I am undoubtedly, incurably, a doormat. I find it inordinately difficult to say ‘no’, no matter how trivial the situation, especially when dealing with people I don’t know very well. I’m nauseatingly polite to everyone, even when politeness of any kind is unwarranted. Some people may mistake this compulsive behavior as being ‘nice’, but that’s a fallacy.
I’m not actually ‘nice’, because sometimes I feel so frustrated, and I really want to be assertive. People who are actually ‘nice’, whatever that really means, wouldn’t have to try so hard.
I can see the people close to me getting exasperated with my behavior, but its like I’m trapped in a glass bottle. I can wail with irritation and helplessness within the walls, but no one can hear me outside.
The rationale I tell myself is that I behave this way because I don’t want to hurt anyone. I even pepper my messages with copious emoticons, so that there isn’t the least chance of being misinterpreted.
I like to call this the ‘Mother Teresa Complex’. It basically involves a tendency to babysit all those who express their distress, or intimate it in any way. By the end of it I’m more often than not curled up into a ball of sheer inertia, depressed beyond consolation.
Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes it feels wonderful to be able to help. It’s not wrong to be polite and nice to people, but when it begins to affect your own life, and the lives of those around you, then it becomes a problem. What bothers me the most about this affliction of mine is that by doling out sympathy to everyone around me, I become drained. The people close to me are then left to deal with an anti-social, cynical husk of a person.
I wish I could change. I need to change. I’ve subsisted for 22 years as a doormat. I want to be myself now, whoever that really is.