Have you ever known a doormat? Some of us are doormats. I believe it’s a choice to be this way, but a lot of my problem is that I was brought up to be nice, and non- confrontational, not doing anything to embarrass myself or family, or show any anger. Sometimes I really wish I could stand up for myself more without being looked at as a bitch. I tend to stand up for others a lot faster than I do for myself. I am fiercely loyal and protective of those I love, and will stop at nothing to defend or protect them. However, when it comes to standing up for myself, I’m a doormat.
I am extremely sensitive, which can be a strength and a weakness. I can hurt for others, and feel their pain, but I also get my own feelings hurt pretty easily, especially when I try so hard to be a good person, and be compassionate to others. The difference is that when I hurt for someone else, I attempt to reach out, console, or comfort them. That’s just the way I am. I can’t let someone suffer with sadness, anger, grief, or guilt without attempting to help them. I believe this is one of the reasons I’m a good teacher…..I feel for the struggling student. But when I get my own feelings hurt, I need the same type of compassion and comfort, and there aren’t a lot of people who can see it in me because I suppress it, and hold in that pain, so as not to be selfish or embarrass myself. Believe me, those scars run very deep! I don’t want to make situations worse, so I keep my mouth shut. Sometimes it comes out as sarcastic humor, or self deprecating humor. That’s a defense mechanism I learned early, which I discussed in an earlier blog, in trying to entertain everyone. Then I go home and cry because of the pain.
I realize that suppressing hurt is not a healthy trait to have. My parents were both worriers, and it affected their health. I’m afraid I got a double dose of it. I’ve always wanted to make others feel good about themselves, be supportive, show an interest, cheer them up, make them laugh, and even if they have been hurtful to me (to my face or behind my back), I still treat them with respect and kindness. I might tell a funny story about my escapades, or make people laugh to hide any hurt I might feel. I know that being nice is the right thing to do, but it sometimes makes me mad that I allow words or actions of others to hurt me, and I don’t say anything. Some would say I need a backbone. If I were a man, I’d be told to “grow a pair.” I’ve been told to stop being a doormat. I have stood up for so many people over the years, and all I want is for others to stand up for me when I need it (or deserve it). I need a “me” to stand up for me!
I can count on a few people to stand up for me, and I’m fortunate to have them. They know my heart and my struggles. They know how tender my heart is, how much I would do for others, and how much I value the positive happy things in life…..the beauty in our world, and always looking for the good people in it. Maybe someday I will stop being a doormat, and learn to love myself as much as I love those around me.