I just refused to do a favor for somebody I barely know, a favor that would have meant a huge amount of my time and energy. The request was not only for something totally unnecessary, but the person who asked it had blithely assumed I had nothing better to do. After all, I just sit around and write; it’s not like I have a job.
Anybody with the backbone of a fishing worm would have refused and never thought twice about it. But since I’m a recovering doormat, I’m uneasily wondering if it was selfish of me to refuse. There really should be a Doormats Anonymous organization for people like me. We could get together and talk about how we got up the nerve to say “No” to somebody who wanted to involve us in some drama they were creating. How we spoke right up and protected our own time or energy, and how hard it was to do that. We could congratulate one another and say, “Good for you! You didn’t let yourself be used! You get a gold star!”
Doormats have an inbred doormat’s personality, so even if we refuse to be used, we feel guilty about it. I know full well that it’s my responsibility to use my time and energy in the most constructive way possible. I know my friends are confident that I’ll be there any time they need my help. But I still think it wouldn’t be a bad idea for somebody to form a Doormats Anonymous group. Of course, if we had one, we’d all probably feel guilty because we’d taken space some other group could have used.