The Doormat




The doormat. There it lies with a pleasant greeting of “welcome home” emblazoned upon it and all it gets is routinely overlooked and trampled on, but it never flinches, it never backs away from performing its function. Many of our victims find themselves regarded as doormats by our kind. Not only is this evidenced by the way that we regard you but it is also as a consequence of the way that we treat you. It is not those factors alone however that cause me to ascribe the label of Doormat to a particular appliance. Much of it comes from the thinking, attitude and mind set of the relevant victim. I have mentioned my sister, Rachael previously. Whereas I trod the path that has led me to where I am today, Rachael found herself becoming a doormat. She was routinely trampled on by all the members of our family and I watched and observed as we grew older as to how this manifested. As time progressed and with the increasing awareness that I have obtained, allied with the observations of the good doctors, I identified certain characteristics that she has which I have also seen in those who have been my primary source victims. I have concluded that whilst numerous of these victims have come close to being doormats, only three have actually achieved that status along with my sister.

Now, it is a mistake to think that a doormat would be regarded as weak. Naturally my kind think this but that is part of our mechanism for maintaining our superiority by pouring scorn on your traits and how they lead you to be treated. Those who are doormats exhibit a different kind of strength. They are weak in that they fail to assert themselves with sufficient emphasis to enable them to escape the worst of out treatment, but they possess a strength by virtue of those characteristics. To be able to have those characteristics and keep them, whilst being abused, ignored, trampled on and taken for granted, is perversely a form of strength and one which we welcome. We want appliances that will keep functioning, obeying us, pouring out the fuel and complying, without breaking down and malfunctioning the first time matters become rough. Finding a doormat amongst our victims is gratifying because it means that this person will not depart us, they have no desire to do so. It goes further however because they wish to stay not only for our reasons but for their own fulfilment as well. They pour fuel in our direction, remain subservient and compliant. What are the traits that constitute a doormat?

  1. The individual is sensitive and guilt-ridden.
  2. This person has learned to survive hostile environments by meeting our need for gratification. This first and foremost applies to the provision of fuel but it also goes further. The doormat will gratify us by allowing us to do what we want, recognises our need and right to do so, allows us to utilise whatever resources we see fit and caters for all of our needs in terms of fuel, trait provision and residual benefits.
  3. The doormat’s perception of love has become skewed. This person seeks love through the excessive accommodation of another’s needs. This may not just be us when we have attached them as a primary source to us, but in respect of other individuals. Those individuals may not be narcissistic but the doormat still wishes to accommodate the wishes of other people (something which of course irritates us and leads to conflict) because the doormat regards his or her role as one of accommodating everybody because then that means that they will be loved.
  4. The doormat simply gives too much. They do not take. They give of themselves on every level, from their emotions, their dedication, their time, their energy, their thoughts and their resources. They are impressively resourced in these matters and appear to have almost limitless time, energy etc. although eventually it becomes evident that they have not.
  5. The doormat does not feel safe unless he or she gives. If they perceive that they are taking they feel alarm and distress. If they are neither giving or taking they feel restless and out of their comfort zone. The need to provide and to give allows them to fulfil their role and in turns embodies a sense of safety for them. Once they begin to feel safe they will continue to give in order to remain in this safe place. This is why the doormat is drawn to our kind because we are takers and do so on a vast scale. We are made for the doormat and even though the doormat may not know what we are, their coupling with us, provides them with an innate sense of safety and security.
  6. The doormat must meet the emotional needs of the narcissist. We are empty. We are voids and your emotional attention, your fuel, needs to be poured into us. The doormat feels a need to ensure that those excessive emotional needs are met (although fails to realise that this can never be achieved) and therefore remains hooked and beholden to us in as the doormat tries to achieve the impossible. I have watched my sister continue to do this with Matrinarc.
  7. The doormat suffers low self-esteem but this is boosted by the success of the narcissist. My victims who were doormats found that their self-esteem was increased by my achievements and my accomplishments. I watched my sister gather her self-esteem from being linked to the achievements of MatriNarc, my father and me. This is a curious behaviour and is not unlike our stealing of traits from those around us in order to add them to our construct and in turn make us look better and more attractive. The doormat does not acquire the traits of our success but the fact we are successful and they are linked with us results in their self-esteem being increased.
  8. The doormat has a high tolerance to emotional abuse. The lashing out through heated fury and cold fury from our kind against the doormat causes the doormat to realise that the emotional need of our kind has increased. This signals to them that they must leap into action. They have a call of duty and rather than find the emotional abuse debilitating (at least at first) they regard it as a useful signal for them to do something in order to cater for it. However, all the doormat is doing is allowing a pressure to build up of this repeated emotional abuse. The doormat can tolerate it for longer than a standard victim but then there comes a point where the threshold is reached, the pressure can no longer be sustained and withheld and at that point there is a substantial and serious damaging effect on the doormat from the release of this pressure.
  9. The doormat feels guilt when catering for his or her needs and therefore almost in a masochistic way will place themselves in the firing line once again with our kind in order to assuage this guilt.
  10. The doormat feels undeserving of being loved. They want to be loved for what they do, rather than for what they are. They regard themselves of fundamentally unworthy of love save when they are carrying out their role. With my sister I saw this with both my father and mother. My father emphasised how it was important to help others and my sister saw that as a clear signal to flagellate herself in catering to the needs of others and especially our kind. My sister also explained to me that in respect of MatriNarc that she never says that she is happy but that my sister knew MatriNarc was happy with her because of how my sister felt, namely devoid of guilt and valued because of her excessive giving. I regarded her thinking as deluded but I did not correct it, because it served my purposes as well.

