Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

DoorMats make a bad impression when their insecurity shows, which is often all the time! It was obvious that I had no confidence when I lived in DoorMatville. Yet first impressions can opens doors fast or close them right up. There are things you can consciously do to improve the initial impact you make on someone.

I’m delighted to have Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D. as my guest today. She’s an executive coach, author and keynote speaker who addresses association, government, and business audiences around the world. Her latest book and program topic is The Nonverbal Advantage – Secrets and Science of Body Language at Work. Below are her suggestions for altering your behavior to take control of how people judge you in the first 7 seconds. She’s an expert in this, so pay attention! ?

by Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D.

You’re at a business conference or a neighborhood party and you turn to the stranger standing next to you. She turns to face you and in seven seconds you’ve already decided whether you like her and whether she is competent, confident, and trustworthy. Sure, your opinion may change once you get to know the person better, but that first impression will always linger.

And as you’re consciously and unconsciously evaluating her, she’s also making the same kind of instantaneous judgments about you.

While you can’t stop people from making snap decisions – the human brain is hardwired in this way as a prehistoric survival mechanism – you can understand how to make those decisions work in your favor. Here are seven powerful ways to make a positive first impression:

1. Adjust your attitude. People pick up your attitude instantly. Before you turn to greet someone, or enter an office for a business interview, or step onstage to make a presentation, think about the situation and make a conscious choice about the attitude you want to embody. Attitudes that attract people include friendly, happy, receptive, patient, approachable, welcoming, helpful and curious. Attitudes that are off-putting include angry, impatient, bored, arrogant, afraid, disheartened, and suspicious.

2. Stand tall. Pull your shoulders back and hold your head high. This is a posture of confidence and self-esteem.

3. Smile. A smile is an invitation, a sign of welcome. It says, “I’m friendly and approachable.”

4. Make eye contact. Looking at someone’s eyes transmits energy and indicates interest and openness. (To improve your eye contact, make a practice of noticing the eye color of everyone you meet.)

5. Raise your eyebrows. Open your eyes slightly more than normal to simulate the “eyebrow flash” that is the universal signal of recognition and acknowledgement.

6. Lean in slightly. Leaning forward shows you’re engaged and interested. But be respectful of the other person’s space. That means, in most business situations, staying about two feet away.

7. Shake hands. This is the quickest way to establish rapport. It’s also the most effective. Research shows it takes an average of three hours of continuous interaction to develop the same level of rapport that you can get with a single handshake. (Just make sure you have palm-to-palm contact and that the web of you hand touches the web of the other person’s.)

Every encounter, from business conferences to PTA meetings, presents an opportunity to meet people, network, and expand your professional and personal contacts by making a positive first impression. You’ve got just seven seconds – but if you handle it well, seven seconds are all you need!

In her book, The Nonverbal Advantage – Secrets and Science of Body Language at Work, Carol Kinsey Goman explains how good nonverbal communication can give you a great advantage. There are lots of obvious and also subtle suggestions for giving yourself the best possible chance to get taken seriously and maximize the impact you make on others. Check out Carol Kinsey Goman‘s websites–: and–for more information about her or the services she offers or email her at

This is the first in a series on using the Law of Attraction. There’s been a lot of hype about it lately. When Oprah did some shows when the book and DVD, The Secret, came out, it sold like crazy. Many people are looking for easy answers and ways to get what they want. The idea of expressing what you want, and getting it, is very appealing.

But using the Law of Attraction isn’t nearly as simple as The Secret made it look. Nor is it a secret!

The people in The Secret DVD didn’t invent or discover the Law of Attraction. My “idol,” Louise Hay, wrote about it in 1984, in her book, You Can Heal Your Life. When I read this book, I began life as I know it today. It made me realize that I lived a spiritual lifestyle because when I expected things to happen from my heart, they did.

The book emphasizes that we get back what we give out. Our thoughts control what happens to us and what we get. It was a wakeup call that could shatter the earthquake Richter scale. I devoured its pages as light bulbs went off, then bells and whistles woke me up completely. That was when the DoorMat fully found her power! Since then, I’ve used the Law of Attraction to shed my DoorMat layers and become a very empowered woman.

So I watched The Secret DVD after seeing it on Oprah. I was curious. And I learned a lot.

But I do think it’s misleading in how they make getting what you want sound so easy. I wasn’t a novice when I watched, so I could take from it what was helpful. Someone looking for a quick fix might watch, wish for something, and then give up when it didn’t work.

