Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat


Hello to All You Self-Empowerment Seekers

I’m delighted to bring my Self-Empowerment blog to the Beliefnet community and show you techniques for being a nice person who CAN finish first. For those of you who followed me here–BIG thanks! For those of you who are new to my blog and have come to get to know me, I’m delighted you’re here! I write Lessons From a Recovering DoorMat because I lived through the pain of being an out of control people pleaser with very low self-eMOnday photo.jpgsteem for many years. It’s my privilege to help others learn what took me ages to grasp about taking control of your life in nice but effective ways to become a very happy person.
 
When I was a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, she asked the audience what was more important–being liked or being respected? One person after another described how much they do for others and affirmed that “being liked” was worth the inconvenience of catering to others and being a people pleaser on autopilot, often to the point of self-disgust. Even guys admitted to making an effort to please. Insecurity is a strong motivation to put everyone else’s needs in front of your own. Many of us were raised to give and give to be accepted.

I want to show you how to empower yourself by building your confidence to take control of your life. If I did it, anyone can!

After developing strong spiritual faith and appreciation for my good qualities, I took my first steps out of Doormatville and a lifestyle of letting people take advantage of my inability to say no to requests. Developing self-love was the fuel for learning to take care of me. Those who know me today can’t believe that for a majority of my life I felt worthless, fat, and ugly–all because I wasn’t perfectly thin.

My forehead no longer says welcome and I’m filled with self-love!

Today I’m a self-empowerment counselor, speaker, music industry consultant and author of 12 popular books, with more in the pipeline. I write about self-empowerment, including Nice
Girls Can Finish First
and also try to teach musicians how to empowerment themselves with my music business books for Billboard/Random House, including Start & Run Your Own Record Label. While I’m getting older and my body isn’t thin, I’m VERY happy being me! I’ve learned what’s most important–to accept me as I am and treat myself with as much love as I can give. Beating myself up for my flaws makes me unhappy. Loving myself brings me a glorious sense of joy.

Which would you rather have?

Being conscious of taking care of me gives me a lot more energy to help others, unconditionally, without trying to buy anything but the pleasure of being a good person. I’ve seen too many people who have what you may think will make you happy–a good body, youth, a relationship or lots of money–who are far from happy. I wake up smiling every day since I found the love, joy, and satisfaction of self-acceptance.

This blog explores many reasons, situations, stereotypes and ways of thinking that may hold you back from being more empowered. It includes tips for building confidence, getting taken more seriously at work and play, learning to say “no” in effective ways, developing self-acceptance, increasing self-love and MUCH MORE. And every week I’ll have a post for my Law of Attraction in Action series that I’ve been writing for almost 2 years. You can read the archives.

My confidence began to increase when I was dared to make a rap record by students when I was teaching. They insisted that a white woman couldn’t rap. Not wanting them to grow up believing in stereotypes, I became the first white female rapper and the first women that I know of to start an independent record label. Navigating the All Boy’s Club of the music industry taught me many of the lessons I share in my book, Nice Girls Can Finish First.

Being my nice compliant self with men I did business with didn’t get me taken seriously. So I took the other direction and became tough and overtly assertive. People listened more but nobody like me. Worse, I didn’t like me. Luckily, I figured out ways to softly and nicely let them know I meant business. Think Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada–with a smile and kind intentions! As my confidence increased, people stopped messing with me! Yet I was still a nice person so they liked me too!

I believe in talking softly and carrying a big stick–an attitude that commands respect.

I was in a lot of pain when I lived in DoorMatville because I didn’t value myself and let people walk all over me. Happiness was an elusive state that I thought I’d get from the people I went out of my way to please. But other that snippets of joy when someone I’d done a lot for threw me a bone of appreciation, happiness eluded me. Anais Nin “There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” After many years of unhappiness, I recognized that there comes a time for everyone when you have to make a choice:

•    Do I want to remain stuck in a place that seems secure in because I don’t rock the boat and keep people around me happy at my expense?
OR
•    Do I want to be happy because I stopped being a people pleaser and set boundaries on what I can give others and what I give to me as an act of self-love?

I chose the latter. The more I turned down requests in favors of being more loving to me and being respectful of my needs, the happier I felt. When I helped someone because I wanted to, not to buy their acceptance, my joy increased. It was a process that took years but each small victory over my fears felt delicious! I thoroughly enjoy what I called my Journey Into Self–discovering what a wonderful person I am and recognizing I deserve all the joy and love I can get.

