10 SIGNS YOU ARE A DOORMAT: #7 and #8.
Confrontation and negating your feelings are highlighted. Happy to be guest blogging at The Society For Recovering Doormats through 2016. The combo is #7-Avoiding confrontation at all costs and #8 -Negating your feelings to accommodate others.
Often, avoiding confrontation requires that you negate your feelings. It’s a mutual relationship when a bully expects you not to be confrontational and you aren’t. That doesn’t mean you like it, but you can be counted on not to make waves.
The problem is that you end up feeling awful. The bully is satisfied. Your anger, rage or loathing can turn inward, creating depression or self-harming thoughts.
CONFRONTATION IN YOUR HISTORY
We learn from the past, make decisions regarding the future and forget to revisit them. Were you beaten, humiliated, or hurt in some way as a result of confrontation? Did you witness the negative effects and so avoid it to bypass the outcome? How did that shape your responses?
Confrontation isn’t necessarily the wise choice with a bully. The power play is not skewed in your favor. Negating your feelings invalidates you twice; once by the bully and then by you.
Some conflict is severe, but you may feel just as tense if someone asks you to serve on a committee and you want to say, “No.”
You can’t confront them with your opposing wishes. Instead, you ignore your own feelings and say, “Yes.” This also leads to feelings of sadness, low self-esteem, and unworthiness.
This doesn’t have to happen.
WHAT TO DO
Breathe, for starters. We call them Enchanted Breaths over at the Enchanted Blog @drterrysegal.com. Breathing slows the moment down and breaks the habit of ditching yourself to put others first.
Develop phrases for protection and practice them.
“That doesn’t work for me,” is a good response when you want to say, “No.” If pressed, say, “It doesn’t work for several reasons.” Repeat until they stop asking.
Confrontation can be directed at someone else, raising your anxiety. If you don’t feel powerful enough to intervene, enlist the help of someone who can. It might be another person nearby or the police. Stay safe and ask for help.
Whether the perceived stress is minor or major, you don’t have to give yourself over to anyone else for any reason. Ever.
DISCLAIMER: Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional.