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 Serenity73157
Joined: 9/26/2006
Msg: 1
The human doormat syndromePage 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
I've come to the conclusion that I suffer from "the human doormat syndrome." I'm sure there are MANY other people who suffer from this syndrome.

A human doormat is a person who is always available to friends, family, s/o's and other loved ones. They will listen to a person's problems without fail, give advice and hold the other person's hand through life's trials and tribulations. It doesn't matter what sex the doormat is or the sex of person in need. This is a trait/syndrome that both sexes suffer from.

There are three kinds of people who use the human doormat. They are:

The all weather foot wiper: they are a part of the doormats life through good times and bad times. I've found these people to be the most rare. Don't be fooled though, many of these people are physically available but don't count on them for emotional help. They take a lot but give little. When pushed however they are able to give something back.

The foul weather foot wiper: they show up when they are having a life crisis and leave after wringing everything the can get out of the doormat. A couple of weeks, to a couple of months later, they show up again with the basically the same problem, you give them the same advice, send them on their way and don't see them until the pattern repeats itself.

The fair weather foot wiper: they are around when the doormat is experiencing good times but run as soon as the doormat encounters a problem in their own life. However, they return when the doormat's life is sorted out and wring everything they can out of them all over again. You can NEVER count on this person to help you through ANYTHING big or small. I don't think most of these people would even open a door for you if your arms were broken.

I've accepted that I am a doormat. There's nothing I can do about it because it's who and what I am. I'm always out for the underdog, passing out money to people on street corners and asking "is something wrong? Can I help?"

What I'm wondering is how many people believe they too suffer from this syndrome? For those who don't is there any good advice or treatment programs to break us of these exhausting habits? What tips people off to the fact that we are in fact human doormats?

Also, I read the thread on psychic vampires and wondered if that figures into this equation at all. So those of you who understand this what's the answer?
 dreamtyed39
Joined: 5/4/2006
Msg: 2
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The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 3:52:54 PM
I think eventually you get to a point where you just get tired of what's under the boot that's being wiped on the mat.

Then you say: The hell with it. Life is as it is. I'll be who I am and not allow myself to be taken for granted. I still help people out. I just make sure those that I help appreciate what I have to offer. And I help them more then I would someone who doesn't.

I'll help a stranger anytime or a friend. I don't ask for a lot in return but I won't take a lot of the frustrations either. You need to let things roll and be happy for who you are.

I'm better then what's on the bottom of the boot and I deserve more respect for who I am.
 spade 63
Joined: 12/28/2005
Msg: 3
The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 3:54:57 PM
I understand, but also think that there's safety in doormat status. It's not always the strong, reliable, self assured, giving people that are door mats; but they put themselves in place to be in control, and communication is one sided.

You help your friends more in the long run by being honest, but also by giving yourself freedom by setting limits and having expectations that aren't one sided. I don't suffer. Tip from me is to stop thinking you have to accept you are a giver. You aren't being a good friend if you allow yourself to feel used in friendship. It's not fair for them either.
 frontandback
Joined: 6/18/2006
Msg: 4
The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 3:57:35 PM
This is funny, got my first good laugh today after a very sad week! I also am a human doormat. Don't think we can ever change the syndrome we suffer from. We give off these vybes, just like wearing that invisible sign on your back that says kick me......
If this is a serious post we need to talk, as I have struggled with this forever and have made great efforts to try to change and it just doesn't feel right.
 OpheliaBonMot
Joined: 8/12/2006
Msg: 5
The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 3:59:35 PM
I wouldn't slam doormats. I don't think they start out that way. I think most of them are loving, caring people who don't realize that what they give out isn't what they'll get back.

Sure, there may be some that willingly doormat themselves to get martyr points, but I'd like to think they're the minority.

The key to giving up your doormat status is to reserves judgment about people and helping them until you feel comfortable that they're worth your time and energy. IMHO.
 Serenity73157
Joined: 9/26/2006
Msg: 6
The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 4:04:06 PM
Spade I'm AM a strong person and I'm NOT a doormat because it inflates my ego or whatever it is you're trying to say. I've often wondered if parenting made the syndrome worse because now I'm trained to wipe tears and bloody knees.

It's one of those things I do and afterwards kick myself in the butt for. Even my WORK involves being a doormat. And my work isn't easy work to do. Try working with politicians day in and day out trying to get federal and state laws changed. That alone is exhausting.

I really think someone needs to start a treatment program like a 12 step program for us "doormats."
 Banter-er
Joined: 4/18/2006
Msg: 7
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The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 4:07:17 PM
To me it seems to be a lack of self esteem.