43 thoughts on “The Doormat

  1. BC30 says:

    1. Yes! But I am only guilt-ridden for a short, but intense time. When my N traits come to the fore I lash out and blame shift. When I do something “wrong” based on my E traits, I can feel guilty, but talk myself out of it. I talk myself out of guilt. It’s surprisingly easy.
    2. If it takes little of my resources, I’ll hand it over. I won’t waste energy arguing with you if it’s easier to relent and give you the damn biscuit/cookie.
    3. No. You love me or you don’t.
    4. Yes, but more so out of my Savior, than Martyr.
    5. N/A
    6. N/A
    7. No. My self-esteem is not boosted by the accomplishments of others. I am successful.
    8. I have a high tolerance, but it triggers my N traits to lash out in secret, not to provide more fuel.
    9. LOL N/A
    10. N/A

  2. NP says:

    I will agree with one or two points in the article – doormats are created by Narc parents when they systematically and deliberately break down the empath child.

    The child is then denied love and given approval only when they give and are taken advantage of, and since giving comes naturally to the empath, the child then continues giving more and more and discovers that it is only when they give in to other people’s wishes that they get respite from Narc attacks.

    Your description of your sister Rachel fits me to a T. Did I mention that given what I now know – that I despise my parents and siblings to a T? How could they do this to me and pretend to love me only when I did stuff for them? In fact, I came to discover that situations would be manipulated in such a way that it would be said ‘NP will do all the work. Do not worry about it.’ And I woud find myself overburdened…

    This has affected me in the workplace – I tend to be the overly overworked employee. I have quit more than 3 workplaces because of this, I got serious burn outs and actually got physically ill. It didn’t help that as an empath, I was also the target of workplace bullying.

    Oh, I hate my family with a passion. In the past, I have cried and cried and there are days when I would send prayers to heaven, prayers that would put the Psalmists cries for help and the destruction of the wicked to shame.

    Just one thought – would you say that you believe in God and His justice?

    Because, one of the things that drive me as a doormat/empath/co-dependant when I give is the knowledge that I ought to give. I ought to help people in their time of need, not because the giving fuels me, but I sort of understand that there’s someone who is suffering and I can be of help. I can find a way to alleviate the suffering.

