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Are You a People-Pleasing Doormat? 5 Signs You Need Boundaries (and How to Set Them!)

Ever feel like you bend over backwards for everyone but yourself? Like your schedule gets hijacked by requests, your "to-do" list resembles a mountain, and your personal needs are buried under a pile of "shoulds"? If so, my friend, you might be a people-pleasing doormat, gracefully welcoming everyone to walk all over you.


Dog on a doormat


People-pleasing isn't inherently bad. It can even be admirable - a sign of your empathy and generosity. But when it crosses the line and turns into bending-over-backward-at-your-own-expense, it becomes a problem. A problem that saps your energy, erodes your self-esteem and strains your relationships.


So, how do you know if it's time to reclaim your sanity (and floor space) by setting some healthy boundaries? Look for these 5 signs:


1. You're the "Yes Man/Woman" (even when it hurts). 

Your calendar resembles a Tetris game gone wrong, packed with commitments that leave you gasping for air. Saying "no" feels like treason, even when it means sacrificing your sleep, sanity, or that pottery class you've been dying to take.


2. "Me" is a four-letter word you rarely use. 

When was the last time you prioritized your own needs, desires, and well-being? If self-care sounds like a foreign language and your "me time" consists of bathroom breaks, it's time to shift the spotlight back to you.


3. "I don't want..." is a sentence lost in your vocabulary.

Expressing your needs and desires feels like walking a tightrope over a pit of disapproval. You suppress your true feelings, opting for vague nods and smiles to avoid rocking the boat.


4. You're the emotional sponge, soaking up everyone else's baggage.

You find yourself constantly consoling, fixing, and rescuing others, even when it depletes your energy reserves. Remember, boundaries aren't walls; they're filters that allow healthy support while protecting you from emotional overload.


5. Stress and anxiety are your unwelcome roommates. 

Feeling constantly on edge, drained, and overwhelmed? This could be a symptom of your internal boundaries being trampled on. Remember, prioritizing yourself isn't selfish; it's essential for your well-being.


Okay, so you're a doormat (no judgment, we've all been there!). Now, how do you transform into a self-respecting boundary-setter? Here are your battle-ready blueprints:


  1. Define your non-negotiables. What are the things that absolutely cannot be compromised? Your sleep? Your personal time? Your creative pursuits? Write these down, and let them become your guiding stars.

  2. Master the art of "I" statements. Instead of vague mumbles, speak your truth using phrases like "I feel overwhelmed when..." or "I need some time for myself..." Communicate your needs clearly and assertively, without apology.

  3. "No" is a complete sentence. It doesn't require justifications or apologies. Practice saying it confidently, knowing you have the right to decline without explanation.

  4. Prepare for push-back. Setting boundaries can ruffle feathers, especially from those used to your doormat ways. Stay firm, remember your non-negotiables, and repeat: "This is my boundary."

  5. Boundaries are a journey, not a destination. You'll stumble, there will be slip-ups, and that's okay! Be kind to yourself, learn from each experience, and keep practicing.


Remember, setting boundaries isn't about being self-centered; it's about self-respect. It's about honoring your needs, protecting your energy, and creating healthier, more fulfilling relationships. So go forth, reclaim your floor space, and let your boundaries be your shining armor in the land of people-pleasing. You deserve it!


Bonus Tips to Combat People-Pleasing:

  • Start small. Focus on one or two boundaries to set initially.

  • Seek support. Talk to a therapist, coach, or trusted friend about your struggles.

  • Celebrate your victories! Each boundary set is a step towards a happier, healthier you.


Don't let your people-pleasing tendencies turn you into a doormat. Set your boundaries, stand your ground, and reclaim your life!

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