Now Louise Hay has put out her own DVD, You Can Heal Your Life, the movie, expanded version. It’s simple and a lot clearer. It doesn’t have the drama of a little boy wishing for a bicycle and getting it. The expanded movie has talks by a variety of people I admire. It’s a lot cheaper than The Secret, yet it has the bonus input from people I hold in high esteem, including Wayne Dyer, Christiane Northrup and Esther Hicks. They and many more are in the movie too! Louise Hay narrates it all in her soothing voice.

Louise Hay’s movie bought me back to my spiritual roots. In loving tones, expert after expert shares their wisdom. It reminded me of some tools that I already know but don’t remember to use. Reading or watching something once can be very helpful. Reading and watching more than once reinforces the principles. Over the next few weeks I’ll share some of the lessons on this DVD and how I’ve used them for my benefit. Since watching it, I’ve decided that I must learn all I can and focus on implementing what I learn.

One thing I was reminded of is to change my perception of what seems like a negative situation.

The morning after my conscious was raised, I got an email from the agent for my last book, with the subject saying, “Bad news. This is awful.” Before I read the message, I affirmed that the news would be good. When I opened it, I learned a writer had questioned the need for my book in her newspaper column. It’s a popular paper and she has a popular column. My first response was ouch!

Then I remembered my lesson and looked for the good in the situation.

The writer didn’t trash the book. She just didn’t think it was necessary. So it wasn’t negative! I wrote the agent back saying that I was blessed to have this article about the book. While it wasn’t positive, it did make a lot of people aware of my title. And I expected something good to come from it. An hour tater, l began to get emails from people who heard Howard Stern talking about my book! Robin had read the article and mentioned the title on air. That began a discussion about it. Nothing negative. Just talking about the book itself.
I expected it to become a positive and it really did!

Coincidence? Skeptics think so. But I know that expecting a positive from that seemingly negative situation made it happen. I’ve done it many times every since. MANY! Looking for the blessing in all situations helps you to find them. Next time something negative happens to you, use affirmations to turn it around:

• “Everything will work out for my highest good.
• “Everything happens for a reason. Whatever will be will be.”
• “Out of this only good will come.”

You can turn situations around with your thoughts if you consciously choose to. Look for the good in what you don’t like. There’s always something. Many years ago, before I was published, I’d written a book and got a top agent to rep me. She said there would probably be a bidding war on my book and was asking for 6 figures. She suggested I buy a good, conservative suit to wear to meetings with potential editors. So I did, even though it wasn’t my style, I dropped $300 on one she liked.

I go very excited and told everyone I knew. Six figures seemed like a lot so I thought about what I’d do with that money. But it all fell through. Kaboom! No offers. Not one.

I was devastated—for a few hours. In the past it would have made me give up and be depressed, living in a “why me?” mentality. But after licking my wounds, I affirmed that it happened for a reason and I’d discover it when the time as right. I’ve learned to look back to find reasons for things I don’t like happen. It may take a while but I ALWAYS find the reason. ALWAYS! Finding reasons for why things didn’t go the way you wanted you to allows you to create more blessings.

Finding reasons also helps reinforce accepting that everything happens for a reason. Now that I believe it with all my heart, I can relax if things don’t go my way.

Not getting a book deal felt like a setback at first. I was speaking often and attendees wanted to buy my book. Since I didn’t get a book deal, over the next year I created 6 self-empowerment print newsletters so I’d have something to sell. It forced me to learn how to do graphics on my computer and I designed a really nice publication. People subscribed. I wrote articles I felt proud of. Doing it helped me truly find my writing voice. I wrote for my readers, not for an agent or publisher. Doing this newsletter gave me the confidence to pursue my writing career harder.

I’m selling them out for 8 bucks for all 6, including postage (original price was $18.50). If you’re interested, email me at to find out how to get them. They were my magic wands, the first step towards my freedom to do what I wanted.

It took over a year but I found several reasons for not getting a book deal: I was meant to write the newsletter first, to define my writing voice more clearly. Later, I realized that I was glad I didn’t write the original book. It would have sent me in a different direction and I love the one I’m in now!

Find the reasons for why your life takes a path you don’t like. Look back and figure out what blessings came out of what seemed negative. If you look, you’ll find them. Part of using the Law of Attraction is accepting that good can come out of anything. That allows your life to flow peacefully, instead of getting stressed out about life’s road bumps. If you want a real spiritual treat, pick up You Can Heal Your Life, the movie, expanded version. You can watch the movie itself or when you need a shorter reinforcement, watch one of Louise’s guests give a talk. This double CD packs a huge punch for a lot less than The Secret. It takes you on a clearer path too, to find your way to using the Law of Attraction effectively.

Stay tuned for more posts on this topic.

If you enjoyed my post, please leave a comment and/or click on the bookmark and write a short review at some of the sites, especially Stumbleupon and Digg. Thanks!

