“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
There are times when we can take action, make a positive difference by standing up and speaking out and bring about a significant, effective change. But there are those times when all we can do is keep breathing, waiting for the storm to pass.
How many times have we accepted others views without question? Allowed their thoughts to reign supreme and leave our own opinions unspoken. Or IF we speak out, and our ideas are met with disapproval, contempt, and invalidated, remain silent and allow others to feed our self-doubts.
People pleasers, aka doormats, accept others negative views as absolute truth because we’re programmed not to make waves, or disagree. Stuffing down our own feelings and opinions is harmful and results in self-doubt, low self-esteem and inordinate amounts of stress. Allowing other people’s thoughts and values to govern our lives is dangerous because it determines our self-worth.
STOP listening to other people.
Being aware of this pitfall is an important step in recovering from doormatism. Knowing that other’s value judgements don’t matter is freeing! Validating our own efforts, accomplishments and self-worth is all that’s important.
Obsessing doesn’t have a positive outcome, yet it’s one of the top ten behaviors all people pleasing doormats engage in. The only thing ruminating will do is get and keep us stuck. Repeating the same thought over and over, without a solution renders us powerless and stagnant.
If you’re feeling stuck, please read these 7 suggestions for un-sticking yourself and moving forward.
Why do we feel terrible when we begin standing up for ourselves?
People pleasers are so use to staying silent, accepting abusive and critical verbal abuse that speaking our mind feels unnatural and uncomfortable. Going along with the general consensus, and not making waves was our MO for so long we believed this to be normal.
During recovery from doormatism, it’s hard to speak our truth. But we must learn how to despite possible residual negative feelings. The moment the words are spoken we may start traveling down the river of doubt. Then perhaps, turn in ourselves, beating our self up with false beliefs of unworthiness. And then our most self destructive behavior: forgetting WHY we spoke our truth in the first place. Forgetting we have the right to defend ourselves without guilt, shame or concern if we’ve upset our abuser is detrimental.
The good news is: our level of uncomfortableness fades the more we practice self care.
All humans are flawed and have needs. Except the narcissist. Don’t believe me? Just ask one. They’ll laundry list their super powers while pointing out and embellishing our weaknesses. Belittling and negating others is their specialty. Reducing another to an unworthy pile of insignificance; their primary goal.
Narcissists, or ‘A’ Listers as we refer to them here at The Society for Recovering Doormats, are dangerous personalities, especially for people pleasing doormats. They are toxic to approval addicts because we’re the first to accept and internalize the terrible lies they proclaim. We think we need their love and approval and validate their vicious, self-serving talk as truth. But giving credence to their warped views, renders us ashamed and unworthy.
Break the cycle of self-blaming now! The next time you’re feeling too needy and less than the wonderful person you are, remember: it’s not you! Consider instead the company you’re keeping. Chances are they are an ‘all-about-themselves ‘A’ Lister.
You can’t change them but have a choice to disassociate. If this isn’t feasible because of life circumstances then disengage with them mentally and emotionally, Do not give them the power to steal your worthiness. It is every person’s birthright.
One of the biggest challenges of people pleasing, approval addicts is saying ‘no’ because we don’t want to let anyone down. Instead of speaking our truth and letting our needs known, we accommodate. We wind up in uncomfortable situations, surrounded by people we don’t want to be around, doing things we’re not interested in. We appease others because disappointing anyone terrifies us. We want everyone to be happy, and negate our own personal happiness in the process.
We may be unaware of the tremendous price we’re paying by being a ‘yes person.’ Stress, anxiety and depression are byproducts of people pleasing. By avoiding conflict at all costs we might stave off a disagreement. But by keeping the peace we cause a damaging war inside ourselves.
Please remember this the next time you say yes when you really mean no. Or stay silent when you need to speak up.
This month, I’m seated at my key board working on my next book. (Currently untitled.) In book 2, many of the same characters from My Life as a Doormat are featured, new ones are added and the complicated relationship between mother and daughter is a primary focus.
I have scheduled some events for late spring and will keep you posted. Right now, I’m committed to writing. Below is an excerpt.
Thinking you’re responsible for others moods, behavior, choices and happiness is an underlying problem for most doormats. Many of us are empaths, empathizing and experiencing the feelings and thoughts of others as our own. And worse; taking responsibility for them. Detaching is an arduous task but can be achieved. Next time you’re around someone who’s in a funk, remember this one truth: “It’s not my fault ” and respond accordingly.
Unless your life is reclusive, and interaction with others is negligible, reminding yourself it is not your faultis paramount for becoming and remaining a recovering doormat.