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.

Listen to ‘The Doormat’

19 thoughts on “The Doormat

  1. Melmel says:

    I hate the word Resilience. A therapist told me recently that I lack resilience. To which I pointed out that I have survived much and the mere fact that I am still here must say something… My mother used to say that I am Spunky. Like the Energizer Bunny I guess.

    “The doormat has a high tolerance to 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.”

    The world doesn’t see emotional abuse. It’s not something a victim can properly describe. When the pressure is released and damage occurs, then the world sees and they scratch their head like “What happened???” Everyone is perplexed when the bright and hopeful child becomes a confused, anxious, haunted woman.

    I find this article extremely validating.

    1. A Victor says:

      Melmel, good job on straightening that therapist out.

      Have you considered doing the EDC? It, especially along with the TDC, was highly validating for me. It’s been invaluable in my learning.

    2. Bubbles 🍾 says:

      Dearest Melmel,
      Seven skills of resilience
      1. Cultivate a belief in your own ability to cope
      2. Stay connected with sources of support
      3. Talk about what you’re going through
      4. Be helpful to others
      5. Activate positive emotion
      6. Cultivate an attitude of survivorship
      7. Seek meaning

      Psychologists define resilience “as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress – such as family/relationship problems, serious health problems, workplace and financial stressors”

      We cop the lot !

      I’m glad you threw it back in their face …..they know Jack !!!!
      Good onya 😉
      Luv Bubbles xx 😘

      1. Melmel says:

        Bubbles thank you for that lovely list! #1 and #2 are the hardest for me… Owing to being told my whole life that I am wrong so developing a belief that I am incapable of coping by myself, and that asking for help (even from sources that freely offer support) is selfish and draining for others.

        Therapy is helping tremendously with those as I relearn my inner narrative. #6 is a strength, which is why I was able to identify to said therapist that his observation was a little tunnel-visioned. Usually I immediately internalize these kinds of statements and make them part of my inner truth without any critical assessment first, but this time it didn’t land. I’m slowly learning boundaries and how to only internalize things that are 1. True (vs. false), and 2. About me (vs. about the person making the statement).

        AV, I really would like to do the TDC and EDC, but as I mentioned above, I am still working on my ability to hold space between what others think/say about me and my own inner narrative. I am worried that what HG thinks/says in the consults will affect me in a negative way and set me back in my progress. I think from some comments in other threads, that he likely thinks that I am an unaware narcissist. I have thoroughly explored this possibility and have rejected it, but I’m still not strong enough to stand firm on that yet. Right now my narcissistic traits are quite prominent. Because of the persistent influence of narcissists since childhood, and that I am dealing with multiple narcissistic conflicts currently, my ET is very strong. Also, as part of my therapy I have had to “tap in” to some of these traits to try to build up my sense of self-worth and self-esteem in order to create some boundaries with people that I previously allowed to trample all over me. In some areas of my life, I am finding that beautiful balance between opening up to Empathy, and establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries, but it is still definitely a work in progress in others.

        HG has been a tremendous help in putting into words things that are happening in and around me, and to identifying relationships in my life that are toxic or have the potential to become toxic. This blog is very helpful as I read and speak to other Empaths that continue to struggle with their narcissists, or recognize when they are being targeted and escape. I have a book called Self-Care for Empaths, and one of the things the author recommends is building a community or support group of Empaths.

        So thanks everyone for sharing your stories, reaching out, and responding. Thanks for giving me a place to put some of the spinning in my head down in words. It’s all helping.

        1. Asp Emp says:

          Melmel, thank you for sharing your views and it was good to read them. It is also good to see that you are doing what you feel / think will work for you at this time. People work differently at different times during their experiences / therapy routes. HG can be trusted to give you his honest opinion and advice. Either way, it is good to see that you found your way here too, to get a different perspective from where you have been sourcing information already. You sound as if you have it all planned out – kudos to you for that 🙂

          1. Melmel says:

            No plan! Not at all hahaha. Most of the time I feel entirely befuddled. I am very lucky in my situation that I have a lot of free time currently, and I decided that enough was enough and I’m going to figure this shit out and fix it or get out. It was especially overwhelming because I had four events happen almost simultaneously with different narcissists/narcissistic normal in my life. Drunk husband, Superior Colleague, my Employer, and when everyone else was getting all the attention and he couldn’t take it anymore, my father. Luckily, there was a trigger that got me out of the workplace and now other people are dealing with the Employer and the Colleague, because I was at a total loss and really not good at the Power Struggle. I have not effected an Escape completely because my family requires my income, and really it’s out of my hands now. It continues to boggle my mind how far they can get left of the law before someone calls them to task, but I’ll let the politicians and the lawyers handle that. I’m GOSO with my father and expecting a grand Hoover (returning to the country during Covid, fuck you dad) any day. Husband is almost 9 months sober, so I’m super proud of him and hoping for the best outcome there.

