Being an emotional doormat isn’t fun. That’s why the metaphor exists in the first place; it feels like someone scraping mud off the soles of their shoes right on your feelings. What’s worse is that it can become a cycle. The more you let it happen, the harder it becomes to change the pattern.
The problem is, nice people get taken advantage of, and that’s just the way of the world.
Don’t get me wrong, that’s no excuse to be a jerk, but it does give you a reason to be a little more cautious when it comes to new acquaintances or relationships. Once the cycle starts, it can be difficult to get out, especially because you can start to feel smaller and smaller even to yourself.
If you’ve been treated like a doormat and you’ve finally had enough, take a look at these five ways you can break the cycle sooner rather than later.
1. Teach Others How to Treat You
If you want to be treated differently than you are now, it’s up to you teach others how to treat you. If you don’t speak up when somebody treats you in an unsavory way, they’re going to think they can keep getting away with it. Stand up for yourself and teach them what’s right and what’s wrong when it comes to your feelings.
2. Look at Yourself
If someone is making you feel small emotionally, it’s probably because you’re doing the same thing. Take a long look at yourself and ask if you feel worthy of more respect and better treatment. You can’t control what other people do, but you can control how you view and think of yourself. Change can only start when you want it to.
3. Create Boundaries
Know when to say no when it comes to doing people favors. Helping out a friend isn’t wrong, but it becomes wrong when it’s all the time, or when the favors start to get a bit ridiculous. Establish some boundaries for yourself so that you don’t become a bottomless pit in the eyes of your friends or even loved ones. Boundaries are healthy; constantly trying to please others is not.
4. Be More Confident
Confidence is the key to stopping doormat-like treatment. Try asserting yourself the next time you feel like your niceness is being taken advantage of. Everybody has a natural confidence within them, it’s just harder to find for some of us. Doormat treatment might make you feel powerless, but as soon as you let some of that confidence out, you won’t forget the feeling. Don’t be afraid to assert yourself when you need to.
5. You’re Never Alone
This kind of emotional treatment isn’t new, and it happens to many people. Probably everyone has their own personal experience as a doormat, so don’t be afraid to talk about it if you’re having trouble. Talk to someone you really trust and see what kind of advice they can give. Chances are you’ll feel better about, and you might walk away with some new tricks to try.