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Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” and I couldn’t agree more. Let’s dissect the doormat term and reveal the truth behind it. A doormat is simply a coarse floor covering which people can wipe their shoes before stepping into a building. Figuratively, the term refers to a person who lets others treat them badly, unable to stand up for themselves.

At my lowest point, I dated someone who treated me like a doormat. We’d make plans and he’d cancel at the last minute. Our conversations were irregular; he’d text me every other week just to make sure I was still available. He often described himself as a laid-back person to justify his lack of effort. I was his fallback investment. In other words, his plan B just in case plan A didn’t work out. In return, I was at his beck and call, giving him permission to continue walking all over me.

When we are doormats, we give people the power to treat us poorly. Our lack of assertiveness puts us at risk of being involved with emotionally unavailable and narcissistic partners. We metamorphose into people who are obsessed with pleasing their partners, completely ignoring the red flags.

It is not too late to take your life back and stop letting those you love take advantage of you. Below are four practical ways to avoid being treated like a doormat and live life on your terms:

Stop treating yourself like a doormat

If someone is debasing you, there is a good chance that you are doing the same thing to yourself. Respect yourself enough to know when it is time to stand up for yourself and walk away from someone who constantly disrespects you. It is not your job to prove your worth to them. You deserve to be treated with the same respect and consideration that you show to other people, never forget that.

Set healthy boundaries

When you set firm personal boundaries, there is a lower chance that people will take you for granted. In relationships, boundaries keep us content and shield us from the other person’s exploitation. Poorly defined boundaries reveal to other people that we have low self-respect. It is pivotal to learn how to say “no” in order to maintain your boundaries. Your response to someone’s attitude toward you will teach them what is and isn’t acceptable.

Be selectively available

Don’t make yourself too available to someone who treats you like an option. Stop initiating most of the conversations and stop accepting last-minute dates. Resist the urge to give too much of yourself to others than they deserve. When you give too much of your time and attention to someone who doesn’t value you, you’ll end up being taken for granted.

Make a decision

Roy E. Disney said, “It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” At the end of the day, you are the captain of your ship. It all starts with you deciding whether or not you are worth it. When you know your worth, you will start listening to your needs and stop accepting the bare minimum from people.

You deserve better; you should never put up with being treated like a doormat. You don’t have to be a people pleaser for others to like and respect you. In the words of Will Smith, “Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings, and emotions.”


Featured image: Andrea Piacquadio for Pexels 

Credit: BellaNaija

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