Top Ten Signs of Weakness and How to Avoid Them

All of us have our own Achilles’ heel.  A weak spot that others can get into.  No one is perfect.  So, if you have them, do not worry, it is only normal.

I mention these signs of weakness because usually they are common in the good-hearted people who have been taught to be extra careful not to be wrong, or hurt others’ feelings.  As a result they end up being too careful, too accommodating, and might be perceived by some opportunists as a weak spot.

Here they are.  Top ten signs of weakness that can be taken against you by abusers:

Weak Sign 1: Saying: “Not at all” when you are bothered at an inconvenient time.

  • Why: Because you would be lying, not good for self respect, and you allow others to push your buttons even further since you are so thick skinned.
  • Instead, try saying: “Actually this is not a good time at all.” And wait for the reaction.  See how you feel.

Weak Sign 2: Saying “I am not offended, it actually did not bother me” when you were really bothered.

  • Instead try saying: “Ouch, that actually hurt.” or “I did not appreciate that.  Then wait for response.  If person gets sarcastic or continues, get up and leave calmly.

Weak Sign 3: Taking every call you get even if it is at an inconvenient time.  Instead, do not, or if you answered and someone said “is this a good time?” Do not say ” no it is OK”

  • Instead try to say: “This is not a convenient time.” Wait for response.  If person on other side insists (Probably a sign of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) you should insist too, but calmly.

Weak Sign 4: Saying “It is OK” when it is really not OK.

  • Instead try to say: (What you really feel, but politely) or say “Do not worry about it,” or do not say anything.  Cherish the silence and the meaning it gives.  But do not say “It is OK.”

Weak Sign 5: When others bother you, but you tell everyone about it except the one bothering you.

  • Instead try to:  Express how you feel to the person bothering you.  For some of the managers I coach, it is very hard to do that.  This is because they are not confrontational, and I respect that.  If you are like that, you might want to give a sign to the other person that you are bothered.  Like staying silent, or showing a facial expression showing uneasiness.

Weak Sign 6: Saying “Sorry” too often.

  • Instead try to: fix the mistake you made, or modify your behavior.   No need to keep saying sorry.  Not good.

Weak Sign 7: Laughing with others as they have a laugh at your expense.

  • Instead try to say: “This is not funny.” or “I dont appreciate that.” Or at least do not laugh or smile.  Give a sad or or disappointed face.

Weak Sign 8: Pretending to enjoy certain foods, smoking, drinks, or songs when you do not, just because it is hip and trendy.

  • Instead try to: Respect the tastes of others, but do not feel that you have to go with the flow.

Weak Sign 9: Allowing others to call you names that you do not like and let it go.

  • Instead try to say: “I do not appreciate being called that.  Call me by my name.”

Weak Sign 10: Staying around people who hurt you.

  • Instead try to: Stay away from people who make you feel inferior, uncomfortable, or bad.


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