Grappling with my doormat tendencies....

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Or co-dependency issues, or self-esteem problems, or all three. The point is, I've come to realize the past couple days that it's something that I need to tackle.

For the past few years, I've maintained a friendly acquaintance with this kid at work. (I believe he's actually in his late 20s, but he's young for his age, so I think of him as a kid.) First, he reminded me of my son, since he has many of the same interests and some of the same mannerisms, second because he reminded me a little of me at that age (not many social skills and very insecure), and third because I felt I had to "be nice". Even when this kid gave ample evidence that he was extremely self centered (getting bored with any conversation not about him, exhibiting very little interest in anyone else's concerns or situations, etc.), shallow, selfish and rude, I kept being nice to him and trying to think well of him. Why? Well, I could say that I really thought that there was more to him and it would come out sooner or later, and that would be true. Or that I felt sorry for him and that's also true. But it's mostly because I don't think enough of myself to believe that I have the right to have standards about how people behave towards me.

So, Thursday I asked him a question about a computer issue--just trying to get an idea of what's going on and how long it's going to take to resolve. (He's one of two IT guys.) He gave me a totally sarcastic smart answer for no real reason. Yesterday he cut me dead when I tried to talk to him, again with no real reason and in a very humiliating way to boot. My first reaction was a rather panicked thought as how I'd make nice so he wouldn't be mean to me again. The second reaction, thankfully, was "why? He's a twit and you've known that for a while. And you haven't done anything to deserve this and you know that too." The first reaction is the one that concerns me, because it's my first reaction to any time someone takes things out on me. This time it was just very evident, because this is someone I haven't really cared for in quite a while yet I'm still slipping into people pleasing doormat mode. So this is my mantra this week:
1. I have the right to be treated with courtesy and respect.
2. I have the right to set and enforce boundaries.
3. I don't have to accept hurtful behavior from those around me.
4. There's a difference between being polite and being "nice", and it's okay to just be polite.

I'm going to say this to myself every morning and as needed during the day. I don't know, maybe it'll take.
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    Repeat after me: My first name is not door and my last name is not mat!
    2688 days ago
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