    It’s like when you hear a baby crying in the crib,. The most natural thing any human being would do is to check on the baby. Does it need changing, has it woken up scared and just needs company and comfort? Is the baby hungry? We don’t soothe the baby because soothing the baby satisfies our selfish need to give and love.


    We soothe the baby because the baby is in distress and the baby needs to be soothed so that it can feel fine and happy again.

    Does that make sense?

    To take advantage of such a person’s goodness is what I consider now to be the epitome of evil, hence my prayers to God above. I have prayed for lightning to strike some people dead. Well, it hasn’t happenned yet so I don’t think God is agreeing with my judgement yet. But, God dealt with Jezebel accordingly so I still have hope.

    Well, I think you get my point.

    One question: do Narcs fear God’s judgement for all they have done and continue to do in toying around with and destroying His children? God says, ‘Do not take advantage of another, love one another, and vengeance is mine, leave vengeance to me…I will repay.’

    Do your fear that now, knowing that you are evil?

    (Sorry, I had to put it that way. Well, the empath in me has to apologise when I am harsh…lol).

  3. I’m acutely aware of this HG!!

    But thanks for the reminder.

  4. I’ve noticed HG that some male Ns seem to enjoy the company of a dominant woman, even if it’s only for a short term relationship? Or even a long lasting SSIP one? I’d be interested to know why?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Indeed they do Alexis, they tend to be the Victim Narcissists and it appeals to their need to mothered, cared for at an extreme level and also the masochistic streak that exists because their obedience pleases the dominant woman which provides them with fuel. There will be an article about this in the future.

      1. I’ll look forward to it HG.

        Goodness – if you weren’t so busy cutting cookies, you could have been a criminal profiler!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Easy tiger, I have you in my sights!

  5. noah80 says:

    It is strange but I became aware of my tendency to be a doormat with my narc. I arrived at incredible tolerance, tolerate and justify every abuse trying to find a reason in my behavior (but there was not). I wanted to make him happy and just be loved by him …but now I realize that is like asking flowers in the butcher: I’ll never get what I want because he don’t have love for me.
    But I understand also that maybe I have a low self esteem or I would not have allowed that a person acted this way with me and it is on my self esteem that I (and all the victims) have to work!

  6. Bloody Elemental says:

    I cannot stop laughing. This happened last time.

    The image kills me. You are brilliant and magnificent.

    That is all for now.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I am obliged.

  7. Love says:

    Mr. Tudor, you’ve stated that in all your experience you’ve only encountered 4 true codependents. If they are such low hanging fruit, then you’d expect more of them, wouldn’t you?
    Also, you’ve stated a codependent can be a narc’s undoing.
    It seems for being such low valued super tankers they wield quite a lot of power.
    As your brilliant work spreads like wildfire, more and more super/regular empaths might wisen up to narcs and refuse you fuel. We all know, when supply decreases, price increases. So next time you’re slumming in the codependent part of town, you might be shocked that fuel prices have sky rocketed. I would stock up while the getting is still good.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Not necessarily. Low hanging fruit does not mean there are a lot of them but they are easier to pick.

      Thank you for your kind comment. Much as I want my work to be widely read, I am just at the beginning Love, so i do not have any key concerns that I will ever be refused fuel.

  8. Windstorm says:

    Adele, I can identify. My mother was a covert narc also. I can totally identify with your post. Find a good therapist who understands narcissism and can give you personal advice and support. It makes all the difference. And stay on this blog site. It is the most informative, useful site about understanding both narcs and ourselves that I have ever found. I know most everyone will agree with that. And thank you again HG for sharing your own theraputic journaling with all the rest of us.

    1. Adele says:

      Hi windstorm
      Youve been thru a lot, hugs. I was seeing a therapist but she more or less said start making changes or i can no longer help you. I never went back. I will again at some pt tho because it did help.
      Im taking baby steps in detaching. Its not easy but the only option i have or feel i have right now.
      I want to mention that surprisingly not all therapists understand narcissism and in some cases they themselves have narcissism. Ive had some good ones that have helped tho.

