We Teach People How To Treat Us

We teach people how to treat us.

Now that may seem to be a strong statement - but it is one that I happen to believe is true.

For example, maybe there are times when we dismiss someone's sharp impatient tone when they are talking to us, or we let them take us for granted, or allow them to act disrespectfully and we don't say anything.

Whenever we allow people to not consider us and our feelings. Whenever we stay silent and hope the 'other' will notice how unfair they are being. Whenever we don't say how it makes us feel. Whenever we don't speak out . . .

We are teaching them that whatever they are doing is ok with us.

If you get a new puppy and it starts to chew the table leg, you pull it away and tell it NO! Each time it goes to do it, you repeat - NO!
It soon gets the message and will stop chewing the table leg.

Same with people and with ground rules.

As an example - If the very first time your partner ever spoke to you sharply or disrespectfully, you said, "please don't speak to me like that, I don't like it." They may reply, it was because of this reason, or because of that reason. If you then replied, "no matter what the reason, I don't like to be spoken to like that. Please don't do it."

What would happen?

They would either adjust their behaviour out of respect for your wishes, or you would rethink how you felt about a relationship with someone who didn't take account of your feelings.

People will accept their behaviour as OK
- If we accept their behaviour as OK.

It is our responsibility to make it clear what we will accept and let it be known. Others will mirror the respect we give to ourselves. If we allow others to act in ways that make us unhappy, we owe it to ourselves to quietly and calmly change the ground rules.


Barbara Scully said...

More lovely down to earth wisdom. And this is typical of something we know... but often forget. So thanks Susannah for the great reminder!

Susannah said...

Yes, I think that is very true - "so many things that we know, but often forget" - writing helps me to remember!

Thanks as usual for your comment Barbara, always good to hear from you - x

msfullroller said...

Thanks for the reminder. It is oh so true!!

Susannah said...

Hello msfullroller - yes, it is definitely one of those things that it is useful to remind ourselves of.

Nice of you to drop in, thanks for the comment. :-)

tamara hellgren said...

This is so true, and it's actually something I was thinking about just yesterday--how common and unfortunate it is that most people go out of their way to try not to hurt others' feelings, yet are reluctant to do anything when their own feelings get hurt. Never looked at it from a teaching/training angle before, I like that analogy!

Susannah said...

Hi Tamara :-)

Yes, it is true isn't it, that people often are more worried about other peoples feelings than their own.

Nice of you to drop in, it's always good to see you here.

LB said...

Hi Susannah -- Your words reminded me not to take myself for granted. After reading your post, I sent off a quick email to a good friend, asking if she'd ever received the specially made one-of-a-kind Valentine I'd sent her, since I never received an acknowledgment. Of course, I also asked if she was o.k.(it's always possible that other stuff is going on). I've been debating whether to let it go or not, and when I stumbled upon your post, I decided. Thanks for the gentle reminder to value ourselves.

Susannah said...

Hi LB,

I am glad that you stumbled across this post and decided to ask your friend.

I was in a similar situation a while ago and it turned out that the card I had sent had never arrived and the person thought I had forgotten her!

I hope all turns out well.

Thanks for dropping in and for your comment. :-)

LB said...

Hi Susannah -- My friend phoned me within an hour of me sending her the email, and we had a good chat -- so now we're all good. We've only been "good" friends for about a year, so I'm glad neither of us allowed this opportunity to pass. She made it clear (both by her words and her immediate response) that she values my friendship. Thanks again.

Susannah said...

Hi LB - I so am glad it was sorted out. Thanks for the update(I was wondering what happened.) ;-)


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