How to Avoid Being a Doormat in Life

doormatA couple of things you need to know before we begin this post: YOU are special. You were made in the image of a God who loves you. There is nothing you have done, nothing you are doing and nothing you will do that He can’t and won’t forgive.

YOU are that special! He loves you that much! While you may desire more love than He gives, His love is all that you really NEED.

God’s love for you is unquestioned, the real question is whether or not you love yourself enough to avoid being a doormat.

Just so we’re clear; don’t mistake being in love with yourself for loving yourself. There are few things in life more destructive than being in love with yourself and even fewer things more healthy than loving yourself. When you’re “in” love with yourself it becomes very difficult to love someone else. When you love yourself you become free to give the best of yourself to those who matter most. This may sound selfish but here’s what I believe: it’s nearly impossible to fully love another person if we don’t first fully love ourselves.

A good healthy love for yourself allows you to stand up for yourself without tearing other people down. When you love yourself, when you hold firm to the belief, the fact really, that you are indeed special; you become almost immune to the darts of hostility and the arrows of insults hurled at you from the people who would have you be their doormat.

When you begin to doubt the simply irrefutable fact that YOU matter, then you may also begin to believe the negative things that other people think and say about you. You feel a need to respond and human nature dictates that the response will be defensive and often, combative.

That’s how fights start and it’s a fight you’ll likely never win. You’ll never win because you’re fighting with the wrong person. Before you can prove your worth to someone else you must prove it to yourself. The great thing is that when you’ve proved it to yourself you’ll have much less need to prove it to anyone else.

When you’re certain that you matter your response can be much more measured and self-confident. It’s more measured because when you know that you matter you also know that the other person matters too. The other side of that is when you know that you matter you tend to spend much less time with people who act as if you don’t. You just don’t, and shouldn’t, allow them in your life.

So, how do you remain certain, in the endless daily battles that make up life, that you are indeed special? Well, Margaret Thatcher said that “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”

Remaining certain that you are indeed special can be a battle in itself and may require an almost daily personal affirmation; “stuff” and sadly, some people, may cause you to doubt it.

Don’t! Don’t doubt it for a second. Remember, He loves you that much!

That’s a bit about the emotional side of avoiding the “doormat complex.” Now let’s get down to the technical side of it.

When people know they matter they are more likely to stand up for themselves. The opposite of standing up could be considered “laying down” and hey, if you’re down there already you just might make a pretty good doormat.

When you allow people to take you for granted, in your work or personal life, you risk being seen as a doormat. To avoid this risk you must speak up to stay up.

Successful people know that they don’t have to tear someone else down to keep themselves up. To avoid seeming rude or condescending, avoid comparisons that make it “you verses them.” This is a fine line and “tone” will make all the difference here. Don’t tell them what they do wrong, let them know what you do right.

Don’t feel the need to defend yourself or your position, instead ask the other person questions that will make them support their statements. Questions like “why do you say that,” “why do you feel that way” and “can you give me a SPECIFIC example to support what you’re saying” work very well here.

YOU matter and you deserve answers to those questions. Regardless of their answers, the mere act of asking these questions keeps you off the floor and out of the “doormat danger zone.”

There will be times when you may choose to accept their answers, there may be times where you need to ask additional questions to help them see the error of their thoughts.

Either way, YOU are now in control. It’s your life, it’s your choice. Every choice you make will make a difference in the quality of your life, consider your options and choose wisely.

7 thoughts on “How to Avoid Being a Doormat in Life

  1. Academically it all makes sense. Practically, when dealing with a broken and hurt person, it is very hard to respond that way. Especially if you have your own battles to fight still. I thank you for the pointers. I will try it.

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