Wipe Your Feet Elsewhere (I Am Not Your Doormat)

When I made the conscious decision a few years back to become a more positive person I knew that it would require changes on my part.  It meant that I would need to learn to shift my way of thinking.  I could no longer jump headlong into the worst case doom and gloom scenario.  I could not allow myself to immediately begin to list all of the negatives attached to any given situation.  Instead, I would need to learn to look for the upside.  I would start enumerating the positives and look for solutions.  I would begin each day with happy thoughts and intentions.  I would be, well, positive.  I would be optimistic.  I would be…nice.

Granted, it took work in the beginning.  As in correcting my behavior and responses several times per day work.  Time went by, change set in, and it got easier.  At some point it became second nature and required less effort.  Today it feels natural.  Nowadays I recognize when my thoughts are turning in the wrong direction, and I make a quick course correction.

Choosing an optimistic outlook does not mean that I walk around with sunshine and roses shooting out of my backside.  (You are welcome for that visual.)  It does mean that I actively seek out the sunshine and roses instead of the black clouds and dead weeds.  Being a realistic optimist means that I am aware that there will be times when no amount of searching will bring forth the sunshine or the roses, but that they will surface again at another time.

Being an optimist does not make you a saint.  Here is what did not happen when I embarked upon this journey to live in a more positive and optimistic manner.  I did not become perfect.  Shocking, I know.  I did not get magically transported to a new world where bad things never happen.  Wishful thinking.  I still overuse profanity (it takes a ton of restraint not to use it often in my writing).  I still think mean and spiteful things sometimes.  I still have down days.  I still have negative thoughts.  We all do.  All of us.  What changes is what you do with them when they hit.  You choose to control those thoughts, to shift them rather than to share them.

Being an optimist does not make you a fake.  A big step in my process was accepting this.  In the past I would look with disdain upon those perpetually perky types.  The “Rah Rahs” as I called them (think cheerleaders on a caffeine and sugar high…all of the time).  No one is that happy, I thought with scorn, and what I now realize was a good dose of envy.  As humans we experience a wide range of emotions, and it is not possible to be happy all of the time.  It is, however, possible to present an upbeat face to the world, and in doing so to make yourself happier in the process.  I am still not perky, and I likely never will be.  I do put forth happiness and encouragement, though, and there are times I can tell people are questioning its legitimacy.  This most often occurs with people who knew me before the transformation, and they may not believe the changes are possible.  I get that, and I am at peace with it.  I will continue going where I am going, and I can only hope that they choose to join me on the journey.

Being an optimist does not make you a doormat.  It does not make you a victim.  It does not make you a fool.  Yes, I am a far nicer person that I used to be.  I am open to giving people the benefit of the doubt.  When once I would never budge, I now give second chances if they are warranted.  Make no mistake, though, that I have limits.  I am not naive.  I know when someone is trying to scam me or otherwise manipulate me.  I will not tolerate any wrongdoing done to those I love.  Hurt a family member or a friend, and you will see me unleash like a demented monkey freed from a cage.  I will optimistically and positively come at you.  The saying “do not mistake my kindness for weakness” is not without merit.  I do not say this in an effort to sound tough, or like a badass.  I say it to drive home the point that positive people are not at the mercy of those who would do them harm.

Being an optimist does make you a happier and healthier person.  It does open your world to more friendships, to more opportunities, and to more adventures.  It allows you to welcome that which you previously shunned.  I invite everyone into my world.  I only ask that you wipe your feet before entering.  Cheers! Karen

All photo credits: http://www.pixabay.com


52 thoughts on “Wipe Your Feet Elsewhere (I Am Not Your Doormat)

  1. Thanks Karen, You have made some very valid points there. I am still struggling with feeling positive most of the time, but I will come in and sit with you for a while in the hope that your positivity rubs off on me. Oh, and I wiped my feet. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a great post! I find that a lot of people think your fake just because you try to be positive. It has nothing to do with being fake. It is not a game we play. It is just a decision we made and something we try to do. For us and for the ones we love.


    • Why would we expend the effort required to be positive if we didn’t mean it? After all, it is certainly much easier to go the other way. You are right, it is not a game we play. It is a commitment to ourselves and our loved ones. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am an eternal optimist, who constantly remembers things could always be worse. No matter how bad things may appear for me, there is always someone who has more pain, more sorrow, less food, less friendship. Welcome to optimism. Your points are spot on.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post Karen. I could tell even on the 1st I started reading your blog that you are an optimist, a positive person, and an encourager.

