What 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Thoughts are swirling around in my head like dark thunder clouds. Threatening rain at any moment. I have to get control over them or bring an umbrella. Emotions are a powerful storm and predicting when they are going to form is difficult…just ask our local weather people. All that aside, there are a few things you can do to stay on top of what is happening to you. I am going to try to help you as I help myself.
- Journal- I have mentioned this before, but keeping a journal or note pad nearby helps. Write what you are feeling and acknowledge it, but let it pass. The feeling does not control you. You control it.
- Cry- If needed, have a great big sob fest. Once it is over, stop thinking about it. Start thinking about the present once again and what you can do to stay in the moment. Go do a few dull tasks like folding laundry or making a list for the store.
- Exercise- Go for a walk. It really helps me focus on my breathing and the gift of nature. I know to some people this sounds silly, but I love looking at the trees. I think about how big the world is, and how my problems might seem big at the moment, but in the grand scheme of things, they will pass.
- Think first- Now, I’m going to be honest. Ahem. This one is really hard for me. If I have a lot on my plate, I have a hard time doing this. I saw a wonderful lady speak last year and her name is Lysa TerKeurst. Her energy and honesty knocked me off my feet. I bought her book, and tried to practice what she preached about coming “Unglued”. That was the name of her book, and I knew I could fit into the categories she described. I sometimes explode. Period. I am working on that and probably always will.
- Consider options- I am getting better at this. There is more than one way to face something and I have started removing myself from the situation. Period. No going back. I don’t mind burning bridges all the way down to the ground. That sounds a bit extreme, but if it isn’t working and it hasn’t worked for a while, why go back there? I slowly remove myself from those situations and decide that I need new options.
- Find the good- This one is hard, I know. Why did this happen to me? I don’t understand. Neither do I, but focusing on the negative does not help. You know that. I know that. We all know that. Pick yourself up by the seat of your pants like the Lorax, and move on. Poof. I am doing that.
Last week, my friend was in a terrible car accident that could have been very, very bad. She has whiplash, but her car was totaled. I thanked God when I found out that she and her passenger were able to walk away. A drunk driver did not stop. He did not even seem to see the car and smashed right into her bumper. I read one book nightly, but I don’t usually talk about it here. It is a devotional book that helps me focus my prayers at night. I reflect on things and how to proceed from there.
Last night, my friend was messaging me and we talked about her pain. She said something that was so profound for me, that I want to repeat it, and I know she won’t mind. She said “I want to forget it, but I hurt, so I can’t.” Wow. I knew exactly how she felt. We then talked about a recent situation in my life and she said “Some people have so much pain in their life that they need to slop it over everyone they encounter. They have to keep engaging people with that pain. It is how they communicate.”
I then knew I had done the right thing. I have walked away from two situations that are not mine to fix. They never were. It was never about me at all. I realized that these people like to be reminded of their pain. They like to argue. Nothing I say or do will ever change that. They have to be willing to fix that for themselves and honestly, I don’t know if they can.
Don’t let your words be motivated by pain. Don’t be afraid to walk away from someone who doesn’t deserve your time. Remember what they say about that one bad apple…it really does spoil the bunch.
Some time ago, there was a situation with a certain family I know. People were being obtuse, and things were happening all around them that they did not see. It gradually escalated, and the person who was caught up in it kindly wrote an e-mail saying they were out of that situation until things changed. Now, a similar situation is happening to someone I know and they need to step away for their sanity (wait, that’s me).
When you can’t change someone or a situation because people around you are sticking their heads in the sand and ignoring all the bad parts of life, but praising the one good thing they managed to catch, it is frustrating. They claim they are defending the situation when in reality, they are enabling it. They are approving of it by their very silence. In order to prevent it from happening again, they would have to actually acknowledge the situation, which for some reason, they are not ready to do. The situation has all the power and controls them. They do not control the situation and it becoming more and more obvious.
It is necessary that you get your bearings when you are dealing with something like this and here are a few ways you can get control back over your life.
- Establish boundaries with the people responsible. “You can’t paddle another man’s canoe for him.” Isn’t it time they learned something for themselves?
- You can’t fix the problem, but you sure can fix how you react to it. Do not let it control you. Ignoring it DOES NOT make it go away. Thanks for trying. How’s that working out for you so far?
- Be consistent. Don’t let lies cover up the situation. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Someone taught me that once.
- Ask yourself if you are making FACT based decisions or excuses? Be real with yourself.
- Above all else, uphold your morals. If sticking your head in the sand makes you feel great and upholds your values, by all means continue.
I found this link about talking to people here. The people in my life don’t believe in talking. I suppose they are waiting for the situation to magically fix itself. Ha. Fat chance that will ever happen without your HELP.
“It’s not the load that breaks you down – its the way you carry it” ~Lou Holtz