            Plan is Survival. As it always has been.

          2. Asp Emp says:

            Well, you certainly have enough to deal with at present. Good (well, not good yet it ‘worked’ for you) RE: workplace ‘escape’. At least, there are Laws that you can use. You may feel ‘befuddled’ yet you come across as if you understand what you are going through & are dealing with it in the way that works for you. Keep going, you’re strong & can do it 🙂

          3. A Victor says:

            Melmel, that’s a lot hitting at once. Survival was the plan when I arrived too, it has gotten easier and this blog has helped immensely. Best wishes and lean as you feel the need. We are here for that. I concur with Asp Emp on her statement regarding HG, when/if you feel ready for any consults, he is exceptionally helpful.

        2. A Victor says:

          Melmel, I apologize, though I think I had read you’re previous comment, it did not come to mind when writing mine about the EDC and TDC.

          I am also working on getting my narcissistic results working fire me effectively. It is definitely a new thing! And not entirely fun, which makes me really not enjoy it.

          It had been hugely helpful to have a group if empaths around me through this. I have learned at least one thing from every person on the blog, it’s awesome! I’ve learned the most from HG of course and he gets all the credit for the rest also because he created this place and moderates it. Glad you found it Melmel!

          1. Melmel says:

            I’m really grateful for this blog as well. My husband thinks all this mumbo jumbo is horse manure, but it’s my journey. His is different, and I just want him to have his own success so I try not to shove it down his throat.
            My problem is that I get so excited about what I’m learning, I just feel like it’s going to bubble up out of me! So this place is really useful as an output for all that positive energy, and to get really great insights from so many of the commenters.
            Super addicted to it though… I really can’t get enough. I just don’t understand why it’s not as interesting to everyone else as it is to me.

          2. A Victor says:

            Melmel, it’s okay about your husband, you are learning for you. But, I totally get the excitement and not wanting to shove it down people’s throats! My kids are where I have to watch this, it is easy to overwhelm them. So, I bring the excitement here instead, here, we do get it! It’s so nice to have this place to let it “bubble” out! Yes, totally addictive! But, I’ve been here about 6.5 months and I have considered taking a day or two off recently, haha!! As Bubbles suggested to me yesterday on another thread, to re-orient myself. And, it’s not as interesting to others in our lives because they have yet to realize the impact of any narcissist on them, in my opinion anyway. They see it from a bit of a distance and we, here, have been smacked in the face with it, at least in many instances. I think the addiction, for me anyway, also comes from having a previously unknown addiction to narcissists and then, upon arriving here, finding one who will tell me straight up what in the world was going on. I have been desperate all my life to know what was happening to me, so having these questions finally answered is relief beyond belief. Anyway, I hope you also find what you’re looking for and again, we are here as you need.

        3. Bubbles 🍾 says:

          Dearest Melmel,
          You’ve already achieved No 2 ……. you’re here ! That’s huge !
          No 1, you have no idea how confident you’ve come across in your comments …’re intelligent, articulate, extremely aware of your progress and situation and have yourself in therapy ….. high five gorgeous !!!

          There is nothing selfish, wrong or draining to others, putting yourself first, in fact, it’s imperative that you do!
          There is also nothing wrong with just walking away from situations you feel threatened or uncomfortable with by saying –
          “I don’t wish to discuss it, if you continue, I will leave”
          “I don’t have an answer for you right now”
          “I don’t like the way you’re speaking to me”
          “There is no need to yell or raise your voice at me”
          “Sorry, I can’t do it right now or “sorry I can’t make it” … justifications required !!!!!!!
          You’re not the one out of step Melmel, everyone else is ! We must stop being so hard on ourselves !
          I know I’m a good person and always have been and no one can take that away from me…… same for you Melmel!
          My narcisstic traits are currently a big plus for me …. used for good not evil 😉
          Believe in yourself, you are doing really great !
          Sending huge hugs 🤗 lovely 😊
          Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          1. Melmel says:

            Another amazing list! Those are really good statements to give me space to hold them at arm’s length! So I can respond with Logic and not ET. Space and boundaries are key for me. I have just been reacting my whole life. I don’t even take the time to see if what I am feeling is coming from me or them. Or if there is a boundary that’s being violated. Which is what made the trigger so clear and basically initiated an avalanche of clarity, when I feel like I’ve been wrapped up in fog for so long. The clarity was so intense that I really felt overwhelmed but then I had all this space and time to process, and now I can look at it with more Logic and less ET. I have heard myself saying some of those things for the first time in my marriage, and they seem to be helping.

            I am really not confident at all, but the learning I am doing is so exciting for me and especially when I can see it working in some areas. Space and boundaries keep me protected, then I see successes and that helps me gain confidence that I’m on the right track. Of course I have some very scary dark moments too. When none of it seems to make sense and the confusion just swirls around. Gotta take the darkness with the light. And hope Light wins.

