Knowingly or not, you’re teaching people how to treat you. So if you’re feeling unhappy with how others are treating or even abusing you or how they’re neglecting you, you might need to do a self-assessment.
What does it mean to teach people how to treat you?
You might have heard a couple of times that you teach people how to treat you. It means teaching them what you can tolerate and what you cannot, a matter of acceptable and unacceptable.
However, you need to communicate this to others so that they know what you expect. In the process, you will also attract the kind of things and people that will not add drama in your life.
How you treat yourself is what you teach others
People can easily take advantage of or even abuse you if you don’t know and practise healthy boundaries–not resting, not taking care of yourself, and other unhealthy habits. Show them that you value yourself and that you’re ready to cut them from your life if they intervene and try to drain you.
Summing up, you should teach people how to treat you by starting with yourself. It’s a matter of how you believe in yourself–and that will be basically what you will receive from others. Start with self-awareness by answering the question, “How am I treating myself? Am I respecting and treating myself right? What do I think I deserve?”
What do you value?
All of us are defined by our life codes–the principles that matter to us. These can include reciprocity or loyalty.
Whatever your life codes are, find like-minded people who share the same values as you do. Be around these people to bring out the best in yourself.
What’s your take on conflict resolution?
Some people do not own their mistakes and do not apologise for them, and just simply walk away. These are immature, cowardly people. If you want people to behave responsibly around you, then be the bigger person. Accountability and taking responsibility is reflective of a person with a growth mindset and discipline.
Conflicts can be uncomfortable to settle, but wise people know better than not to face the discomfort or embarrassment in trying to identify and talk about the issues and differences to resolve them. You can achieve a more peaceful personal life by surrounding yourself with people that maturely handle conflicts and avoiding those who add drama–those who leave you cleaning up the mess and then exit unapologetically.
Communicate your needs. Do not keep them.
Some people tolerate the abuse they receive from others because they’re scared or holding themselves back to communicate their needs. However, your silence teaches them that their actions are valid, which are not. You’re likely to have deeper wounds when you’re not voicing what you feel and what you need.
Take the time and courage to genuinely express how you feel and how you want to address it. For example, “I’m feeling sad and alone. Could you give me three minutes to talk it out?” Or, “I’m confused about this concept. Would you care to share your thoughts?”
Communication is more effective than silent, unvoiced desperation. Knowing your needs and expressing them clearly teaches people how to treat you, too.
Set an example for how you want to be treated
Be the person you want others to be.
The golden rule will never lose its universal, moral touch. Treat people how you want them to treat you.
If you want other people to listen to you genuinely, then be a great listener: pay attention to the person speaking, ask questions, and be empathetic. Imagine how you want you to be heard by others.
When it comes to behaviours, you must reinforce the kind of behaviour you want to get. For instance, showing constant acknowledgement and appreciation, even in subtle ways, to a person who has changed his or her behaviour for the better is a good example of behaviour reinforcement.
Tune into your thoughts and emotions. Practise self-respect.
Our cherished values and principles as a person are not without limitations. Never apologise for setting boundaries: teach people what you can and cannot tolerate to earn the respect of others.
Setting boundaries will guide you in your interpersonal relationships–distinguishing between healthy and unhealthy habits, behaviours and attitudes. You’ll be able to distance yourself from toxic people who don’t respect the boundaries you set. Upholding your self-respect enables you to not force yourself in people, situations or environment that are detrimental to your mental, physical and emotional wellness.
Set realistic expectations
You cannot teach others how to treat you overnight, as interpersonal relationships and interactions is not a one-time thing. Nurturing healthy relationships require care and patience and in some cases–like establishing a friendly working relationship with your boss– observation, practice and afterthought.
You must accept that in some instances, people will not stick around even if you try to initiate or nurture an interpersonal relationship. It may be useful to ask yourself: “Should I make room for a future relationship that I deserve, or just stick with a current relationship that looks bleak and uncertain?”
Being honest with yourself with the kind of relationships you want to keep or pursue will help you heal from the emotional anguish that you’ve been enduring, and lead to you to the happiness you deserve.
Check on yourself
Self-reflection allows you to get to know yourself better. By doing so, you’ll be able to label and manage your conflicting emotions to identify their root causes. Your outward behaviour is greatly influenced by your thoughts, even if you try to mask them. Consequently, your inner life reflects on the actions of the people around you.
Take the time to reflect on your deep-seated thoughts, no matter how negative they are, and don’t be afraid to ask advice from people who know you best. By resolving the conflict and angst inside you, you’ll gain more courage and confidence so you can build your own boundaries and gain respect, loyalty, or whatever it is you want to receive from the people around you.
You’ll find yourself happier–and healthier–when you're truthful and honest with yourself.