Healing the Doormat Ways…3 Tips on Getting Up Again.

Healing the Doormat WaysWhat is a doormat personality?  It is someone who believes they are actually unworthy of boundaries.  The people pleasing behavior is there and it doesn’t ruffle feathers.  There is a desire to be accepted that is so strong that it seems to override the part of the brain that says “Hey, you are better than this.  Say something!”

Where does this come from?  It could come from a past history of feeling abandoned, ridiculed to the point of low self-esteem, or it could actually just be there with one particular person for reasons unknown to you, but you recognize it, and want things to change.

As we work towards healing the doormat ways, you have to understand that this is not an overnight process, but a work in progress, and that’s perfectly okay.  Once you have recognized the signs, know that there are things you can do to change yourself, but not the other person.  You can only ever work to change yourself and this is a key factor here.  The other person will not change, so repeat this to yourself.

It is important to recognize these 3 key thought patterns and work on yourself, not them.

3 Tips on Healing the Doormat Ways:

  1. Recognize when you are going into victim mentality.  It might be like this in your head “I am not at fault here.  I had nothing to do with that.”  Sometimes, the truth is hard.  It is harder still when you start to look at the facts of what is happening objectively and you actually see your involvement in a situation.  Maybe you haven’t been all that clear in your interactions with someone and you thought that things were implied. This leads to you not having to take a stand and then it loops back around to the victim thinking.  You never actually had to say out loud how you felt, but it was implied, therefore you didn’t actually have to involve yourself in life’s disappointments and feelings.  I know that sound complicated right now, but think about it.  Does everyone know where they stand with you when you feel disappointed?  Next time, use I feel statements.  I feel cornered when you don’t call ahead and just show up here asking me to babysit. It puts me in a difficult situation.  There.  It’s out.  Not implied.
  2. Set boundaries that you admire.  We are each responsible for our own boundaries, and sometimes we “wish” we could be like someone else.  So if you admire someone and how they handle situations, think about what it is that you actually admire.  Do you like the way they say no without apologizing?  Write that down on a list.  Do you like the way they tell their friends that their kids can’t ruin their couch by eating on it?  Write it down.  Maybe it’s how they handle relationships and boundaries.  Now apply these thoughts to your life.  No, we can’t change other people nor can we become other people, but we can take some cues from them and start to apply the good parts to our own lives.  In this situation remember this, the clearer you are on what you want to allow in your life and what you want to repel from your life, the clearer your energy is.  Your thoughts, actions and body language will start to reflect it.  You are working on you.  No one else is going to do this for you.  So use this list only to work on yourself, your actions, and your thoughts.
  3. Start learning how to detach from approval.  This one is going to take some time and will not happen overnight.  Grab your journal and write approval in the middle of the page.  What does it feel like to you?  Circle it and branch off with why you want it, how it feels, and what it does for you.  Okay, good.  Next, write dislike on a page.  How does that feel?  Branch off, and keep going.  What is the worst thing that can happen if you are disliked?  Did you write it down?  This part is going to be uncomfortable as growth often is.  Growth can be disguised as struggle and pain.  So for just a minute, think about how it is going to feel when you start to stand up for yourself.  And then you keep doing it over and over again.  Interestingly enough, the feelings of standing up for yourself will be similar to the ones under the approval cluster.  Only this time, you will have created those feelings for yourself.

As you begin to make this change to your inner self, your outer self will start to reflect it as well.  Note that people in your life, especially narcissistic ones, are not going to like this change and they might start to fall away…and that’s okay.  You are now learning how to meet your own needs and make boundaries that are appropriate for you, not them.  You might start to see less of them, and eventually not see them at all.  The people who are meant to be in your life will now have more of a clear space and that my friend, is where you will find peace and balance.  Looking for more tips on creating balance in your life and taking back your life?  Check out the >> Club with Soul. << where journal therapy, meditations, yoga poses for beginners (even if you have never tried it and don’t move much), and tutorials are available to you 24/7.

Stop Approval Seeking Behavior With These 5 Steps

Take 3 deep breaths.  Think back on your childhood and things you did to get attention.  Were they good behaviors to be seen as the good child or were they naughty actions to be seen as someone who needed to be scolded and constantly reminded to try better?  No matter which route you took, or even a combination, you were probably trying to win approval from the adults around you.  Depending on the reactions you got, it further reinforced this behavior.

I am going to be honest, as a child, I don’t know if I just liked the bad route or if I got used to being told “Stop that Aimee.  Go to your room.”  But I probably thought that was my name for a while.  Gotoyourroom.  <<< my name.  So I got used to lots of alone time and introspection.  Not a bad thing, really, but I did want to fit in as I got older.

Apparently, we have been wired since before time, seriously, to be a “pack” or a group.  It used to be linked to survival just like in animals, but times have changed.  We aren’t trying to forage in the cold wilderness and seek shelter.  We have evolved; however, someone forgot to tell us that.  We are still seeking that pack acceptance…the need to fit in.