The purpose of this blog is to share all the lessons I integrated into growing into a woman who wakes up happy every day and does much more for others than I did when I was a DoorMat–for the right reasons. The more I give to others, the happier I become. A people pleaser gives at their own expense to make people like them, and always feel drained. True nice people nourish their own souls first, do whatever they can to show themselves love and help others from a place of love and fullness, not a depleted need to buy acceptance. When you love and accept yourself, you have so much more to give honestly.

Now that I love myself, life is perpetual joy. Self-acceptance and love bring much more joy than chasing what the media says you need or should be. Please stick around and subscribe to my blog. It will have practical insight into an old problem that hasn’t gone away–developing good self-esteem in an age of insecurity. You CAN find your way if you CHOOSE to! Good self-esteem is a CHOICE. So is having self-love. Join me in choosing a happier path that makes your life feel satisfying and helps you live your desires.

Please leave comments under my posts so we can stay connected.



  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/gospelsoundcheck Joanne Brokaw

    Welcome, Daylle! Glad you’re part of the Bnet family!
    Joanne

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/lessonsfromarecoveringdoormat Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    Thanks Joanne! I appreciate the welcome.

  • Missy

    I sincerely enjoyed your message. As I continued to read, I began to feel slightly embarassed about what I was reading because, it was a mirror of my poor self-image. I don’t think that I was ready to admit that I’ve suffered from low self esteem and still do in some areas. I am slowly making strides out of that self loathing trench. Your words are empowering. Thank you.

  • C L

    Great topic!!! Am currently taking a self-esteem course @ Kaiser and reading your blog fits in perfectly with current agenda.

  • Sue Wolheim

    Oh my, does this hit home. I’m just now getting out of a “being used” relationship of nearly 5 years. My self esteem is low, but not gone. At the age of 57 I know I’m a good person, just a bit to giving. So, then I get taken advantage of. I’m starting to believe people like me have an aura about us that the controllers seek out. I need to fix that. I want to learn more from you, I need to learn more.

  • http://Lindy Lindy

    I was pushed out of being a doormat when my marriage of 30 years broke up. Suddenly I had to sink or swim and with no-one to be a doormat to I slowly changed.I can relate to this blog and I never want to go back to being a doormat.

  • Noleen

    Thank you so much, I look forward to reading more in hopes to achieve the same self love and acceptance. You described a mirror image of myself I knew but have not seemed to break as of yet.

  • Jeff

    Excellent read. Congratulations on recognizing the negativity associated with being a doormat; addressing it and encouraging others to do likewise. I look forward to your updates.

  • Sandra

    Wow…..it’s 4 in the morning and I woke up one more time feeling an emptiness that can only come from not accepting and loving yourself but always giving to others . Thank you so much for your words and I look forward to reading your books as well as your blogs.

  • Jane

    For many years I was a people pleaser and at the age of almost 70, I decided to take control of my life and please myself for once. This entailed becoming estranged from a daughter, not letting a very giving friend give to me in order to control me and to learn to say no when I had to. Life like this isn’t the easiest and I still have to practice a lot but when I have respect for myself, I know others will too. Thanks for posting this blog.

  • Prague

    I have been a people pleaser all my life.
    Circumstances led to terrible scandal of me….. my daughter does not speak to me and I am not allowed to see my grandchild.
    I am looking forward to this blog.

  • Bob

    Did my stupidity lead to my blindness or did blindness lead to my stupidity.
    I know the blindness is not in my eyes. The stupity is another story.
    Thanks for the help.

  • Carlene

    Thank you I feel better after reading this blog. thanks for the help

  • Lauren

    What a wonderful idea! I, too, have been a DoorMat to other people, especially to family members: read two older sisters who consider themselves to always be the “experts” on everything. This despite the fact that I’m 53 years old. I’d like to know how I can stand up to them “without having all the facts” to prove a point instead of constantly putting up with their “reasons” of why “I am wrong.” This has been a strong philosophy in our family since I can remember. Thank you, Daylle!

  • Beverly Bryan

    Hi, I just read your blog..you know…you hit the nail right on the head…you cannot live your entire life to please others…I learned that a long time ago. My kids always want to lay down rules by which I am supposed to live, but you know…as I get older I realize my priorities are different than theirs, and I need to make my wishes come first, or feel bad and downtrodden instead.
    As for kids, if they cannot understand that your feelings are important, and respect you for your individuality, learn to tell them “no” and mean it.
    Thanks for putting it in to words…I am not an insecure person, and I intend to live my life to the fullest, not acquiese to domineering people.

