Has being a JW turned you into a doormat?

by highdose 16 Replies latest jw friends

  • highdose

    I confess it has for me. When people are nasty to me and agressive i tend to freeze and have no idea what to say!

    All those years of being brainwashed into "turn the other cheek" etc etc kick in. I would dearly love to be like some of my freinds who can fire up and really "give em what for!" trouble is i normaly only think of what to say and do about 2 days- 2 years after the event.

    Sometimes to my shame, i don't even notice they are being horrible! Well in my defence i did grow up in the JW's... people being horrible to me was everyday life!

    Trouble is when i freeze, it gives the other person full license to be even more horrible. Oh and thanks to being a Brit... i can't even cry on cue and make them embarssed!

    My only defence is to walk off... and i'm not very good at that:( And then what ever nasty thing they said to me tends to bounce around in my head untill somewhere subconcoiusly i start thinking " maybe what they said was true?" Even though i know logicaly that its definatly not!

    Oh Dear! What a mess!

  • finallyfree!

    Of course!! I've come a looong way since getting out two years ago. I used to let people walk up and down and all over me. Its what messed up my marriage, as opposed to working out your marital problems together, there's always some stupid elder who knows what's going on and they use the elder system to play on the whole fear tactics that are instilled in our heads. Being a doormat is synonymous with being a jw. As the jws teach you and drill into your subconcious the need to "follow uncondionally the slaveclass" (otherwise known as the watchtower corp)

  • yknot

    I would cop to putting up with more 'shizz' than most right now........but I was trained up to be 'nice'.

    Why are people talking smack to you?

    People don't talk smack to me, my reputation for a sharp tongue (circa 1987) preceeds me still apparently.

  • transhuman68

    Normal human interactions don't consist of people being nasty or agressive to each other. Maybe you are subconciously giving off 'signals' that you are agressive? Being assertive is the fine line between being a doormat and being agressive. Can be learnt, just takes time & practice.

  • highdose

    i think i'm more passive than anything. Maybe people think they can get away with it?

  • wobble

    You really do need to be more assertive dear Highdose, otherwise you give the bullies of this world a licence to kick you around.

    I tend to use humour to defuse situations if possible, but within the humour I let them know not to overstep the mark with me.

    If you find it hard to think of what to say another method is to question the person "Oh, sorry, did what I said (or did) annoy you ?"

    That way it is half an apology, but makes the person analyse their attack.

    Sometimes I have had to acknowledge that they are right, I am an asshole.

    Stick up for yourself, but keep control.


    I was brought up an uber-nice doormat more due to my parents. I could never say no to people and boy did my parents and people in the truth exploit that. The JW advice for kids at school is also rubbish and encourages them to be bullied by "making a stand" and then turning their cheek.

    You're told what to think, how to act, how not to act, what to do with your life, who you may or may not speak to - in what sense is just being a member of the Borg not like being a doormat?

    I always knew I had to toughen myself up. Since leaving I've become much stronger and will stand up for things I believe in. Partly I've become less scared of people.


  • lisavegas420

    I was shopping with a girlfriend. An older old woman walked right past us and put her items on the check out in front of us. We all exchanged glances, me, my friend and the cashier. The old woman seemed not to notice. My friend, tapped the woman on the shoulder and said, "Honey, the end of the line is back there." She picked up her items and walked away.

    I didn't know what to say or do. I would have never confronted the old woman. I would have let her check out in front of me. My friend, is not a rude person. She didn't think any thing at all was wrong with her telling the woman to go to the end of the line.

    I wondered if it was the JW thing to let it go, or my friend was over the top.


  • JediMaster

    Nope, I've always been a big-mouthed, quick-witted kinda person. And can always get my message across, either subtlely or blatanly, depends on the situation. I was even able to get a message to the right person (inlcuding elders and pioneers) while commenting at meetings and never got in trouble once Good times, good times. Always speak my mind. My friends say I speak sarcasm fluently.

    Jedi Master

  • Scully

    Here are a few phrases that I keep in my repertoire for when people are behaving badly toward me.

    "That was really disrespectful."

    "That was totally inappropriate."

    "That was uncalled for."

    It helps to identify the behaviour that was disrespectful/inappropriate/uncalled for, rather than saying "You are ..." and launching a personal attack on the other person. It also helps to start with "I feel...", such as "I feel that was really disrespectful / totally inappropriate / completely uncalled for." Again it avoids launching an attack on the other person, while stating your feelings about the behaviour. You aren't taking any bait from them to fuel the argument, but you are making your point and then calmly walking away.

    You may need to practice repeating those phrases over and over, and maybe use them a few times so they start to feel more natural. But honestly, those are pretty much all I've needed to say before walking away from someone who is being offensive.

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