It’s no coincidence that a large percentage of those with chronic illness – or cancer have a history of being people-pleasing doormats.
These are the cases you hear about where you are scratching your head in wonder over how it happened to them, of all people. They are healthy and strong.
In fact, they are usually THE strongest, most capable, and caring person you know, and they’re doing everything right.
I know because I was one of those people and I did spend years wondering how I ended up with cancer when I was so healthy, balanced and seemingly doing everything right.
So why does this happen?
It happens because these are the people who are trying to pay the proverbial “price” for others in this world.
Just as everyone has their lessons to learn in this life, they are also responsible for the cost (or price) of them.
When you try to interfere and absorb some of the pain of another’s lessons in an attempt to make their life easier – when you try to pay their price – you suffer.
Not only does your interference cause issue or hardship for you, but it also causes their lesson to feel harder because they stay in the “class” longer.
Nobody gets to bypass their life lessons.
Correcting this dynamic – and ceasing to be a people-pleasing doormat – is a difficult, and heart-wrenching undertaking because it feels like you’re punishing the other person, especially after you’ve accommodated that behavior for so long.
It never feels good to cut someone off no matter how much they need and deserve it.
It is important to remember that putting your foot down, and refusing to let another take advantage of you, is righting a wrong. It’s helping another to stand on their own feet and to be responsible for their actions and decisions.
It is not a punishment, nor is it mean. It’s helping them learn what they’re here to learn and grow stronger in the process.
Carrying weight that you weren’t meant to carry and absorbing the “price” that is rightfully owed by another takes its toll – on your health.
It depletes you and leaves a deficit in your well-being account. This is when your lessons become more painful and costly – but you still have to learn them.
And just to be clear, I’m talking about something way different than nice gestures and acts of kindness.
What I’m talking about are things like:
- not holding others accountable for their actions and decisions when you are negatively affected by them.
- always taking up the slack when others are irresponsible
- not standing up for yourself
- deciding that “it’s easier for me to just ___” so I’ll let it go
- letting things go because enforcing them would make things hard on the other person (even though letting those things go is making things harder on you – remember, it’s not your price to pay)
You get the idea.
You must correct this dynamic.
These behaviors create resentment (often hidden and subconscious), and it’s that resentment that is the poison that makes you sick.
Action step: Starting today, pay attention to where you are being a doormat and take steps to correct those situations. Your life may just depend on it.
If you need help with this, contact me and let’s talk about it.