“Is my only choice doormat or else…?”

26 Jan 2012

Isn’t it fascinating the power Other People have over our thinking?

This week, Becky wrote with a problem Other People (OP) kindly pointed out to her: “People tell me I’m too kind-hearted.  But I can’t be a bitch, it’s just not in me. Am I destined to spend my life as a good-natured door mat?”

Ouch!!! Don’t you just love Other People’s opinions?  OPs have a way of phrasing things for you that makes them sound ever so wise… and makes you sound – at best – slightly dim, and more than a little feeble.  The one right way is, obviously, their way.  You’re not gathering up their pearls of wisdom, transforming them into a precious second-hand-pearl choker, and wearing it, so that you become a clone of them – albeit a choked clone of them.

Mustn’t it be wonderful to be them?  So many answers to so many people’s problems.  So much wisdom so generously trotted out… even when you didn’t ask them for it.  (Or, maybe, especially when you didn’t ask them for it.)

Perhaps you get that sinking feeling when they pass another pearl your way.  And you tell yourself it’s about you.  But what if it’s not?

Think about this for a moment: you get that sinking feeling when they bestow another pearl on you, because something feels all wrong.  Actually, that something isn’t you, it’s the way that advice connects with you.  Maybe that advice sits well with them.  That doesn’t mean it will sit well with you.

They are not you, after all.

And let’s move on to specifics.  Does being too kind-hearted mean being a good-natured doormat?  Not necessarily.  Are doormats usually good-natured?  Back in my doormat period I can’t honestly say I was.  I often felt aggrieved and frustrated – sometimes I even snapped at the feet that walked all over me.

Perhaps I just wasn’t kind-hearted enough…  Whatever “enough” means.  

But if I wasn’t kind-hearted “enough”, did that make me a bitch?  (Undoubtedly -according to my wasband.  Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?  And, here’s where it gets confusing; back in the days when he labelled me a bitch, I was actually a doormat. So he was… WRONG!! Doh!!) 

As I understand it, being a 2 legged bitch (as opposed to a 4 pawed lady dog) is all about being deliberately nasty, and spiteful, and hurtful.  Rather like being an abusive man, in other words, and putting people down to make yourself feel good.

I never made it into the Bitch category, and nor will you, Becky.

All the OP’s judgement has done is add another layer of fear and confusion to the many layers you’re already struggling with.

So here’s the thing, if you’re not a bitch, and not a doormat, then what are you?  Sure, “Then, who are you?” is a better question.  But let’s stick with objectification a moment.  We’ve both been on the receiving end of emotional abuse.  We’ve both shown a talent for treating ourselves like objects – only I’ve put that behind me, and now I help other women to do the same. 

If you’re not a bitch, and you’re not a doormat, what else might you be? How about a priceless Persian rug?  Most OPs don’t know a priceless Persian rug when they walk all over it with their muddy boots.  Priceless Persian rugs survive best when they are treated with respect.  

You have a voice, Becky.  That’s something even the most precious rug doesn’t have.  It’s time you learned to use that voice.  It’s an amazing tool.  Once you tune up, and use it properly, even muddy-booted OPs will start to listen to you.  (It will be good for them to listen to another voice.)  Better still, you’ll start to listen to yourself, too.


When that happens, your Life will change for the better in ways you can’t even begin to imagine.  You’ll find you don’t have to put nearly as much energy into being kind-hearted, BUT more people will appreciate your kind-heartedness far more than they ever do now.  Sometimes, Becky, less is more than enough.

If you’re letting other people’s beliefs and judgements stand in the way of YOUR happiness and your healing, DON’T, please.  Discover how you can start to create a happy life for yourself right away, and exactly how to STOP letting the past – and other people’s opinions – get you down.  If your situation is making you miserable, then it’s YOUR TIME for HAPPINESS.



Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

Leave a comment

The 5 Simple Steps to Healing from Narcissistic Abuse

Over the next 5 days, I'll send you some lessons and tips that I've found have really helped women to heal from narcissistic abuse.  Starting with the basics.

Connect with me on Instagram

Want daily reassurance and inspiration? Sign up to my Instagram account. @dr_anniephd