Do people often describe you as a “pushover” or a “doormat”? Do you let people at work or in your personal life walk all over you? It’s time to stop. I know this process isn’t always easy, but the sooner you grow a backbone, the happier you’ll be. It might feel weird at first, but you owe it to yourself.
Practice saying no. Either practice it to yourself in the mirror, or start saying no to people you trust, like a parent or significant other. If you don’t want to do something, don’t do it, whether it’s going out on Friday night or even having spaghetti for dinner. Seriously. Start small. Just practice “no.”
Understand that “no” is a complete sentence. In most circumstances, you don’t have to give a reason for saying no. “No” is more than a word — it’s a sentence. The next time someone asks you to do an annoying, time-consuming task that you’d normally say yes to, say no instead — and then say you’ve gotta go, and leave. You don’t have to explain yourself.
Don’t be afraid to disagree. If someone says something that upsets you, don’t feel that you have to laugh and nod your head. You’re allowed to disagree. You don’t have to fight about it — just say, “I disagree,” and change the subject. If a friend dissolves a friendship because of a disagreement, it’s probably not a strong friendship worth having.
Give yourself a pep talk. Yup, just like little league, go ahead and psych yourself up before you play ball. OK, that’s a really tired and lame metaphor, but you get the point. Tell yourself that you’re awesome and of value and you don’t deserve to be walked all over, no matter what.
Remind yourself that you deserve to be treated well. No matter what mistakes you may have made in the past, you’re still worthy of a happy future. You’re a human being and you make mistakes — we all do. Use today to go forward and make the life you want, because you’re worthy of that. Remind yourself what’s great about you (even if you don’t truly believe it at first) and that you deserve good things. Treat yo self!
Own rejection. Sometimes you’re hesitant to grow a backbone because you’re worried about being shut down or rejected. Start owning it. You can’t take it personally, because it happens to everyone. Use it as motivation to improve and try other things.
Start to speak up for yourself. For example, if you’re at a restaurant and you get a salad with walnuts on it but you asked them to hold the walnuts, don’t eat it. Kindly request what you originally ordered. Don’t always accept people’s mistakes at your personal expense.
Ask yourself, “What would my idol do?” Typically, we look up to those who are strong and confident. So if you find yourself unable to be those things, channel your idol. Ask yourself what they would do and how they would handle the situation, and go from there. Eventually you’ll stop wondering what confident women do differently, because you’ll be one of them!
Stop trying to please everyone all the time. It’s never going to happen. Someone is always going to be unhappy. Don’t let that person be you. Do your thing, and stop caring if someone doesn’t like it. It’s not your problem.
Disengage. Not everything is worth fighting over. If you’re done with a scenario, walk away. Don’t give the other person the satisfaction of a stupid argument. Don’t give them anything. Not worth your time.
Ignore guilt trips. People can manipulate others through guilt. Guilt can be a powerful motivator, and it’s BS. If your friend calls you and asks you to watch her kids in an hour but you already have plans, you can’t listen to her as she goes on about how much the kids love you and she never gets out anymore. Instead of giving in, say, “I’m sorry I can’t help this time,” and stick to that. If she’s mad about it? Too bad for her.