    This is a huge change it sounds you have done. Well done Karen. Makes the world a better place, and shows others they are able to go from a negative person to a positive person.

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂



  5. What a wonderful post Karen! And it is true, being kind does not equal being weak and I took my time to realize that. Thank you for sharing… A little bit of optimism and hope definitely goes a long way.


  6. Sounds like you have made great strides to putting yourself in a better place. I’m glad for you! I’m still struggling with that whole it-doesn’t-mean-you’re-weak thing……hardest thing for me is just to find that needed tweak to make it okay in my head so that I can continue moving forward! I follow your blog with much interest trying to ferret it out from your own experiences! 🙂


    • Thank you! I felt the need to wear a “body armor” of negativity for years in an effort to shield any hint of vulnerability. Now I have learned that it is okay to let the right people see it. I am learning to say “no”, and to stand up for my convictions, in a kind but firm manner rather than going into attack mode. Thank you for reading! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice post! Being an optimist does make you happier and generally healthier. I like your demented monkey visual…that is me when someone hurts someone I love. While I may have been one of the “rah rahs” (and still mostly am…old age setting in here) I like it and would hope that the whole world would look to the brighter side of things and cheer each other on. Total hopeless romantic here that the whole world could be happy!
    Love that you are so real in your posts and share your triumphs and struggles! Thank you for being you!


    • To quote the great Sir Elton John, “I thank the Lord there’s people out there like you.” I wish there were more! (And I always harbored a secret desire to be one of the Rah Rahs…shhhhhh!) Thank you for sharing the journey! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This was great!! Someone else just did a post about how men are feeling that being kind or “positive” automatically puts them in the friend zone. Interesting. My mother has always been the one to see silver linings in all clouds and it used to drive me crazy. Not because I found it fake but because it gave me high expectations as a kid and then there was a crash of disappointment when it didn’t work out the way she had insinuated. Really good post for me to ponder tonight. Thank you!


    • Ah, the dreaded “nice guys finish last” theory! I would have agreed in my 20s, but not so much as I have gotten older. I was the product of one realist and one extreme pessimist. I was programmed from an early age to see the negative. It takes a while to re-learn a behavior. I think you are a realist, leaning toward the optimist side. 🙂


  9. Food for thought. I have felt many times that not using negativity as a fuel source like I did in my teens has turned me into a bit of a pushover. Maybe if I keep reading I’ll find out how you succeed in avoiding that. 🙂


    • I hope you find a balance that works for you. I carried my negativity from my teens into my 20s and part of my 30s. In retrospect it did not serve me well. I am finding life immensely more satisfying from where I am now. Thank you for visiting and sharing! Best, Karen 🙂


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  11. “Choosing an optimistic outlook does not mean that I walk around with sunshine and roses shooting out of my backside.” – I love this line!

    As far as being an optimist is concerned, I try to be like my Shih Tzu – he is a forever optimist. No matter how many times I tell him not to beg or to get out of the kitchen because he’s not going to get any scraps, he still keeps coming back, he still remains happy with whatever it is that he does get. He is my inspiration (and for the record, he gets way more treats than he deserves but that’s what happens when you’re cute!). And has helped me to change my own outlook.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love this and I hope one day I can build the comments and feedback that you have on your blog since I’m new here. Being optimistic is something I’ve been working on for some time and I always start out great and then seem to forget what I’m doing. Can you post daily tips to keep moving?


    • Hi Brittney,
      Thanks for visiting and leaving this lovely comment! I don’t know that I qualify to give advice, as my blog is only about five months old itself. I was over at your blog having a read, and I like what I have seen so far! I will be following you and look forward to reading more. I will say that I think the main thing is to stay engaged in the blogging community. I make a concerted effort to answer nearly every comment I receive, and I take time to read and interact on other blogs. It is a great community, and I have made many new friends here!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I so enjoyed reading this post. I too, am a person who for the most part, tries to seek the positive. It just makes good sense to me & I do believe it helps to live a richer & happier life. This does not mean that I don’t piss & moan from time to time but life is just easier when one takes on a positive mindset.


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