No one likes being called a pushover.
That’s pretty understandable, considering that a pushover is someone seen to be easily manipulated, lacking in confidence, and unable to stand up for themselves.
But what if you’re actually just a genuinely nice person? What if, instead of being a pushover, you’re just someone who values kindness and compassion?
Does that sound like you? Maybe you’ve been called a pushover one too many times that you’re now wondering if you really are one.
Don’t worry, in this article, we’re going to explore 10 signs that you’re not a pushover – you’re just a nice person who often gets misinterpreted!
Let’s dive in!
1) You are self-aware
Why am I starting this discussion with self-awareness?
Because it’s pretty simple – pushovers aren’t aware that they are, well, pushovers.
They lack self-awareness and can’t recognize when they’re getting stepped on and manipulated.
Not you, though. If you have self-awareness, that means you understand your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
This is a key aspect of not becoming a pushover, as it allows you to recognize when you’re being taken advantage of.
You are in tune with yourself, and you use that self-awareness to make decisions that are best for you.
This also leads to the fact that…
2) You are confident in your beliefs
That’s what self-awareness can do for you – you know who you are, and you’re firm on what you stand for.
Does that sound like a pushover? Absolutely not!
A pushover is someone who is easily swayed, whereas a genuinely nice person has a solid set of values and stands by them.
You don’t let others dictate what you believe, and you’re comfortable expressing your opinions.
That said, because you’re a genuinely nice person, you also give others the space they need to express their own opinions. Come to think of it, this generosity is probably why others think you’re a pushover.
I can imagine they’d be surprised when they find out that…
3) You have strong boundaries
Yes, being nice means you’re okay with people expressing their opinions. But you do have a line, and when people cross it, oh boy, are they in for a surprise!
The thing is, once someone gets it into their head that you’re a pushover, they think you’ll do whatever they want you to do. Or you’ll take whatever they have to say.
But that’s the difference between being a pushover and being nice.
“Nice” has healthy boundaries.
And as a nice person, you’re comfortable setting limits.
This leads me to my next point…
4) You’re assertive and can say “no”
That’s right – because you’ve got boundaries, you have the ability to say “no” once they are crossed.
Assertiveness and saying “no” can be hard, but it’s a crucial part of maintaining healthy boundaries.
A pushover often says “yes” to everything, even if it’s not in their best interest. They’ll do favors even for people they dislike, or they’ll pretend they’re okay with their co-workers dumping their work on them.
On the other hand, you – a genuinely nice person – are able to refuse when you need to without feeling guilty or ashamed. You understand that you’re entitled to your own time and energy, so you don’t let others take advantage of you.
You can stand up for yourself (and for others, too) when the situation calls for it, but you do it in a calm and confident way.
5) You are able to compromise
Here’s another sign that you aren’t a pushover – you have no problems with reaching a compromise.
You see, a pushover finds it hard to compromise. Why? Because compromise requires setting boundaries and making decisions that align with one’s own needs and values.
And as you know by now, a pushover doesn’t have strong boundaries nor the confidence to express their needs and wants.
In contrast, a genuinely nice person is always looking for ways to find common ground.
So, in case you haven’t noticed yet, you excel at compromises! You love having harmonious relationships, and you understand that compromise is a necessary part of that.
6) You are a good listener
Being able to compromise points to another trait genuinely nice people have – knowing how to listen.
A pushover might look like they’re listening, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually interested in what others have to say.
A genuinely nice person (that’s you) doesn’t have to pretend; you are truly eager to listen and understand because you like getting to know people more. Their thoughts and feelings really matter to you.
That also means…
7) You are empathetic
Empathy is a hallmark of a genuinely nice person. It means that you are able to understand and share the feelings of others.
A pushover might not be interested in the emotions of others; they merely do things because they’re told to. They can even come across as fake.
But not you…you’re always there to listen and support. You can put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and the compassion and kindness you extend to others are authentic.
I once had a co-worker like this. As “nice” as she appeared to be, I just never felt like she was being real with me. Many times I felt like she was just agreeing with me or doing me favors because she felt she had to, not because she truly wanted to help.
The sad thing about that? I was never able to connect and form a strong, genuine bond with her.
8) You say sorry only when you need to
What’s one thing we often hear pushovers say?
In fact, you can single out a pushover from a crowd because of their overly apologetic manner. They’re the ones who keep saying sorry even for trivial things they had nothing to do with.
Remember that co-worker I told you about? She behaved exactly like this. She would say sorry every time she needed to say something, like, “Sorry, would you mind if I took my break now?”
I realized that she would do this because she had this constant need to keep the peace or avoid conflict. And sometimes, prefacing a comment with “Sorry” was her way of asserting herself.
A genuinely nice person, on the other hand, apologizes only when they need to. They have enough self-awareness to know when they’ve messed up, and at the same time, to know when something isn’t their fault.
Does that sound like you? Then guess what – you aren’t a pushover at all!
9) You can provide constructive criticism
As I mentioned earlier, genuinely nice people know how to assert themselves and express their opinions in a calm and confident way.
This is one advantage a nice person has over a pushover: if you’re just genuinely nice, you are confident in expressing yourself. That means you can speak up when you see something that needs correcting.
Plus, you understand the value of constructive criticism; you know that it’s vital to helping people grow, and that’s always a worthy endeavor for you!
As for pushovers, well, that’s something incredibly hard for them to do. Providing constructive criticism requires being honest and direct in a way that can sometimes be uncomfortable.
And as you’ve probably figured out by now, pushovers are non-confrontational – as much as possible, they avoid giving criticism for fear of hurting someone’s feelings or causing conflict.
10) You are proud of who you are
Finally, we get to the last sign you’re not a pushover – authenticity and a strong sense of self-worth.
As a truly nice person, you’re just comfortable in your own skin. You don’t try to be someone you’re not, as opposed to a pushover, who bends over backward to please people. They pretend to be this or that in order to fit in or make others happy.
That’s also why pushovers get burned out in the long run – it’s pretty exhausting to keep trying to change yourself for others!
And here’s the irony of it all…pushovers have this need to please others, yet, they’re the ones who often get left out of things, and they find themselves feeling lonely and forgotten.
But you? Oh, what an authentic life you live! You can face each day with enthusiasm because you know where you stand – and it’s a sweet spot with a balance of kindness and assertiveness.
Hopefully, this article has helped you put to rest those worries – you’re not a pushover, you’re just a genuinely nice person!
And you know what? You might not even be aware of it, but you’re someone who brightens other people’s days!
Now, if you don’t recognize yourself in these signs, don’t worry. It’s never too late to put a stop to the bad habits that tend to make you give in to what everyone else wants.
You can start by developing self-awareness and confidence. After all, making the shift from pushover to genuinely nice is just a matter of knowing what you want and speaking up for yourself!