Do you need some tips on how to stop being a doormat? Feeling that people are always taking advantage of you isn't nice, but it's up to you to stop allowing them to do so. Nobody can treat you like a doormat unless you let them! So try these tips on how to stop being a doormat, and learn to say no …
The first step on learning how to stop being a doormat is to start being firm. When asked to take on yet another project or give someone a ride that's miles out of your way, your automatic reaction may be to say yes. But inside you're fuming at them - and yourself for being such a pushover. Say you can't oblige, and stick to that position, whatever pressure they put on you.
People will often come up with another suggestion when you refuse their request. So if you can't take them shopping on Saturday, they'll suggest another day instead. Work out what their likely comeback will be, and be ready with another refusal or reason why you can't oblige.
Don't feel guilty because you can't or won't give in to someone's demands. If they know that they can make you feel guilty, people will play on that. Before you know it, you've ended up doing exactly what you didn't want to do. Remember that being a doormat isn't positive for you, and you don't owe anyone any favors.
Sometimes the best tactic is to simply be unavailable. If you know that you'll always be called first to cover any extra hours at work, and you don't want to do the extra shift, switch off your phone. Or if the PTA at your kids' school always expects you to organise everything, tell them you have other commitments.
One way to counteract constant demands is to have a good reason why you can't give in to their request. 'I'm sorry, I don't have time after work,' or 'the weekend is our family time' is a reasonable answer. This is useful if you find it hard to shake off the feeling that you have to say yes.
If people really are pushing you too far in their expectations, show them that it is unacceptable to expect you to do so much. If you're the one in the family who does everything for elderly parents, tell your siblings that everyone should do their bit.
Finally, remember that you don't have to explain yourself. You can give reasons why you can't help out with a request, but you don't have to do so. Saying no is your right. It can really be quite liberating to simply say, 'No, I can't,' and leave it at that. If people are used to you always saying yes, they will probably be too shocked to argue when you say no!
Feeling that you're treated like a doormat can be immensely frustrating. Ultimately, you're the one who has the power to stop it. People will only make use of you if you let them get away with it. You've set a precedence that you have to break. Do you feel that people treat you like a doormat?
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