It’s not always easy to stand up for what we want or what we believe in. Pressure is higher than ever to be liked and accepted by the people around us, but we rarely ask ourselves at what cost. Fitting in is only as worthwhile as the support, transformation and growth it offers you. If you aren’t standing up for what you really want, you aren’t living at all. You’re spectating.
We’ve all been a pushover at some point in our lives, but when that behavior becomes a habit it becomes a problem. Allowing people to walk all over you or take advantage of your strengths and weaknesses, takes away certain opportunities and makes it impossible to create a life we’re proud of. If you’re truly looking to be happy, it might start with learning how to be more assertive and how to take a stand for the things you want out of this life.
Being a pushover.
The pushover comes from all walks of life; they come in all sizes and shapes. Being a pushover can be a part-time fling, or a full-time affair. There are a number of reasons that we push ourselves aside and allow people to take advantage of us or walk all over our wishes. There’s no one-size-fits-all pushover definition. We’ve all been too soft at one point or another, and it’s important to overcome that and maintain safe boundaries for ourselves.
The key to overcoming pushover syndrome is becoming more efficiently assertive. Assertive can be seen as a bit of a bad word, but it’s an important skill to master in order to create internal and external spaces that allow us to thrive. Being assertive isn’t bad or selfish. It’s necessary and critical to safe-guarding our boundaries.
Assertive behavior occurs when we put our shy or easygoing tendencies to the side in order to communicate — often bluntly — what it is that we need or want. It isn’t being mean, or rude. It’s being clear, concise and frank. You can cultivate this type of steel backbone in your life, but it takes a bit of understanding both yourself and the people around you. Start sticking up for yourself to create the life you’ve always dreamed of. After all, no one can do it but you.
Why we sacrifice our needs to others.
Whether we’re serial offenders, or just occasional traipse-ers, there are a number of reasons we resort to pushover behavior. From codependency to self-esteem conflicts, getting to the root of our issues is what allows us to stop others from taking advantage of our compassion and personal charity.
Codependency is a dysfunctional relationship dynamic and behavior that is learned, being passed down from one generation to the next. It impacts both our emotions and behaviors, affecting our ability to have healthy or satisfying relationships with deep and lasting connections. Those suffer the curse of codependency form relationships that are one-sided, destructive and downright toxic. When they love, their partnerships are emotionally destructive and often abusive, and it seems as though they go out of their way to find spouses and lovers that are unsuitable.
Often, we allow people to take advantage of us because we are struggling with self-esteem issues. Because of this, they rise into their adulthood carrying the burden of low self-esteem and a feeling of worthlessness that often pervades into other facets of their personalities. The more abuse they suffer over a lifetime, they more they believe they deserve to be walked over. It’s a never-ending cycle of self-defeat and hopelessness that takes time (and a lot of therapy) to overcome.
Feeling helpless can often cause us to engage in avoidance tactics, or become a passive spectator in our own lives — leaving free reign for the people around us to use as a doormat and take advantage of us. When we feel helpless, we give up, and with that goes our values, morals and boundaries that keep us happy and safe. Helplessness is a pervasive feeling, and one that can undermine our overall happiness and wellbeing…