4 Tips For Avoiding Backsliding During The Holidays

 

The holidays are tough for many recovering doormats. If you’re at a gathering where known manipulating narcissists are present, please keep in mind these 4 tips to avoid slippage and backsliding into doormatish behavior.

  1. Do not accommodate.

 This is the number one behavior to stay vigilant about.  Remember, the word NO is your best friend; everyday, and especially during the holidays. Remember to enforce your boundaries because if left unguarded the danger of backsliding into mattish behavior is imminent.

  1. Refuse to be manipulated.

By now you’re aware of whom the master manipulators in your family and inner circle are. Never relax into a comfort zone with them because that is when they will worm their way across your boundaries.

Awareness of their manipulation tactics is the most important step to avoidance. Their tools include, but are not limited to:  flattery,  a noted change in their usual narcissistic behavior (being too cooperative or too nice) and offering up sob stories in hopes of eliciting pity from you.

And remember NO is your best friend.

  1. No obsessing. Period.

Recognition of obsessing is the first step for avoidance.   The next step is consciously changing what you’re thinking about. Exercise is a great mind altering tool for recovering doormats. If you can get out for a long walk or take a jog, do it!

A bout of holiday blues is normal for many recovering mats.   Holidays may stir up memories that get stuck inside our heads repeating on an endless loop. We may search for relief by over-sharing with whoever is in our company, and this is dangerous. Confiding in a professional mental health specialist is best, but if this isn’t possible, be selective about who you’re sharing your feelings with.

  1. You have a voice, and you’re allowed to use it!

 Don’t let anyone drown out your voice rendering you into a silent state of compliance. Even though it’s the holidays, you can stand up for what you want, disagree and stay true to your beliefs.

Remember;  recovering from doormatism never takes a holiday.

By | 2017-11-20T15:07:52+00:00 November 20th, 2017|Miscellaneous mattiness|0 Comments

The Society For Recovering Doormats Turns 5!


I’d been a people pleaser since childhood. Being a polite, caring, thoughtful, kind and non-confrontational person was ingrained by my Mother. I didn’t know there was an alternative way to behave and treated everyone with respect and love; except myself. Years of this behavior chipped away at my self-confidence, worth and esteem.

In my twenties, I realized something was wrong but I didn’t know what. As an actor and writer accepting rejection was my status quo and confirmed my feelings of worthlessness. Since I didn’t know there was another way to feel, I accepted my self-doubt, and insecurities as normal.

Later in life this became an ongoing conversation with my therapist.

On a hot day in July 2012, I received another rejection letter from a publisher who I’d sent a query to about my book. I stuffed the letter inside my purse and went to see my therapist. In tears, I told him I was done with writing. He suggested taking a break from submitting my book. “Why don’t you start a page on Facebook?” I wasn’t technology savvy and the thought learning social media was daunting. And besides, what would I write about? “Write about something you’re good at.” My therapist offered.

I thought for several minutes and couldn’t think of a single thing. Then I blurted out, “I’m good at being a doormat.”

“Then write about that!” His eyes light up.

I left my appointment confused, and scared. I stored his suggestion in the back of my mind. Then on a rainy night in late October I started wondering about what my therapist had said. A few days later, after figuring out how to put up a page I took a deep breath and began writing. Unsure of what I’d say, or what my page would be, I forged ahead. The only thing I knew was I couldn’t be the only person out there who put everyone else’s needs and desires first. There must be a few others feeling “less than” and not good enough. Perhaps people who were too nice for their own good needed someplace to vent, rant, and share their struggles. And so I created The Society for Recovering Doormats – A safe place for people pleasers to visit.  And visit they did, by the thousands.

Now with over 76,000 Facebook followers, I’ve expanded to other social media platforms including this blog site The Society for Recovering Doormats, INSTAGRAM, and twitter. I published my first book, My Life as a Doormat in 2014, and am working on the sequel Not Just My Mother’s Daughter.  Also in the works is a self – help book called Off The Floor.

To mark my 5 year milestone anniversary, I’ve started a newsletter which you can receive for free by signing up with your email address on this blog site.

Many thanks to all who visit and share, I appreciate you more than words can say. Here’s to another 5 years of standing up and speaking out together!

