I am generally a happy, motivated, hard-working, compassionate and adventurous individual however in the past year I have noticed some unhealthy emotional patterns; I have continually allowed myself to be a doormat by letting people in my life walk all over me to the point it has affected my happiness.
I have allowed friends to skip out on plans without telling me, invite themselves to stay with me for a weekend, leave me hanging, take advantage of my resources, use me solely for a vacation, expect me to plan their vacation, demand that I carry their firewood (literally this happened), embarrass me in front of others, verbally demand things from me, and the list goes on. I was officially a carpet where I allowed others to walk all over me, and slam and open the door on me whenever they felt like it.
I knew these behaviors were uncalled for but I also wanted to be liked. I wanted to help others and do good, but at what expense? When these hurtful actions occurred, I took some time to collect my thoughts and reflect. I came to a point where I could no longer handle this behavior so I addressed my feelings to these individuals. My feelings were either dismissed, ignored or I was told that I was to blame.
I made a point to distance myself from these so-called friends in my life and from that day forward, I told myself I was no longer going to be a doormat for others to wipe their dirty boots on. I have always been a strong individual with a backbone but somehow it seemed that my backbone was becoming more “flexible” in the past year or so.
Taking a stance
Over the past few months, I have made a firm decision to stand up for myself, to express to others how I feel, and to be a lot more cautious of whom I allow in my life. I recently was doing some research on emotional self-harm and I came across an article that mentioned self-sabotage and “people-pleasing” as a sign of emotional self-harm. This hit me right where I needed it to because I knew my happiness was becoming compromised due to my own decision to allow people to walk all over me. I was in a cycle of emotional self-harm (yuck).
Defining self-harm: physical vs. emotional
When many individuals think of self-harm they often think of physical self-harm, formally known as nonsuicidal self-injury disorder in which individuals engage in cutting, burning, extreme picking of the skin or pulling of hair as an unhealthy way to release emotions related to anger, sadness, neglect, pain, and frustration. However, self-harm comes in all forms, and it is just as possible to cause ourselves mental and emotional self-harm that can be just as damaging to us as physical self-harm in the long run. Without treatment or awareness, emotional self-harm can potentially result in depression, eating disorders, suicidal ideations, anxiety, physical self-harm, substance abuse disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
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