Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

People Who Tear You Down

I’ve heard it before, “Ha, ha, what I said was a joke.” But, it hurt! Comments that make you wince or embarrassed or hurt aren’t funny. Period. And people who put you down are unhealthy for you to have in your life. When I was a DoorMat I was a target for people to make the little jokes or innuendos about one of my flaws. I’d laugh but each one gave my fragile self-esteem another little beating.

As I got stronger, I realized how unacceptable these mean comments were. I didn’t need someone to point out my extra weight or unruly hair. I had eyes and could see it for myself. But it seemed like the more I felt good and improved my life, the more some people needed to find things wrong with me, and say so. They were like potholes on my way out of DoorMatville. I’d be feeling more empowered and SLAP—someone would point out what was wrong with me! A conversation with a lovely woman with her act together opened my eyes to the reality:

People who criticize others do it because they’re don’t like themselves and need to bring others down to share their unhappiness.

People who feel good about themselves want to make others feel good and don’t need to knock the joy out of someone. It was a revelation for me and made lots of sense as I thought about the kind of people who loved to point out flaws. They were also unhappy with themselves and often lamented about their extra pounds or being unable to find a job they enjoyed or believing they weren’t meant to be happy.

People who are dissatisfied with themselves try to bring others along for the ride. That’s a good reason to seek out people who are happy with who they are.

Mark Twain “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” I’ve gotten rid of my critics and made new friends who appreciate me and want to cheer me on, not tear me down. We support each other. In my DoorMat days I felt too insecure to be with people who had strong self-esteem and confidence. Being with those types made me feel worse about who I was. So I gravitated to the wounded and insecure people who felt better when they pointed out my flaws.

Pay attention to who you spend time with and how they make you feel. Friends should build you up, not try to make you feel worse.

I don’t need friends to point out my extra pounds. I can see them. If I say something wrong, I can correct myself without being the butt of a joke. Choose your companions wisely. Whether friends or relatives, seek to spend time with positive people. If people pick at your flaws, let them know that you find their comments unacceptable and they need to stop. Don’t get angry and bark at them. Just gently communicate that it must stop. And if it doesn’t, walk out of the room or hang up the phone. No one has a right to use you for target practice. Love yourself enough to stop it and seek out kinder people.

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.

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


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment viqueen

    What do you do if it’s your boss? There are only a handful of jobs in a 50 mile radius, for my skill set; and my age is against me.

    My boss isn’t a bad person, but he isn’t truthful with me; he’s manipulative; he has badmouthed me to others outside of the office – none of it was true, but that doesn’t stop him; he says puts me down as often as possible. Standing up to him just escalates his behavior down the road; he gets even. And he tells me that he’s the one person at the company that “has my back”.

    Feels like I’m between a rock and hard place.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    A boss is different than a friend or relative. Calm, non-accusing communication works best. I will write a whole post on this in the next 2 weeks.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment laurie

    Hi!My on/off boyfriend talks badly to me often.
    He’s on/off because of this. I always stand up for myself and when i do he gets real defensive or turns it around on me. He gives the “what about me” attitude & tries to make it his problem saying I treat him badly…..I know this is not true. I used to say sorry & now I’m getting stronger & need to get out of this relationship, I know it’s not healthy for me. I am alone & my family & friends are back east, so i know i stay out of loneliness. Any advise? Thanks for listening.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    Focus on enjoying your own company! Download my free self-love book to learn about how to fall in love with yourself and create a life that isn’t dependent on anyone. You deserve MUCH better than this jerk.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment May

    Hi Ms. Shwartz,
    I wholeheartedly agree with your blog. I kept a supposedly close friend for several years and spent a great deal of time with her. We both had things in common, except that her older son had some “learning handicaps” where my much younger son was far ahead of the game. She would spend so much time talking negatively about my son’s behaviour, and what a handful he was. Yes, he has a lot of energy, but is actually well-behaved compared to many kids his age, and several grade years ahead academically. It got to where whenever we talked on the phone, I would spend most of my time defending or explaining my child rearing and life choices and would end up feeling very tense and with constant headaches. I finally realized that she wasn’t being a real friend to me, and was most likely jealous of my son, which was why she kept targeting him. When I drifted away from the friendship, I felt relieved more than anything else, and now that I have surrounded my life with more like-minded and positive people, I feel a positive change in my own life. Sometimes we get caught in a ‘friend’ trap, where we want to believe the friendship is real, and in many ways it appears real on the surface, when in reality it is destroying the very essence of our being! :) Thanks for the insight. It really hit home!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lorelee

    You are absolutely right!!! I like to think I am a positive person (most of the time), yet some of those whom I love the most (family) are the worst negative people. Everyone seems to want to be on top in this world. I wish more people would appreciate other people for just the way the are.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    Thanks May! Glad you drifted away from that person.

    If it’s people you love Lorelee, try having a calm conversation about it like I advised for a boss in yesterday’s post.

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Kelly

    Thank you very much, I enjoyed this article. I feel like this past year people have tried to tear me down so much because I had the courage to change my life and start my own business. A lot of people don’t get it and don’t support my decision. I want support so badly and while it is there the nay sayers seem to be heard the loudest. Finally though I am starting to stand up for myself and surround myself with those who will pick me up and not pull me down. I just had someone publicly try to tear me down and make fun of my business model and I wrote him off-line and nicely said my piece. Anyway, reading this article was timely and I thank you for your words. They are words to live by and I need to be reminded of them often.

    Thank you!

  • elegant

    thanks for this :)

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  • mervyn brown

    I try to understand where people are coming from and it is often hard to find a simple answer. There are a lot of people who gain their status at the expense of others. Sometimes it would help if you think what other people would think if they were in your situation. It’s a problem of the modern world! We we’re all too busy and those that are not too busy have time to make problems for other people.

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