The behavior known as "subjugation" in psychology is one of the major patterns of thinking and behaving that can impair a life. This “Doormat Syndrome” or “people-pleasing on steroids” is more common than most people realize. If it is present in a chronic pattern, it can bring about unbearable, excruciating pain, humiliation, victimization, loss of self, and even death. This book is an exposé of this phenomenon. I explain it, illustrate it, show how it presents itself, explore its roots, and, most importantly, make clear how it may be overcome.
People pleasing affects all types of people from all walks of life, often disguised as an attractive or virtuous quality, though it is neither. Individuals who chronically subjugate can lose total touch with what they are interested in, what they want or think, or even who they are. They can become so focused on pleasing others that they end up having few or no preferences or opinions. They can lose themselves in their dysfunction.
People have always struggled with speaking up and telling the truth. Fear of rejection, disapproval, retaliation and/or exclusion can cause even the boldest individual to kowtow under pressure filled, intimidating circumstances. I have seen firsthand in my own life and in my private practice, how this dysfunctional pattern produces stress, anxiety, depression, health issues and more bitter fruit. This bitter fruit then pollutes interpersonal fulfillment, career success and health.
The good news is that chronic subjugation and its symptoms are correctable. You can stop saying yes when you really mean no—and start living the life you were meant to live.