want to come off as rude and you let them take your spot.
If you can even remotely relate to the above, chances are that you are being pushed around. Being kind and easygoing is an important quality that all of us should possess.
However, there is a difference between being easy-going vs a pushover.
When you constantly try to please everybody around you, you will be perceived as weak by others.
Seeing that you have close to no personal boundaries, everybody will try to take advantage of you. If there is one trait that will prevent you from succeeding in the long run, it will be the habit of trying to please everyone around you.
If you truly want to be proud and happy with the life you have built for yourself, you need to take back control of your life and learn how to say no to people.
What Does it Mean to Be a Pushover?
When you sum it all up, being a pushover means that you easily give in to others and are constantly being taken advantage of.
You end up doing things that you don’t want to because you would rather avoid a confrontation and you are constantly trying to please others.
In the end, you tell yourself that this is just the way it is and you never take a stand for your wishes and opinions.
But being a pushover isn’t necessarily a bad thing and doesn’t make you a coward.
It just means that you would rather let people have their way than to cause a scene. You don’t need to change your personality or become selfish towards others to stop being a pushover.
But if you feel that you are being over-friendly and are being taken advantage of, it is time to arm yourself with a few simple tools that will let you stand up for yourself.
Signs that you are a Pushover
Now before you learn how to stop being a pushover, you need to recognize whether you are one, to begin with.
Following are some of the most common behavioural traits that you will find in people pleasers.
You find it very difficult to say ‘’no’’ to others
The easiest way to assess whether you are a pushover at work is when you feel guilty about saying no to a request. Or maybe you will yes to something that you can’t even do. Doing so will cause you to burn out and decrease your overall productivity at work.
Your friends always pawn off their assignments on you
If you are the kind of person where all your classmates go to the last moment, knowing that you will sacrifice all your time and energy in getting their work done, this is a tell-tale sign that you are letting your friends walk all over you. There is a very thin line between being helpful and being a pushover.
You have to judge for yourself whether you are letting your friends take advantage of you.
You are always trying to prove yourself at home or work
Do you feel like you are working tirelessly to prove yourself to your family or your boss but you still don’t get the recognition you deserve?.
Perhaps you are constantly trying to do more to please others at home or work but you feel like you are just taken for granted and not getting any respect.
You don’t have any say in your relationship
It is alright to not have an opinion on every problem that is occurring in society currently, but if you are permitting your partner to make an opinion for you, chances are you are being pushed around in your relationship.
Say you have some friends over and there is a political discussion going on, your partner might be replying with statements like ‘’We think,’’-knowing damn well that you don’t hold the same opinion about the matter at hand.
If you don’t speak up your mind, then you are just letting everyone know that your partner’s opinion matters more in the relationship.
You find yourself constantly apologizing over everything
If you begin every sentence with ‘’I am sorry’’, this says a great deal about your self-worth.
You don’t have to apologize for saying no to somebody or for going against their opinions.
When you constantly try to apologize for your existence, you are just telling others that you have no personal boundaries. This is a fool-proof way of letting others walk all over you.
You have only had good things to say about everything
If you muster up the courage to speak up at work or home, it doesn’t count if you are afraid of giving your honest opinion about things.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be critical about everything, but you are allowed to have an honest opinion, whether it is positive or not so much.
Why do we let ourselves be taken advantage of?
You might be thinking to yourself, Why am I such a pushover? And whether I was born with this person pleasing trait or maybe I just acquired it along the way.
From being codependent to having deep-rooted feelings of low self-esteem, there are several different reasons for being a pushover.
Understanding the different reasons are important because only by getting to the root of all causes, we can learn how to stop being taken advantage of by our kind and compassionate nature.
A dysfunctional relationship dynamic, Codependency is passed on from one generation to the next.
Not only does it affect our feelings and personalities, but it also prevents us from having healthy and fulfilling relationships.
Feelings of being codependent on your partner only lead to destructive and abusive relationships.
Such people are afraid to get out of these relationships and go to unhealthy measures in trying to please their partners.