  9. Windstorm says:

    Again I totally agree with you HG. I was married to a narc for 30 years and only left him when my mental and physical health had totally broken down. It took my principal giving me an ultimatum and the school nurse making me an appointment with a counselor to convince me I had no choice but to leave. I never considered myself a victim, though. And I have never felt self-righteous about giving and being helpful. Through therapy, journaling and moving 40 miles away from my family narcs I have been able to heal enough to get by. I still enjoy their company and providing positive fuel. But that is definately my choice.

  10. Thanks for a great article HG. ❤️❤️❤️

  11. Ptsdafternarcabuse says:

    I am a doormat. I’d rather call it co-dependent because doormat sounds so pathetic. Yes there is a time when we can take no more. At that break point, i exposed him for what he is to many people including his main fuel sources. After that he bacame depressed and non functional. My heart went out to him. I then decided to return to his life as friends because without me he was miserable.
    Doormats get nothing out of it. It’s not a two way street. I don’t feel ‘good’ because i’m doing something for someone. Rather, my pain from not being with him is removed. It is however replaced by another (although more bearable) pain of not getting love in return. Either way it’s not a rewarding situation.
    I do not believe we are low hanging fruits. Empaths claim to be loving etc. but will finally only love if given love in return. I don’t believe that is true love. The definition of true love is itself a matter of opinion and debate. But i believe true love is being able to give love even when you don’t get love in return.
    I do protect myself though. For example, i have chosen not to be intimate with him anymore. Otherwise, i would become addicted again. The oxytocin levels would soar and i would experience a terrible withdrawal effect when he leaves. Also, since narcs don’t like intimacy i would rather give him what he really needs which is praise and admiration. I do miss the intimacy though. It was very difficult because i love him and he is somatic so he has an amazing body lol

    1. Adele says:

      I could of written this myself its exactly my situation

      1. I noticed you and i are similar in some aspects.

    2. NarcAngel says:

      You have already acknowledged getting something from it: “a more bearable pain” ( not getting love vs not having him). We are hard-wired to do things that reward be it a good feeling or even lack of bad feeling and I have yet to find an example of a selfless act. You returned to him because he was miserable without you and you feel better doing so no? Two way street. I referred to doormats as low hanging fruit to a narc as they are easier to extract from being that doormats offer it up to feel fulfilled themselves. You say you believe love is when you give it without reciprocation and yet you reached a “breaking point” which indicates you were no longer getting what you needed and “exposed” him which actually seems punitive or vindictive rather than love. Im glad you have taken steps to protect yourself. You can give him praise and admiration but as we are schooled here-there will be a time when that is not enough.

      1. The reduction of a pain can be looked at as getting something in return i suppose. I would not go so far as to label it as a two way street though. But that is my opinion. You may differ. Every so often, the pain from being with him and not receiving love in return exceeds the pain of being without contact. I am borderline also so i alternate between these feelings. I would like to rip him off like a bandage once and for all sometimes, but i don’t because he needs me too much. I don’t feel better knowing that i’m helping him. I just want him to feel better.
        I exposed him not to be vindictive, but for another reason. Our union was a secret. I was a dirty secret, although his primary source. After 2.5 years, I finally had to be honest to relevant people because he was definitely going on the wrong track including the consuming of alcohol and drugs, and engaging in casual sex. He is in his twenties, and has his whole life ahead of him. I needed to let some people who care about both of us know the truth, otherwise his family would lose him to the drugs. I had to expose him in order for him to gain an outside perspective from someone he respects, and hopefully be persuaded to alter his ways. Since then he indeed has altered his ways, but he is depressed out of shame.
        Thank you for your comment. It gives me something to think about.

