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Doormat Syndrome

Healthy living isn’t about just caring for our bodies, but it’s also about looking after our mental and emotional well-being too. People who behave passively often feel that their lives are outside of their own control, something that not only impairs their quality of life but also can even lead them into depression and anxiety. Unable to express their own opinions, wants and needs, they frequently back down in the face of even the slightest resistance and often feel obliged to say yes when what they really want to say is no.

Although, in certain circumstances, all of us will choose the path of least resistance, there is a big difference between this and feeling unable to stand up for ourselves. In the first case, we do things willingly and we are not filled with resentment. In the second, though, the sense of obligation that comes out of our low sense of self-worth and our feelings of inferiority and guilt makes us feel angry and put-upon as we continually ignore our own needs and meet the demands of others.

Essentially, we teach others how to treat us with every interaction that we have, and if we behave like a doormat, others will treat us as such. In some cases, where feelings of low self-worth are long-standing and deep-rooted, professional help is necessary to address these so that we can learn to act more assertively, but in others, all it takes is to attend a short assertiveness course.

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