Low self-esteem issues
Often, we let ourselves be taken advantage of because we struggle deeply with feelings of low self-esteem.
Because of this, we have this strong belief that we are not worthy of anything good in life.
The more abuse we face in life, the more we believe that it is ok for others to walk all over us.
This leads to a never-ending cycle of low self-esteem and being a pushover that requires a great deal of therapy and self-love to overcome.
Learning how to stop being walked all over can be the start of resolving issues of low self-esteem.
Feelings of helplessness
Feeling helpless can often result in us trying to avoid confrontations or voice our opinions-giving people free reign to walk all over us. When we feel helpless, we simply stop trying.
We give up all efforts and throw all our morals, values and personal boundaries out of the window.
Feeling helpless can heavily determine our overall happiness and wellbeing.
How to stop being a pushover and start standing up for yourself?
If you feel like you are always being taken advantage of and people just walk all over you, it is time to turn things around.
Here are a few simple ways in which you can become a stronger version of yourself and change your mindset completely.
Always put your needs before others
Get your priorities straight. You need to identify what is more important to you, your needs or what others think of you.
Make a list of the ten long-term goals that you want to achieve more than anything in your life. This will assist you in making thoughtful decisions because you will be basing all of them on your priorities.
Also, when you will be too busy in making your dreams come true, you won’t have the time to act on other offers.
Learn to say no
Learning to say no is easy. You don’t have to say or do anything that you are not comfortable with.
You need to show people where your boundaries lie.
If you don’t keep others in their place, you will constantly get pushed over.
Furthermore, you have to feel guilty saying no to others. If someone else is let down or hurt by a productive and healthy decision that you made for yourself, it is their headache to deal with.
Be clear on what you want
If you want to learn how to stop being a pushover in a relationship or a friendship, you just need to be clear and upfront about what you want. You need to show that what you want or need is so important that it is non-negotiable. If your decisions inconvenience your partner or your friend, that burden lies with them. The fundamental way of getting what you want in life is to say what you want. If you think that your opinions are not worthy of being voiced, they will be treated as such.
You are allowed to make mistakes
Perhaps you want to know how to stop being a pushover boyfriend?
Well, the key is don’t try to be perfect all times in your relationship and agree to whatever your girlfriend asks you to do.
Why try constantly to please others to be perfect all the time?
Doing so will make you appear as shallow and fake.
Real people make mistakes, learn from them and move on with their life. Never give anybody the power, including yourself to expect perfection from you all the time.
Pursue your happiness at all cost
Your happiness matters above everything else.
Pushovers are like the stranded people on a boat who are just trying to stay safe.
Well, take a chance and deliberately push the boat. Happiness can only be achieved if you take some risks in life.
Find your path in life and develop the strength to remain true to your path, even if that means not everybody is going to be happy about it.
When you try to ”please” others, you are depending on your happiness on their approval of you.
If you let yourself be pushed around like that, you will constantly be afraid and unable to express your opinions out loud.
Start with something small
Just like everything else in life, learning how to stop being easy takes time and practice.
So start with the small things in life. For instance, if you go to a restaurant and you get a grilled chicken burger when you had ordered the beef burger, just send it back. You don’t have to go ahead and eat the wrong burger to avoid a confrontation with your waiter.
Summing it all up
Learning how to stop being a pushover is a challenging task, especially if you have remained one for the better part of your life.
But if you want to stop others from taking advantage of you and overcoming your feelings of low self-esteem and helplessness, you need to stand up for yourself. Love yourself.
If you want others to respect you and deem your opinions worthy, you need to start that journey with yourself first.
Learning how to be kind to others without being a pushover is extremely important for our general happiness and wellbeing.
Find who you truly are and all the things that you want from this life.
Start spending ten minutes daily with yourself and just check in with yourself.
Tell yourself about the day you have had and how you are feeling. Once you get comfortable with expressing your feelings to yourself, you can go ahead and voice your thoughts loudly for everyone to hear.
The only person who has a say in your life is you. Set your boundaries and ensure that everybody, including you, sticks to them. Take control of your life before others do it for you.