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.

Old News…

20 years sounds like a long time.  Not really.  This weekend was my high school reunion (20th) and my Uncle’s 50th.  Several things put the passage of time in perspective for me.  One of my old teachers came to our reunion and spoke to us about life.  It was great to see him and hear what he had to say.  I talked to old friends like it was yesterday, and really missed the ones who couldn’t make it.  I pondered why so many classmates did not make it out.  With the invention of Facebook, many people can check in on your “life”.  One of my classmates and I discussed this very fact; however, it is not the same as face-to-face contact.

Let me explain.  What you post on the book of face is not always as it appears.  Sure, some people post everything, but others are more selective in their approach.  I think that people are so worried about the passage of time and what others’ perceptions of them might be or might have been that they are afraid to see people face-to-face.  I spoke to one person about that as well last night.  I said that oftentimes in high school we are so worried about what others might think that we fail to show our true personalities.  It is difficult to break out of that “brand”.  So much so that people are periodically trying to be seen as the person they were 20 years ago, when in fact, things have changed.  It was difficult to be different 20 years ago, but I applaud the ones who were.

We worried about the correct clothes, the right hair, the right shoes, and perhaps we still do.  Oddly enough, the story of the Michigan girl who was bullied came to light this weekend, and it made me proud to see that she went to the homecoming game anyway.  The story is here.  I remember being teased, and yes bullied.  There is no other word for it.  Someone tried to force me to admit to something I did not do and even went so far as to come over to my house and harass me with two of her friends.  She has never apologized for that action, and probably never will.  She sent me a Facebook friend request instead.  Ha.  I took that as her way of apologizing many, many years later.  Why did I accept you might ask?  Because we can change and 20 years is a long time to hold a grudge.

Sure, we still worry about what others might think, but in the end, you have to ask yourself one question…who gives a rat’s ass?  So I danced like it was 20 years ago and took ridiculous photos with my friends.  I laughed loud and smiled often.  My husband, who is ever my supporter, stood by and smiled his secret smile and just observed.  He really isn’t one for small talk anyway.  So if I don’t see some of you for a while, just know that it was great to catch up with you and some things never change:)

“Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations.”  ~Faith Baldwin

What if…

It is never my intent to piss somebody off, but invariably, it will happen in life.  As my friend said today…I might be sorry it hurt your feelings, but I stand by what I said.  I don’t think this is just a Scorpio quality although we can both be pretty stubborn.  In the middle of one of these “discussions” today with my friends, I said something that I hoped didn’t hurt their feelings.  I said, you know, this really makes me mad.  I get tired of hearing the same old thing from the same people who always, ALWAYS say that they can’t change the way things work so why even try.  They say they don’t like x,y, and then there’s that nefarious z.  Usually it’s z’s fault anyway…he always comes last.  They rant about it…they ponder it, and they may even want to change something, but they won’t.  So I said, what if Gandhi said “You know what, you be the change you want to see.  I’m out.  I am just one skinny man.”  Or what if Martin Luther King, Jr. said “I have a dream, but my four little children will never see it.  Enough about that.”  Then there’s the famous quote by Winston Churchill, you know the speech I have spoken about in one of my previous posts here…”Never give in, never give in, never; never; wait, they gave you a raise.  Well that’s okay then.”  Yup.  These are the quotes that made these men famous, right?  Oh wait.  Not so much.

So, for random topic Tuesday, I started thinking about all the great people who have come before me.  I started thinking about the ways they inspired people, all over the world, and what a difference one person can make.  Man, woman, or child.  Who am I talking to?

“You must do the things you think you cannot do.”  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Something doesn’t feel right…

“Live so that your friends can defend you but never have to.”  ~Arnold H. Glasow

When I write, so much can be read into my words as I mentioned in a previous post.  I believe in being honest and straight to the point.  I have been doing a fair amount of self-reflection.

Let me clue you in on what I mean.  I have a very strong sense of right and wrong.  It bothers me when I know that people are being taken advantage of, tricked, or lied to.  Out of all possible human traits, being dishonest is the one that makes me see red.  I have a very hard time dealing people who have shown a constant clear path towards deception.  I’m not talking about the things you tell your friends when they ask you if this outfit makes them look fat…I’m talking about the full-fledged make up an entirely different version of something happening type of story.  How do you look those people in the eye ever again?

It’s simple for me.  I try my best to show them the way to honesty.  I don’t wait until something festers, I take action immediately with these types of people because if you wait, their story spins out of control.  I have counseled quite a few people recently who have caught co-workers in a web of tall tales.  The most recent person was related to me.  It seems that no matter your age, no matter your profession, the “game” is being played all over.  I know this is true, but it doesn’t make me feel any better.  In fact, I told this person she was old enough to retire and get away from this nonsense.  Under no circumstance, whatsoever, would I feel good if my boss asked me to lie.