Doormats will tell their friends, "Don't let other people treat you that way. You're better than that". Yet, they won't give themselves that same advice.

They seem to only feel they have value as a reflection of the value others have for them, no matter how fleeting, or self-serving, it may be.

Don't accept that you are a doormat, because then you are accepting that your value is less.

Believe that you have value. Insist that others treat you with value. Then they will not be able to walk all over you.
 strangebloom
Joined: 6/30/2005
Msg: 8
The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 4:08:53 PM
OP,

Being there for your friends is not bad... and actually very good. So, I guess you become the doormat only when you don't know when to stop it. If you think about it, there are probably some times when you can help a person more by not helping them. At some point... we all have to grow up and deal with life, yaknow?

You say that you can not change... but I am thinking, maybe you don't have to change... but rather, just give some consideration to your needs also. Then you prioritize and balance this load... and do the best you can with it... wala! no more doormat.

So initially I want to say... know when it would be more helpful to not help. Know when to take a break from people. Don't forget to think of your own needs. Prioritize.

Good luck! And also, thank you. :) It's good to see a person out there that puts other peoples needs ahead of their own. Now, lets get your needs taken care of too. :P
 ya472
Joined: 4/29/2006
Msg: 9
The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 4:10:02 PM
Redundant - DELETE
 strangebloom
Joined: 6/30/2005
Msg: 10
The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 4:14:14 PM
I did a search on 'doormat'. There has not been a thread on it in a year. Before that there were a few... Nothing recent though. So, it seems to me... its a valid topic brought up in a new unit of time.
 Creativguy
Joined: 10/19/2006
Msg: 11
The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 4:16:01 PM

I've accepted that I am a doormat. There's nothing I can do about it because it's who and what I am.


Spoken like a true doormat :) But you're not fatalistically destined to never get out of those habits.


There are three kinds of people who use the human doormat. They are:


The key is not about this focus on others, but on your own issues and behaviors that have you inviting and accepting such actions from others.


is there any good advice or treatment programs to break us of these exhausting habits?


Yes. Perhaps one of these articles may give some insight as to why you would continually behave as a "doormat". It does mean looking inward to see it, without being defensive.

http://www.coping.org/relations/martyr.htm
http://www.coping.org/lowesteem/please.htm
http://www.coping.org/lowesteem/script.htm
 Serenity73157
Joined: 9/26/2006
Msg: 12
The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 4:17:20 PM
To Woman I can assure you I don't have a self-esteem problem. I like myself, my own company and my life MOST of the time. I just find myself kicking myself in the butt at times.

Strangebloom thank you for putting a different spin on things for me. I'm having a real doormat month and that's a much better way to view it.
 Brian_Thorn
Joined: 9/7/2006
Msg: 13
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The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 4:21:12 PM
OP I think you and I both know full well what makes you a Doormat or not. Caring about people, being there for people, listening to a friend or loved ones problems, seeing them through their trials and tribulations, these are all very good qualities, and are not what makes one a doormat, they are what makes one a good person.

What makes one a doormat is the fact that they are apparently unhappy with their situation, and yet refuse to do anything about it. A Doormat is content to beleive they don't have any choice in what happens to them, accepts mistreatment without questioning, and continues to give even when said giving is clearly undeserving. A Non-doormat will clearly see they are being abused and do something to end the abuse, namely they stop giving. If you continuously give to those who are clearly undeservant of the gifts you have to offer, and abuse your good nature, then not only are you a Doormat, you are an enabler as well, and quite frankly that is even worse.

I am sorry but I find this concept of "I can't do anything about who and what I am, so I will just accept it whether I like it or not" mentality to be completely pathetic and unworthy of pity. I mean my God, how can you propose to complain about your situation, know what is wrong with the situation, and yet refuse to do anything about it. Boggle! It is just sad, nothing more.

Have fun ;)!
 spade 63
Joined: 12/28/2005
Msg: 14
The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 4:21:59 PM
Serenity, I must have misworded that somehow. I did not mean that you got an ego boost from this.

To-woman said it much better than I did.

I've had to deal with this also, and I have put a major foot down. My problem has been that I get very personally wrapped up in my work, relationships... and I had a habit to supress some of this, because I didn't want to bother others with what I felt were my personal problems...At the same time I used counseling others to affirm that I had it together and I accumulated a mass of "dependants" that really had no idea who I actually was, and as the relationships developed I was entrenched in their life to a point I felt like communicating my own progress had passed the point of no return, and I continued to internalize. When I did open up I often realized that while I had been a sounding board for hours to these people, they had a very short attention span to my own issues. This is maddening.

