You’re walking up to the convenience store, as you are heading in, another customer is also walking up, but is maybe two steps ahead of you. They proceed to open the door, and as you reach to grab the handle, you realize they didn’t wait or attempt to hold it for you or anything, and it swiftly shut behind them and in your face.
In some areas, no one would even think twice about it, open the door and keep on going. In other areas, the person in front would be looked at as a jerk since they didn’t hold the door. And sometimes, you who had the door shut in your face would get laughed at, perfect for a meme.
No one wants to be a pushover, but plenty accept being a jerk. There’s actually a logic to it, if everyone were pushovers then things would work just fine. No one would step on another, everyone would hold doors for others. If no one took advantage, this would actually be the most ideal way of living. If everyone was nice and looked after each other to an extent. So in this type of society, there wouldn’t really be a ‘push over’ because no one would be pushing anyone else over. You’d just be a functioning member of society.
Yet the unfortunate truth is that we don’t live in that world. We live in a world where people will deliberately try to get over on others and push them over to get their own way. This ranges from the most insignificant actions like spending time to hold a door to more extreme situations like theft or violence. A pushover in this environment will get steam rolled.
It’s sad really because most likely the pushover was raised in a good home, their family taught them good values and to care for all things. They taught them not to fight, to be a bigger person, and then life happens…
Pushovers are seen as a soft target, for theft, pan handlers and anyone else to take advantage of. So called friends will leech off of pushovers if they have money. Partners or significant others will have them at their beck and call. If they are driving in New York traffic they will never make it out without cutting someone off, which they’ve been taught not to do. This could carry into everything under the sun, even conversation; waiting for a good time to speak vs just cutting the other speaker off.
The opposite however is just as unreasonable. The jerk that doesn’t think twice to push someone else over will eventually have to watch themselves. They will encounter other jerks and have to fight it out in some form all the time. If they are in business, they could lose their money because they won’t form a healthy network of relationships. Since business and life both need others to really be successful, being a jerk all the time just isn’t a viable solution.
Be Decent but Embrace your Inner Jerk
To the jerks of the world, you’re also a pushover. You live in a world where someone in more power than yourself can and will push you over if they get the chance. More power could be anything from a thug on the street with a gun, to whoever writes your paycheck. You wouldn’t appreciate that right? You’d fight it right? Then it’s up to you as the jerk to not push others over wrongly and be a decent person. Refusing to be pushed over doesn’t mean you become a jerk to everyone else before they have a chance. Being cautious is ok, but being a jerk to everyone is not.
To the pushovers of the world, we all have an inner jerk, embrace it. It needs to be let free sometimes, not to everyone, but when a jerk is about to push you over, summon your inner jerk and don’t let them push you down. Learn to say NO. Establish boundaries that are reasonable and meaningful, push back if necessary.
Hint: Becoming a jerk because someone didn’t hold the door isn’t a good reason, neither is being cut off in traffic… If you notice your boundaries or reasons to be a jerk are ‘retaliatory’ in nature, or to ‘show another jerk the error in their ways’ then they are not good reasons to have and you may be a full time jerk… Having your own sense of justice is great, but forcing others to acknowledge or live by them, not so much.