If you want to stop being a pushover, say goodbye to these 7 behaviors

If you want to gain people’s respect in life, you have to start putting your foot down. 

The sad state of the world is that when certain people catch on to weakness in others, then like predators in an African grassland, they’ll go in for the kill, taking full advantage of those vulnerabilities. 

Now, yes there are countless good people in the world–but the fact remains, if you don’t have your guard up and become too lax and easy-going, you become a liability. 

You become easy prey. 

Don’t let it get to this point. 

In this article, I’ll take you through the behaviors you need to drop, if you want to stop being a pushover. 

It’s time you start standing up for yourself.

Let’s get to it! 

1) Saying yes automatically

Sure, putting others before yourself is technically speaking selfless, perhaps even admirable at times. 

But when you constantly give in to others’ every request or demand, particularly when it’s inconvenient for you, people will tend to exploit the situation.

Nobody wants to be taken advantage of; but when you’re saying ‘yes’ all the time, expect others to pounce. 

While you may think you’re putting yourself in people’s good graces by being agreeable, they’re unconsciously losing respect for you. 

Do favors, and be helpful–but only when you can, only when it doesn’t detract from your own obligations or desires. 

Practice assessing each request, and give a firm but polite ‘no’ when necessary. 

You’d be surprised how far that one word (‘no’) can take you. 

2) Avoiding confrontation

Certain people are just completely averse to conflict; they don’t like the inherent stress associated with it. 

But sometimes, you have to rock the boat a little to maintain your self-respect and dignity

If you consistently avoid conflict, other people will catch on and perceive you as someone who can easily be overridden. 

Conflict is rarely ever pleasant, but such is life–sometimes we have to do things that we don’t like to achieve something greater. 

Hence, it’s in your interests to develop your ability to have healthy confrontations… to assertively communicate your opinions and boundaries; and to voice your thoughts, preferences, and needs. 

You’re your own person after all; it’s about time you started genuinely acting like it. Be proud. 

3) Apologizing excessively

I admit it: There was a time when I was a serial apologizer.

Even when an apology wasn’t at all warranted, I’d blurt out a ‘sorry about that,’ or something to that effect.

I grew up with highly critical family members, from my older siblings to my parents. 

I remember as a kid, I was perpetually in the wrong, scolded for the slightest infraction. 

And sure enough, I suffered from low self-esteem for much of my youth. 

Even when I was able to accomplish things in my adulthood, like opening my own business, I felt a sense of impostor syndrome

I would often have such an apologetic tone to customers, staff, to online reviews when there was nothing to truly apologize for. 

This is because, in the back of my head, I could hear my relatives’ voices berating me, telling me I was wrong; imaginary thoughts that would manifest as excessive apologizing. 

I’ve since learned to moderate my apologizing… because not only does doing so make me look like I lack confidence; but by reinforcing my “wrongness” through apologies, it was diminishing my own self-esteem considerably. 

Not cool!

4) Failing to set boundaries

As established somewhat, if you don’t have firm boundaries in life, the tendency is for people to walk all over you. 

This is just human nature; many of us are just innately selfish creatures. 

You’re your own person; it’s time you start claiming your autonomy and individuality. 

Stand tall. Hold your head high. 

Next time your boss tries to text you on a Saturday evening about a work dilemma, for instance, don’t feel compelled to respond to him within minutes. 

They don’t own your time, you do. 

Don’t enable other people’s bad behaviors by having no boundaries. 

Once you start clearly communicating your limits and enforcing them consistently, expect things to change in a drastically positive way for you. 

5) Seeking approval constantly

When you have real confidence, any validation or approval should come from within, not from what everyone thinks or says about you. 

Whether it’s in person or through social media, when you’re overly concerned about pleasing others or getting their approval, this sort of becomes a dopamine-fuelled addiction–one where you’re encouraged to sacrifice your own needs. 

Rather than desperately seeking out compliments or ‘likes’ on the gram, focus on building true self-confidence, and making decisions based on what’s truly best for you, not just others. 

6) Allowing interruptions

Your voice matters. 

When you talk, it’s basic, common courtesy for others to allow you to have the floor, listen thoughtfully, and respect what you have to say, and your right to say it. 

If you frequently allow others to interrupt you or cut you off, you’re telling them that you’re a pushover and that what you’re saying isn’t as important or valuable as what they have in mind. 

Stand your ground, and be decisive with your words and actions

Politely insist on finishing your point, firmly calling out rude behaviors where necessary. 

7) Not valuing your worth

Guess what? You’re just as human as anyone on this planet. 

It’s time you started acting like it. 

The thing is, if you don’t believe in your own value as an individual, others won’t either. 

Recognize your contributions, skills, and talents, and resoundingly make them known in personal and professional settings. 

Write them down if you have to, referring to them when you feel overwhelmed. 

I know that the contents of this article may sound like a lot to take in… so take it a day at a time. 

Take baby steps. With enough commitment, you’ll get to where you want to be. 

And when you do, nobody will be pushing you around anymore. I guarantee it. 

Picture of Clifton Kopp

Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Ideapod! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

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