You’re easily persuaded by your friends. Your girlfriend or boyfriend “wears the pants”. It’s not your fault. You’re the person lacking confidence to assert yourself in a situation.
In life there are leaders, and there are followers. The distinction is rather obvious. There is also a difference between a follower and a pushover. A follower is content with their position and can still make decisions for themselves, whereas a pushover knows they’re simply “falling into line” and can become rather annoyed in doing so. A follower respects the direction of their leader, but a pushover goes with the flow to avoid confrontation, hate, and attention.
Have you ever wanted to understand the reasons why you can’t say no? Here are five signs that you are a pushover with ways to steer the control back in your favour.
“If you don’t have a plan for your life, you will fall into someone else’s plan. Guess what they have planned for you: not much.” – Jim Rohn
You’re afraid of confrontation
You want to speak up; you want to stand for your point of view, but the thought of arguing or confronting another person makes you sick to the stomach. The idea makes you nervous so you avoid the issue and get in line behind the leader. You get angry at yourself because like the reason above, it is putting you in a position where others dictate your actions and happiness. Some people will never confront others and that’s understandable, but you can’t spend your life subduing your desires. Write an email, send a text, or even make a call; pushovers fear face-to-face more than anything so carefully constructing views in writing can help plan the conversation. Write a letter to yourself to fully understand your situation, and you’ll feel better approaching people. Just think, when the time comes to ask for a salary raise, propose marriage, say no to a dangerous work duty, etc., will you be ready?
You are always the one apologizing
You order a meal and it comes out wrong; yet you find yourself apologizing to the waiter even though it was his/her lack of communication skills that caused the mistake. This stems from a need to be liked by everyone. You don’t want to be seen as an angry or cruel person, so you smile and nod at the misfortunes caused by others. Apologizing is a mechanism used by the perennial pushover. It removes any possible negativity on your end and lets the other person know you mean no harm. It is also a weakness as it can mean you’ll be taken advantage of. So next time you’re about to apologize ask yourself, “did I do anything wrong?”. At the very least you’ll feel stupid for saying you’re sorry and next time it won’t be as hard to stop apologizing.
You find yourself at events you didn’t want to attend
There’s a new movie out that you’ve been waiting to see for months, but your friends want to go to a party, club, or anywhere but the cinema. You join them because they keep telling you, “Come on; it’ll be fun! Don’t be boring”. Rather than spend a night happy, you’re depressed as you try to keep your friends happy. What are the alternatives? You either attempt to persuade them to go to the movie, see the movie by yourself, or go somewhere else that makes you happy. It is also important to let your friends know you are uninterested in a certain event because it would not be fair to judge them if they are unaware of your opinion. The people around you can enhance or decrease your confidence, and there is no point being at a social gathering if you’re feeling down. Try making compromises.
You don’t like to change
Change happens everywhere: new job, new house, new partner, new friends, etc. However, these changes don’t happen as often in life because your pushover-level reaches into nervousness. Keeping things the same means less confrontation (reason 2), less chance of new events (reason 1), and less need to apologize when you’re out of your depth (reason 3). If you’re a pushover, don’t you want to change? It’s a fair question, because many are content with their personality trait. Many are happy to be the follower in the pack or the couple, but you deserve to do the things that make you happy. Change may place you onto new ground but it also provides the opportunity to uncover new facts about yourself.
You’re constantly trying to please others
In order to be liked, a pushover sacrifices their time for the sake of other people’s happiness. It’s ok; it’s the key trait of a pushover. There’s a time and place to offer your help as it must also suit you. Others will take advantage of you if they know you’ll intervene with help, due to a need to be liked. Be selfish, even if it doesn’t come naturally. Write down what you want and balance it with what you’re doing for others. Communicating with yourself is essential to the process of lessening the pushover set within you. Everyone has the ability to alter their responses to a situation. With analysis and time, you can start on a path to a life where you can have a say.