  • Alice

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    I’m in the 12 step program of doormats anonymous :) It’s a difficult process but I’m getting through. I’ve even had to rid myself of some “friends” because of this – people who were not looking out for my best interest, only in my life to use, criticize and judge.
    It’s so nice to know that there are others out there like me who deal with the same frustrations. I’m not alone!
    What a relief. I’m going to print this and tape on my wall.
    THANK YOU!

  • Jalaja

    I am a 51 year old woman from India. I am married but no children. I often have minor ailments and not feeling happy. I do yoga, I take medicines for depression; still I feel a sort of uncomfortable or sometimes tired. I do not feel confident to travel alone. I often travel with my husband. I want to be a bold, confident, self respecting person. Can you please help me. My husband says I am a slow person. I take more time to finish ordinary chores.

  • Lisa

    This definitely got my attention…perfect timing. Look forward to reading and learning. Totally related to current challenges…self-love is really the only way “out” and back into life.
    thanks for doing this,
    Lisa

  • Annie

    Thank you for stating the truths I’ve just discovered. Always believed good girls finish first as long as they don’t get walked on just didn’t know how they did it. Now I have a stronger faith, I am learning I am worth my time and only people who believe in me are worth my time. Thanks for your words of wisdom.

  • Judy

    I have been a doormat all my life and still am. Now in my late 40′s and an empty nester I am realizing how much I drop everything for other people. This is not healthy and makes me resentful. It is almost like those funny mirrors at the carnival it gives me an unrealistic view of life and what is important. After all I am the leading lady in my own show but I don’t treat myself that way. Thanks for the blog I needed that.

  • Angela

    Dear Darryl
    Thank you for this article but I must make a note. I do not think that we intentionally are doormats. We are,as women, nurturers and are taken advantage because of it. Instead of being respected, at times we have too much on our plates and need to learn to redistribute the package among our loved ones. My problem happened when both I and my partner leaned on each other for support and didn’t have immediate solutions. As time went on, we still supported one another but had to each take on our individual problems and find solutions separately. It gave us each a feeling of empowerment and now I stood up and asked for the relationship that I wanted from the beginning and the one we both dreamed of. I told him that when he will “give me what I need, then I will be ready to give him back as he wants” but not continue as it was until now. I told him this in the last 2 months but we both needed each other in an immediate way/easier so nothing got solved. Now I am acting again along with my words and actually he knows that he is tired with his package as it is as well as I am, and he told me the next evening that he will definitely call from work overseas and all will be fine now and that he loves me very much. I had to give him the chance as well to fix his problems on his own and see for himself that being a single dad for 9 months is very lonely. Most of our married friends would like to see us together and know that we had heavy burdens to carry and deep down we were good for each other. I dealt in the past 2 years with empty nest as well as ongoing crisis of elderly parents and becoming a young grandmother as well as keeping a respectful demanding work in health field. Sometimes due to exhaustion, we revert to what we are used to instead of fighting for our own needs to get to another place in life, somewhere where others may not want to see us evolve to…for their own selfish reasons. So I cannot be general in saying that we are doormats but yes, if I had been assertive in a nice way before, it always happened when something else was out of place and we couldn’t push forward. Now just seems the right time, because some serious problems are pushed away. So please everyone, see our place in time as one to grow when we are ready and enough people are out there willing to knock us down. :)

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you so much for being here for people like me! I’m just starting to walk out of the fog of being a doormat – and here I am, in my forties just figuring it out. I am trying to show my beautiful daughter and niece that its NOT okay to put everyone else’s needs before your own….you rock!

  • Diane

    Thank you so much for this…I am beginning to see how I have spent so much of my own time and happiness trying to please all others before me…I hope to learn how to get out from under the doormat..keep me informed….

  • Beth

    Thank you! I needed to see this now more than ever. I’m fighting the fear of much transition in my life some I’ve chosen and some I’ve not. Life is what it is and what we do with it is our own. I’m trying to own my life again and show my daughter and niece a better way, the right way.
    It’s not easy and I am often getting lost along the way. Keeping focus is very hard and staying upbeat is even harder. But I WILL make it through. With the help of many even if they do not realiZe it.

  • unhappyinlife

    I have been trying to overcome the need to people please at my own expense.
    It is hard to feel confident much of the time. I am so drained I can hardly find the energy to try.
    I have realized that people pleasing causes people to walk all over me. I can’t seem to find a way to gain the respect I need to be treated right. I am in great need of following you tips. Thank you and I hope I can gain some valuable strength and love for myself that I desperately need.

