"Take these broken wings and learn to fly/All your life/You were only waiting for this moment to arise"
December 8, 2011 9:45 AM Subscribe
Help me learn to not be such a doormat – and maybe get a tattoo to remind me not to be one.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (12 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
So I realize the answer to this question will, by default be ‘get a therapist’. And I fully plan to get one; I just started a new job and have a new insurance plan to wrangle through – but finding and getting a therapist is definitely high on my To Do list. This is a related question though on what I can do in the meantime. It’s not intended to be a shortcut to therapy – just something I was curious about from other people, since my Google searches for ‘don’t be a doormat’ imagery just isn’t working…
I’m wondering how I can learn not to be a doormat or passive person when it comes to putting my needs as a priority. Because one of my parents left when I was very young I have issues of abandonment – staying in relationships (friendships, romantic relationships – even jobs) longer than I should even if I’m not happy because of a fear that I’ll be alone. I’m desperate to avoid conflict and confrontation, and am a people pleaser because I figure if someone else is happy they will like me enough so they won’t leave. (Yes, it’s pathetic enough just writing this – and apologies for the length here).
I go thorough this cycle of experiencing something bad (someone being awful to me in a relationship, for example) and me still staying with them. I then get mad at myself for realizing I’m not happy because I’m not standing up for what I believe in or who I am – but I’m too ‘weak’ or doormat-like to leave. The cycle repeats, and I realize I need to get off that ferris wheel. I come to these conclusions like now where I have these epiphany-like moments of true realization. Yet I seem to forget the epiphanies and don’t change my behavior. I keep on giving these other people the benefit of the doubt and still have them in my life whereas I would think less dysfunctional people would say, “hey, why are you friends with this person again? Good friends don’t put you down”.
I’m realizing that having these negative people in my life doesn’t help me and I need to change my reaction to them. I’d like to rely less on my fears and be strong enough on my own. I know people often will get a tattoo to commemorate an important life event, a rite of passage - or something they love or have learned. I’ve wanted to get a tattoo for a long time, but could never decide on an image. Is there an image I could get on me somewhere highly visible (like on my hands?) that I could have that could remind me to stay on the positive and true to myself path – something I could look at and remember that I need to not forget these important epiphanies about who I am and what I value? I realize in therapy I will work on my self esteem, and learn to become more comfortable with being alone – or to see that I can be alone, strong, and self reliant and not constantly needing approval from others. Short of getting a tattoo of ‘to thine own self be true’ on me (ow), what image is something that represents the idea of what I’ve posted here? What represents strength, resilience, commitment to one’s values, learning, growth? I've thought about getting a tree, but want it to be a symbol that could be small on my wrist or something.
Any ideas? Even a source book for iconography online would be good. I know there are lots of tattoo sites out there - I'm looking more for the images I can use for a tattoo.