When Does Nice Turn Into Being A Pushover?

picture of woman workerWhere do we draw the line between being nice and cooperative, and becoming a pushover? At one time or another you may have puzzled through this as you helped other workers again and again or took on added tasks to get the job done.

Sometimes it is the right thing to do, but sometimes others might see you as someone who is a bit of a pushover.

To preserve your own peace of mind and your strength in your job it’s good to know what to watch out for.

Huffington Post does a nice job of outlining the pushover people-pleasing danger signs.

Falling Into Pleasing Responses

If you keep softening or changing your position to try to fit the viewpoints of others, you may lose your sense of direction and status. Think through your responses and then stand behind them. Over time you will firm up your status and be recognized for your strength.

I have found this can take quite a bit of willpower and it is all too easy to just go with the flow. But that never leaves you where you want to be at the end of the day.

Avoid Sliding into Needy Positions

Always work from your own strengths and your own goals. Other people can give you good feedback, but they can not supply all of your needs or directions. Evaluate what you bring to a job and then work from there to avoid leaning on other people.

Avoid Apologizing for Everything

We all make mistakes and should admit them. But constantly stepping up to be the one who apologizes can make you an easy target for blame, or at best someone who seems weak. If you make a mistake say so. If you have just made a new contribution, step up and mention that too.

Seek To Create the Right Spot

I have worked with the same people in different capacities at different times, which lead to some interesting observations on how people react. One accountant that I knew was the repeat fall guy when I first worked with him. His boss used him as an easy target whenever budget figures went awry. Later, I worked with him again. Now he had a different boss and a different image. He was seen as confident and capable and never seemed to apologize for anything.

Finding that right spot where we are confident and comfortable is worth going for. Watch out for pushover snags and keep going until you find it.

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