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There are lots of unrealistic expectations that MANY women, and some men, try to live up to. We push ourselves to lose weight to fit the unrealistic body image that the media portrays as normal. We strive for perfection at all costs. When I was a DoorMat, I did everything I could to be what I thought people expected. It didn’t always work out that way but oh, how I tried. Our appearance isn’t the only area of unrealistic expectations.

Women take perfection to a whole other level when it comes to being sweet smelling and clean for guys, who often reinforce this expectation, while having a lot less regard for their own odors.

Some men expect women to be perfect about hygiene and body functions. And many of us buy into needing to be “ladylike”—neat, clean, soft, and sweet smelling. We shave and tweeze and wax and exfoliate and use creams and bathe, and anything else we can do to maintain that image. What pressure many women go through to camouflage what happens naturally!

Things that are considered totally acceptable in men may be deemed unladylike in women. Yet our bodies function in similar ways and emit odors too!

Natural body functions are often seen as unfeminine. While a majority of both sexes prefer not to think about it, women sweat, have gas, and do other things that create odors. I don’t want to gross out anyone, but it’s true. Being in denial is stressful for women, and often unhealthy if we hold things in. Women are human! Contrary to media images of odorless, noiseless beings, women have body functions that create sounds and odors.

Yet many of us go to great lengths to hide it. It does take its toll.

Some women are in denial about what’s considered unfeminine. I’ve heard some say they don’t sweat—they “glow” or “radiate.” Hello! We all sweat, and if it’s hot and sticky, it stinks. When I return from a run in Central Park, I’m happy to avoid everyone! Let’s be real. We’re human. But our fear of turning men off creates tremendous pressure. It’s time for everyone to accept that women are as human as men.

Where does the need to deny natural bi-products from? Some of it is just insecurity in general. Not being comfortable in your own skin can make you more self-conscious about anything that’s not perfect. But it takes on another level when you’re afraid your romantic partner will get turned off by your natural body functions. Some men experience it too. Even though everyone has some stinky moments, it can be embarrassing in front of others, especially those you want to think well of you.

But it goes from silly to unhealthy when it comes to some bathroom functions. You know what I mean! Many, and I mean MANY women say they’d rather make themselves sick by holding in what needs to come out because of the smell. Everyone does something that smells. Yet we all act like ours is unique. While I know this, I’m with those of you who feel self-conscious.

It’s embarrassing to leave an odor behind. Few people feel good about leaving a bathroom stinky or going into one after someone else left it stinky. But not going for days is unhealthy and shouldn’t happen. MANY women say they hold it in for days and then take a laxative when they’re alone. This is detrimental to your health!

Well I have good news for men and women who are embarrassed to go to the bathroom and leave an odor behind.

I just tried a product called Poo~Pourri ® and can attest that it works. Suzy Batiz was into natural products and learned how to use aromatherapy and essential oils. She created a spray for the toilet bowl using all-natural essential oils. You spray it directly into the toilet water before sitting down. The oils absorb the odor and flush it down. It doesn’t mask odor like air fresheners. It removes it. Poo~Pourri ® traps odors under a layer of film. Then you flush it all down.

After flushing, all that lingers is a pleasant scent. So people who don’t know you use Poo~Pourri will think yours does smell sweet! There are choices of scents to order. Another perk is that the packaging is very nice and looks discreet on your shelf. They also make it in a small bottle size so you can have it with you when visiting friends, for a romantic sleepover, at work and any time you might hesitate to go to the bathroom because others are around.

Congratulations to Suzy Batiz for creating a product that will help millions of women keep their digestion regular, alleviate embarrassment for many men, and allow everyone to use the bathroom, wince free! From now on, I’ll keep it with me! ?Check out Poo~Pourri for yourself.

If you enjoyed my post, please leave a comment and/or click on the bookmark and write a short review at some of the sites, especially Stumbleupon and Digg. Thanks!

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I’ve been writing about how to live more in the NOW and not let past issues influence your present mood, decisions and view of your life in general. We often carry old baggage into work. If you develop workplace relationships based on things that happened with others in the past, it can adversely affect your job.

Today I have an article by Debra Mandel, Ph.D., renowned psychologist, columnist, speaker, media expert is the author of several books, including Your Boss Is Not Your Mother: Eight Steps to Eliminating Office Drama and Creating Positive Relationships and Work, Healing the Sensitive Heart and two CDs, Creating Healthy Boundaries in the Workplace and The Abuser Friendly Syndrome. She has appeared on multiple national television and radio programs, and has hosted her own radio show. Dr. Debra’s suggestions can apply to other areas of your life too!