          2. Bubbles says:

            Dearest Melmel,
            You’re very welcome lovely one
            You certainly have your hands overflowing and I feel for what you are enduring, at what seems extremely overwhelming for anyone
            It’s time for you now. you desperately need it

            Some of MY tactics for self preservation are……. I will excuse myself (go to the ladies, step outside, whatever is convenient ) for a “breather” if I feel overwhelmed or anxious. I compose myself, my thoughts and regroup……. sometimes if I’ve had enough, I bid them adieu and go home ! I usually say, “oh well, must dash now, things to do, byesie”, no one’s the wiser as I make my exit/ escape! I’ve made a point of not justifying my actions to anyone, that used to be a struggle, as it was a natural for me, eg I’ve gotta go to the shops …… to buy some fish for dinner ….. they dont need to know that !!!!!

            A few people are putting pressure on our family to “forgive” our son’s narc ! I have firmly stated “we will not back down, we’ve made our decision, it’s a matter of respect and that’s final, end of discussion”
            The ‘old me’ would’ve ummmed n arrrrrrd and got myself into a ‘right ol tither’ …….not any more !!!!!

            Our eldest son talks to people all day. Sometimes, if we raise a topic of conversation he’s completely exhausted by, he will be proactive and request us to change the subject, as he says it will further stress him out …….. we happily change the subject ! Nothing wrong with asking for the order Melmel !

            Boundaries are your own guidelines on what your inner dialogue allows or not. Rules and limits you create that are safe and permissible and how you expect others to behave and adhere to. Mine are stuck on high now ! Healthy boundaries for us are necessary for self care !

            If someone yells at you and you don’t like it, you are within your rights to say, “please don’t yell or raise your voice to me, if you continue, I will leave”
            If someone is texting you or you are talking are on the phone and you find the conversation is making you feel uncomfortable, you may say,
            “sorry, I have to go….. or if it’s heated
            “this conversation is now terminated” n hang up ……. or
            “let’s change the subject” …or
            “I have nothing further to say” …… or
            “I need time to think about this”…. or
            “I’ll get back to you at some stage”…. or
            “I’ll get back to you when I’m ready “.
            Subtle, but to the point !

            Narcs are renowned for pushing our boundaries and buttons, (they’re laughing at us) so it up to us not to react spontaneously. I now stop, look n listen 🚦Melmel ! Gives us time to take in their facial expressions and what they’re actually saying……..we don’t have to answer straight away, we can take our time and respond when we’re good n ready ……maybe there is no answer or response … that’s quite ok too ! I repeat back to the person what they’ve just said, so they know I heard their ridiculous comment … quite often it shuts then up or I get satisfaction just by the stunned look on their faces

            At times I use humour and respond with ” hmmmmm, I need some think music on that one or I need to phone a friend” ……or I just ignore !
            I went for a time practising just saying “no” to everything … felt real good !
            I did it primarily because I’m such a “yes” person, it gave me the power to come back and say yes or no on MY terms and what worked for ME !
            I now have people “asking” me, rather than “presuming or expecting” ! Makes a world of difference !
            I hope this inspires you a little with some much needed alternatives Melmel
            People will notice a change, but it’s what YOU need ….. don’t worry about them, even though they won’t like it or they may even try to stop you from changing… don’t have to explain yourself ! You can always walk away from any unpleasant or unsafe situations, go by your gut instincts !
            We’re only too happy to help you thru your journey …… keep reading, keep asking, you can do this.
            There IS ‘light’ at the end of that tunnel Melmel
            Luv Bubbles xx 😘

    3. Melmel says:

      Thanks everyone. And HG for providing us with this forum to connect as we go on this journey. Really thank you.

  2. A Victor says:

    December Infinity, I also knew nothing of narcissism, despite being abused by them my whole life, until 6 months ago, after arriving here. But, we can see the red flags and walk away when we see them, we can! I am so thankful to have learned that here! We deserve a person who will treat us with respect and dignity! You deserve that! I hope you believe that.

  3. Ciara says:

    The “Doormat “ has a high tolerance.There are 2 type of people in the world : Givers and Takers.The takers eat well, but the givers sleep well.

    1. Asp Emp says:

      Your comment made me laugh……. good analogy though.

  4. December Infinity says:

    I understand the concept, but I detest the word ‘doormat’. It signifies a lack of importance, zero self esteem and constant people pleasing, which is what is described in the above article. I can relate to this as I have endured many years of abuse at the hands of narcissists, commencing with my mother. I guess my ability to cope in such circumstances can be regarded as a certain quality, however such capability (and/or lack thereof) clouded my judgement and eventual safety in many cases. There is so much for me to learn. I knew very little about narcissism, despite the decades of abuse. Especially when it comes to seeing the red flags, walking away from a bad situation and saying nothing. In some cases, less is more, or in the case of dealing with a narcissist, (saying) nothing is everything,

Vent Your Spleen! (Please see the Rules in Formal Info)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Next article

Why the Narcissist Targets You