How to Stop Being a Doormat and Start Standing Up for YourselfThere are two ways of being nice and they both can look the same on the outside, but the motivation for each differs dramatically:You choose to be nice because you think it’s bestYou feel compelled to be nice out of fear. A pattern of being too nice is sometimes referred to as being a pushover or doormat.How to tell when you’re being too niceIf you answer yes to at least two of the following questions, you are probably feeling compelled to be nice:Are you afraid of letting someone down?Are you avoiding conflict at all costs?Are you going along with the crowd even though you don’t want to?Are you feeling incompetent, inferior, weak, helpless, afraid, taken advantage of?When you find yourself being a doormat (or too nice, pushover, whatever), it’s because you have certain social rights you’re forgetting to assert.It’s like being charged with a crime you didn’t commit, but forgetting you have the right to remain silent and to legal counsel during an interrogation. You end up babbling and incriminating yourself. Whoops.If you don’t know your rights, you’ll always be taken advantage of.Know your rights: The 10 social rights you didn’t know you hadThe first two rights set the foundation for the rest. We’ll review them in depth. The others are self-explanatory.The list below is an adaptation of the “Bill of Assertive Rights” outlined by Manuel Smith in his book, When I Say No, I Feel Guilty.1. You have the right to think, feel, and behave any way you wantYou have the choice to comply with others wishes or demands. Others may tell you they know better, are smarter, or appear more confident than you. But they cannot control you. You are responsible for yourself. No one else.You may find yourself giving up this right because you don’t trust yourself to make the right choice. Instead, it’s easier to defer to someone else to tell you what to do. Just remember, it’s your choice to give up this right and you are still responsible for the consequences. No one else.Having this right is different from asserting it. Part of being in any type relationship involves making sacrifices. But you are making a choice to comply with others instead of doing it because you feel compelled.The point here is that you stop second guessing yourself by learning to trust your own judgement and getting comfortable making mistakes.2. You have the right to not take responsibility for other people's behaviors or problemsJust like you’re responsible for your own behavior, others are responsible for theirs and the consequences that come along with them. They may beg you, put you down, or guilt trip you. But that doesn’t make you responsible for them.When you decide that it’s best to take some responsibility for others problems, remember that it’s a choice you’re making.The point here it that you can’t make everyone happy. There will be times when letting someone down may be the best thing for you.You can’t control other people, either. You may spend a great deal of time trying to get their approval or to justify your behavior to them. But they have the right to think of you whatever they want.The point here is that get comfortable when others disagreeing with choices that you make.The remaining rights are variations of these first two.3 . You have the right to say noMay make them angry. May make you feel guilty. But you always have this choice.4. You have the right to ask for helpJust because you can’t control others, doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help. Learning to speak up for yourself and asking for help when you need it is a necessary skill. Otherwise, you will always be overwhelmed and burned out.5. You have the right to not careThere are too many problems in this world to care about all of them. And not everyone can care about yours. It’s okay, learn to care about the problems that matter most to you. Your efforts will be better spent.6. You have the right to change your mindAs you learn more information about things, the best course of action will change to, even though it may piss people off from time to time.7. You have the right to make mistakesMistakes happen and they will happen to you. “Jeez Charlie, I know I said I would help you move this weekend, but I completely forgot I had my other friends wedding.” When you make one, be up front about it. Most people are forgiving of mistakes, especially when you give them an honest explanation.8. You have the right to be incompetentYou don’t have to know everything. “That’s a good question and I don’t know the answer.”When you quit pretending to know everything and start focusing on what you know instead, others will start respecting you more.9. You have the right to disagree with others/express your opinionIt’s annoying when someone never has their own opinion. It’s normal to disagree.Sometimes it can be scary, like giving a dissenting opinion in a business meeting. But you’re tougher than you think.10. You have the right to offer no justificationsYou don’t need to offer lengthy justifications all the time just because someone disagrees with you. Only explain yourself to the point you think is necessary.Practice asserting your rightsSimply knowing these rights isn’t enough. You have to get comfortable using them in your everyday life.