Are You a Push Over? 7 Ways to Get Deliberate and Activate For Yourself
By Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D.
Being nice is a wonderful virtue and it is a quality that sustains relationships, but being too nice means that you are a pushover with no boundaries. In this case, you will get nowhere in life. Most people who are too nice have a fear-based approach to life accompanied by low self-esteem. They have learned to survive by placating those they fear, and they can have a fear for everyone. You are too nice if you fear people will dislike you if you are not 100 percent cooperative, if you fear you will be seen as overbearing, domineering or bitchy, and if you are saying yes when you want to be saying no.
1) You have the right to be treated with respect: Embrace this thought, and envision what it would be like to be treated with respect. How would you feel? You must first respect yourself to have this happen, and you do this by learning to assert yourself.
2) You have the right to express all your emotions including anger: Anger is a healthy emotion. It is what warns you that danger is near and activates you to protect yourself and others. Anger is natural and often a forward moving emotion. You can express this emotion best by being firm and direct.
3) You have the right to express your opinions: Your opinions are as important as you make them. If you cower in a situation or are afraid someone will reject your opinion so you keep it in, there is no way for anyone to really know you or your preferences. Do not look for agreement. Simply state what opinion is correct for you.
4) You can say no without feeling guilty: No is simple. You do not have to do or participate in anything that you do not want to. Our no’s define our likes and dislikes which make us clear as a person to other people. This way people know where you stop and they start. If people do not know these boundaries you will get pushed over.
5) You have the right to ask for what you want: What you want is important to you and if what you want inconveniences someone else then, oh well! The only way to get what you want in life is to say what you want.
6) You have the right to make mistakes: Why use disappearing in life and pleasing to look perfect to others? When you are doing this you are being fake. Real people make mistakes and are not perfect. Our mistakes are our greatest teachers, so mistake-away! It’s good for you and don’t let anyone expect perfection from you.
7) You have the right to pursue your happiness: We all have a unique path in life, and pushovers are like an unanchored boat floating aimlessly in the water just trying to stay safe and out of the way. Happiness can only be achieved if it is deliberately pursued. Find your path!
Asserting yourself and loving yourself will not upset people as much as you fear it will, and when it does they will get over it. The fear is larger in in your own mind because it is new behavior. In fact, you may be surprised at how quickly others get used the new you and like you even better. This is what loving yourself does. It changes everything. It takes a lot of courage and self-love to act on your own behalf. It takes the belief that you deserve something better! Go and get it!!
Little life message: If you allow yourself to be a pushover you are not honoring yourself, thereby you directly contribute to the erosion of all your relationships. Love yourself.
About the Author
Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D. is a veteran, licensed psychologist with two decades of clinical training and experience providing counseling and psychotherapy services to residents of Yorba Linda, Irvine, Anaheim, Fullerton and Brea, California. In her private practice, she currently specializes in psychotherapy with adults and teenagers, including marriage and family therapy, grief counseling, childhood trauma, sexual issues, personality disorders, illness and more. She has helped individuals manage their highest high and survive their lowest low—from winning the lottery to the death of a child. Her interactive sessions are as unique and impactful as her new book, Loving Yourself : The Mastery of Being Your Own Person.
She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2003 and has regularly contributes to numerous publications, including Intent.com, Beliefnet.com, DrLaura.com and Hitched.com. She is also an inspirational speaker, avid writer and proud mother. She can be reached at Sherriecampbellphd.com.
Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person is available on Amazon.com and other fine booksellers.