Advertising
Advertising

5 Signs Of A Pushover

5 Signs Of A Pushover

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.

Advertising

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

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

More by this author

100 Foods That Are Really Good For Digestive Health Do People Who Have More Relationship Experience Have Happier Marriage? Over 240 Free Technical E-Books Are Offered By Microsoft 80% of Children Rank Achievement Over Caring For Others Can You See The Beauty Of This Photo? Most People Can’t

Trending in Communication

1 50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples 2 Take Back Your Personal Power (Part 1) 3 Take Back Your Personal Power (Part 2) 4 When You Start to Let Go of Your Past, These 10 Things Will Happen 5 How to Learn to Let Go of What You Can’t Control

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

Advertising

At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

Advertising

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Advertising

How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Read Next