With love and gratitude,
Ivy Tobin aka Rose Gardner

By | 2017-11-06T17:48:31+00:00 October 23rd, 2017|Miscellaneous mattiness|4 Comments

Why do I always do the right thing for the wrong people?

Right thing for wrong people

Chances are if you’re a people pleaser you are indiscriminate about whom you care about.  You do for others what you should be doing for yourself.   As an accommodating and passive, non confrontational and easy-going person, hours are spent worrying about doing the right thing. Or worse; worried about the past.  The past which is gone and can’t be changed.  Insecure and terrified about hurting other people’s feelings and doing what others want is the go to behavior of people pleasers; affectionately know as doormats.

When you give to like-minded people the rewards of you selfless behavior is acknowledged, appreciated, valued and loved.   But when the recipients of your good heart and intentions are narcissists, there is zero benefit. You’re left feeling judged and worthless. Nothing you ever do is good enough and they manipulate and dictate your every move according to their needs.

Why would anyone get involved with someone like this?  I believe it’s  a subconscious choice because narcissist are drawn to good-natured folks like us;  just like bees to honey.  They  disguise their ulterior motive and agendas until confidant they have us under their evil spell.  By the time we realize the one-sideness of the relationship it takes a long time to make a final exit.  But exit we must.

 

 

By | 2017-10-18T11:29:41+00:00 October 18th, 2017|Miscellaneous mattiness|2 Comments

Protecting Your Children from Cyberbullying.

No child deserves to be bulliedProtecting Your Children From Cyberbullying
By Laura Pearson

Protecting Your Children From Cyberbullying

Kids more-or-less stay the same. They still love to play, they get embarrassed by their parents, and unfortunately, they suffer from bullying from time to time. However, the Information Age has changed things. “Traditional” bullying still exists in schools and playgrounds, but now that so many kids have smartphones and social media accounts, bullying has adapted to work online.

This is cyberbullying, and there’s a chance your own children are subject to this harassment right now. There are some actions you can take to protect your kids, but before these will work, you need to understand what counts as cyberbullying.

A Modern Twist On An Old Problem

What exactly is cyberbullying? Like regular bullying, it’s when someone threatens, humiliates, or or harasses someone else. But because it’s online, cyberbullying is different. The threats and harassment take place through email, texts, social media, and more. There’s no real chance of getting physically harmed, but that doesn’t mean the problem is less important.

Common Sense Media list a few examples of cyberbullying, such as:

  • Threatening someone through texts.
  • Taking embarrassing photos and sharing them online.
  • Spreading damaging rumors

Cyberbullying can be as simple as saying someone is a slut, but it can also be complex and involve hacking into people’s emails, editing photos, and even identity theft. Unfortunately, cyberbullying is just as strong and hurtful as the real thing.

How Microaggressions Work

However, cyberbullying isn’t always easy to spot. There are many subtle ways your children can be bullied in real life or online. In fact, The Treehouse lists three subtle ways bullying can be done:

  1. Microassaults are not literal assaults. They’re when a bully insults your children’s gender or background. Although it’s not an attack, it still hurts.
  2. Microinsults are when bullies skip talking about your children directly and instead make fun of their race, ethnicity, or nationality.
  3. Microinvalidations are when a bully intentionally disregards your children’s situation, including saying racism or sexism doesn’t exist.

Because they are subtle, your children may feel they are not being bullied. But if these actions are done to hurt your kids, that’s what matters.

Spotting & Addressing Cyberbullying

If your kids are facing any kind of cyberbullying, microaggressions or outright identity theft, you want to do something to help protect your children. But how do you know it’s even happening? Many kids are so embarrassed that they don’t talk about it.

That’s why Stop Bullying recommends that you stay aware of what your kids are doing online. If you can follow your kids online without being intrusive, then you have a better idea of what your children are facing. But you also need to establish some smart rules about being online, such as making passwords strong and not getting into arguments online.

If your child reports any cyberbullying, be sure to acknowledge it as real and serious. Even if you think they need to grow a thicker skin, accepting their pain as real now makes it much more likely that they can trust you in the future.

Lastly, talk to your children’s school about the problem. Many times, the cyberbully is someone your kids know from school and they might be able to intervene.

