The Doormat Syndrome
By: Christy Aloisio
May 17, 2010


Codependency can have many different clinical definitions, but for those whose lives revolve around codependency everyday would define it as “being a doormat.”
To the outside world, the codependent is the sweet, caring, compassionate, go getter who would do anything for anyone. The one that seems to have it all together from working, to getting the kids where they need to go, paying the bills, cleaning the house, being on any committee that may need help, all with a smile on their face. They are the “yes” men (or women), the one that can never say no. This makes the people around them happy, but what about the codependent?
The real and ugly side of codependency is meeting others’ needs at the expense of your own. It’s having poor or non-existent boundaries that people can tear down at the drop of a hat. It’s lacking a sense of self because your world literally revolves around everyone around you. You are not allowed to get angry because this may upset you spouse, children, family, or friends.
Symptoms of codependency create dysfunctional patterns in relationships. Poor boundaries and a lack of anger create opportunities for spouses to emotionally disconnect, have affairs, or get caught up in addiction. Being everything to everyone will leave you exhausted physically and emotionally taking you to a place where you start to wonder if you have anything more to give. You start “nagging” those in your life, because that is the only way you feel as if you can get your needs met, when in reality this will only drive those in your life farther away. You can be passed over for job opportunities because you are scared to go ask for that much needed raise, or prove the real strength and worth you have to you superiors out of fear.
How do I get myself out of this trap, you ask? Recovery, recovery, recovery. Getting into counseling and gaining insight into your brand of codependency, as well as learning where you learned these traits to begin with is the start to a healthier you. A healthier you is a person that has a voice in their relationships and setting healthy boundaries with those around you. It’s someone who knows what their needs are and how to get those needs met. Imagine being able to say what you truly feel without worry of what others may think about you. It’s going to bed every night with a sense of knowing who you are independent of your relationships and being happy with yourself, being proud of your accomplishments, and not second guessing yourself on every decision you make. It’s being truly connected to those you love.
If you are tired of living the life of a doormat, then recovery is the road for you. It’s a long, hard, bumpy road, but the changes you can make in yourself are unbelievable!