  • Jennie

    Thank you, I am going to follow and perhaps buy the book when I am able to.I used to say I had ‘victim’ printed on my forehead but no more!

  • Gail Hodges

    I am now in my late 50′s, and am having a difficult time at work. My health isn’t the best (I have MS), and a co-worker I helped hire just received a big promotion. I could have done the job beautifully but knew I couldn’t give it my best, so did not apply. This co-worker puts me down often, and I go to work with a heavy heart because of the hurt. I need to work until retirement as I’ve been here 19 years and need the money. I believe your ideas about loving onesself, and I desperately need to concentrate on what I need to do for me. I think the first thing is to focus on possibly doing my job remotely from home for most of the week. I work from home one day a week, now, but the rest of the time here is very stressful and ugly. I’m afraid to go to our equity office and ask for this because I am not used to asking for anything that would be good for me. Do you have a suggestion for a solid, convincing approach rather than just blubbering through and crying on someone’s shoulder? Thank you.
    -Gail

  • Angie Bessenger

    I would like to thank you for the things you said. I constantly am walked on like a doormat. I also aim to please everyone and do everything for everyone so that I am liked. I am s student supervisor and am intimidated by telling them something negative or not hiring them back. Just because I want to be liked.
    I need to get over that feeling. I am A lay told me the saying that she applies to her life and she impresses on her children, “I am happy to be perfectly imperfect.” That was a saying for me to remember, because I always try to do everything perfect for me and for others. But I tend to put other’s feeling before mine. I need to learn how to climb out from under the doormat. I appreciate the things that you say to help me achieve that. I want to climb out from under the doormat before I suffocate.!

  • Cheryl

    Thank you. I am Meryl Streep, :) I have no problem with not being a people in all aspects of my life, work, volunteerism, school and home. The one area I cannot seem to do it in is my personal relationship with my boyfriend, he is not a bad guy he is just very inconsiderate. He will leave town for days at a time and not let me know. He goes for days on end without calling or texting me and thinks it isn’t a big deal. I have told him how I feel and we have agreed, several times, to make the necessary changes and nothing has changed! Anyway I am looking forward to learning how get this area of my life balanced, even if it is not with him.

  • Helen

    I was very shy when I was in grade school many years ago. I went through 12 years of school in a small community and never spoke to other kids unless they spoke to me first. I finally over came the extreme shyness after graduation. I realized how it affected how people remembered (or didn’t) me many years later when I had returned to this small town and ran across one of the kids I had graduated with. When I saw him he said hello Margaret (my sisters name) so he hadn’t remembered me! It wasn’t as if I had graduated with 100 other kids-we only had 30 in our graduating class!

  • Mary Ann

    Thank you for sharing. I am a people pleaser from childhood. I learned many years ago how to say no gracefully to most people but find myself giving in to my husband to keep peace in the home. I will follow your blog to see what I can do to say no to him and still keep peace

  • Kristen

    Reading this article really hit home for me considering everything that has happened in my life recently. I broke up with a guy 8 months ago. He pretty much used me for 4 years and I let him. I did everything I could to make him (as well as his 3 teenage children) happy and I never received anything thing back. I did things and so wanted for them to appreciate me and wanted them to accept me and like me. All I did was make myself a doormat for them. All of my life I have set myself up like this in my relationships. I have gone from one guy to the next and all I wanted to do was make them happy in hopes they would return the favor. I was doing it in vain though. I had to learn an important lesson in all of this. I had to learn to love myself and make myself happy for once! I am glad to say that now I am feeling more empowered everyday and I am gaining a confidence I have never had. I have put my attention on myself and I am loving and respecting myself and it feels so good. I am finding that I have more love to give now that I am loving myself more. Thanks so much.

  • Barbara

    To all,
    I am a doormat and did not realize it until I became resentful at always doing for others and discovering no one really did anything nice for me. This was found especially true in my home. I am married to a wonderful husband but he refuses to do anything for me and when I decided to stop doing…doing…and asking to be reciprocated at times, I discovered that the relationship was built on me doing all the giving, getting nothing in return but gripes, put downs, criticism, and a trampling on my self-esteem to the point that I wanted out. I refuse to be a door mat any longer and I am working on this at this time. I do feel resentful and one of the first steps I must take is to rid myself of the resentful feelings so that I can grow personally.

