Read This Before You Explode Again…

The Exploding Doormat has to be one of my favorite topics.  Somehow I feel like everyone in the world must have heard of this syndrome by now, and then I casually drop it into conversation and get a totally blank stare.  Maybe it’s because we don’t like the idea of being called a doormat?  Whatever the reason, Exploding Doormat syndrome is a serious thing.  In short, it means you act like a doormat for everyone else’s needs, desires, wishes, wants, and demands.  You take it because you’re a mother, wife, employee, father, husband, kind person, good, person, religious person.  You turn the other cheek.  You say yes when you mean no.  You give and give and give and give…and give.  And then one day, in a complete shock to all the leeches who have been sucking your soul dry day after day, year after year (did I just call my kids leeches, ahem) you explode.  And let me say, the explosion ain’t pretty.  It usually involves name calling (with words that aren’t appropriate for this blog), blaming, and my personal favorites, Always and Never.  Meaning that while name calling and blaming, you also suggest that the victim of your explosion either always does the same thing wrong, or never does something right.  Either way, you might know that you have Exploding Doormat syndrome if you see terror, confusion, and generalized shock in the eyes of your victim.  The best part of Exploding Doormat Syndrome is that the target of your explosion usually happens to be the most innocuous offender of all.  The quintessential Straw-that-Broke-the-Camel’s-Back, also known as “Mom can I get a glass of water before I go to sleep.”  May God protect the innocents from this terrible affliction.

What do you do if you suspect that you have Exploding Doormat Syndrome?  Fortunately the cure is simple.  Notice I didn’t say easy.  But simple, yes.  You simply start telling the truth.

  • Here’s what I need right now.
  • Here’s what I need right now.
  • Here’s what I need right now.

It’s important enough to three-peat.  Other examples may include:

  • I’m sorry, that’s not going to work for me.
  • I totally understand what you’re needing right now, but I can’t provide it.
  • I need to let you know how I’m feeling about that.
  • I need some support with the following….

See how simple that is?  Since I’ve come to believe that most of us are socialized to be exploding doormats, my inkling is that you could use some practice.  Remember, this disease is highly curable if it’s caught early.  Just think, you may never need to explode again.  And I think we can all agree that exploding is a super messy, ugly business.

Your prescription for the week is to utilize as many of the above phrases as possible.  And then check your pulse.  Any signs of explosive heartbeat, thrumming rage in your veins, or the beginning of some spewing lava in your stomach, should be reported to your loved ones immediately.

Susan McCusker is the co-founder of The Circle Up Experience. She and her partner, Beth Killough, offer people the opportunity to interact with horses in order to learn more about themselves, reconnect with the natural elements of leadership, and transform their human herds.

Come join the conversation over in our Facebook group. We work together every week to deepen our understanding of leadership, relationship, and life. We’d love to see you there!

By | 2018-01-18T12:17:08+00:00 June 21st, 2017|

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