Real talk: are you a doormat in your relationships?

Here's the telltale signs.

Do you let your partner walk all over you? Are other people taking advantage of your kind giving nature? Is it time you stopped bending over backwards to please others?

How important are you?

Other people treat you the way you treat yourself. Think about how important you are in your life:

• Do you put yourself first or do you put others’ needs before your own?
• Do you feel guilty if you do something for yourself?
• Would you move heaven and earth to help others, yet you neglect yourself?
• When was the last time you did something nice for yourself?
• Are you constantly giving to your partner, yet rarely receive in return?
• Do you feel resentful or unappreciated for how your partner, family and friends treat you?
• Do you love yourself or are you constantly putting yourself down and judging yourself?

How important you are in your life is a reflection of your values and beliefs. Values determine our priorities, what motivates us and what is important to us, and, therefore how we spend our time. If you place yourself as a low value/priority in your life, you will spend little time doing things for yourself.

Your beliefs also play a key role in how you treat yourself, and therefore, how others treat you in return. For example, if you believe that you are not important in your life, then you will demonstrate that to others through your behaviour. This in turn, will be how they treat you. If you are constantly doing things to please others, this also reflects your beliefs eg. fear of rejection, fear of being alone, not being good enough, etc.

Here's the telltale signs.

The past is the past

Most of our past fears, self doubts, limiting beliefs and values are developed in the first twenty one years of our life, many of which are formed in the first seven years of our life.

While the past can influence our actions and how we treat ourselves now, the past is the past and can be changed. Rather than forgetting about the past, it is more empowering to learn from the past and to then let it go. That is how we can set ourselves free to be who we want to be, and have our partner treat us how we wish to be treated.

Take a stand for yourself

Stop being a doormat and start turning this dynamic around by taking a stand for yourself right now. Make a congruent decision that from now on you will make yourself a priority. Think about one thing you could do today to demonstrate to yourself that you are a priority in your life. Then do it! This in turn will show your partner, family and friends that you make yourself a priority, which will help them to see you in a different light, and to treat you differently.

For example, could you make time to do something that you have meaning to do for a while, and that you have talked about to your family, friends and partner, and never actioned? Could you show them your commitment to yourself by following through on what you say you will do for yourself? Imagine how empowered you will feel doing something you really want to do for yourself, and making yourself a priority.


Dr. Vesna Grubacevic is an author, speaker, media commentator, the founder and Performance Transformation Expert® with award-winning company, Qt. She is the creator of breakthrough behavioural change techniques, holds a PhD, a BEc and has over 35 years’ business experience. She is passionate about helping people to improve their relationships and confidence. Her Amazon best-selling book, Stop Sabotaging Your Confidence, has also been gifted to Hollywood and Australian award winners, nominees, hosts and celebrities. For more free resources on improving your relationships, please visit

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