  • Kim

    I’am a doormat, people pleaser and an enabler. I never had any respect from my ex husband and now my 12 year old is starting. I feel so sad all the time. Im glad I found this. Thank you

  • Michelle

    I to have been a doormat. I am really working on fixing my inner thoughts, so I can really believe that I deserve the best. I love to do for others, but have a hard time doing for myself. I can’t wait to read your blog.

  • Sandra Dukes

    Hello
    I am so glad I read your comments.
    Personally, I enjoy helping others.
    I have always trying to help other,and at times it appears it is not enough for some.
    I am feeling run over and feeling tire and there is no happiness.
    Unable to have the motivation to do anything for my self.
    Helping others is making me upset due to their attitude as if they do not care.
    I Pray every day for peace of mind, and I need to let things go and make my self happy someway.
    Thank you taking the time out reading my note.
    Have a great day.
    Sandra

  • Barbara

    Kristin,
    Your story is so simular to mine, my husband has four adult children and I too wanted acceptance and I did so much to make that happen and the more I did the more my spouse demanded I do but gave nothing in return. I also have a child from a previous marriage and he did nothing for him but required I do for his children while they did not do for me either. If they gave a gift at Christmas, it was something that they did not want (for example, broken mugs from one family)and he would demand that it was good gift and that I should thank them over and over for giving me a gift while they would give him very expensive and elaborate gifts in my presence. And need I mention they are all married and live away from the home.

  • Judy

    I and a recovering ‘doormat’. I have gotten grounded in a strong spiritual faith, and have learned to love my self just as God created me. But there are still times when I ‘fall off the wagon’, so to speak, for people in my own family, and my husbands family. So I very much look forward to reading what you have to say, so I can learn to love them and still not be worrying about saying ‘no’ when I feel it is appropriate in my life; but mostly how to say it without letting myself get to the point of anger first. But the hardest part for me is when I try to tell someone no, in a nice way, and they fly off the handle at me so that I never get to really tell them what I really want, because of their anger. Then I brood for days, and wish they would talk to me so that I can tell them how I really feel. From reading this blog, I am sure you will have some good advice for me. Thank you.

  • Lori O’Donnell

    Okay….I’m in. How do I sign up for your blog?
    Thanks

  • lori

    Yep, there are lots of us doormats or folks who are tryin not to be. I was so insecure till 5 yrs ago when my hubby of 5 and a half yrs. tried to convince me I’m loved and a lovable person

  • Dee Dee

    I have struggled with this all of my life. I don’t like to upset anyone, so I have trouble standing up for myself. Thank you for providing some insight and strategies for me to start to make a change for my betterment. I would like to take part in your blog.

  • Rick

    What about one son who cannot spend a bit of his vacation in Montana, (he from out of state) with his father without bringing at leaast two friends and I see very little of him.I have let this happen and because of your article I said NO but by yourself you are more than welcome—I am 76 and you have inspired me more than you could ever know
    Rick

  • Rose Brown

    This article is absolutely outstanding..I was amazed at how true these many statements are..whenever a person stands up for themselves and don’t buy into other people’s drama, they’re considered “not nice”.
    There was a question that you asked in the article, would you rather be liked or respected? Of course, both would be the ultimate..however, repect me and I’m okay with you not liking me as long as I like me and know that I haven’t given you any solid reason to dislike me.
    Awesome article!

  • Helen

    Dayelle….Round and round I have gone…Never taking time for what mattered most, and always afraid to have anyone disappointed. I have been a doormat for years, now I live in my home afraid to step forward for more hurt and disappointment. But, with my deep spiritual commitment, exercise, and a healthy new life style, I finally feel ready to move past the front door and down the walkway. I look forward to your posts…
    Thank you, just what I needed today!

  • April

    I have struggled with people pleasing for many years. It is hard when you try to be loving, and take up for yourself at the same time, and people still yell at you and call you names. As a single mother,I decided to go back to school two years ago to work towards my Bachleor’s degree. Now I’m on the verge of quiting or flunking out because I am struggling with how to please everybody and still get everything done that I have to do. Thank you for the encouragement!

  • Angela

    I’ve always been a people pleaser and I met a very nice man who is the same way. I’m trying to change my ways but I kinda fall back when I get new friends or a new relationship. I try to be what they want me to be and not myself because I want them to like me. My friend and I were just discussing this the other day and we both realized we are like that. We both could use your help. I’m so glad I came across this today. I can’t wait to read your book.

