Two things that I’m very protective of are my friends and my books. Friends? Because I love and value them just as much as my books. Most of my books are expensive, insightful, and often gifts. I almost always read a book twice and love telling people about my favourite reads when I get the chance.
Recently, I told a colleague about a book that I thought she would absolutely love. I’d mentioned that I own this book and that I could just lend it to her. But after searching around my house for about two hours, I remembered that I’d lent the book to a friend whom I’d also convinced should read it. By now, my friend had had the book for over six months and I hadn’t seen him since so I sent him a message to return it.
Take a look at his response to me via Whatsapp, below:
Tell me if you think I’m being a pushover or just nice:
Without focusing on the typos as I know you can’t help but do, take a closer look at the overall apology. He’s had this book for a long time and now, after I’ve had to ask him to return it, he wants to loan it for longer. What the hell? I should tell him that he’s had enough time to read the book and consider that my colleague, who is eager to read the book as well, hasn’t had a chance. But instead, I respond with:
You are more than welcome to keep the book until you have finished it. I’m glad to know that you will take care of the book and most importantly that you are not giving it back without having read it.
I’m just being nice right?
I thought that I was doing a really good deed by offering him another opportunity to read the book, but then I realised that I had now created a platform for my colleague to assume that I am unreliable or can’t deliver on promises. What if this was money? What would you do?
If you’re the kind of person who finds it difficult to avoid being a pushover or is just too nice to some people, consider the following points:
Related: Rituals of successful women
Stop worrying about what people think of you
You’re never going to be able to please everyone in your life at the same time so you may as well stop feeling anxious about who approves of you or not. There’s a famous quote by Dita Von Teese which reads: you can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there will still be people who hate peaches.
Consider how you’re benefiting from the situation
There’s no need to track all the good deeds that you’ve ever done for people – that would defeat the purpose. What’s important is that you ensure that you’re genuinely happy to do whatever you’re doing for whomever.
The minute you begin to feel uncomfortable about doing something for someone else, you shouldn’t be doing it. I’m not referring to the kind of uncomforting feeling that comes from exceeding your own limits or taking risks; those funny feelings you experience when you don’t really want to do something for someone or you can sense that this person is taking advantage of your kindness… Listen to that feeling. Any kind of alert that your body is sending you is never a fluke, it’s a warning.
Don’t get defensive
They say that the one who cares less, wins, and I think that ‘they’ might be right. People who handle criticism well have a greater level of success in life and are certainly not considered pushovers. The trick is to assume that all information being fed to you, especially about you, is useful. Evaluate the information to see how you can improve your life and if it’s not useful to you, ignore it. It’s really that simple.
Stop apologising if you didn’t do anything wrong
Women do this a lot. The other day I was in a public bathroom, next in line to use the toilet when a woman came out of the cubicle apologising to me. I think that she was apologising for using the toilet longer, or maybe she was sorry that she got to the toilet before me; I can’t be too sure. I smiled at her and she smiled back, then she courteously rushed out of the bathroom, nearly knocking her hip against the door on the way out. Try not to do that. These overly kind gestures are harmful to you. You don’t need permission or approval to manage your own life, founder and CEO.
Do you think that you’re too nice sometimes? Or just not firm enough with certain people ? I’d love to know how you handle those situations. Post a comment in the section below and connect with me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
- How to be yourself at any time
- 6 things we do to ourselves that’s just not worth it
- This is probably the most important love advice ever