Thursday, January 24, 2013

Are You a Doormat?

Are you a DOORMAT? Let's hope not! I'll admit, I used to have doormat-like tendencies before I started my healing and recovery journey. Today, I can say, I am learning how NOT to be a doormat in every area of my life.

A doormat is a tool; a rug that we use on the front door of our homes to keep dirty shoes from traipsing mud onto our floors. We don't think about the doormat, we just walk on it, leaving our dirt all over it.

People are also called doormats. These are the folks that everyone takes advantage of. They can't say no, and they do everything asked of them. It's obvious to people who are not doormats that people who are doormats think they're worthless.

The doormat wrongly assumes that it is more attractive to give up her rights. She thinks that people will like her more if she ignores her own needs and meets the needs of others instead. She has the whole thing backwards. The truth is that when she gives up her own needs to please others, she may gain their approval, but she loses their respect. Not only do her needs go unmet, but she is disrespected and exploited by those around her.

The basic thought process of a doormat is this:

"I am not worthy to be on this planet. Everyone else is more valuable than me. I am not in touch with my own needs, therefore I don't know exactly what I need and I cannot express my needs directly. This makes me give other people whatever they want so somehow they will miraculously guess what I need. If others do not guess what I need, I get upset and feel victimized, and I lash out indirectly with manipulative tactics. As a doormat, I get to play the victim. This makes me feel like the good guy while everyone else (who are above me) are the wicked villains."
  1. A doormat thinks he is below everyone else on earth.
  2. A doormat believes she is always in the wrong somehow.
  3. A doormat apologizes a lot.
  4. A doormat gets walked-on by others.
  5. A doormat expects to be treated poorly.
  6. A doormat is a victim.
  7. A doormat enjoys whining to others about upsets.
  8. A doormat takes comfort in sharing pain with others.
  9. A doormat feels that life is unfair.
  10. A doormat feels he has no control over circumstances.
  11. A doormat needs approval from others because she doesn't approve of herself.
  12. A doormat wants people to feel sorry for her.
  13. A doormat sucks the life out of people around him.
  14. A doormat does not want to take responsibility for her own life.
  15. A doormat gets secondary benefit from his low position.
  16. A doormat does not own her own power.
  17. A doormat is grateful for any show of approval from others.
  18. A doormat won't take up for herself because she's afraid of being rejected.
  19. A doormat gets taken advantage of by others.
  20. A doormat doesn't want to grow up and own his own power.
  21. A doormat spends time complaining to others about the unfairness of others.
  22. A doormat gets her power by making others feel guilty.
  23. A doormat tries to get his needs met indirectly through manipulation.
  24. A doormat is afraid to confront people in her life.
  25. A doormat feels she is not worthy of protecting herself.
  26. A doormat wants other people to guess what he needs.
  27. A doormat feels mistreated on a daily basis.
  28. A doormat uses manipulative tactics to get her needs met like withdrawal and silent treatment.
  29. A doormat lets people have their way at his own expense and then resents it later.
  30. A doormat gets his sense of being okay from the approval of others.
  31. A doormat does not tell another person what he or she is truly feeling.
  32. A doormat avoids confrontation.
  33. A doormat spends a lot of time saying, "woe is me."
  34. A doormat does not have any boundaries.
  35. A doormat does not respect the boundaries of others.
  36. A doormat is just as bad as a tyrant, just on the opposite end of the spectrum.
  37. A doormat thinks he is being a bigger person by putting himself below others.
  38. A doormat thinks that it is noble to be lower than others.
  39. A doormat doesn't realize that to ignore herself, is to ruin the balance of relationships.
  40. A doormat doesn't realize that to ignore himself, is to ignore the needs of others.
  41. A doormat ignores his or her own needs.

The mindset of a doormat is that of a victim. The doormat says, "poor me, look what everyone is doing to me," when in truth, the doormat is doing it to himself. It is our job as individuals to take responsibility for our own self. We are in charge of our own life. It is not noble or good to take care of the needs of others while ignoring our own. As I've mentioned before, it is impossible to love others if we do not love ourselves. We must stand-up and take responsibility for our own lives FIRST.

How Not to Be a Doormat

If you are a doormat presently, or if you're waking up from being a doormat, you are probably interested in ways to stop it immediately. I can tell you, transitioning from a doormat to an equal human being with value and worth on planet earth is not easy, but you can do it. A doormat can't do it, but the capable person that you truly are--you can get up off the floor and stand-up for yourself.
  1. Make a decision to stand-up for yourself.
  2. Figure out what your needs are in any given situation.
  3. Express your needs directly without fearing the consequences.
  4. Be prepared to walk out of any situation where you are being disrespected.
  5. Set firm boundaries with others as to what you will tolerate.
  6. Stop whining and complaining to others about what people are "doing to you."
  7. Choose your own side in any argument.
  8. Stop apologizing for how you feel or what you need.
  9. Start approving of yourself.
  10. Detach from the need of other people's approval. 
How to Tell If You're a Doormat

It is sometimes difficult to look at our own behavior objectively. Here is a list of ways that may indicate that you're being a doormat in your life.
  1. You feel like others are taking advantage of you.
  2. You are unsure of what you need in a given relationship.
  3. You are afraid to speak your mind about how you feel.
  4. You talk badly about others you feel have wronged you in some way.
  5. You do things you don't want to do then resent it later.
  6. You allow other people to disrespect you.
  7. You maintain friendships with people you secretly don't like.
  8. You "keep the peace" instead of speaking your mind.
  9. You walk on eggshells around others.
  10. You let another person tell you how you think or feel.
If you find that you're being a doormat in your life, it's time to STAND UP and SHAKE OFF THE DIRT! Make a change now. You deserve it. Don't let another minute of your life go by as a diminished person--because that's what you are if you're not living your truth, speaking your mind and taking up for yourself by getting your own needs met in a healthy way. Such a person is not whole, but rather half--depending on others to make them okay. Not a pleasant way to live.

Making the Transition

When you transition from doormat to a Person of Self-Respect, you will experience friction in your life. People may have liked you the way that you were--of course! You were meeting their needs while ignoring your own. People may not like the idea of meeting your needs, and they may put up a fight. This is your opportunity to pick your own side. This is your chance to show your own self that you mean business and that you are going to stand up for yourself and your needs over and above anyone else. News Flash! THIS IS YOUR JOB. You owe it to yourself to express your needs. You have a right in relationship to expect at least some of your needs to be met.
You have to make demands of life. People won't come up to you all the time asking you what your needs are and ask how they can meet them. Not at all. If you don't speak up, somebody will. Ask yourself if you spend more time getting your own needs met, or meeting the needs of others. This process should be balanced. There should be equal give and take in your relationships, or what you have is not really a relationship at all.

Stand up for yourself. It's your job to keep yourself from being walked over.

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