Being passive

How to stop being passive

Habitomic Journalist
Habitomic Journalist
Being passive

Being passive involves allowing other peoples’ needs and opinions to take precedence over ours. This means playing second fiddle. Other people come first, you come second. In a nutshell, their needs and opinions are more important than yours.

There are times in our lives when we need to take a passive role. Being passive occasionally is not a bad thing as it can help build a strong relationship with others. It can help us to be seen as someone willing to make a sacrifice, to ensure a positive outcome for others. People view us as considerate and thoughtful when we occasionally accept a compromise, or give in, for the greater good.

It is when we are consistently passive that it becomes a problem.

Being passive becomes a problem when you are always passive; when it is your modus operandi. This is because passive people agree to do favors for family, friends, and colleagues, even when they don’t want to.

 Passive people;

  • have difficulty saying “no”
  • have difficulty voicing their opinion
  • do not stand up for themselves
  • believe their opinions and needs are not as important as

other peoples’

  • belittle themselves
  • believe their achievements are not as important as other peoples’
  • are afraid of being criticized
  •  want people to like them
  • believe people take advantage of them
  •  avoid confrontation or disagreement
  • let others run their lives
  • accuse others of their actions.
  • the others take advantage of him / her easily (in addition, it fosters this attitude)
  • usually have feelings of insecurity and inferiority
  • does not know how to accept compliments
  • it is exhausted and does not have much energy or enthusiasm for anything
  • absorbs the energy of others
  • it can be recognized by your typical body language and verbal

Passive behavior is often the leading cause of people feeling stuck either at work or in their life. It occurs when your life situation is unhappy, but the only thing you “actively” do about it complains. This, of course, doesn’t change anything. Passive behavior in this sense leaves people feeling stuck, hopeless, and miserable for the vast majority of their life.

Causes of passive behavior

Passive behavior can emerge from several different sources, but three main ways tend to be the most evident.

  • Lack of motivation

In the conventional sense, motivation gives rise to action. When you feel motivated, you go and do the things that you set out to do. When you don’t feel motivated, you don’t act.

Not being motivated and not always doing what you set out to do is fine. It is part of the natural ebb and flow of life and all of its contents. However, it is a myth that motivation needs to be preceded by action.

Motivation sometimes leads to action, but motivation only comes around every so often. However, the motivation that follows action is always in your control. It may seem counterintuitive, but whenever you feel unmotivated and passive, just do something. And you will usually find that motivation and productivity follow closely behind.

  • Lack of goals

Another common force behind passive behavior is the lack of any meaningful goals that you are striving towards.

When your only goal is to make it through another day or make it to the weekend, that is a massive portion of your life that you are throwing away.

Discovering and creating meaningful goals in your own life can radically change all of that.

Meaningful goals almost always involve other people, and this kindness, generosity, and goodwill not only grows in others and your community, but it grows inside of you, too. The growth of these qualities in your life inevitably leads you out of passive behavior.

  • Analysis paralysis

You might be shocked to realize that anything that involves analysis is one of the leading causes of passive behavior.

Analysis paralysis is so common in the modern era due to the infinite sources of information that we have available to us via books, websites, podcasts, YouTube, etc. Because of this, a child who didn’t know any better would probably spend hours upon hours watching YouTube videos, studying textbooks, and analyzing different experts’ opinions on how to ride a bike rather than just getting on one and learning through experience.

It is common for you to slip into this same trap as the child in many other areas of life.

Forget all of that. Your brain is great for many things, but it is more likely to keep you stuck in the same place than it is to move you forward toward your goals. It will give you ten reasons why you shouldn’t for everyone that you should. This is where listening to your intuition is important.

Consequences of passive behavior

The objective of a person with this behavior is to quiet others and avoid conflicts or confrontations of any kind.

For passives, avoiding or escaping anxiety-producing conflicts is comforting; That is why the behavior is inhibited.

Although on certain occasions, one’s rights must be ceded to maintain good relations with one’s peers, it is necessary to understand that if this behavior is exaggerated and frequent, it is not healthy.

By acting condescendingly or passively, one’s ideas, thoughts, or feelings are not expressed for fear of the reaction of others.

A person with this type of behavior is not expressed honestly, it is not clear and precise. With these actions little by little, it generates an aggressive attitude toward it, because it does not get what it wants.

This type of people systematically act passively, and negative experiences are destroying their self-esteem and confidence to the point that they lose respect for themselves.

This brings abuse of power by others making the taxpayer always be and feel like a victim.

How to stop being passive

Now, it is time to explore ways in which you can stop being passive (in the negative sense) and start to find effective methods of allowing more happiness into your life.

1. Be proactive, not reactive

One of the most effective ways to stop being passive is to stop reacting to other people and situations as soon as they unfold.

To stop being reactive, you can start being proactive. The best thing you can do in this sense, paradoxically, is to simply watch your reactivity as much as possible.

The closer you can watch, and the more honest you can be, the less automatic your reactions become, and the more proactive and effective your responses to situations and people will be.

2. Consider the future and act in the present

While you can never accurately predict the future, it is useful to give some consideration to how it might play out. What goals do you want to achieve? What obstacles might arise, and how can you deal with them? This will give you an excellent basis for action.

From this position, you can now focus all of your attention back on the present moment. The future is important to consider, but don’t live there because it doesn’t exist.

3. Address the emotional side of passivity

Being passive, unmotivated, uninspired, or any other great word that you want to throw a “un” in front of is often an emotional issue that needs addressing. For you, addressing the problem might simply mean taking action and letting the motivation follow. There is usually some sort of emotional gap that needs to be bridged before you can truly step out of being passive.

4.  Stop watching other people’s lives and start watching your own.

We spend too much time looking at what other people have.  See how their grass is greener, lusher, and more verdant than ours. We eventually come down to one conclusion:

I wish I had that.

Stop stalking people on social media or watching the lives of celebrities. Get rid of these things if you have to.

Instead, start going to work on your dreams, aspirations, and your goals. You should be so focused on what you’re doing that the actions of the outside world don’t concern you. This is how you develop a strong internal locus of control. This is how to stop being passive.

5. Being afraid (or fear of being afraid)

At the root of passivity and being a spectator is a deep sense of fear. Most people are afraid of stepping outside their comfort zones because this inherently involves a lot of pain and hardship. At the root of this fear of pain is the fear of death, a bygone portion of our programming.

There’s a deep fear of failure at the root of passivity as well. There will never be a utopian society where you will be 100% ready to jump.

If you want to learn how to stop being passive, you need to take the first step.

6. Start taking action and responsibility

When you decide to start taking responsibility for your life, something beautiful starts to happen:

You start seeing yourself as the cause rather than the effect of certain actions.

You may not have been responsible for everything that has happened to you, but you are responsible for your response to it. In fact, you stop having pity parties and being a victim.


As you already know, reading about riding a bike doesn’t teach you how to ride a bike. Even more sneakily, it is inaction disguised as action, because deep down you know you just need to do it.

Going from passive to active living is the same. You have read this article; you know what to do… now go do it!