Something I always say is, “You teach people how to treat you.” Time and time again this statement proves true… time and time again I remind people of this statement in all sorts of situations. From children to adults… it applies to anyone, everyone, regardless of their age or relationship status.
The people in our lives are treating us the exact way that we have allowed them too… the exact way we have taught them too. We teach them through our actions and our inactions. Our tolerance of behaviors through silence speaks volumes to how much self worth we possess.
The greatest defense system we have, but many of us never use, are communication skills… our words. A small statement such as, “You can’t treat me that way.” Or, “That hurts my feelings.” Or, “Please don’t talk to me like that.” These little words strung together are our way of teaching people how to treat us. Communication is also our greatest teaching tool. I believe in teaching through positive reinforcement. So, reinforce the positive ways people treat you as well. Those words can sound like this, “I like it when you say that.” Or, “It make s me feel loved when you do that.” Or, “Thank you for showing me you care.”
I tell my students that when you allow someone to say mean things to you, or you allow someone to hurt you in any way and you do not speak-up for yourself then you are teaching that person that it is okay to treat you that way. However, if you DO speak-up for yourself then you are teaching that person that it is NOT okay to treat you that way. You are teaching that person that you respect yourself and demand to be treated right. One of the rules in my classroom is actually “Speak up for yourself!”
Our friends, our family, our spouses, our co-workers, and even our children treat us how we have taught them too. It is not like we sat them down and gave them a lesson… or specifically told them how to treat us… or gave them a power point presentation on how to treat us. But, maybe we should.
How are you teaching people to treat you? Are you intentional on teaching them how you want to be treated? Or, are your inactions teaching them the wrong way?
No matter what your answers are to these questions… you are not a victim. You need to own your role in the relationships you are involved in. I am going to say it again… Our tolerance of behaviors through silence speaks volumes to how much self worth we possess. And you, my friend, are worthy of being treated right!
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