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Coley, what a strange and fascinating story! I'm so glad you made the response that you did. Your boss kind of sounds like mine a little bit--although she's not completely a doormat, she talks big about telling people no and then often says yes anyway, and then complains about it later.  ::) The part that really got me was when you listed all the suggestions you'd made--presenting fewer ideas, checking with her privately, etc.--and she didn't want to do any of them. That's my boss to a T. Complain, complain, complain, but then doesn't want to actually take any action to fix things.

If I can post about spine-suckers for someone else, I would say my boss has issues with people in our office--generally, she avoids confrontation with her employees unless it catches her by surprise. I mentioned in the "users" thread about an employee who was getting the most malleable student intern to do all sorts of jobs the students weren't supposed to do (after hours, advanced stuff the employee should have done herself, prioritizing her own stuff above others', etc.). Even when people complained to the boss she wouldn't do anything about it.  >:( But, when it comes to people outside our office--in other offices, admin staff, etc.--she's much more confrontational, even a pest. Go figure--the one group of people she doesn't want to confront is the one group she actually has complete authority over.


--- Quote from: gen xer on March 03, 2013, 10:35:10 AM ---
At the risk of sounding annoyingly feministy I think women especially have a hard time with growing a spine.  From my own experience we are taught to always put others ahead of ourselves, not to make waves and to endure, endure, endure.  So many of us are taught that those are "nurturing" qualities - not doormat qualities.

--- End quote ---

That's a shame.  My mother is a nurturer and doormat with immediate family (not outsiders and not with my father's family).  My father put others ahead of him, especially his side of the family (except immediate family -- Mom and us kids and my mother's family) and could also be a doormat.  Oddly, while I can be quite the nurturer, I am not a doormat so maybe it's from watching my parents get taken advantage of.  DH is a doormat and was taught that those are nurturing qualities so I am always watching out for him and us to make sure we don't get taken advantage of.

I think it's hard to stand up to your family because you are going against years and years of early conditioning.  My family members have hissy fits down to a sort of perfection.  I spent so many years complying just because I feared the hissy fits.  I didn't even realize that was what I was doing.  I had all kinds of twisted thought processes that assured me that they were kind, reasonable people.  It wasn't just growing a spine.  It was completely re-wiring my brain. My spine only works when the brain is re-wired.


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