  12. Adele says:

    Interesting post! Ive never considered myself as a doormat but there has been instances ive felt that way.
    My mother is a covert narc and my brother 7 yrs younger golden child narc. 10 yrs ago id had enough and went no contact with my brother. My mother has been limited in her access to my life. Its the best decision i ever made. I miss my brother deeply and wish him well but the trio was too toxic for me to handle. A doormat definitely wouldve stayed inthat situation. I have struggled the effects of the gaslighting and covert abuse but realise that garbage was wrong and am trying to change my way of thinking.
    Growing up my point of view was always wrong and was ignored a lot. I now see my mother for what she is…a messed up child who tries to control everything. She got no control from me in the end. Im considered the black sheep as a result.
    In my present situation i feel like a doormat in respect to the fact i go along with almost anything out of fear of abandonment. He in turn is the best listener and takes interest in the things i do. Shows me lots of attention all of which ive come to depend on. Mixed in that has been covert abuse on and off and uncertainty. Never knowing when he will do something not expected. Its terrible playing the role of being subservient and never feeling like u can trust enough to discuss your worries or what theyve done. That feels like an emotional doormat

    1. NoNarcs says:

      I may be in the minority here but I applaud you for being aware of who u are and what it is that you desire to knowingly enter into a relationship as the subservient one. If this satisfies you, and you can own it and the consequences, I think that’s great. It’s an honest way to be and not a doormat at all in my opinion

      1. Love says:

        Thank you NoNarc. That is very sweet of you. I appreciate your words.

  13. Lou Lou says:

    Is there a time when a doormat can not take anymore? When that time comes how will a doormat respond? With years of abuse can a doormats traits fade away and be replaced with negative feels for the abuser and cause a wariness to help others?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Lou Lou, indeed there is. The doormat will have a breakdown. No, the traits remain it is only the intervention of others that can assist by removing the doormat from the influences of our kind.

      1. Lou Lou says:

        Ok thanks. I had a break down about 5 years ago. I have a hate for my husband now but I still feel the best outcome would be for our marriage to repaired. Still learning about narcissism and still wondering if it is my husband or my self or indeed if either of us are narcissist. Another question, can a narcissistic appear to be a doormat? My husband will bend over backwards to help different people but then come home and complain to me about it and then do nothing for me.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          That is the creation and maintenance of the facade Lou Lou, by the narcissist.

  14. NarcAngel says:

    I despise a doormat. Can barely hold my contempt for those who have no respect for themselves but pretend to by giving and giving, yet I’m surrounded by them. Problem is there appear to be different definitions as they would never regard theselves as such. Instead They consider
    themselves charitable, a good friend and/or spouse, parent, all the while commiserating that they are not valued enough or dont get it in return. A perverse sort of self-inflicted misery. Not very selfless then is it if you’re doing it to appear or make yourself feel good. Thats called a two way street in my books. So I know you need these people to provide a steady source of fuel and I know you don’t feel shame, but do you feel disgusted with yourself a little for taking this lowest of hanging fruit? I know from reading that the mid-range and lesser would have little to no issue with it and that it depends on the fuel levels, but as a rule would a greater or elite not pursue this and opt more for the challenge of turning someone self-respecting into a puddle or is that considered too risky due to potential wounding? In which case the status of greater or elite has just dropped a little-only cowards back down from a challenge.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Interesting observations NarcAngel and thank you. I think what you are referring to is what is known as virtue signalling, i.e. change your profile on Fb to a particular flag to show solidarity but do nothing more, so you are signalling to the world, “hey look at me, aren’t I a good person?”

      I am never disgusted with myself. All is as the fuel wills it to be.

      I would not back down from a challenge to sink my teeth into a juicy super empath, but if my fuel levels were low and the seduction of such a person was harder than say a co-dependent, I would be pragmatic and go for the co-dependent.
      Then get the fuel levels up and come back for the super empath.

      1. Love says:

        Lol is the FB profile flag a doormat with a heart?
        I agree with you NA that this is self inflected misery. I hate playing the victim. I also don’t have compassion for family/friends that continuously cry foul when they’ve knowingly jumped in over and over again.
        However, I obtain perverse pleasure playing the subservient role. I do not call myself a victim/survivor/or none of that nonsense. I seek the bad treatment willingly. And I blame no one (not even the narc) because it was my own doing.
        So does that make me a doormat as well?
        If so, then let me update my FB profile pic.😉 Oops, I don’t FB. Gotta create one now.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I would not categorise gaining a perverse pleasure from being subservient as a doormat Love.

