It happens all the damn during divorce time and you’re probably not even aware of it.
Or you are aware of it, but you just accepted it as a way of life.
The boss just *assumes* you’re going to work late…even though you already made plans.
Your ex texts you, saying how sad he is, although you asked him to quit contacting you after the divorce.
A college-age daughter hangs up on you when she gets a call from a friend.
At this point in your life, after your divorce and as you work to move on, you probably just shrugged it off, accepting the fact that people are going to walk all over you, treat you like a doormat, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
And that the time for being a doormat ends now.
You are NOT a doormat. Period.
So, if you’re tired of being treated like a doormat after divorce, I’m going to show you how to easily stand up for yourself and show people how to treat you with the respect you deserve.
First, we gotta talk about some ugly truths. They’re hard to read, but you need to know them.
Ugly Truth #1. We are conditioned to be “nice” and to not make a scene.
Many times in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood that you were taught to play nice, to be “well-behaved, and to not make a big deal out of something, society was conditioning you to be okay with being silent. You were being conditioned, little by little, to accept the fact that people could walk all over you and take advantage of you. And you were conditioned to think it was socially unacceptable or “bad” to voice your opinion that something was wrong, or if you didn’t like something.
Being “nice” and being “the good girl” meant that your voice disappeared.
Infuriating, isn’t it?
Ugly Truth #2. Nobody taught us to establish strong boundaries.
A result of being raised to be “nice” and not make a scene meant that plenty of people—whether it was your ex, your family, your kids, your friends, your coworkers–probably asked too much of you, intruded in personal business, or took advantage of you. And since you lacked the tools to say, “No,” or “I’m not comfortable with that decision,” you did not establish strong boundaries for yourself, even before the divorce. It was like the concept never even existed.
Healthy boundaries is a critical skill to establishing your confidence…but many of us did not learn that we had the right to boundaries and to say “no.”
Ugly Truth #3. Society said that our needs didn’t matter.
At the risk of letting my feminist rage boil over here (too late!!), I think a lot of us have felt this insidious pressure to be the perfect wife and the perfect mother. Even as early as elementary school, I remember teachers saying, “Well, you’re certainly a headstrong little girl, aren’t you? None of the boys will like you if you’re so stubborn and loud.”
This probably happened to you as well—whenever you voiced that something wasn’t fair, or if you got angry that you didn’t get what you wanted. But that constant failure to acknowledge the things you wanted, even when you were little, conditioned you to think that what you wanted—even what you needed–was never a priority. Which is why so many of us have a hard time advocated for ourselves. And then we blame ourselves for not knowing how to do it.
It usually takes some life-shattering event like a divorce to wake us up.
But think of that divorce as a blessing in disguise, because now you’re presented with an opportunity to find your voice, and reverse course on the disrespect.
I want you to take everything you know about “not making a scene” and “being nice so that people don’t think you’re a bitch…” and throw in in the trash. Because your newest challenge is here.
Take the “Not a Doormat” Challenge
The next time you sense like someone is about to walk all over you, do the following:
Ask yourself: Is doing this thing something I’m comfortable with? Is it something that inconveniences me?
Ask yourself: What’s in it for me?
If there’s nothing in it for you, don’t do it.
Remind yourself that your needs matter, too.
Communicate your boundaries.
Communicate your expectations moving forward.