Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Law of Attraction in Action: Respect

This is my eleventh post in my Monday series on the Law of Attraction, inspired by watching Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life, the movie, expanded version.


I’ve encountered some interesting views of the concept of RESPECT. Some people tend to use the concept without really knowing what respect means. I’ve heard complaints about a boss, romantic partner, friend, service person, client, etc. saying or doing inappropriate things and called them not being respectful. Yet they never addressed what they complained about. That tells the person it’s OK to keep doing it. People complain about their opinions or input not being respected. Yet their actions attract it.

Years ago, I was on the board of an organization. During board meetings, other members would call out and often refused to follow the rules of order. Sometimes it became a free-for-all. I was the chairwoman, but when someone wanted to speak out of turn, she ignored me. I’d encourage respecting the way board meetings are supposed to be run. They scoffed. I encouraged respecting each other, and themselves as board members. One day, one said in disgust:


“You and that respect word! Don’t you get tired of it?”

No, I don’t. I try to respect others while respecting myself. Yet so many folks don’t get this concept or what a lack of respect attracts to you. When you don’t respect yourself, the Law of Attraction supports your not being treated with respect. When you don’t respect others, the Law of Attraction brings negative behavior back to you. The woman who asked that questions was normally a people pleaser. She didn’t get much respect, which may be why she bristled so much at the word.

When I was on Oprah, audience members discussed how much they please to be liked. But RESPECT? Not important!


Many equated being respected with alienating people, which is far from the truth! I understand, and felt that way when I was a DoorMat. If I didn’t jump to do someone’s bidding, that person might not like me anymore, which back then was tantamount to death. The more I gave no matter how they behaved, the less respect I got. But I didn’t care! DoorMats usually don’t like themselves anyway and feel undeserving of respect. I hated me back then and couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to respect me. Needless to say, I didn’t respect me!

When you make pleasing others most important, the Law of Attraction supports that belief and you don’t attract respect.

When you don’t respect yourself, you send the message that you’re not worthy of respect and therefore, don’t expect it, so RESPECT continues to allude you.


Oprah’s audience talked about all they did for others. One person after another sheepishly stood up to share the great lengths they took to give or do for others. Was it often reciprocated? Not really. They tried to justify it by explaining how good it felt to give and make others happy. Yet there was an underlying unhappiness in their defense of people pleasing ways. Fear drove them to give and sacrifice respect. They were scared of losing friends or just not being liked. Insecurity does that to people who were brought up to be nice, without learning to set boundaries.

Most of Oprah’s audience thought you couldn’t be liked and respected at the same time. But you can, by earning respect first.


Add RESPECT to your vocabulary! Doing that was the ticket to my first destination out of DoorMatville. As I began to respect myself and my right to have my needs too, it became easier to turn down favors I didn’t want to do. Yes, some people didn’t like not getting everything they wanted from me. And yes, a few friends disappeared. But by then I accepted that the ones who turned on me for not doing favors weren’t real friends anyway. Now I value respect and get it from most people. And since I’m still a kind and considerate person, most people still like me!

A nice person whose behavior commands respect is more sincerely liked than one who keeps friends by being agreeable.


Do you associate respect with alienating people? Au contraire, respected people get more! Respect must be earned but many of us weren’t taught how. I was taught to please, not to expect good treatment from others. And, people must be taught to treat you with respect. That begins with respecting yourself. After all, if you don’t, why should people give it to you!

Respect yourself enough to stop letting people play on your kindness! As I said, respect must be the priority. As you learn to respect yourself—which to me means expecting courteous and polite treatment from everyone—AND treating yourself with similar consideration—the Law of Attraction will bring more respect to you.


If you want to attract respect, pay attention to your behavior:

* Do you let people put you down without speaking up? Insults or unasked for input (usually criticism under the guise of “helping” you) make you feel bad, which is disrespectful. Recognize it for what it is and put a stop to it. You don’t have to be confrontational. Respectfully tell the person it’s unacceptable to say those things as it makes you feel bad and thank them for their consideration. If it happens again, remind them of what you said before and if necessary, leave.

* Do you put yourself down to make people laugh or to try to make others feel better? That’s so disrespectful to YOU. It also puts out the message that you don’t respect yourself or think you deserve good treatment. The Law of Attraction will bring it back to you as more disrespect. Listen to yourself and become aware of when you do it. When I had major body image issues Try to catch yourself when you can. Reassure others without putting yourself down and entertain with less personal jokes.


* Do you jump to be accommodating, even for people who aren’t considerate to you? Ask yourself why? What are you afraid of? Losing someone who doesn’t care about you beyond what you do for him? Not being liked by someone who uses you? Having her get mad if you say no? Think before agreeing to something. Ask yourself if the person deserves it. If no, politely decline. Then consciously feel the self-respect it brings!

Fyodor Dostoyevsky said, “…only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.”

As long as you’re still kind, considerate, and courteous to others, you’re still being nice, even if you stop being their fairy god-DoorMat. The ONLY person you owe more to is YOU! As you begin to show yourself the respect you DESERVE, the Law of Attraction will bring it back to you. When you earn respect first and continue to be nice to others, people who aren’t just there to use you will still like you. But it can’t come the other way around. Kissing up to everyone doesn’t attract respect.