I understand the face that you must put on for work must be subjugating for you, especially because of your situation, as well as your role as a parent. I know it's hard to not bring work home with you. You need to forgive yourself for not having everything together, no one does, and friends are not children. Strength can be a weakness if sacrifice too much of yourself in one sided relationships. Some of these people might actually respect you more if you lay down the law. There's no need to feel the burdon you do at work in your personal relationships as well.
 Serenity73157
Joined: 9/26/2006
Msg: 15
The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 4:26:20 PM
Wow did I ask for pity? I don't remember doing that. I DO know when to finally draw the line with certain people. However there ARE those you can't do that with such as family.

I'm not asking for pity in this thread as a matter of fact I'm using it to poke fun at myself for being suckered in one too many times by certain people. I also know I'm not the only one who gets suckered in and thought other people might find it enlightening. Now it looks like it will be a bashing thread instead.

It's a fact people. There are givers and takers in this world. Very few people fall in the middle. Just because someone is a giver doesn't mean they have low self-esteem or they are a martyr.
 Rabbitman49
Joined: 10/20/2005
Msg: 16
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The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 4:32:10 PM

A human doormat is a person who is always available to friends, family, s/o's and other loved ones. They will listen to a person's problems without fail, give advice and hold the other person's hand through life's trials and tribulations....

Huh?

I always thought a human doormat was someone whom other people "walked over" or "trampled on," and thus the analogy. I don't see how being responsive and giving advice figures into it. What am I missing?
 spade 63
Joined: 12/28/2005
Msg: 17
The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 4:40:42 PM
You've drawn a line in the sand that is part of the futility of your situation.

Suckered by people over and over, with good humor about it, now you are feeling attacked and are getting a little defensive.

We just dont understand the "facts" about life, or you for that matter, and are now bashing you? I don't understand how you came to that conclusion, I for one in my posts was not meaning to personally attack you, on the contrary I identified with your post (or at least I thought I did) and wanted to offer my insight.

It's not so clear cut as 'givers' and 'takers' I don't think. It makes it sound as if people make a choice to be good or bad. This is oversimplified. If the problem is with family, it would have been slightly different. This is new information. I'm not useful to this discussion anymore.
 Rock Me
Joined: 8/18/2006
Msg: 18
The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 4:57:50 PM
serenity73157 on 11/28/2006 7:26 PM

I DO know when to finally draw the line with certain people. However there ARE those you can't do that with such as family.


Sorry - gotta disagree with you there - sometimes "family" needs a line drawn too... There IS such a thing as giving too much. It seems to catch up when one has nothing left to give and the "family" who supposedly loves you still has their hands out, taking whatever they can get... "Family" has to be responsible for itself, and giving back too - it's a two way street... When smothered in lavish giving, "family" gets stunted from growth and shielded from the real world that is not as giving... Ask me how I know...
 forumfishy
Joined: 9/4/2006
Msg: 19
The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 5:03:31 PM
I am definetely a doormat...*sigh* have been told this by several people. I actually like helping out people and knowing that they ALWAYS have someone to come to with any problems...I love being the pick-U-upper, whether it be by listening to their problems or by simply doing the nice little gestures to put a smile on someones face. I don't think I would ever want to change my ways...only perhaps have more people return the favour when I need some help. I will do anything for almost anyone even if it sacrafices my happiness.
 VegasLiz
Joined: 2/16/2006
Msg: 20
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The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 5:06:08 PM
I know only two well what you mean. I consider myself to be a good friend but on more than one occasion once my friends have met a "man", they forget I exist. Now suddently the person who was always down in the dumps, the person who I would try to cheer up, spend time with, talk to at any time day or night, they no longer have the time of day for me. I am getting pretty tired of it and I am just not going to let myself get too close to any new people.
 yankeebackinthe north
Joined: 9/28/2006
Msg: 21
The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 5:08:41 PM
What you need is a whole bunch of your own personal drama to share with your groupies. If you save up enough to equal their's then everything will just balance out.
 islandprincess_
Joined: 2/13/2006
Msg: 22
The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 5:12:35 PM
What an interesting post! I appreciated reading it, and I would like to think that I too suffer from this. I don't know if it is something I would ever want to try to stop, as it has been engrained in my personality since I was little. It is simply who I am. Yeah, a lot of times, it sucks because it seems no one is ever there for me, but I've learned methods to cope with the stresses. In a way, I think as a person I am simply a lot stronger, because I comfort myself.

