Thoughts from a Former Doormat

 

Yes, There is Such a Thing as Being Too Nice

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

I thought I was been nice.  Accommodating. Flexible.

Turns out, I was being a doormat.

Most people wouldn’t think of me as a “doormat” type of girl.  I’m confident, I’m sassy, and I have informed opinions.

I also don’t want people to be mad at me, and therefore I tend to prioritize the happiness of others over my own.

I didn’t want to be perceived as “difficult” or “high maintenance,” lest a man not want to be bothered with my needs or desires.

I was dating someone once who was an avid deer hunter.  It was deer season, and we had a dinner date scheduled for 6:30pm.  He texted that he needed to move it to 7 - he was going hunting.  Then, 7:30 - he was still in the deer stand.  Finally, at 8:30, he arrived to pick me up.

I like to eat dinner early.  I’ve never been a fan of 9pm dinners.

Did I say...

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How Being Single Makes You Complete - Part 2

 

The One Thing I Hated in Life is the Only Thing That Could Bring Me Happiness

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

In Part 1, we looked at how singleness was the only way I could have what I truly craved: a sense of wholeness and completion.

In his book, The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday uses the Roman philosophy of stoicism to teach the idea that the problem is actually the solution.  In Meditations, Marcus Aurelius (a noted stoic) writes, “The impediment to action advances action.  What stands in the way becomes the way.”

Let’s say you’re unemployed and can’t find a job.  Your lack of income forces you to get creative, so you bake some of your grandmother’s chocolate cupcakes and sell them for $1 each.  The cupcakes are such a hit, you take the money and buy more ingredients for more cupcakes.  The more you sell, the more the word spreads about your amazing cupcakes.  Before long, you have enough business...

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How Being Single Makes You Complete - Part 1

 

How The One Thing I Hated Gave Me What I Wanted Most

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

For years, I struggled with feelings of not being complete or whole.  

I’ve always wanted to be married and have a family, so being single has always left a huge void in my life.  When you desire a husband and children, getting a dog or babysitting for friends just isn’t an acceptable substitute.

Even though I knew intellectually that I didn’t need a man to complete me, I want what women are biologically programmed to want: a partner and a family.  Friends, volunteer work, and pets just don’t fill that need.  They can be a lovely distraction, but they’re not the same as a husband and a family of one’s own.

Meanwhile, I found something interesting in James 1:2-4.  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must...

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How to Be a Lady - Part 2

 

Ladies Inspire Others!

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

This is the second part of our Be A Lady series. Click here to read Part 1.

A lady takes care of herself.  Ladies don’t shlump around town in their sweats.  They wouldn’t be caught running out for a quick coffee in their ratty t-shirt and pajama pants. 

I recently saw a photo of a movie star wearing paint-splattered jeans.  And not in an haute-couture kind of paint-splattered style.  They were old, paint-splattered jeans.  Not cute, and not flattering.  Those may be fine for when you’re home (painting), but when you go out, throw on a pair of well-fitting leggings or skinny jeans.

I used to NEVER leave my house in anything lower than a 3-inch heel.  Today, I’d rather wear my cute Vans (hello, leopard print!) or my ballerina flats, or my clean, cute sneakers.  Even if I’m wearing what I’ll wear to my yoga class later, my...

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How to Be a Lady - Part 1

 

Ladies Aren’t Doormats!

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

I know times are always a-changin’, but one thing I believe never goes out of style: acting like a lady.

You wouldn’t know it looking at today’s “influencers.”  Many of our “style icons” bombard us with attacks on others, in-your-face cleavage and body parts, f-bombs, and newsfeeds full of shade and negativity.

But when I look at great ladies in the past - Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy - I’m reminded of the charm, elegance, and grace that ladylike behavior contributes to any environment.  

Some of my modern-day inspiration for ladylike charm comes from people like Kate Middleton, Amal Clooney, and Queen Letizia of Spain.

