Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat


Buying Your Ticket on the Train Out of Doormatville

Becoming self-empowered is a slow process. I truly believe that everyone has a little bit of DoorMat in them. I still do, though now I’ve become stronger about managing my need to be liked. I love myself enough to stop DoorMat predators and stand up for what I want. I admit to sometimes reading my own books to remind myself when I weaken. :)


Strain.jpgtubborn old habits can be hard to break!

Even people who seem to have perfect lives, gorgeous looks, hot bodies, tons of money, etc., still have needs to be liked.

People are good at hiding insecurity but it’s there in us all, even if it’s deeply buried in some folks. I’ve had self-empowerment counseling clients who had all the goods that would seem logical to make the need to please irrelevant. But they too discuss what they can’t express themselves or set boundaries for what they do for others. And the also feel a need to please everyone, except themselves!

The profusion of comments I got to my introductory post increased my blessings since I want to help as many people as I can! I wish I could respond to every comment from my first post but you’d probably never find it since there are so many. Please know that I’ve read them all and greatly appreciate them. Some of you asked questions and I plan to address the topics you asked in future posts. Please read through the 300+ posts that are archived here. Together they probably at least somewhat address everything and there’s more advice than in most books. Several people asked how to subscribe to this blog. It’s easy!

You can subscribe to this blog by putting your email address in the appropriate box on the right side near the top or clicking on the RSS feed button. Then you won’t miss any of the new ones.

The train out of DoorMatville is a slow one. Some of you expressed frustration at not being able to get a seat on it yet, or feel you’re not going anywhere. It takes time to get used to handling people differently, and for people to get used to your new attitude. I’m still a work in progress but I’m GREATLY enjoying the journey. That’s the most important thing–enjoying every little thing you do differently. Feeling good because you said “no” to someone you always say “yes” to. At least considering what’s best for you before you make a decision.

Baby steps are the critical asset for leaving DoorMatville. They truly add up if you’re conscious of each one.

DoorMats are victims. Many of you say that people have taken great advantage of you unfairly. Well I have news for you. Years ago someone told me that nobody makes you a victim. You volunteer. It’s always YOUR choice to go along with how people treat you or to walk away. I don’t care who it is. NO ONE has the right to abuse you–not a romantic partner, parent, best friend, child, etc.–and that includes verbally.

Years ago I had a counseling client who was physically beaten harshly by her father from young childhood till she was in her early twenties and got married. Not surprisingly, she attracted a physically abusive husband, so much so that she ran away to her abusive father. She eventually left and married a man who put her down and was very mentally abusive. I was stunned when she said her 2 years of verbal abuse with this man was much worse than all the physical abuse/beatings for over 20 years.

Yes, mental abuse hurts your soul, keeps your self-esteem low and makes you feel unworthy of leaving for something or someone better.

Someone taking advantage of you or treating you in ways that hurt is giving you mental abuse. No excuses for it! It’s critical to recognize the damage mental abuse can cause. If you don’t feel strong enough to walk out of DoorMatville yet, stay where you are and work on making yourself stronger. Build your self-esteem and become more loving to your needs. Awareness and self-love are 2 of the best currencies for buying your ticket.

Every time you do something loving for you, you get credit towards your ticket out of DoorMatville.

When you follow the advice in my blog and books, you can become strong enough to get out. I can’t do it for you. My writing provides effective tools. Reading won’t change your life but it can change your mind. Then it’s up to you to take steps to not allow your life to continue on an unhappy, people pleasing path. For just today, do ONE small thing differently that shows you’re standing up for YOU. You CAN! I know the pain of feeling powerless but also know it’s possible to do one small thing differently. Then do another. Each act can lead you slowly out of DoorMatville like they did for me. I will continue to provide suggestions for these steps so you can follow what’s right for you.

Please leave comments under my posts so we can stay connected. 



  • traildiamond

    Your comment about being mentally abused is hurtful to the soul is so true! It will be 12 years this August that I was able to get strong enough to leave an abusive relationship. The small baby steps of gaining self esteem and self-love are slow. After a series of boyfriends that had similar relationship tactics to the first person, I have learned that working on loving your self is as important as having self esteem. One without the other leaves you wondering what you are still doing wrong. I have finally boarded the train and am climbing the first hill. Thank you for your efforts to help us all come abroad.

  • bardman

    Thankyou for your lightpost. I left a 23 year marital relationship in which I unconsciously volunteered to be controlled. I thought I was doing the right thing pleasing the spouse, thinking it would all work out somehow. Well it sure didn’t and I left before I let my unconscious resentment get the complete better of me. I still struggle with guilt over leaving my four children, but am finally beginning to grapple with knowing that if I hadn’t left when I did, it would have been far uglier. I may be still living in Doormatville, but at least I’m learning where the ticket booth out is.

  • Toni Hulbert

    Thank you so much for your advice, now if I can just put it into action!

  • Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    I’m delighted you all found this post helpful. Even just knowing where the ticket booth is can be viewed as progress. And getting on that train, even if it’s a slow one, is exhilarating.
    Leaving children can be painful but it is so true that staying can be a lot worse for them. When you leave you’ll hopefully get stronger and be a much better role model for them.
    You can put my advice into action, one baby step at a time!

  • Jeremy

    Thank you.

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