Having enough self-respect to keep your well-being as your first priority will attract a lot of respect from those who are healthy to have in your life. That’s a good use of the Law of Attraction!

Practice showing respect to yourself and to others for the RIGHT reasons—to be a courteous person, not to gain approval. When you make RESPECT part of your working vocabulary and do nothing unfair to others, you’ll like yourself more and others will like you more too. When you begin with earning respect, you can be both respected and liked.

As I valued me more, tolerance for disrespectful behavior crumbled. Since I’m friendly, fair, and courteous, most people still like me. Those who don’t—hey, it’s their problem! If you don’t feel respected, examine how YOU treat you. You get respect by respecting yourself.


As yourself, what’s more important: being liked by others, or yourself? You can guess what this recovering DoorMat chooses now! ? Having RESPECT for yourself and for others attracts wonderful people a situations.

If you enjoyed my post, please leave a comment and/or click on the bookmark and write a short review at some of the sites, especially Stumbleupon and Digg. Thanks!

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  • Tiko|Peace-Joy-Love

    Thank you for this post. This is a great reminder that our relationships with others are simply a mirror of the relationship we have with ourselves. Like attracts like. If we’re not happy with what we’re attracting, we have to begin with ourselves first!

  • Arts Musings

    The most important relationship we can have is with ourselves. For many, this wasn’t taught to us growing up.Thank you for providing this valuable message to so many. Respect of self first and foremost, and then expectation of respect from others.

  • Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    I’m glad that the post helped you Tiko!You’re right Arts Musing. The most important relationship we can have IS with ourselves. And that begins with self-respect.

  • Genaata

    I’m one of those people who complain about not being respected but you’re right, it needs to be earned and I don’t send the right message to the Universe. I’m determined to change that! Thanks for the awakening Daylle.

  • Aleta Vaughn

    My girl Aretha said in in her song and it still applies. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. You expect it you get it.

  • Jim

    This is really on target for me. I've been struggling with this concept… trying to nail it down and understand it. I found your site googling something related to it. I think I might buy your book. I am a MAN, but I think this is a universal concept. Hopefully it isnt too woman-focused.I dont do this with everyone, but I REALLY do it with my wife. I let all her criticisms and and disrespectful behavior affect my self-worth…. which just invited more disrespect.Somehow I kinda knew it was my own fault. She gets berserkly hateful and angry….or just as bad communicates the same feelings non-verbally. I didnt know how to deal with it. I should have simply refused to tolerate it…. demanded respect.

  • Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    Respect, to me, is a non-negotiable requirement in a relationship. If it's not there, I wouldn't stay. You have to decide if it's worth it. My Nice Girls Can Finish First book will help you. the concepts work for both sexes and men have read it. You might also want to read my book How to Please a Woman. When you build up your own self-work and self-love, you will tolerate less. You might then ask yourself why you stay with a woman who treats you without respect. Or, maybe becoming stronger will send her the message to stop her negative behavior. It's in your court Jim!

  • Jim

    In some ways, some of what you preach played a role. My mom was a VERY positive person. I cant tell you how many times I heard growing up "everything happens for a reason" and "it all works out for the best" growing up.I still believe that, but in some ways I think my optimistic nature ended up working against me in this relationship and was really more along the lines of denial.Thoughts on positive attitude vs. denial?

  • Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    Optimism is not denial but can be used that way. You can't just expect things to work out if you don't take a pro-active stance. You should be thinking it's unacceptable, not that she'll change. She won't, unless YOU change.

  • Jim

    This is a nice quote I fond on this:"There's no difference between a pessimist who says, "Oh, it's hopeless, so don't bother doing anything," and an optimist who says, "Don't bother doing anything, it's going to turn out fine anyway." Either way, nothing happens."Yvon ChouinardIt wasnt that I didnt do anything…far from it, but what I did, didnt help….and what I should have also done is to make resptect non-negotiable.

  • Jim

    This is one I especially like…and think is very relevant to me.In the book “Good to Great”, Jim Collins writes about a conversation he had with Vice Admiral James Stockdale regarding his coping strategy while in a Vietnamese POW camp. "I never lost faith in the end of the story, I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade."When Collins asked who didn't make it out, Stockdale replied:"Oh, that’s easy, the optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, 'We're going to be out by Christmas.' And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they'd say, 'We're going to be out by Easter.' And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart."Stockdale then added: "This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can *never* afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”Witnessing this philosophy of duality, Collins went on to describe it as the “Stockdale Paradox.”

  • Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    Good quotes Jim! And you're right, respect IS non-negotiable.

  • Law of Attraction Book

    Very nice post. Indeed respect defines a point in the law of attraction. Respect isn't given right away. It needs to be earned. And in order for you to be respected, have some respect for yourself first. It kinds of attract the respect you need from others. Good job!

  • Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    Thanks! I consider respect a critical aspect of life that should be cultivated, both to give yourself and others.

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