2. Stop being so agreeable
It is simply impossible to please all the people all of the time. As the saying goes: ‘If you give a person an inch, they will take a mile’, and if people know that you are a people pleaser, then they will invariably take advantage of you. There is nothing wrong in saying ‘no’ occasionally and most people will respect you for it too.
3. Start with the small things
How to stop being a pushover? You can practice being more assertive by starting with the small things first. It can be easier to start with strangers first, like politely refusing to stop for one of those annoying people taking a survey in the street. Assertiveness is the same as anything else, the more you practice, the better you will get at it.
4. Use empathy to get your point across
A great way to make saying no easier is to prefix your refusal with an empathetic statement. For example, to refuse to take on a job that you can’t handle, you could try a phrase, such as: ‘I understand how important this is for you, but I really don’t have the time to do it properly’. That’s a lot easier than just flatly saying ‘no’.
5. Set aside some time in the day just for you
Another tip on how to stop being a pushover is to set aside some ‘me time’ every day. It can help you to be firm if you reserve some times during the day just for you. Make a point of, say, never doing any work after 6.00pm, or not answering your phone between certain times. You have every right to some time to yourself, so make some of your own private rules, and make sure that you stick to them.
6. Tell people that it’s not acceptable to treat you like this
Telling people that it’s absolutely unacceptable that they treat you this way is another tip on how to stop being a pushover. This one takes a bit of courage, but it will get the message home. You don’t have to be rude about it, but if you do tell someone that it hurts, being taken advantage of, then they might actually sit up and take notice.
7. Pick your battles carefully
Be careful where you practice your assertiveness and pick your battles carefully. It wouldn’t be a good idea to start by picking a fight with your boss or causing an argument with a stranger in the street! Speak up for yourself, in a quiet but assertive way and in a way that won’t seem overly aggressive. It’s easier to do and it won’t get you into hot water with anyone.
8. Be firm, and don’t back down
Once you have begun to say ‘no’, don’t then immediately back down again. Not being a pushover means sticking to your guns, so don’t give in to emotional blackmail. If people get used to saying ‘no’, but then backing down, they will still know that they can take advantage of you.
9. Remember who you are doing this for
Putting yourself first for a change might be a bit alien to you, but remember that the person that you are doing this for is also important and that’s you. You’ve probably done enough other people favours in your life, now it’s time to do one for you.
10. Make a start today
No one is suggesting that it’s easy to stop being a pushover, because it can be a habit that becomes ingrained. You’ll be amazed at how good it feels though, when you say that very first ‘no’. You don’t have to become a selfish person to assert yourself, but nor should you be walked all over either. Make today the day that you start change things, all you have to do is say ‘sorry, I don’t have time to do that’.
How to stop being a pushover? Do you have some other tips?