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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Last Updated on February 25, 2020

5 Rules for Overcoming Adversity and Emotional Pain

5 Rules for Overcoming Adversity and Emotional Pain

“Some people choose to see the ugliness in this world, the disarray. I choose to see the beauty. To believe there is an order to our days. A purpose.” – from the popular show, “Westworld”

It’s different for us all. My personal quest for purpose began with five stages of grief and one startling realization that everything’s endlessly fragile. Adversity, as it happens by rule, found me terribly unprepared, so I decided to take my time. Today, I can honestly say that I’ve grown.

Ugliness and beauty, good and evil, pain and laughter – everything in the universe consists of two forces that are opposing but complementary. In the face of difficulty, that is the only mantra you need.

Here’s how I learned it and why you should too, with five simple rules.

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1. Embrace the Complexity

Quite insidiously, adversities come in all shapes and sizes. Paralyzing physical disabilities, mind-wracking mental problems, ruthless emotional havocs, all leading to the same painful acknowledgement: all the beauty in the world cannot possibly make up for the ugliness that surrounds us. Shattered to pieces, helpless and bare naked, we sit in our therapy chairs, apologizing for being so negative.

Eventually, what it all comes down to is the nature of negative emotion. Our positives overshadow our negatives, thus wrongly teaching us that the road to well-being is paved with nothing but positive feelings and thoughts. How utterly wrong!

“If you’re not failing every now and then, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything innovative”, Woody Allen said.

It’s a classic “learn from your mistakes” rule, but in this case, it implies growing from negative experiences. Make peace with your negativities and embrace beauty and ugliness alike! Accepting this marvellously complex world just as it is will allow you to find purpose in adversity and meaning in misery.

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2. Find Balance, Regain Control

Still, accepting adversity is only the first step toward eventual victory. One can endure only so much trauma in life; if we’re not prepared to deal with difficulties in a productive way, even the minor setbacks can get us off track. Our strengths come from learning, and the best way to learn is through a series of trials and errors. Just like phases of grief or stages of drug addiction, adversities suggest a disabling loss of control, so find your way to regain it.

Some call it the coping mechanism; for others, it’s a spiritual will. However you choose to name yours, know that not all supporting systems are equally beneficial, though each is effective in its own way. Escapism was mine, but it only helped me retain the illusion of beauty. It wasn’t until I opened up toward the ugliness and accepted the naked truth that I was finally free. Whether you choose to dwell in art, religion and spiritualism, thus feeding your resilience from within or to reach out to others for help, choose wisely.

Whatever the means, the second rule is a golden one: find your inner balance and stick to it. Eventually, it will lead you out of the vicious circle.

3. Fight with Patience

My bargaining turned in depression with a single touch. Fearless and free, my dance instructor timidly put her hands on my shoulders and I realized, for the first time, just how tense, stiff and cloistered I was. And just like that, I started letting go. Adversities have their sneaky ways, but in my experience, becoming aware is what hurts the worst. It took me a year to recover from this little moment of self-discovery, and I know remember it as the edge of the rabbit hole.

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Some sufferings are impossible to console; I know that now. The only way to get through is to, well, get through. Depression and despair are only the beginning of the excruciatingly unnerving process that ravages the mind and shrivels the soul, and once they strike, there is no easy way back. So, fight them with patience. When your head starts spinning and your feet lose ground, go to your happy place. Over there, you’ll be reminded that nothing is forever, not even our little existential psychosis.

Take a deep breath and say “om”. When things cannot be combated, they have to be endured, so practice patience and learn to let go. Finally, keep repeating to yourself that this too shall pass.

4. Keep Swimming

Nothing is impossible, in the end. Your negative thoughts will gently pour into your positive ones, just as two streams come together to become a river. In the event of the inevitable disaster, one can only be as calm as still water. Suffering teaches patience, and the latter gives rise to flexibility. Ultimately, what is life than a series of unfortunate events and a handful of bright moments in between? If adversities are impossible to avoid, than learn to glide through as smoothly and patiently as water does with rocks.

Even if spirituality isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you have to admit that this is one solid metaphor. Staying adaptable in the face of change will soothe your panic attacks and keep you sane and sober-blooded. Even if you fail, you’ll know exactly how to breathe and face what’s in front of you once it eventually strikes again. Stay calm and visualize a better tomorrow; if anything else, it will give you strength to dive deep and weather the storm. And, in case there’s somebody’s hand to reach out to, grab it firmly and don’t let go.

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Being flexible against adversities takes a lot of learning, just as staying brave demands a lot of courage. It’s a long, arduous step-by-step routine, and you can reach the end only by swimming on. Persist, even when you fall.

5. Never Stop Searching for Inspiration

And, if it’s a guidance you need, where else to seek it than in experiences of others? Find it in art, in people around you, in chance encounters. The pure beauty of perseverance can be discovered where you expect it the least, so never stop searching for inspiration. If self-help literature soothes your pains and clears your mind, don’t let cynics discourage you. Your path toward reconciliation is nobody’s but yours to choose.

Ever heard of Nick Vujicic? Or Nando Parado? Inspiring people sound their yawps over the roofs of the world, sometimes voiceless, sometimes limbless, sometimes both. Born without arms, Jessica Cox became the most unusual certified pilot in the world, and you can rarely see her without a smile on her face. If you’ve already ripped all of your bucket lists and said goodbye to your dreams and plans, meet Sean Swarner, who’s officially became the first cancer survivor to climb Mount Everest. The stories just go on.

Make your own guidebook! Pen down your positive thoughts, cover your walls with quotes and devise your personal mantras. Whenever things get hard, they’ll be there to remind you of what you need to do. It’s the simplest of all life hacks, and one of the most effective ones.

Find beauty in the world, but never stay blind for its ugliness. However daunting, adversities and emotional pain challenge our inner strength, thus making us resilient and allowing us to grow. As soon as you recognize them as the wind in your sails instead of the devastating storm, the purpose will become simple and clear.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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