Workplace Relationships
By Debra Mandel, Ph.D

According to, 66 percent of women who are unhappy at work attribute it to their relationships with coworkers. People like these suffer because they continually get sucked into needless workplace drama—with coworkers, bosses, subordinates, and clients. In doing so, they’re usually replicating problems they had with parents, siblings, or others in childhood. Once ensnarled, they don’t have the knowledge or tools necessary to escape these traps.

As a clinical psychologist with more than twenty years of experience, I’ve worked with hundreds of people whose unhealed childhood bruises have caused them problems in the workplace. Although most of us understand that “old stuff” can affect intimate relationships, we’re caught off guard when they affect workplace interactions.

Nevertheless, once those familiar buttons get pushed, we may transform our overbearing boss into a bullying older brother, or respond to the judgmental coworker as though she is the parent who failed to applaud us for our achievements.

Mind you, unhealed hurts don’t have to be the result of blatantly abusive experiences. Millions of people walk around unaware that events from childhood might still affect them today. For instance, Jenny had grown up realizing that her parents loved her, even though they weren’t demonstratively affectionate toward her or generous in their praise. She hadn’t realized until she was in her thirties that she ached for approval from others because she had never been given enough strokes as a youth. In the workplace, she unknowingly played out this emotional lack by being an excessive people-pleaser, which caused her to lose the respect of her coworkers. Yes, her parents did love her, but they missed the boat when it came to fulfilling this very important developmental need. In fact, most people’s emotional “bruises” come from well-intended caregivers who did the best they could in raising.

As a result, it’s often very difficult for people to acknowledge their old hurts—let alone understand how these affect them in the present.

Regardless of how a wound came about, if it’s still sore—consciously or unconsciously—it’s bound to wreak havoc in the workplace. Ask yourself the following questions to see whether you have old bruises manifesting in the workplace:

1. Do you expect coworkers, bosses, or employees to be your friends?
2. Do you expect or wish that coworkers, bosses, or employees would grant you special favors when you perform below standard, such as when you’ve been out sick, shown up late, or missed a deadline?
3. Do you wish that your boss or coworkers appreciated you more?
4. Do you take responsibility for the workload of others who are slacking off?
5. Do you have a fear of conflict that keeps you from speaking up about unfairness?
6. Do you censor yourself because you fear being fired or hurting someone’s feelings?
7. Do you go out of your way to befriend people in the workplace whom you would not want to be friends with outside of the workplace?
8. Do you envy other people’s success?
9. Do you have trouble keeping boundaries with your coworkers (e.g., you let them know things about your personal life that have nothing to do with your work situation)?
10. Do you feel hurt or become defensive when you receive criticism about your work performance?
11. Do you ever feel that others in your field judge you harshly even when no one has voiced criticism?
12. Do you have difficulty not thinking about your work or the workplace when you are supposed to be enjoying free time?
13. Do you have difficulty evaluating your own job performance?
14. Do you become argumentative with coworkers, bosses, or employees?
15. Do you believe you are not living up to your full potential?
16. Do you keep yourself from excelling in the presence of others for fear of their envy or jealousy?
17. Do you let others make decisions for you, even when your gut tells you it’s the wrong choice for you?
18. Do you have difficulty saying “no” to unreasonable requests from coworkers, bosses, or employees?
19. Do you withhold your honest opinions about work-related issues for fear that you’ll be disliked?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you most likely have old stuff interfering with your ability to thrive in the workplace. But don’t despair! You can heal your bruises and eliminate drama by applying the following tips.

1. Identify and acknowledge how your bruises affect you in the workplace, eliminating shame and judgment.

2. Transform adversity into a resource by recognizing that whatever you’ve endured has made you a stronger person.

3. Take responsibility for your life in the present by becoming your own good caregiver rather than wait for others to fill in the gaps. Don’t blame others for what you didn’t get in childhood.

4. Create healthy boundaries. Learn how to say “no,” “yes,” or “maybe” as is appropriate to the requests of others.

5. Empower yourself by embracing the notion that you are in charge of your own choices. Acknowledge that very rarely are we true victims in adulthood.

6. Recognize that you are only responsible for your own feelings and actions. Don’t burden yourself with trying to control what others do, say, or think.

7. Practice ongoing self-care. Be kind to yourself, create balance between work, play and rest, and regularly acknowledge the value of your contributions.

By practicing these tips you can create better relationships in the workplace. Granted, others whom you encounter may not be repairing their wounds as you are, but you can still keep the energy more positive by having a good handle on your own behavior. And, should you find yourself getting stuck, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Thrivers use all possible resources!

Visit Dr. Debra at Her next book, Don’t Call Me a Drama Queen: A Guide For the Overly Sensitive and Their Significant Others Who Need to Learn to Lighten Up and Go With the Flow! will be published in October. She practices out of Thousand Oaks and Encino CA.