  • GretschMan

    It Also happens to us males, After being in a so called friendship were I constantly gave and gave, I tried very very hard to please her also my family couldn,t say no because of guilt they would lay on me,I have an older brother who does nothing yet gets all the credit, Im in therapy now and its a great awakening .Man how did I allow myself to get this way? Wish all Good Luck

  • Zahra

    I truely agree with what u’ve written. In this male dominated society where woman is considered not more than a property/subject, she has to face many social, relegious and economic issues.
    I believe the women will continue to face all this agony until and unless they understand who they are and what rights they owe.
    A woman should not wait for others to give her chance to prove herself, infact she should give herself the due importance and let people realize who she is and what is the purpose of her life. Self awareness comes only through education and empowerment.

  • Jaye

    I too am a doormat. I fell into the habit of trying to please everyone as a young child. I was the middle child, second daughter, with a very demanding older sister and younger brother. I felt invisible within my family, but would NEVER dream of rocking the boat by expressing my true feelings. I learned early on that by being an overachiever I gained my parent’s approval rather than criticism or worse yet, silence. Needless to say, this need to be loved and acknowledged carried over into my teen and adult life and probably every relationship I’ve ever had,especially when it comes to men. After the lack of attention for so many years, once I began dating I was stunned that anyone would care for me. Needless to say I fell into relationship after relationship with people who only wanted to take advantage of my kindness and desire to be loved. I noticed that whenever I bought someone a gift or picked up the tab, people stuck around. This turned into a very expensive lesson. When the money ran out, so did the friends and sadly, family. Unfortunately it took me years to see the situation I had created for myself. After marrying and having kids I became a full-time stay at home mom. Wanting to be the best parent possible I never said no when asked by the school/PTA to do something. I also worked as a volunteer for local events. My husband finally pointed out that my inability to say no was causing problems in the family. My family’s needs were taking a back seat to everyone else. Learning to say no was very difficult. I didn’t have your expert guidance. Unfortunately I merely redirected my inability to say no. I transferred my old habits of doing everything for everyone to only my kids and husband. I have spent years trying to earn the love of my family. When that didn’t work, I would buy them whatever they wanted. They learned how to get anything they wanted early on. They were nice to me when I spent money on them. I do believe my family loves me, but has no appreciation or respect for me. My kids are young adults now, finishing college and living on their own. Like so many others in this economy, they move out and back in whenever it’s necessary for them. I know how difficult it is for young people to go out on their own for the first time. But it seems that the only time they contact me is when they need money or for me to take care of something they’ve screwed up. I remember what it was like leaving home at 18 with no help from my parents. I worked very hard to make my way in the world. I married when I was 30 and was considered an older mom. Nowadays that’s pretty young. I began to regret giving up my career pursuits to stay home because my kids started commenting, while still in high school, that I should get a job and learn to do something besides living vicariously through them. This hurt me tremendously. I loved being an independent woman when I married, but felt after my children were born my first responsibility was to my family. At the time we agreed I would stay home and raise our kids and I loved the opportunity to spend quality time with them. As they neared graduation my husband suggested I find something to do because I would be lost after the kids went off to college. After many years out of the work force it’s been very difficult to get back to work. We’ve owned a family business for several years so I went back to work helping to run the business, but with the economic downturn there is no demand for my help and I can’t find a job in a new field. The experts say to discover your passions and find a way to make a living at it. Every idea I come up with, my husband or kids put down. They dismiss any idea I have. This only adds to the low self-esteem. I feel like I’m a burden to my husband since I can’t contribute financially to the family. I’m sick and tired of feeling worthless. I don’t want to live merely to do for and please everyone else. I want to be happy too. I’m ready for your input and guidance. I need the objectivity of someone outside my family to point me in the right direction.

  • Charlotte Fitzgerald

    Hi,
    My name is Charlotte and I have been living same same kind of life. All my life I have been a people pleaser. Some people of said that I give and give until I can’t give anymore. That’s probably true because I don’t know how to say no when I don’t want to do something. I’m glad I read your blog and hope I can read some more of it. g

