Self-Cleaning Doormat

Doormat image from

A while back I posted about how sometimes people just need to scream and how we may be on the receiving end of that.  I suppose this post relates to that.  You might consider it a continuation of that post.

I am really trying to become more rational when it comes to anger and frustration.  This doesn’t only apply to my own anger and frustration.  It isn’t the most natural thing for a person to neither cry or scream in situations that lend to such reactions.  Imagine two versions of yourself.  One version is sensible and the other version wants to rip into those who mistreat you.  It can be a struggle to keep a balance between being a doormat and wanting to unleash  what I call “my inner raging bitch monster”.  I find the sensible me holding her hand over the mouth of the harsh me.  The harsh me still grumbles behind that hand, feeling like she could spit fire.  The sensible me spends a while essentially saying “There there.  Calm down.  Listen to my rational point.”  Sometimes both versions are pissed off, which makes it more difficult to remain centered.

I have spent most of my life being what many would call a “doormat”.  I’m sure there are people who would consider me weak because of that.  I have certainly experienced my share of weakness.  I have been going through a learning process though.  I have previously stated that I believe one of the main life lessons I am meant to learn is patience.  I can tell you that I have learned being a doormat isn’t always because of weakness.  Many times one allows himself/herself to be a doormat because they know that sometimes it is the best option.  That probably sounds like nonsense to a large portion of the population.  It is sensible though.  I will try to show how it is sensible with an fictional example.

Example:  Maddie has a brother who is going through a messy divorce.  Sometimes her brother gets jealous when he sees how strong her marriage is.  Add that jealousy to the stress over assets being split, friendships being lost, and an ugly custody battle.  The result is sometimes Maddie’s brother behaves like a jerk to her.  He doesn’t hit her, steal from her, or do anything that severe.  What happens is that he becomes critical and argumentative.  “Maddie, what were you thinking with that hair cut?”  “Maddie, sometimes I think you’re stupid.”  “Maddie, I don’t understand why you deserve to be happy when my life sucks.”    Maddie gently points that being mean to her will not make his life better.  This makes him aware of his misbehavior.  He still slips up often though.  Her husband tells her that she needs to cut her brother off.  She knows that nobody would judge her if she told her brother to stay away.  However, she knows that being there for her brother is helping him through a difficult transition.  She knows that she is strong enough to handle his criticisms.  She looks at the big picture and sees that it would take him longer to heal without her.  She decides to keep her brother around because she knows helping him while he is being a jerk leads to a better outcome than turning him away.  She knows that his unkind criticisms are a symptom of his struggles and not a real reflection of her.

That example hopefully suffices in showing how a doormat type of person isn’t always weak.  Sometimes doormats are the most emotionally strong and patient people you will meet.  They will likely also be some of the most loving people you will ever meet.  A key aspect in becoming a strong doormat is to become emotionally self-cleaning.  You have to know how to shake other people’s dirt off of yourself.  You can’t rely on others to shake all that mess off of you.  You need a bag of tricks or a toolbox, and you need to make sure that the tools are safe to use.  Too many people turn to drugs, promiscuity, cutting, etc. to deal with emotional dirt being caked onto them.  Your tools could be morning jogs, meditation, journaling, volunteering, etc.  You have to find out what works for you.

You also have to accept that you are not going to be perfect.  Even strong doormats are allowed to have weak days.  Sometimes you may not get all of the previous day’s crap off of you and then unintentionally fling it onto somebody else.  It is common knowledge that those who are treated poorly may in turn lash out at others.  Apologize if you find yourself having bully moments.  Forgive yourself, and try to avoid reverting to that as much as you can.  Also, don’t kick yourself too much if your “inner raging bitch monster” gets a few hurtful words out at the person who is wiping their crap off on you.  Once again, apologize and try to avoid reverting as much as possible.

Being a self-cleaning doormat isn’t for everyone.  It’s a tough gig for a lot of natural doormats.  I hope nobody thinks I am encouraging this persona as something everybody should take on.  Different people teach and learn different lessons.  A self-cleaning doormat learns patience while hopefully teaching patience by example.  The world also needs tough love people to teach that there are consequences for our actions.  For example, some kids will keep back talking their mommas no matter how many times they are told why that is wrong.  Take those kids tablets away for a week and they will hesitate to back talk in the future.  Whether your nature is passive or no-nonsense, embrace it and all the positives that come with it.  One nature can learn from the other and shift when necessary.  They work together to create balance.  Therefore, while embracing the positives of your own nature, please try to embrace the positives of others’ natures.

Blessed be.


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