      2. Love says:

        Ok thank you Mr. Tudor. Then I will await my category flag🚩

      3. NarcAngel says:

        Dont even get me started on the f***fest that is Fb!

        That is an entirely logical and reasonable route to take. Phew! You’re back on top with me baby!!

      4. Love says:

        Lol are you talking to me NA? I would prefer to be on the bottom, but I can give the top a try. 😉

        1. NarcAngel says:

          Haha no LOVE, that was meant for HG in reference to accepting challenge but I put it in the wrong spot. Never the top? Oh dear lol.

  15. Windstorm says:

    Totally spot on. As one of the doormat persuasion myself, I am amazed at your accuracy. I’ve always believed it was a natural consequence of being raised by narcissists. We can be aware of what we are and intellectually know that we are intelligent, valuable people deserving of love, but deep down we remain afraid that every negative thing we have been told about ourselves as children is really true. And like you said, that’s one reason I’ve always been attracted to and able to enjoy the company of narcs. It’s a twisted kind of win-win for all of us.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      An interesting way of putting it Windstorm, thank you.

    2. Malo says:

      So true!!!! I am 48 and I am still convinced deep down that I am all the negative things my parents though of me. No matter what! The most difficult thing if you want to overcome this, is that you have to void the trust you had all those years on them. Still, I can not do that. It feels like I have to cancel my whole life and start from zero. I have no strength for that.

      1. Windstorm2 says:

        What’s helped me, Malo, is to focus on the person I want to be, not what anyone else thinks of me. Try putting out of your mind (as much as possible) all the negative things you’ve ever been told about yourself over the years. Look into your heart and think of what type of person you truly want to be. Then just be true to this self image. Only you control yourself. You determine who you are.

        It’s difficult and takes practice. Maybe sit down with a journal and make a list of things that you know are true about yourself, things you want to be true about yourself, and even false things you’ve been told. I even have written out the bad things and burned them (I’m big into rituals.). If you doubt you really are all the positive things you want to be, then fake it till you make it. That actually works.

        I’ll be pulling for you and sending you positive energy. You sound like you’re in pretty much the same place I was at your age, so I can identify. I’m 59 now and thankfully beyond those negative feelings. Once we make peace with who we really are inside, life becomes so much easier and less complicated. ❤️

  16. IDGAF says:

    Are doormats created in childhood? I’ve been a doormat to a sociopath, Elite, and currently a MidRanger….and those are just husbands. I assumed I’m this way because of my narcissistic mother. I spent decades performing for her insatiable appetite of manipulation, obviously without ever winning her approval. As an adult I’ve continued to live the exact patterns of my youth. My sister, who was a Golden Child of my mother, is a narcissist…, why do some become doormats? I have always been highly empathetic….could that be the determining factor?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello IDGAF, I agree with your observations. The formation occurs in childhood and you chose a route which was different and this was either as a consequence of your natural empathy, or your empathy grew out of the circumstances you found yourself in. What causes one person to deal with their situation by becoming a narc and the other by becoming an empath, is open to debate.

      1. Triad says:

        In some families there is one child per “litter,” for lack of a better term, who is the best and brightest, who shines like a supernova, and it’s obvious early on in childhood which one that is. We knew who we were from the outset. In my family that child became the narcissist.

        Those children in the shadow strove for accomplishments to catch up, but it didn’t matter, the heirarchy was already set, and once set, it would stay that way for one and all time. They either grew up to be quiet and stoic, or bitter and resentful (if male), or turned into submissive women (if female), but always inferior, tolerated, not worthy of special recognition, pride, or glory.

        My family has been this way for four generations, and there is a strict heirarchy in our larger extended family based on this unspoken premise, which is recognized and adhered to across generations.

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