101 ways to stop being a doormat

It’s all about self-respect


Kristianna Fritz, staff writer

Do you let people slide with things they shouldn’t? Have you done favors for people who disrespected you? Or didn’t really deserve it? People being walked over still happens today. The feeling of powerlessness leaves you with being taken advantage of. It’s just something a lot of people don’t talk about often in school. No matter your age, religion, or background, you will always need to voice your opinion and stand up for yourself at some point in your life.

Something Mrs. Jordan taught me: Be assertive and kind. Two subjects that complement each other. You can’t learn to say “no” without having some type of respect for yourself. To be real, there’s nothing wrong with working hard to try to please others and meeting others’ expectations; generally trying to keep everyone happy is understandable but where it becomes a problem is when you forget about your needs and aspirations. Here are four ways to stop being a doormat. 

No. 1: Start with you & set healthy boundaries 

Stop sweeping your own feelings under the rug. It’s good to be the bigger person and let things slide sometimes but there’s a thing called being too nice. When you feel disrespected, draw those lines and let people know where they stand. I.e: Looking at a map in a classroom/Google you can see visible lines differentiating countries and states. Boundaries between them are on the map but you can’t see them in real life. Even so, we can’t see the political boundaries (lines on maps) of other lands in real life. People still acknowledge their existence and understand how far they can go before reaching another state or country. Like the imaginary lines on maps, we have invisible boundaries with the people around us. Of course, the boundaries aren’t like physical ‘earthly’ divisions (i.e: rivers, mountains, and oceans) but they are the way we converse and respond to people. Verbally, we express boundaries by telling someone “I don’t appreciate how you talked to me” or simply “no.” Just don’t get it twisted by saying it in a rude tone. Be assertive.

No. 2: Be confident

Most of us don’t have the confidence we think we have. 9.4% of teens in the state of Indiana have anxiety from peer pressure. Yes, you. Most of us teens are more concerned about how others will view us. Or what people say about us. We might deny it in public but it’s there in the back of our minds randomly. Some of us change the way we talk, look and act the second we step on school grounds. When we know we don’t act like that at home. Instead, we should be honest with ourselves and just express how we truly are; speak our minds when we feel disturbed by someone Instead of just fighting with our hands. Learn to love yourself, and you learn to love others too.  Once you know what your rules and boundaries are for the peers around you make sure you act on them. Don’t forget about them, showing your self-respect should be a habit in the long run.  If you really wish to break out of your shell or be a better person you have to find comfort in the discomfort. Challenge yourself to do things you wouldn’t say or do; as long as you understand you’re doing it for a good cause. Be confident in your words, emotions, and decisions. And if you trip up it’s ok. Learn and keep it pushing. Be open as well i.e: If you feel disrespected by a remark someone said to you or about you don’t be quick to get angry or upset. Yes, I can understand that might be hard to do at first,  but it’s true to let someone talk first. You‘ll have more time to listen and come up with a snappy reply,  then talk and be assertive about it. It always makes you look like a boss, especially if whatever you responded back with was a smart comment. 

No. 3: Yes, your mindset matters 

If you don’t have a strong mind and if you can’t handle rude people associating with you from time to time then you won’t get really far.  It’s not something that will go away. You will have to deal with people who’ve had bad days at work and take it out on you, Students who don’t get much attention and look for it in causing drama at school, etc…  It’s life, it happens. But what’s most important is how YOU respond to those types of situations, how you think during an argument, and how you listen to others as well.  For example… At (Walmart) work one day; I’m a cashier so I had a customer come to my register and when he was getting ready for his payment he was yelling at me because his Chase card wasn’t working. So I had to re-do the transaction to get it to work because that’s just what cards do sometimes. Throughout the whole time, I didn’t make a smart remark to him. I was having a good day before he came to my register and I wasn’t going to allow ONE person to mess that up for me. Once he left the Walmart  I said ”have a nice day” with a gentle tone. The next customer looked up at me and raised her eyebrows with her eyes wide shaking her head kind of shocked. I told her “I don’t care about the previous customer because that man being rude to me won’t matter to me in 5 to 10 years from now.” And I don’t even remember his face. So don’t spend your time and energy on people who decide to mess up your day. Because you’re in charge of your emotions and decisions. Not anyone else; you can’t control what happens but you can control how you feel, say, and think. 

No. 4: Remind yourself that it’s alright to say “ No” to anyone if it interferes with your goals, passions, or beliefs. 

Lastly, be aware that you don’t have to do anything that you feel is wrong, or be in a relationship/ friendship with anyone who you don’t feel supports you or benefits you. Self-respect is a glowing path. It points you in the right direction with better lifestyles, friends, relationships, and incomes. Simply speak for yourself and set those political boundaries between people who push your buttons. Neglecting your own desires and needs for someone. Just sets you up for others to manipulate you, exposing you to a life that’s out of balance. Break the cycle and start over. Meaning if you have trash, get rid of it. Cut off people who disturb your peace. Set yourself apart from peers who are manipulative, controlling, and judgmental, and drain your energy. And say hello to the new you. It might feel weird at first to cut toxic energies out of your life but understand the reason you cut them off, don’t feel pressured by guilt, and do what’s best for you. In-closing… do what works for you, whatever brings you peace: Be kind and assertive.