Beliefnet
Lessons from a Recovering Doormat



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.

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