  • Alisha

    I too am also a victim of being a doormat. For years I have tried so hard to please my mother and make her proud of me. It seems like no matter what I do its never good enough. Granted I am a single mom, grown adult to a point, but it still hurts me that she just cant accept the choices I make and the life I live. I mean sure I may not be a successful business person, or anything spectacular, but I also believe your work should not consume your family or your life. There have been a couple instances where I should have made a better choice, but I didnt and in the end wound up losing my kids till I saw straight and figured out my kids were suffering for my choices.
    Even though I am a grown adult now and have my own family to raise my mother still expects me to continue to keep her and my step dad and the rest of the family afloat. I have tried so many yrs, and I just cant seem to take it anymore. I just cant help but feel its sooo wrong. I mean here I am trying to make a living for my family, but yet my mother still guilt trips me into doing stuff for her, lending her money, or worse giving her food when we barely have any. I have been to counseling time and time again and I finally faced the music that it is time for me to stand up and say NO, enough is enough. So with that I have decided we are going to move out, as far away as we can so she cant continue to use and abuse me in so many ways, and I can finally get on with MY LIFE! I would also have to agree with Jaye on most of her comment about how she felt that this carried into her relationships, it did for me as well. Luckily I have found someone that understands me, respects me, isnt abusive, and loves me for me and is trying to help me stand up to my mom.
    I am hoping with this blog and the books I am going to try to purchase that I too can overcome this huge obstacle in my life and start over a fresh new life just my family.

  • Robin

    Loved the article, but would like to respond to JAYE: I read your comment and felt compelled to write to you because I have been in your shoes. I know how you feel. However, what I have learned after years of being the ultimate people pleaser like you is that change has to start with ME. Just like the author of this article, YOU have the power within you to take control of your life and start saying “No.” Offer no reasons for your “no” other than “It’s a one word sentence and needs no explaination” or “I said no because I simply am not interested.” I’m not suggesting that you be rude, quite the contrary. You can say no diplomatically. But, you must be cognizant to not allow yourself to feel any guilt. And, yes, you will be exposed to those that try to guilt trip you. YOU have the power to change you. Your situation won’t change until you do. I know. I finally saw the light and I am in such a good place. I had no idea that by taking control and learning to say no, just how much I would grow as a person. I’m 48 and could care less what anyone thinks. What I think is what is key to making ME happy. I CHOOSE to be happy and do the things that make me feel happy. If I am around someone that chooses to be negative, I simply smile and leave. It really is that simple. But, it is only up to you to make the positive changes in your life and turn a deaf ear to the negative comments. If you have an idea that you like, go for it. If it turns out not so good, so what? Live and learn. But, what if it was the best decision that you ever made? Start turning your life around today. Live your life according to your standards and ideals and you will find the key to happiness. Warmest wishes.

  • http://www.youtube.com/rewandwho ReW

    Dale..soooo happy to see you hear..
    please keep telling those brilliant wordz..
    i thank you… i identify in so many wayz…xxx
    LuV

  • Barbara J. Davis

    Hi there,
    This is a perfect meditation for me today; my ex/roommate just asked for $ today and I was able to tell him no, especially with the 1 day notice he gave me; his response was almost poetic, “fine, have it your way then…”
    I guess I will.
    Thanks for the message, beautiful!
    Barbara D

  • http://AOL Gertrude

    I have been a people please all my life and I need this very very much as well as to how to love myself. thank you

  • Kathy Simpson

    Hello Daylle,
    I have been enjoying reading about your blog and find I am somewhat in the same situation. Although my area is the Music/Sound recording studio. I need help with this. There are many small studios in South Mississippi but not many are constructed to do business on any scale. Most are just for self recording. I have purchased the equipment and built a studio in my home.(Three rooms, one each for recorder,vocals, and drums.) At first people were wanting to come but none had money to pay. I’ve tried to give promotional time, reduce my price, and finally just stopped trying to get people outside of the family to record. We published a Christmas CD and have started working on a Country crossover CD. I’m hoping your book will help and I hope we can become e-mail and facebook(if you like) friends. I would really like someone to talk to who knows what I’m going through. My email is listed above. I hope to hear from you soon.
    Thanks and God Bless,
    Kathy Simpson

  • http://www.shehasabigbut.com Jean Bailey Robor

    Wow! Powerful information, especially for those of us who have ‘been there & done that’ and never intend to be a doormat again. I really appreciate and admire your attitude. Having said that, I’m writing a book (you can find specifics on the website) and would love to have you as a contributor. Take a look if you’re interested. Above all, thank you for sharing. You’re making a difference!

  • Angie Keisling

    I need help I am a people pleaser or try very hard to please and can’t seem to get the job done, to everones satflcatiom. And I realize I am a very uphappy person.

  • Lesley coffee

    I have been working on this all my life. I try to please people all the time. I really need help in a marriage my husband has not one ounce of respect for me and the kids show the same. Not sure it that is true as they are teenagers……
    I want respect and be liked. that is the delema

  • Kathleen Campbell

    Thanks you for this Blog! Doormat is my middle name, no more.