I’m far from perfect, but I’ve come up with a few points I believe describe a lady.

But, first: what is a lady NOT?

The word “lady” may conjure up an image of a helpless damsel dropping her...

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Forgive Your Parents

 

They Probably Did the Best They Could

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

Most of us can look back on something our parents did - or didn’t - do and wish it had been different.

My mom confided to me recently that watching my brother and his wife raise their two children is very different from the way she and my dad raised us.  

“We just didn’t know what you know now,” she said.  “We followed the most current advice and the best practices at the time, but now there’s so much more knowledge and information I wish we’d had.”

It’s true.  Forty years later, people raise their children differently than many of us were raised.

Maybe you don’t have any issues about how you were raised - that’s great.  This may not be for you, or you may be able to apply it to another situation in your life.

I’ve had a number of men complain about women’s baggage - it’s the bitterness and the drama they are...

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Men Want a Goddess

 

 

Relax - That’s Good News!

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

There’s a line in Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett, where one of Queen Elizabeth’s advisors tell her, “Men want to touch the Divine.”  He was saying that men want someone to inspire them.  Someone they can fight for and impress and please.

I think we all want that, actually.  Who among us doesn’t want a hero?  Don’t we all want someone we can look up to, believe in, follow?

In case you’re worried because you feel like you are the absolute opposite of a goddess, I have good news for you.  Men generally see women as goddesses.  They see us as soft, beautiful, mysterious creatures who are very different from them.  They know we’re not perfect, but they want us anyway.

While it’s true that there are men who hate women, the majority of men are intrigued by women.  That is, until we discourage them or destroy their...

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How to Be Confident & Sexy

 

Be the director, not the starving artist!

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

A popular technique used by PUA’s (pick up artists, if you’re not familiar with the term) is to “neg” women.  This is where they give you a backhanded compliment (“You’re pretty, for a redhead.”) or they express “concerns” about dating you.  (“I’ve heard you’re a Dragon Lady and I don’t want to get hurt.”) 

These tactics are designed to get a woman to work hard to gain the guy’s approval or to show him she’s not what he’s accusing her of.  

One guy told me he was concerned about us dating because I have a Master’s degree and he “mopped floors in college.”  (By the way, like most college students, I worked a variety of low-paying, menial jobs, too!). This caused me to launch into sales mode to convince him we had a lot in common.

Another time, he said...

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How to Deal with Disappointment

 

What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

Part of life is dealing with the disappointment we feel when things don’t go our way.

Maybe the promotion we’d hoped for went to someone else.  Or we never heard back from that cute guy after 3 dates.  Or you made an offer on a house and it was rejected.

Even though we know things aren’t always going to turn out how we want them to, sometimes disappointment is harder to get over than we expect.  We hash and rehash it over in our minds, hoping to figure out where things went “wrong.”  

If you’ve ever had disappointment grow and take on a life of its own, you understand how important it is to keep your perspective so that you don’t slide down into an emotional pit of despair.

Here are some ways to keep the disappointment contained so that you can move on:

1. “This is what is supposed to be happening.”

Marie Forleo suggests saying,...

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Do You Need to Raise Your Standards?

 

Or, at Least Have Some Standards

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

Most of us think we’re pretty special and unique.  While it’s good to have that view of ourselves, many times we seem pretty “basic” to men.  “Basic” means, not special or unique - just like every other woman.  Easy to anticipate our reactions.

While we may declare with confidence that we won’t do this or tolerate that, we frequently walk back those statements when it’s a man (or a job or a situation) we really want.

Maybe the key isn’t only in raising standards, perhaps it’s also in maintaining them.

Women are afraid that if our standards are high, men will label us as “high maintenance” or “difficult.”  Will you be more difficult than a basic chick?  Yes.  But, alpha males enjoy a challenge.  It’s been my experience that the only guys who complain about high standards are the ones who...

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