How To Stop Being A Pushover
It is good to be kind and good natured, and it is natural to want to make others feel happy. But there is a difference between pleasing someone and trying to please someone.
Many people out there feel it is necessary to try to make others happy and to please them when this is not true.
It is important to set your own personal boundaries and know when to say no, but not everyone finds this so easy. If you are someone struggling to say no, then stay to read this article. Say no to being a pushover.
What Is A Pushover?
A pushover is a phrase used to describe a person who is easily influenced by others. For these people, saying no is a difficult task and they are likely to be pushed into doing anything, simply to please their peers.
However, being a pushover comes with plenty of negatives.
As a pushover, you are made vulnerable. As a pushover you have no voice. As a pushover you are displaying fear and defeat.
Everything which makes that person an individual is gone for they choose to please others rather than themselves.
Reasons People Are Pushovers
Being a pushover is not done by choice but is usually something which cannot be controlled. For what may start as small can eventually turn into a habit until that dependency on pleasing others has spiraled out of control.
Someone wants to copy your homework again? Sure! Your friend wants you to pick up a coffee for them even though you are already in a rush? No problem!
From the outside, these simple favors seem minor but when a pattern emerges that is when things should change. But what are the reasons behind someone being a pushover?
Trouble Expressing Opinion
It may be that this person has trouble expressing themselves. Sure, you may be running late or be too tired, but you don’t feel the need or don’t know how to express that.
Perhaps the idea of saying no puts you on edge which makes this self-expression even more difficult.
Confrontation is uncomfortable so for some it is not worth the risk. It is better to abide by what the other says and avoid confrontation rather than to speak up for themselves.
However, through thinking like this, a person is only living in fear.
Urge To Be Included
Being alone is difficult, and it can be hard to make connections. For those who struggle with friendships, they may think that agreeing to everything is the best way to be included.
However, what these people fail to see is that by someone asking them to pick up a bagel from the store, this does not necessarily equal friendship, especially if this is a continuous request.
By this point, you have made yourself a target. They know that just by asking, they will always get what they want.
How To Stop Being A Pushover
There are many reasons as to why people are pushovers, and because of those many reasons it is important to find a way out. Always saying yes does not make a person liked, favored or respected.
Saying yes makes a person vulnerable and a liability. It is important to take control and have mutual respect with others. It is important to have your own voice and be an individual.
To help you learn how to make your own decisions, below we have come up with a list of ways to better yourself and stop being a pushover.
Don’t Be Afraid To Express Emotions
Emotional expression is very healthy, whether that be happiness, sadness or anger. For many, being a pushover does not go unnoticed. Learning how to express emotions healthily can be a significant step in overcoming this behavior.
Although there are some people who are a pushover without knowing it, there are some who recognize what they are doing.
In turn, this leads to sadness, frustration and anger towards the controller. If you feel frustration towards the constant demands, don’t be afraid to let them know. Show them that you are not a puppet and have feelings.
Put Yourself First
It is essential to know the value of your life and how important your own happiness is. You should not try to please others if that means lowering your own worth.
Instead of being stepped on by the ones who control you, put yourself first. A good thing to do is to write a list of goals you want to accomplish in the future. By doing this, you will remember to prioritize your life instead of others’.
When saying no, you may find that the other person may be pushing you. If this happens, be assertive and stand your ground. Make sure that your “no” is a statement.
You are not asking permission to not follow orders, but you are stating that you do not want to do as they are telling you to do. Show your strength.
Are You Receiving Equal Respect?
If you are someone who desires inclusion and is looking to please a work colleague or classmate, think about the respect they give you. Is this respect equal? Are they doing favors for you too?
If the answer is no, then maybe it is time to remove them from your life.
There is no reason to show someone respect if they are not giving you any respect back, and this is not a true sign of friendship. Don’t be afraid to lose people in your lives who take advantage of your vulnerabilities. You may find interesting to read ” Why Am I Always Helping Others Without Reciprocation?”
Don’t Rely On Being Perfect
People pleasers strive for perfection, but perfection isn’t everything. It is okay to say no, it is okay to make mistakes. Is trying to reach perfection worth it when it is affecting you as a person?
Perfection is impossible, so instead strive for self-happiness instead of the happiness of others.
It is never nice to be called a pushover as it comes with so much negativity, but there is always a way out. It is important to think about yourselves before others for your own life is most valuable.
Follow what you want, be brave, say no.
Author: Michelle Landeros, LMFT
Michelle Landeros is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT). She is passionate about helping individuals, couples and families thrive.
Last updated: February 28, 2024