- Gender and Relationships
Self Worth - Don't Be a Doormat
Some of you are not going to like me by the end of this article, not because I'm a mean person but because I'm going to ask you to step out of your comfort zone and to once and for all claim your worth.
Listen to me carefully: You are a beautiful, caring, giving, compassionate, loving and trustworthy woman and it's time you believed in all that you are. Stop letting men define you and shape you, believe in who you are, stand up for what you know is right, if he is worthy he will walk beside you, if not then bye-bye!
I'm not going to be a hypocrite here, I was once the doormat. I let my ex-husband set the tone of our relationship... if there was a proverbial thermostat then he controlled the switch. I gave up my interests, made all the sacrifices, cleaned, cooked, worked and looked after our son; only to be last on his list. To be fair it wasn't completely his fault, I set the tone in the beginning of that relationship. Young and naive is what I like to call it but it was really about not understanding my value.
See, it's kind of a trap or maybe trick is the better word, but in any event, it goes like this: In the beginning of a relationship if we like someone, we really want them to like us back. So what do we do, we bend and mold ourselves to be who we think they want us to be. Along the way we lose ourselves and then we wake up months or possibly years later asking "Who the hell am I?". It doesn't have to be that way. Please take this advice from someone who has lived and learned, don't be a doormat, believe in yourself and find a man who wants to be with the real you and not someone you have created just to please them.
Are you a doormat?
You can't say no- You pick him up or drive him to the airport at ungodly hours, you're always going to the movie he wants, attending the event he wants to attend. You're always driving to his place to see him. He ditches you for last minute plans with his buddies or cancels dates at the last minute to attend sporting events. The list goes on, but you get the point: The word "no" and "enough is enough" isn't in your vocabulary. If this is you then you are being walked on and taken advantage of. You need to learn to say no and to be comfortable in saying no. It's scary at first but guess what, he will respect you for standing your ground.
You avoid arguments- Heaven forbid you should rock the boat. What will happen you wonder, will he still like me, will he leave me? Holding on to anger does nothing for your relationship. You need to let him know when he has upset you or has crossed the line. Any respecting man knows it's not OK to cancel plans last minute or stand you up. However, if you consistently insist you're fine, he will continue with his bad behaviour. You teach somebody how to treat you...read that line again, repeat until it sinks in! If something angers you, think about how you are going to tell him what he's done to upset you. If you have your thoughts in order ahead of time you can get to the point, deliver the message and not get side tracked because you are out of your comfort zone.
You alter your life for him- Do you stop doing the things you enjoy because it doesn't work for his schedule. Do you cancel with your girlfriends last minute because he called to see you. Do you spend more time doing what he enjoys, with his friends and family and spend less time with your friends and family? Do you listen to his music or dress differently because he might get jealous? If you answered yes, you need to stop this now. It is not healthy to give up the things we enjoy to please another person. It might feel like it's no big deal now, but trust me, you will end up resenting him for it. It may seem like he is impressed by your willingness to bend but what's really happening is he is losing respect for you and learning that he doesn't have to put in effort because with you, anything goes.
What you can do
If you have made it clear about what you will and will not tolerate and he still treats you like dirt, it may be time to walk. It's time to break the pattern and claim your worth. A healthy relationship is one in which people work together to make the other happy and to solve problems. If he is constantly disrespecting you it may be time to accept that he is not going to change. This is the time to love yourself more than you love him and to remind yourself you can do better. Don't put up with it thinking he will eventually come around...uhm, repeat after me once more please "If someone shows you who they are, believe them!"
If you have decided it's time to move on than you need to be aware of the patterns that keep drawing you into these bad relationships. Keep an eye out for the red flags! It's easy to excuse behaviour in the beginning, ignoring a bad quality and focusing on a good one. The bad ones aren't going anywhere, they will resurface. Don't let emotions cloud your judgement, if you learn to spot the signs of a bad relationship in the making early, you can save yourself so much heartache and pain. Know when to walk, define your boundaries. Take time to get to know you and to know what you want in a relationship. Be prepared to walk (I can't stress this enough). Be confident enough to ask for what you want and need right from the start. Sure it seems scary and risky but you're only weeding out the bad seeds and bringing yourself one step closer to finding your true mate.
Remind yourself often how wonderful you are and how any good man is lucky to have you. Always remember that men like a challenge, they like a strong confident woman. How many times have you noticed that a man you have zero interest in is the one who is relentless in his pursuit? It's true, men like the chase and they like to know that you can and will stand your ground. If you want a man to not like you then go ahead, be needy, talk about how many kids you want on a first date, what you want your wedding to be like etc etc.
Trust me on this, be who you are and walk with an air of confidence and self worth and you will find a man worthy of all that you are. Don't settle, don't bend over backwards to please him and don't let him disrespect you. If you let him get away with bad behaviour even once, you are setting a pattern for future behavior. There truly are lots of fish in the sea and there are definitely good ones left. How you feel about yourself is the vibe you put into the world and what you believe is what you will attract. You are a leading lady, so stop acting like the best friend.