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Wellness > Mental Health

Don’t Let Yourself Be a Doormat

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Riverside chapter.

Sometimes, it can be hard to stand up for yourself. Sometimes, you can see yourself as the most positive and loving person you know and then wonder why no one else gives you the same amount of effort back. If you’ve felt like this, know you are not alone and you do not deserve it, but you can do something about it. Many of us have heard the phrase “treat people how you want to be treated,” but the more grown-up version that is similar but a little different when looked at is: “you teach people how to treat you.” The difference is that the second phrase focuses on you and your reactions; don’t be nice to other people just because you want them to be nice to you. People won’t always treat you the same if they think they can get away with less.  And if you’re being nice just to get other people’s approval, then you’re not making the best decisions either. Be nice because you are a good person, and then make sure to teach others that you won’t let them take advantage of your niceness. In other words, here’s some helping habits to not be a doormat: 


Speak Your Truth


You are the only one who knows your own thoughts, fears, insecurities, and desires. People aren’t mind readers, so tell them how you feel when you feel it. Explain if you need to and if they don’t want to understand you, then move on. Find someone who will because there will always be people out there ready to love and understand you, ready to give you everything you deserve. 

Love Beanie
Arianna Tucker / Her Campus

Know Your Worth


Going along with that, know that you deserve the best – better than what you may think you deserve. Don’t settle for toxic, manipulative relationships because you think you’ll never find another significant other or friend after. That is your insecurities playing tricks on you. Let your true self guide you in knowing that you are worth real love that won’t try to hurt you or make you feel less than you are. This can be really hard to do at first, but you can even fake it until you make it. Pretend that you have the most confidence in the world, even just for a day, and tell everyone what you think or want. Slowly but surely, you’ll get to the point where standing up for yourself comes natural because it is necessary.


Attract What You Want 


If you don’t believe in manifestation already, give it a shot. If you are looking for new friends or partners, think about what you would want in them. Visualize what it would be like to have them and then keep that feeling, but let the desire go. You are full on your own and when you keep that in mind, you will also keep the standards of what you want up. Put out positivity and positivity will come back to you. But, also put out energy that you will not put up with anyone walking all over you and people will learn to follow. 

Keep Up Your Boundaries 


If you are learning how to not let people take advantage of you or how to stick up for yourself, try to be as consistent as you can. Create and establish boundaries, even in relationships where you never have before, and stick to them. Say “no” to plans you don’t want to do, tell people when they hurt you, don’t be rude but don’t be afraid to live however you want to. Watch for people’s reactions to your boundaries as well. People who care about you will respect them and people who don’t will make you feel guilty, but don’t let that stop you. It is okay to put yourself first sometimes. 


I have recently started to agree with people who said I allowed myself to be a doormat, letting people walk all over me. I realize that it was because I care too much about what other people think and not enough about what I want. I want to be a good person for the sake of it, not to please others, and I want to show people that I won’t be at their every beck and call, even if that means upsetting people sometimes. These are just the starting steps to being less of a doormat, but they are always helpful to remember and motivate you. Work on being your best you because no one else will do it for you!

Shanelle Huynh

UC Riverside '22

I am a UCR graduate with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Business Administration learning to define my own way of living as a "writer" and sharing what I find out on my journey along the way.