Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

You’re dying to stand up for yourself or ask for what you know you deserve. You work harder than anyone else yet haven’t asked a raise. Your romantic partner does unacceptable things but you haven’t had the nerve to address it. You’re dying to buy your friend’s car and he’s taking advantage of knowing that by asking for more than it’s worth. Your oldest friend has been taking advantage of you to the point where you’re about to burst, yet you keep your mouth shut.

Many people don’t take a stand on what they want, or don’t want, because they’re scared of the outcome.

It makes sense. You don’t ask for the raise if you’re scared of losing your job. Even though your romantic partner drives you crazy, you love him/her and want to keep the relationship going. You want the car so badly you may just pay the inflated price. And so on. So we tiptoe around important situations instead of taking a real stand. I used to do that too, even when I left DoorMatville, until I recognized a valuable truth:

In most situations where there’s a conflict, the person willing to walk away has the most power.

When your boss sees you’re willing to get another job that pays you what you’re worth, she might relent and give you more money. If your romantic partner believes that if he/she doesn’t stop criticizing or lying, you’re prepared to end the relationship, he/she might try to treat you better. If your friend understands that you’re ready to find another car at a better price, he might just lower what he asked for. Even if you strongly want to keep your job or partner or buy the car or seal the deal with a client, if you’re prepared to walk away, you have a better chance of getting what you want.

Brian Tracy said, “Be prepared to walk away from any situation that is unacceptable to you. This is the ultimate negotiating tool.

Negotiating. Many of us are uncomfortable doing that. But you can get better at it with practice. Think about your alternatives.

•    If you won’t leave your romantic partner, you’re guaranteed to continue to get the behavior you don’t like. Walking might hurt for a while but then you can find someone who treats you well. Or your partner might come around. You have the best chance of getting good results if you seem serious about leaving and the person really loves you. If the love isn’t strong, better to leave!

•    If your client says my way or the highway, you can seal a bad deal and lose money. You’ll also set yourself up to be low-balled in the future. Or you can be okay with not sealing the deal and give yourself the best chance to get what you want. If the client really wants to deal with you, you’ll get the business.

•    If you bid on your dream house and the owner believes you have to have it, the price won’t budge. If the owner sees you’re serious about not buying the house unless the price goes down, you might get it for less than what was originally asked. If the person is anxious to sell, the price will go down.

Remember, the one most willing to walk on a deal, whether in business or pleasure, has the most power. Nothing is so important that you should be totally compromised to keep it. There’s always another house or romantic partner or client. The more you stand up to people, the more your confidence will soar and the more people will give you your way. When you accept that nothing is more important than your good health, family and  basic needs, and everything else is optional, you’ll be more able to walk away from unhealthy situations and lowball offers. That’s empowerment!

Take the self-love challenge and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at And you can post your loving acts HERE to reinforce your intention to love yourself. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE.

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