To be or not to be, that is the question! – The good old hamlet dilemma.
At this point I am assuming that we agree to identify two types of people – the ones being pushed over and the ones pushing you. For the time being, we keep aside the nice people who are rare to find!
Being pushed over, is one of the worst feelings in the world, especially if you are someone who takes the work seriously, does your bit only to see that someone else is taking credit for all the hard work you have done. And that someone you know, doesn’t deserve a single bit of it! Yet it happens all the time – maybe it is the way of the world and maybe it is the way a bit of corporate politics works. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we can neglect it and say – “Good things will happen to me because I am a good person”. It is like saying “The lion will not attack me because I am a vegetarian!”
Things are the way they are, no matter how much we want to change them. So, for the purpose of this discussion, we will move ahead with the assumption that there are people being pushed over and there are ones who are pushing. Once we identify that, the next step is HOW and here are 5 tips to answer that
Identify the Pattern
The first step of course is in identification of the problem. And if you are being pushed over or being taken advantage of, then it is very easy to spot someone who unscrupulously takes you for granted and walks all over you. Identify who is treating you as a pushover. I am sure there must be a pattern, everyone leaves a pattern no matter how smart they think they are. Look closely on how they do, what they do.
A chat with them
Most times, people don’t know that they are being absolutely selfish and stubborn. Turns out, it is extremely helpful to have a conversation with them and tell them that they are pushing you down. Tell them how it makes you feel – maybe they are not aware of it. Instead of saying, you are “***@$@” or “@@%***”, tell them that this action makes me feel like you are a pushover or you get a feeling of being taken for granted – I am sure you did not intend that, but it makes it very difficult for me to contribute to our work together/relationship. Is there a way we can improve it? Any suggestions? – This way, you are not alienating them, but asking them if there is a way you could improve it. People respond better if they know they are helping instead of pointing where they are wrong.
Most times people are nice and they respond well, unless they are top of the notch morons. And if they are, well – there are more ways we can tackle them and we shall address them below.
Interrupt the Pattern
Once you identify the pattern, it will be amazing to actually look out for how you can interrupt. No matter how strong that person is, I am sure there are those pauses where you can influence your opinion. And people behave very differently in a group and they will not want to alienate themselves from the group. They will be much nicer and much more receptive. The moment you show that you are strong, the moment you show that you are establishing a precaution, they will have to be taught indirectly to respect your boundaries.
Establish your boundaries
The moments you catch their attention, it is important to establish your boundaries. Tell them very clearly what the ‘Go’ and ‘No Go’ areas are. And be very clear about them. Most times people are not even aware that they are crossing a boundary. Tell them about it and be very clear.
Protect your Boundaries
Nothing new stays on its own, it needs constant nurturing and constant endorsement in order to become a natural behaviour. Results certainly take time, it is a behavioural trait – you cannot stop being a pushover in the next split second, it means creating a new pattern. But these changes will be visible, pat your back each time you stand up for yourself and you will realise how quick the solution has appeared and it always does appear in stages.
End of the day, we would say, it is a beautiful thing to stand up for yourself, even if it means that someone else is not going to be happy about it. But you cannot live your life for someone else, it is yours to create and ensure that no one can ever treat you like a pushover
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