How to Stop Being a Pushover: 6 Helpful Tips To Stop Being A Pushover

Can I learn how to stop being a pushover? What causes the people pleasers personality in the first place? What kind of person is a pushover? How do I know if I am a pushover? Is it good to be a pushover? What are some ways to practice assertiveness? How can I stop being a pushover? What are the consequences of being a pushover? Find answers to these and more related questions in this article.

Hi. My name is Sean Galla. I have been facilitating men’s forums for more than 10 years. Part of my work involves helping men address issues associated with the pushover syndrome, including helping them learn how to stop being a pushover. I help men shed the Mr. pushover tag to get what they really want in life. If you are interested in learning how to stand up for what you want in your career, social life, or love life, this article is for you.

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Sean Galla

An experienced facilitator, community builder and Peer Support Specialist, Sean has been running men's groups for 10+ years. Read Sean's Full Author Bio.

The Pushover Syndrome

The Pushover Syndrome

A pushover can be described as a man who does not think he is ok by being himself. Because of conditioning by family and society, a pushover believes that the only way to be accepted, loved, liked, or have his needs met is by becoming who everyone else wants them to be.

A man suffering from the pushover syndrome believes that they need to hide all the traits they possess that are likely to trigger negative responses from the people around them.

The mentality a pushover creates from childhood, through high school, and into adulthood often becomes a road map for their life, which does not always result in them getting what they want. Perceived as without alternatives, the good guy keeps doing the same things, stuck in the same habits even when they are not working for his benefit.

Most pushovers are still stuck in the friend zone and try to overcompensate for what they think is the cause of their singlehood with being a nice person. This can be their looks, social skills, and other features they deem undesirable in themselves. They use kindness to try to make up for what they think they lack.

Pushovers are often considered to be a great catch but never seem to find the right person. A pushover can also be the husband who works hard to please the wife while still in an emotionally and sexually unfulfilling relationship or the reliable friend who is always available to do favors for others and offer advice while ignoring their personal needs.

Attributes of A Pushover

A pushover puts their needs aside while letting people take advantage of them. Pushovers often go out of their way to do things they are uncomfortable with to avoid confrontation. They are unquestionably obedient to their oppressors while believing that they are being nice, and this is how things should be. A pushover lacks self-respect and will never have an opinion that differs from that of others and will always agree with other people’s ideas and perspectives even when they share a different opinion deep down.

Common words related to pushover include stooge, pansy, doormat, or pushover.

Common signs of a pushover include:

  • Apologizing excessively – pushovers will consistently apologize for causing displeasure or even anticipating it.
  • Timidity – most pushovers fear disappointing people, even those they dislike.
  • People-pleasing – a pushover’s sense of self-worth and self-confidence depends on whether others like them. So they go out of their way to please others, especially when with a group of people.
  • Neediness – pushovers are also needy and clingy since their self-esteem is dependent on others’ approval of them.
  • Insincerity – pushovers are chronic liars and will do whatever it takes to be accepted in social circles.
  • Not saying no – pushovers cannot set boundaries to protect themselves and often find it hard to say no to others.
  • Uncertainty – pushovers are never sure about anything since they have gotten used to changing their own opinions to accommodate those of others.

Why Do Pushovers Allow People To Push Them Around?

Different people resort to pushover behavior for different reasons.


Codependency is a cycle in a relationship between a giver and taker, in which one person needs the other person to need to be needed. The codependent person, known as ‘the giver,’ feels worthless unless they are needed by their enabler or are making sacrifices for the enabler, also referred to as ‘the taker.’ A pushover is usually the codependent person or the giver.

This is a word used to describe a dysfunctional relationship and behavior passed on through different generations. Codependency affects a person’s behaviors and emotions and can hinder them from enjoying healthy, fulfilling relationships.

Self-esteem issues

Most pushovers struggle with self-esteem issues. They live with the hidden burden of worthlessness and thus feel worthiest when pleasing others to be accepted. The more abuse they suffer, the more they believe that their sense of self-worth is dependent on letting others walk over them.


When one suffers from helplessness, they engage in avoidance tactics by allowing others around them to take advantage of them. This way, they do not have to get into confrontational situations. When one is helpless, they lose their sense of purpose, forget their values and compromise their morals to keep others happy. Helplessness significantly undermines a person’s overall sense of happiness and well-being.

How To Stop Being A Pushover

Stop Being A Pushover

Work on your self-esteem

The first thing you can do to stop being a pushover is to take time to understand who you are and get in touch with your personal rights. Having self-esteem means taking charge of your own life and doing things that improve your mental health. Start setting priorities and putting yourself first, and only choose to be in healthy relationships with the people in your life, even your best friend. This is the best way to heal your low self-esteem.

Make your personal interests a priority

Part of becoming an alpha male is putting your needs first. While it may sound wrong, putting yourself first is part of self-love. Always consider the things that are important to you before considering others. When you put yourself first, the people around you will stop demanding favors upfront and instead align their needs with your availability or willingness to help people.

Start saying no

Even your kindness should come with limits. Pushovers often feel guilty when they cannot accomplish greatness in their life. To feel better, they take on perfectionism when it comes to doing nice things for other people. Sometimes, your inability to say no and set personal boundaries makes it hard for them to make time in their personal life as they are too busy being everyone’s doormat. If you have a hard time saying no, remember you can still be the good guy who says no.

Do not apologize for taking control of your life

As a pushover, you often feel guilty for putting your interests before that of others. If you find yourself offering thousands of apologies for failing to do a favor for someone or not doing it the right way, you need to stop doing so. Part of being nice means caring for your well-being by not being available for favors. Learn to be unapologetic about putting your needs first, even when confronted by a strong sense to please people.

Stop the ‘give to get the mentality

Giving to get means you always have to give up something to get what you want. To let go of this mentality, you must learn to speak up and state your needs without offering anything in return. Learn to be selfish and start doing things purely for pleasure or benefit. It is important to put your needs first to be able to stop being the pushover. Stop apologizing and explaining yourself for doing what you want.

Join a support group

To shed off the pushover persona, you need to start surrounding yourself with the right male role models. One of the best places to meet these men is a support group such as MensGroup. This is a supportive, honest, non-judgmental group that teaches men how to stop being a pushover without becoming a jerk.

About MensGroup


Men’s Group is a men-only online support group that offers support and guidance to men from all walks of life. It is also an online support group that offers emotional and social support to men from different age groups interested in stopping to be pushovers.

This group helps to start and steer conversations about male self-awareness, self-improvement, and self-development. MensGroup is a free space where men can share their life stresses without fear of judgment or ridicule.

If you are looking for help on overcoming the pushover syndrome, overcoming procrastination, getting that woman, and leading a better life in New York or anywhere else in the world, this is one of the most active and safe male online support groups to help you achieve your goal. It is the perfect place to learn how to lead a happier, more successful life.


To completely break free from being a pushover, you must learn new ways of doing things. The first step towards learning how to stop being a pushover is joining a Support Group like This is where you learn how to break away from the pushover syndrome and lead a better, more fulfilling life. By shedding off the pushover persona, you will have learned the secret to living a life you love and being true to yourself.

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