I remember when I was about 15, a girl from my school said that I was a doormat because I let people walk all over me. She told me to grow a backbone.

I remember feeling really taken back because I didn’t feel like a doormat. I was confident, often said my piece and had the occasional disagreement with people and sometimes even the classic MSN argument! (Those of you who don’t know what MSN is, it was basically the WhatsApp of its time but you tended to log on using the big old desktop computer and pretend you were on bitesize when your parents asked what you were doing).

Either way, I felt quite offended and upset. Obviously I didn’t say anything about it because well, that would involve standing up for myself. Oh, the irony!

Any who, this comment has stuck with me my whole life and it’s essentially made me react to conflicting situations by either a) making a mountain out of a molehill or b) apologizing frequently for things that other people have done to me.

I know I’m not the only one. Women have a real tendency to say sorry for everything – not all of them but it’s a distinctive trait for many. For example, someone bumps into you – you say sorry. You both try and walk into the same space on the pavement and block each other off – ‘sorry’. Someone’s waiting to use the microwave at work, ‘sorry – it’ll only be a minute’. Sorry. Oh sorry. Sorry about that. Sorry… In any of these situations – did we do anything wrong? Do we have anything to be sorry for? It’s the weirdest thing.

I’ve always been the kind of person that tries to give people the benefit of the doubt. I’m usually the first to buy a round, the first to volunteer for a crap job and also the first to apologise when anything goes wrong.

I can be a bit of a doormat – particularly when I care about people. I will literally beat myself up for days if I think I’ve upset someone. Evidently, a lot of the time – I’ve not actually upset anyone at all and then I apologise for being stupid and saying sorry for thinking I’ve upset someone.

What I don’t do enough, is say when I feel like someone has treated me like a doormat. Where they haven’t considered my feelings or taken advantage of my kindness.

We always say to be kind to each other at stop the world, but most of all, be kind to yourself. Fill your life with people who treat you with respect and appreciate your kindness and remove people who make you feel like a doormat.

If you are one of those people, don’t take our kindness for weakness. We are very strong people, often with a forgiving nature but we are not weak. The strongest people put up with the most shit – believe me!

There are some amazing people in this world, so spend your time with people who appreciate that you’re amazingness as much as you appreciate theirs.

Love always,

Lauren x

Evidence that amazing people exist!

Positive of the day: I just did my first presentation in my new job and it went really well! Someone even said that she felt really inspired – I almost jumped on her to give her a hug!