Stop Being A Pushover At Work

Stop being a pushover.

Have you been told your whole life that you should be nice and help out others whenever possible?

Has that carried over to your working life?

Are you getting the results you think you deserve by always stepping up and helping your coworkers or always taking on the extra tasks?

Chances are, you’re probably underappreciated.

You need to stop being a pushover.

Pushover at Work: How You’re Perceived

I’ve worked in the corporate world over twenty years.

I’ve been involved in hiring and firing people and I know who gets promoted and who doesn’t.

This is what I know:

There’s a difference between being a team player and being a doormat.

When you continually offer to take on the tasks that nobody else wants to do you’re going to be seen as weak.

I hate to break it to you, but that’s how it is.

Nobody will say it to your face.

Because it’s not a conscious conclusion – it’s an instinctual, unconscious conclusion.

You’re also viewed with slight contempt.

And your coworkers take you for granted.

These are tough words, but they come from a place of love.

Do you know who your coworkers admire?

The person who says, “No.”

They want to earn the approval of the person who wields the power to say yes or no.

They want that yes.

They know they’ll always get a yes from you, so they don’t think twice about you.

But the guy who might say no, they know they’ll have to negotiate somehow to earn that yes.

They perceive the person who can say yes or no to be in a position of higher status, or at the very least to be an equal.

And your higher-ups in the company will promote the person who sometimes says no before they promote the guy who always says yes.

They’ll think to themselves, “This person who’s always saying yes can’t be trusted to run a team or run a department or run a division or run a company because they’re too soft and they’re always giving in.”

Pushover at Work: When You Go Home

Then you go home without the promotion and your wife and kids are there to make even more demands of you.

Your kids make outrageous demands and your wife views you with contempt.

Because you always say yes.

And you know in your gut that you want to say no, but for some reason that no won’t come out.

It feels like that no is locked in a cage inside you and you can’t find the key to let it out.

But you want to. You wouldn’t have read this far if you didn’t.

Being a Pushover in the Workplace Goes Way Back

This inability to say no probably goes way back in your past.

Part of it may be your personality type and part of it may be that you grew up being punished for saying no.

Everyone is different and there’s no single event that’s common across every pushover’s life that leads them to be this way.

But, there’s hope.

You can stop being a yes man.

The first step – the only step that nobody else but you has the power to take – is to DECIDE you want to change.

And you’ve already taken that step.

The second step is simple. Simple, but not easy.

You have to start saying no.

And don’t elaborate and explain why you’re saying no. You’ll be tempted to do this.

Start with something simple.

Say no when you’re ordering at McDonald’s and they ask if you wanna upgrade to the larger fries for only twenty cents more.

Look them straight in the eye and say, “No.”

Don’t explain that you’re watching your calories or you don’t have an extra twenty cents on you or whatever other bullshit reason you normally desperately squeeze out when you have to say no in an effort not to “Make them feel bad cuz I said no.”

Just say no, calm and cool.

Watch their eyes as they nod, “Ok” and ring up your order.

Now repeat that with something bigger.

And something bigger after that.

Until one day your boss is asking you to do something you don’t want to do and you reply, “No”, calm and cool.

And you watch your boss’ eyes flicker with the understanding that they’re talking to an equal.

And then you go home and your wife asks you for something and you tell her “No.”

And you watch her eyes flicker at first with shock, then anger, then something else.

You’ll see it – you’ll see a desire in her eyes to earn your approval.

It’s simple to stop being a pushover. Simple, but not easy.

It’s not easy to say no if all you’ve ever said is yes.

You have to train your mouth to form this strange new word and you have to train your spirit to be strong enough to force it out.

But you can do it. You’ll do it with baby steps.

This rabbit hole goes deep.

If you want to start to see how deep it goes, start looking inside yourself.

Here are a couple of books to get you started.

Whos Pulling Your StringsThe Narcissistic Family


You can do it.

I know you can, because I did. I was a pushover and now I’m not and everything is better, much better than I could have imagined.

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