A doormat is easy to spot from a mile away. We are usually the ones with the brave face on, forcing a smile even in the worst of times. We are usually the one offering to stay after the party to help clean up, the one that always brings gifts. Some of us have 'free ride' written all over our faces. LOL.

Who knows. I'm not mad about it. It's who I am, and I love helping people, even if it's not reciprocated. Karma will come.

xox,

amY
 Piano4te
Joined: 10/19/2006
Msg: 23
The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 6:16:38 PM
Serenity.....

A few people mentioned some really great solutions. I think I know where you're coming from. Hopefully I'll be able to elaborate correctly.....

It's easy for a person who is kind and giving in inherent nature to start feeling like a 'doormat'. And it generally becomes 'odd' to every type of person you mentioned, that you took care of in some form or another, when the 'doormat' in question FINALLY starts expressing needs of 'vulnerability' themselves. The people who are the 'takers' then tend to turn around, and use words like 'martyr' or 'victim behavior', playing some sort of 'arm chair' pop psychologist to then silence the doormats 'need' to finally ask or receive the very thing they've been giving out for so long.......In essence....the doormats 'love tank' is finally running on empty.......and nobody is willing to stop with a can to fill the tank....

You mentioned you have a business....That shows a HUGE amount of courage and strength.......It also shows something to other people....but it can actually have an ADVERSE affect on the one who goes into business for themself, and RISKS IT ALL....because, unfortunately.....you've now proven to be the "600 pound gorilla"......and the problem with 600 pound gorillas is.....nobody expects YOU to be vulnerable....to have a need.....after all....look how STRONG you are.....(my apologies....I should know better than to mention 'weight' to a woman.....just take the analogy for what it is... :) )

I know that the easiest thing for most people to say is......'only YOU can prevent yourself from being a 'doormat'.......and for the most part.....it's true....it really is....there is much validity in that statement.....but I always think that the pendelum can be swung TOO FAR then, often hardening a heart that is probably at it's BEST when it gives out. And the world could use fewer hardened hearts with patented answers for everything.......

As a reformed doormat myself....I had to overcome this slight disregard for myself, by doing a few things......

Obviously, I had to start practicing 'moderation' and not allow my own 'tank' to go so low that I had nothing else to give.....but then.....

I also had to really GRASP the concept of Karma. Most people, in the process of natural 'give-receive'...'give-take'....'reap-sew' relationships throughout their lives....view such things in the 'linear' form, often viewing things as a 'two way street'. But rather than look at expecting a person I gave to, to reciprocate back in KIND, I had to start viewing that what I would receive back would eventually come from a source outside of the two way street I was viewing...It was going to be 'non linear'...it was going to come from not only another direction....but EVERY direction....sometimes more gifts showered than I could handle at the same time......Once I grasped that.....I was able to start giving again....instead of shutting the doors completely.....If I continued to view it as 'linear' I was going to start becoming 'bitter'.......

The last thing I did for myself was change my view of the concept of being a 'doormat'......I do not consider myself a 'doormat'.......I consider myself a 'catalyst'.....and a 'catalyst' allows for GREAT THINGS to happen to make other peoples lives possibly BETTER......In other words...."TEACH them to fish...instead of just GIVING a fish"..... Being a 'catalyst' promotes change. And in my life, I taught more people to fish than I'll ever be given thanks for. Some I never heard from again. And a long time ago, I might have gone into 'doormat' mode about it, because I was looking for something too....be it a friend...or companionship...or whatever. But if the best thing that could have happened was just being a 'catalyst', and something happened that made their life better......then there was no harm done....only good....and I simply know they are out there with a better life.....

Just to quote Mother Theresa....."in the final analysis, it's between you and God....it was never between you and them anyway"......this theme has been reoccuring much lately.......

Maybe you should just become a catalyst....you seem like you would be a good one....

Peace....
 invertedchance
Joined: 10/6/2006
Msg: 24
The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 6:50:51 PM
There's a big difference between being someone with a big heart versus being a doormat. To be a proper doormat, I believe the following conditions must first exist:

1) Said foot-wiper must be someone you are attracted to but won't give you the time of day.
2) Said foot-wiper must use you only to vent frustrations, before repeating same mistakes.
3) Said foot-wiper must say "they really care about you" or some equivalent as a way of wringing concessions from you (money, attention, etc), and must not reciprocate.

Big heart = good.
Doormat = bad.
 coca2
Joined: 2/17/2006
Msg: 25
The human doormat syndrome
Posted: 11/28/2006 6:56:53 PM
Does doormat equal co-dependant?
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