How to Stop Being a Doormat: 6 Ways You’re Getting Walked On


woman crying on couch

Do you have crappy relationships? Do you feel like you’re always struggling to gain attention or when you finally meet someone, they take advantage of you? Do you feel like if someone only treated you as well as you treated them, that your life would be on track?

Wondering how to stop being a doormat? Here’s my list of six signs you’re behaving like a doormat one and how to remedy each.

1. You Say “Yes” Even If You Shouldn’t

It doesn’t matter if you’re tired, if you don’t want to, if you’re broke or you have to work, when he calls, you come, period. You are allergic to “no.” You’ve blown off work, your friends and your family to hang out with the guy. If not, you’ve thought about it.

To become stronger, it’s essential to establish proper boundaries. There is such thing as being too agreeable. Too often we think that men are a limited time offer, where if we resist what they want in the moment, they will slip away forever. Nonsense. He will wait until your pottery class is over and find something else to do during your weekly girl’s night. And if he doesn’t respond to normal, healthy boundaries, it’s time to think about what you’re doing with him in the first place.

2. You Don’t Have an Exclusive Relationship But You’re Acting Like It

You know that person you’ve been jumping through hoops for? Have they discussed having an exclusive relationship with you in a way that made you excited and want to change your Facebook status to “in a relationship” (whether you did or not)?

If you haven’t had a conversation about exclusivity, you don’t have an exclusive relationship; so doing relationship-y things isn’t appropriate just yet. It doesn’t mean you’ll never have an exclusive relationship, just that you’ve got to slow down and quit acting completely conquered. It’s too soon!

3. You’re A People Pleaser

Do you feel like people are going to hate you if you don’t do what they want? Do you bend over backwards to take care of people when they haven’t even asked for that? Do you go out of your way to try to meet expectations that someone hasn’t even expressed yet? Have people told you to stop being a pushover?

Remember to pitch and catch. If you’re constantly giving and giving and not getting anything in return, pull back some. The right person will want to reciprocate for your good deeds. Don’t angrily wait until you feel taken advantage of before you pull back on giving too much.

4. You’re Codependent

Being codependent is when you have let your actions, thoughts and feelings get tied up in someone else to the point that your very existence seems to hang on their actions. For example, say one night your love doesn’t call when they say they will. Instead of thinking “message received” and going about your night, you are out there hatching a plot to get them to call, your emotions seem to boil, and you can’t get it off your mind. Codependency is a sign that you’ve given your power away someone else in a big way.

The best way to untangle yourself is to bring your attention back to your center. Instead of letting your emotions run wild, practice bringing your focus back on yourself. Work on your boundaries and get rid of unrealistic expectations for your partner. Your sanity and future happiness will thank you for it.

5. You Allow Disrespect

The old saying, “you teach people how to treat you” is really true. Disrespect is hard to quantify besides the fact that you feel it in your heart when it’s happening. Maybe they said “that thing” and you didn’t speak up. Or they stayed out all night and didn’t bother to let you know– even though you live together.

There are a bunch of ways to be disrespected, but only two ways to make it stop. You can either speak up and gain respect by requiring that they knock it off, or you can leave the relationship. Either way, if you don’t do at least one, the disrespect will only escalate and make you feel crappier by the day. You deserve to be in a relationship with someone who treats you with respect.

6. What You Really Want Is Unclear To Your Partner

It’s common for your partner to not actually know what you want. You might feel like they SHOULD know what you want, but that isn’t fair, since you never actually spelled it out for them. Keep in mind that your partner is not a mind reader. They might have missed your “hints” and have no concept what you actually want from them. Your SHOULDS might be totally optional to them– and often, even though you might feel like it’s life or death, they don’t quite share the same level of seriousness.

It’s simple, but often all you need to get reciprocation from someone is to ask. If you’ve tried asking in a rational way that makes sense, then it’s fair to have a legitimate issue. However, more often than not, other people are confused by our behavior and don’t get “hints.” Spell out your wants and desires. If he doesn’t want to come through, then you can make hard choices about the relationship but until you speak up, it’s on you.

What if you could plant yourself inside his head, have him do what YOU want him to do and have him think it was his idea?

Surprisingly…it’s easier than you may think…


Men actually WANT you to know these secrets.

…And if that’s not enough for you?

You’ll even discover why men don’t listen AND a simple technique you can use TODAY that will have him nearly hanging on your every word.


Elizabeth Stone

About Elizabeth Stone

Elizabeth Stone is a bestselling author, head love coach and founder of Attract The One.

Through her coaching, writing and online programs she has helped thousands of women reunite with their men and create amazing, soul-level connections. She is thrilled to have helped so many couples reignite the spark in their relationships.

Tirelessly focused on helping people improve their love lives, her work has gone viral on Your Tango and Thought Catalog as well as been featured on EHarmony, Zoosk, Popsugar, The Good Men Project, Tiny Buddha, Bustle, Fox News Magazine, Ravishly, She Knows, Mind’s Journal, Read Unwritten, Madame Noire, Digital Romance Inc. and many more.

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