Cyberbullying Is All Too Real

While there is something to be said about letting kids develop ways to handle bullying, harassment like this can be very damaging. Because kids are so into social media and staying online, cyberbullying is particularly devastating to your children. That’s why you need to know what cyberbullying is. If your child reports any problems online, be sure to take them seriously because your children certainly will.

 

 

By | 2017-08-20T12:45:15+00:00 August 20th, 2017|Miscellaneous mattiness|3 Comments

Phantom Friends.

FriendsAre you always the one reaching out, making plans and following through? How many times have you excused a friend’s lack of effort within a friendship?  People pleasers need to be mindful of efforts given to friends who don’t reciprocate. Everyone has a lot on their plate and are going through something.  Excusing these excuses is a signature  trademark of doormat behavior.

If you’re feeling ignored and brushed aside by a ‘friend,’  then it’s time to reevaluate the friendship.  Time to adjust your level of effort, and emotional involvement.

If you’re friendship feels one-sided, as if the person is doing you a favor, then do yourself a favor and never bother them again.

By | 2017-07-24T11:21:07+00:00 July 24th, 2017|Miscellaneous mattiness|0 Comments

Happy 4th of July

July 4thThis summer holiday celebrated in the USA is more than going to the beach, barbecues,  picnics and watermelon.  This holiday commemorates that we are a FREE NATION.  We celebrate this day because millions of Americans sacrificed their lives defending and protecting this precious commodity freedom.  Freedom of speech, the press and the pursuit of happiness.

By | 2017-07-04T10:37:25+00:00 July 4th, 2017|Miscellaneous mattiness|0 Comments

How To Avoid TURN BURN.

knife drawerThe most important thing to remember when in conversation with a turner is never let your guard down.  You may feel comfortable and safe and that is what the turner is waiting for.   The turner uses your open and vulnerable state as their cue to wield a nasty toxic remark at you. Or say something to undermine your confidence. Or both.  And last but not least: do not over-share.  Even if you’re in party mode and feeling the love.  Unfiltered  chatter and TMI can lead to the turner’s knife drawer.  They might not throw one at you immediately, opting for another time when they will double their arsenal.

 

By | 2017-05-22T15:03:09+00:00 May 22nd, 2017|Miscellaneous mattiness|3 Comments

TURN BURN.

Turners

Beware of the turner.

Turners are usually close and trusted friends and relatives.  They are our confidants because they feel like a safe haven until  disagreeing  with them. Then, turners are vicious and nasty, just like the narcissist. But worse because we trusted them and never suspected their toxic side.

The main difference between a narcissist and turner (although they are kissing cousins) are the recognizable red flags preceding the narc.  The turner doesn’t exhibit  warning signals. Their status is only realized after burning us.  They are more dangerous than narcs because much energy,  love and trust is invested in them. Many times, we excuse away the first attack because we can’t believe our dear one is capable of this hurtful behavior.

Once a turner shows you who they are; believe them the first time.  They will do it again and again if you allow them the first trespass. Distance yourself emotionally and avoid another turn burn.

By | 2017-05-18T12:30:09+00:00 May 18th, 2017|Miscellaneous mattiness|11 Comments

We have to believe.

I believe with all my heart

With the current chaos in our world, amplified and distorted by the media 24/7, it is easy to get caught up in the turmoil. Today, more than ever, we have to believe better days are coming.  Repeat this thought often and share it with others.  As recovering doormats we can’t let these turbulent times send us back to hiding within our comfort zones.  We can’t use it as an excuse not to stand up and move forward.

I believe with all my heart better days are coming and encourage all to do the same.

 

 

 

 

By | 2017-04-06T10:52:57+00:00 April 6th, 2017|Miscellaneous mattiness|0 Comments

Got Healthy Self-Love?

healthy-self-love

 

“A healthy self-love means we have no compulsion to justify to ourselves or others why we take vacations, why we sleep late, why we buy new shoes, why we spoil ourselves from time to time.  We feel comfortable doing things which add quality and beauty to life. ”  Andrew Matthews

 

By | 2017-03-04T14:39:01+00:00 March 4th, 2017|Miscellaneous mattiness|0 Comments