You know the old saying “If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.”  I use that on a daily basis in my life and on the job.  I am not afraid of losing my job.  I am quite serious.  The one thing that I can take with me throughout every job I will ever have is my integrity.  Here is what every employee handbook should contain:

Rule #1:  Use your good judgment in all situations.  There will be no additional rules.  ~Nordstrom’s Employee Handbook

I will end by saying that I went to a workshop recently where my co-workers had to write words down to describe me.  Every word made me immensely happy, but honesty was the first word written down.



Pick on someone your own…age

I have thought about this all weekend and it is time to write this one.  A few weeks ago, my daughter came home from school and told her sister a woman approached her during lunch.  The woman was another student’s mom and she asked my daughter to stay out of her daughter’s seat at lunch.  They are in third grade and they do not have assigned seats.  She also said something like “You haven’t been very nice, have you?”  My child was sitting alone at the time it happened.  When I found out about this incident it was the very next morning and I was getting ready for work.  My husband came up to me and told me what he overheard and I was so mad I couldn’t see straight.  I told my baby girl not to be afraid and not to keep anything from her parents.  If she had told me when I picked her up from school, I would have taken care of it then.  I got ready in a hurry and marched into the school on a mission.  I saw the principal and asked for a word right then and there.  She was about to go into a meeting, but I told her she needed to be informed of a woman who was being rude to my child at lunch.  I explained what happened and also told her that she needed to let this woman know to take up her concerns with the classroom teacher, not my child.  I thought it was very odd behavior on the part of the mother, but I hoped that was the end of it.

On Friday, this ridiculous human being came back.  This time, my daughter was not alone and several other students overheard the whole incident.  My daughter was sitting at a table with her friends trying to eat her lunch and the mother came over and said something like “Stay out of my daughter’s seat!”  My daughter responded “We do not have assigned tables or assigned seats.” The woman said “I know that, but that is my daughter’s seat. Do I make myself CLEAR?”  She then proceeded to go over to bring her daughter bottled water since she can’t drink from ummm public water fountains.  After that, she went over to my daughter’s friend and asked why she was friends with my daughter.  Here’s where the slow motion scene comes in like Matrix.

I received a phone call at work from my daughter’s principal.  She told me she needed to let me know something that had happened at school.  When she told me the above things and the fact that my daughter and several of her friends ran over to her when she came into the lunchroom, I started seeing red.  My first thought was that the principal never contacted the mother after the first incident.  I mean, why would a grown woman keep coming back if she knew we were all aware of this?  My second thought was that I was going to kick this woman’s ass.  I am not going to deny it.  That was my second thought.  I heard the principal like a buzz in my ear saying something like “and I have never banned anyone from school before, but I have banned her from the school grounds”.  Okay, whew.  I don’t have to put on some black leather outfit and ride up on a Ducati 996, because don’t think I won’t.  She went on to say that she took statements and had her security guard check the grounds for this woman.  Finally, she said, I thought about having you two meet…stop it right there.  Yes, I interrupted her and said that.  I went on to say “You don’t want me to meet with this woman.  Trust me on that.  I am a professional and I would like to keep it that way.  I have to set a good example, and I can see no good coming out of a meeting with her.”  She then told me to think about it over the weekend, and I did.

What I came up with is this.  I have zero tolerance in bullying of any kind.  I have taught my children to be friends with everyone including this woman’s daughter.  I want the teacher to step in and have the girls talk.  Once that is done, I never, ever want to hear about this woman again.  She will be banned for the rest of the year.  I’m not sure how old this woman is or what kind of problems she had in school, but when I was a kid, my mom didn’t come up to school to fight my battles, and believe me, I was picked on just like the next kid.  What the teacher said was iron-clad back then and if your mom came up to school and talked to the principal, well it was all over then.  I never would have gone home and made up a story about a little girl sitting in my seat and even if I did, my mom would have told me to deal with it.  This mother has turned to using intimidation on 8 and 9-year-old girls, and has completely bypassed talking to the teacher.  The sad thing is, my daughter never finished her lunch and told me when this lady was leaning over her she got a weird feeling in her “tummy”.  That upset me most of all, but I am proud of my daughter.  She stood up for herself, and that in itself, is a lesson.

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”  ~Harvey S. Firestone

Never give in…

Conversation with Winston Churchill:

What do you say to people who have enemies?  “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”  Oh, okay.  That does make sense.  I like that quote.  I’ll probably use it, but what if people lack the courage to do what is right nowadays?  “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”  Yes, I know you are right.  There are days that many of my friends get discouraged.  Sometimes, I wish I had the right words to use to make them feel better.  “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”  I say that to myself a lot; however, it bears repeating over and over in order to really believe it.  I must tell you sir, that your speech entitled Never Give In has so many great quotes that it is hard for me to pick just one.  I hope my dear friends read it and think about your words.  I especially like the part where you say “appearances are often very deceptive” because that rings true in everyday life today just as it did when you wrote this speech in 1941.  Thank you sir for your help this evening.  I’ll leave my friends with one final thought for the night:

“Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty-never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”  ~Winston Churchill