  • Rhonda J

    What if those (individuals) in one’s life just can’t/won’t relingish there ‘position of power’, over the ‘doormat’.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/lessonsfromarecoveringdoormat/ Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    I feel so blessed by the response I got to this post nd my joining the wonderful Beliefnet community. I shall address questions asked in upcoming posts so please stay tuned.
    Thank you all SOOOOO much for your kind words and for letting me know that my writing helps you.

  • Shelly H.

    I am so thankful that there are others out there with the same dilemma’s. Thank you Rhonda J., Kathleen, and Lesley, I can relate to each one of those situations! I plan to stay connected to this site to learn all that I can to become a more confident, self loving, sharing person. NO MORE Doormat!! I count too.
    Shelly H.

  • Kate

    OMG – you have described me to a “t”. Once I turned 40 years old, I released that “gotta please everybody” perspective … or so I thought. I am better, getting along with everyone is not as necessary as it once was, but the desire isn’t totally gone. I want to be better, to believe in myself and to believe I am worthy.

  • http://AOL Annamarie Bernath

    Great article! It takes a long time to reverse what came naturally. But it does make one happier.

  • Dee

    Dear Daylle
    THANKYOU. Am shouting this because it is soooo good to have a source of comfort, comapany and inspiration now that I have made that choice. Had been in a bad place and felt worse when I realised recently how much I had been a doormat. So,onward and upward. In appreciation. Dee

  • http://fantastic lili

    In my opinion life is so short if we want to have a wonderful life,relation or happy time we have to be power in our sight & mind
    In fact we have to start of oueselves then every thing comes to our life automatically ………WOW in this way what life we have !!!!
    thanks for your article

  • Priscilla

    this is owesome this is how i feel about my self. lately i stated breaking from that nightmare.Thank you for this wonderful message.

  • Marie

    I need this help

  • pam

    i am so inspired..i wish i had the courage to make this decision..i have spent my entire life being told i am not good enough..and even when i give everything i have i am still not good enough…i am going to read your stuff and i hope it helps me….i need a change or i wont be here much longer..alot of people dont realize the stress of always being good can eventually kill you…it definitely makes you sick
    ty so much
    pam

  • Sherrie Pemberton

    Thanks for doing the blog. I am confident that I need it, and also that I will learn from it, and grow as well.
    Sherrie Pemberton

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/lessonsfromarecoveringdoormat/ Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    I continue to be in awe of the comments I’m getting because helping people is my biggest blessing! I will do my best to live up to your expectations.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/lessonsfromarecoveringdoormat/ Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    I continue to be in awe of the comments I’m getting because helping people is my biggest blessing! I will do my best to live up to your expectations.

  • christine mason

    I have found out that this is so right at times for myself and I have read someofyour reading and I have definitely learn tosay no more and themore I read it themore confident I will become,

  • Gloria Jean

    Thank You for sharing, I need to change. I have always given all that I have. By doing so I have not gotten far in life.

  • Maya

    I hope I can learn from you. It been times when my bank account have been drained because I couldn’t say no because I felt like it was my role Please help me say no without feeling sorry that I said No…please subscribe me to the blog.

  • Teresa Spence

    I’m so thrilled to find this blog. As a recovering alcoholic I’ve come so far but continue to struggle with these issues. I’ll take all the help I can get & God Bless you for your efforts in sharing something so valuable.

  • KerriLeigh

    I’ve been a doormat for most of my life…I look forward to reading your blog and getting past this!

  • Rita Pitsikos

    Well i read your blog and seriously can relate. I’ve been doing for people all my life it seams even though i’m 45. I now realize i too am a doormat. Yes it seams the more i do its never enough and drained isnt the word for it.Ho wdoes one change the way they have been all their life. I was taught to treat others the way i want to be treated. even when i had barely enough money to maintain me i would bring in others that didnt have and try to straighten their life out. ive been doing that for ever it seems them they get comfortable living and refuse to help pay some of the bills but instead of making waves i say nothing then when i finally do they leave then talk about me like i harmed them in some way.I never did quit understand that stuff but to each their own i would like to learn a new behavior so maybe i too can love me treat me and dont feel guilty behind it.

  • Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    I’m so glad my writing is helping you Christine, Gloria, Teresa and Kerri!
    You can subscribe by putting your email address in the box on the top right side of the blog Maya.
    You absolutely can learn to love yourself Rita! If I could, anyone can!.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Moyo

    I’m sure i’ll learn from this…I enjoy helping people also, so wherever I can find the knowledge I go after it.

  • http://asimplepathtoabetterlife.blogspot.com Francis

    I think you’ll like this blog.

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