hand.jpgSome people tell me they can’t stop pleasing others, no matter how hard they try. They get fed up, say, “No more,” and then succumb when asked for more favors. They come to me asking what’s wrong with them. Why can’t they stand up to people they know are using them or taking them for granted? I label it having DoorMat Syndrome. When I had it, it felt like I had a disease–the inability to say no to pleasing others. It becomes so ingrained that it’s hard to stop, even if a piece of you wants to.

I believe that for some, people pleasing is an addiction, like alcoholism or overeating.

We over-please to soothe ourselves. It takes the edge off of being afraid to get lonely if you haven’t got enough people around you. In an irrational way it compensates for feeling insecure about yourself if you believe it keeps people continuing to like you. I was addicted to pleasing others years ago! I was on people pleasing autopilot for over half my life. I’d automatically say yes to any request.

When you’re completely focused on making sure that people like you, and you can’t stop even if you hate yourself for being that way, chances are you suffer from DoorMat Syndrome.

This may sound lousy but it’s good for you to recognize if you fit this profile. Once you know and acknowledge it, you can take a step to healing the reasons that keep you in people pleasing mode. Just like an alcoholic, you must be willing to say, “I am a DoorMat.” As it sinks in, write down all the reasons you’d like to change that to reinforce taking a step. We get something out of being DoorMats, which is why it happens in the first place. I thought pleasing others compensated for my not being thin and pretty enough.

DoorMats don’t want anyone being mad at

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