At home we want our parents, siblings, and relatives to like us.  We genuinely want to have love and with love, we feel like we have to have that approval.  That doting grandma beaming at our accomplishments creating the shrine to how great we are.  Saving that last bite of special cake for us.  This does not always happen.  Ha.  Sometimes, we are the black sheep.  Baaaa.

At work we want our co-workers to give us high-fives in the hallway.  Our boss to nod at us in respect and say things like “You saved the x account today.  Single handed.  It was all you.”  You want that Elle Woods moment in the court room where everyone thought you weren’t paying attention, but you were smarter than you looked.  But the truth is, sometimes your life is more like Friends where Chandler has worked at his office for years and not a soul knows what he does.

You ask yourself questions each and every night like:

  • Will I still be liked if I am 15 pounds heavier?
  • What if I don’t wear the exact right outfit to work tomorrow?  Will they laugh at me?
  • What if I stand up and say no to something that is wrong with this policy at work?  Will I get fired?
  • What if I answer truthfully because I am really tired of how I have been treated…will I still have love/respect/a place in this world?
  • What if I was honest?

You, my friend, are creating the pressure for yourself.

5 Steps to Stop Seeking the Approval of Others:

  1. Firstly, what is it you actually want out of the relationship?  Ask yourself what the end goal is and if you seeking approval is going to produce that or help you in any way.  The answer might even surprise you.  Journal it right now.  You can do this in a variety of ways.  Put the desired result in the middle of a bubble and your actions all around it that will produce the result, or just write about it.
  2. Identify what emotion or result you were seeking from the above exercise.  If the answer is acceptance, ask yourself if you fully accept yourself right now as you are.  Faults and all.  If the answer is love, take a good hard look in the mirror.  Are you worthy of love?  Of course you are.  No past mistakes are bad enough that you are not worthy of loving yourself.  Your subconscious is likely remembering language from your childhood.  “Why are you always bad?”  “You aren’t good enough…”  “Why can’t you be more like so and so.”  <<< So and so is now in jail.  Or has had a rough life because everyone thought they were so great.  It’s time we move our inner child past these experiences with some loving kindness to ourselves.  You can heal these wounds by noticing every time you think these thoughts and allowing yourself to replace them with the mantra “I am worthy of love.  I am enough.”  Write this in your journal.
  3. Take baby steps.  In any good program they say things like “Well, it took you 9 months to gain that weight…” or whatever, but we forget the months and expect immediate results.  When I deal with clients who are in a rush, I watch their language.  What they are willing to change and work on right now without expecting to change over night always tells me more about themselves than they realize.  Are they being honest with themselves?  Are they willing to do the work?  <<< 2 great questions to ask yourself.  Don’t attach yourself to a certain place, friend, job, promotion etc. without seeing all the steps it takes to make it work.  Your self-worth is also not tied up in the fact that sometimes things simply don’t work out.  Not trying to throw anyone under the bus, but take teacher of the year.  It was not ever based on merit in my school district.  One lady won because she was not actually at work all year.  True story.  She was ill, and people were glad she was better.  While I get this, truly I do, other people were so wrapped up in winning that they talked about this for months.  It was never in your control.  Period.  Let. It. Go. Be like Elsa.
  4. On that note, learn to take rejection.  Things happen.  Let’s think back to the first time you faced rejection.  Hmmm.  I got it.  My school team (back then it was called Olympics of the Mind), came really close to winning the top prize and going to state, which was a big deal to my 5th grade self.  Sadly, we lost.  But we all had a great deal of fun and our performance was very unique.  We got to work together on the props and I made new friends.  I still talk to those people today…some x number of years I won’t name later.  Fast forward to being observed as a teacher.  UGH.  I could not stand it because there were so many factors out of my control.  Would x kid act like his lost his mind today?  Definitely.  Would such and such say something embarrassing?  Yes.  Always.  But what could I control?  Me.  Myself.  And I.  I would visualize the lesson going perfectly, having the correct responses, and being prepared.  Sometimes it worked…sometimes I had to say you know what?  I will try again tomorrow.  <<< always remember you can try again.  Something better might be coming from that rejection and you never even saw it coming.
  5. Lastly, remember you are always learning.  Focus on you and only you.  Learn to be like the cool new Michael Phelps meme out there.  It looks like this:Micheal_phelpsBut it says winners focus on winning.  Losers focus on winners.  Or something like that:)  I know many, many people who are constantly checking on what others are doing.  Do you think the people out there doing things are thinking about them?  Nope.  Have a “growth mindset” where you know you have some things to learn, but looking at other people and where they are is not going to help you.  Only focus on you and your path.

powerWant to work with me on changing yourself in a self-guided course?  More on that here.  Also see Head|Heart|Health for more.

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