Martha Beck has put together a checklist for you to determine where you rank on the "doormat" scale. Do the following statements pertain to you? Answer true or false. 1. I lie about my feelings if the truth might upset someone. 2. I want people to sense it when I've hit my limit, without my having to say anything. 3. I go blank when asked what I want, like, or think. 4. My "to do" list includes things I don't have to do, and things I don't want to do. 5. I eat, cry, smoke, or drink when I'm angry. 6. I sometimes feel quite drained; I explode at my loved ones and then feel terrible about it. 7. I feel panicky about the thought of someone disliking or disapproving of me. 8. I feel virtuous when I override my own needs or wishes to please others. 9. I feel resentful while doing things for other people. 10. I complain about other people's needs and demands when they aren't present. If you answered true to one of these statements, you need to work on that particular action and reaction. If you answered true to four or more of these statements, you are definitely a "doormat." You need to work on saying "No"! Don't Be A Doormat! Life coach Martha Beck says that every woman in the country is socialized to act like a doormat. It doesn't have to be that way! Checklist: Are you are a doormat? Quick Tips Martha says that there is a way to learn to say "No," and that even the biggest doormat can change her ways. Here's her advice to cure the disease to please. Find Time for Yourself Schedule time away from your job, your partner and your children. Use this opportunity to tune in to what you want and need. Don't feel that you're being selfish; you have a responsibility to yourself to take care of your needs. Buy Time The next time you're asked to do something, don't answer right away. Say, "Let me think about it," or "I have to take care of something right now. I'll call you back and let you know." This will give you time to evaluate the situation and decide if it's something you truly want to do. How to set personal boundaries. Practice Saying "No" For many women, saying "No" doesn't come naturally. But practice makes perfect, so start now! In choosing your responses, remember the K.I.S.S. principle: Keep It Short and Simple. You can try it in the mirror, or even walk around the house saying it. Get used to hearing yourself say the word, and then you'll be ready to use it with other people! For Your Health Dr. Nancy Snyderman, medical correspondent for Good Morning America, once suffered from the need to please—until she realized her health was in danger. Having the courage to say "No" is a commitment to your health and will likely save your life. It's Bad for Your Body The emotional build-up of not being able to say "No" increase your stress hormones, such as adrenaline. Your heart can beat faster than normal. Your blood pressure will rise and blood vessels narrow, eventually becoming a problematic condition. Dr. Snyderman says these conditions "increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer—all the things that can put you in an early grave." The "Stew and Chew" Theory "In the old days, when we were primal and chased by wild animals, there was a fight or flight syndrome," Dr. Snyderman says. "You stood and fought, or you ran away. Those stress hormones allowed you to escape danger. We don't do that anymore. We sit at our desks doing very sedentary things, and as we give too much of ourselves, we sit there and we fret and worry. We reach for potato chips and everything unhealthy. We stew and we chew, and we don't feel good about ourselves." Saying "Yes" to You If you think you're stressed, take time for your physical self! Go run up and down a few flights of stairs or take a quick walk. Dr. Snyderman says, "It will help release those primal hormones that are always in your body and make you feel better about yourself!" Evaluate the relationships in your life. Dr. Snyderman asks: Are you at the service of people that are only "takers" and give you nothing back? "One day, you'll wonder why you're all spent, because you have nothing left!" Make it your responsibility to put yourself first sometimes. "That's not selfish, that's self-preservation," Dr. Snyderman says. "You'll have more to give people when you want to. When you have nothing left for yourself, and you have anger, you'll have that stress."