Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Do you assume that smiling means you’re happy? Think again! Often a smile is covering up unhappiness. Many people pleasers are brought up told they should smile as much as possible since it makes you seem more agreeable. I was one of them. Growing up I was known for my smile, though I was more happy than not. But as an adult in DoorMatville, the smile was more a habit than something created by emotion.

Often people envy those who always have a smile, assuming they live a charmed life since they seem perpetually happy. But that can easily be faked to hide misery.

When I was a DoorMat I smiled a lot to please people. I knew they liked me more when I smiled. But, I was very unhappy. I actually felt obligated to smile and pushed my problems deep down to keep the smile on my face. I encounter many people who have sadness behind their smile. While I encourage forcing a smile since it can trigger the production of serotonin, feeling obligated to smile isn’t the way to go. It often prevents working on issues that could allow a real smile to come.

When you begin to show yourself love, you’ll have more real reasons to smile!

Instead of forcing a smile, consider what would stimulate a real one. What makes you happy? How can you give it to yourself? Leaving DoorMatville made it easier to smile. When I dumped a guy who I knew was unhealthy for me, but who I LIKED A LOT, I smiled because I felt empowered. I deserved better than the way he treated me and refused to settle any more. Big smiles! When I moved into my apartment, which I love so much, it allowed me to smile often. I decided I deserved to live somewhere nice and loved me enough to make it happen.

Find your smile triggers and activate them by doing things for you! Say, “I love me” with loving gestures.

Every bit of self-love you give yourself will make your smile bigger. It took years to accept that I want to smile because something is making me happy and I have the power to make myself happy. Self-love motivates me to do things that make me happy! As I write this on a gorgeous day, I’m sitting in a nearby park, surrounded by trees and flowers. That makes me happy and doesn’t cost a dime! Look for ways to make yourself smile! It’s a great way to feel good and say, “I love me!” Say “I love me!” as much as you can to keep yourself smiling for real!

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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