I have a friend about whom I care a great deal.
We share the same snickering sensibilities.
We are different enough we rarely disagree, yet so shockingly alike we often, separately, arrive at identical life-choices.
Recently, however, I noticed my friend wasn’t treating me well.
(As I type that sentence I’m aware it reads more middle school than mid-life, but it’s true.)
Somehow, incrementally and without my noticing, my friend had begun to take me/our relationship for granted.
I no longer felt part of a prized, prioritized duo, but more of an afterthought.
Pretty quickly, however, I reognized I’d played a role in this shift.
I saw how without realizing I’d reinforced behaviors and “made OK” how he treated me.
Forget my friend, I told myself, it was time for Carla to do some fine-tuning.
It begins with how I treat me.
I may not be the best example for this one because I am reallyreally, veryvery good to me.
The way we treat ourselves sets the standard for others.
Uncertain where to begin?
Consider any roadblocks around what you what think you deserve versus what you actually demand from life.
Prioritize doing something only for yourself each day. An act which benefits no one else and makes you feel nurtured.
When we don’t create healthy boundaries, when we don’t speak kindly to ourselves, when we don’t take care of ourselves, people in our lives sense this and take advantage.
Reinforce. Reinforce. Reinforce.
As a mother I spend an inordinate amount of time reinforcing the behaviors I desire.
When the Child does something I wish to continue – – I compliment.
I heap accolades in the moment.
I praise 5 minutes later.
I reflect on the behavior/action yet again days down the road. You get the idea.
I believe we cannot reinforce a positive behavior enough.
This same tactic applies to teaching others the way we wish to be treated.
Praise and reinforce.
It’s simple to execute and it’s a powerful tool with regards to teaching people what we desire and clarifying expectations.
Model. Do unto others.
This is a tactic many do reflexively with friends, family and co-workers.
If we want our co-workers to be neat and organized, then we behave that way at the office.
If we desire our children to be kind in their interactions with us, then we are gentle in our interactions with them.
If we long for others to listen to us, then we begin by paying attention/listening to them.
This approach is simple (it’s easy to behave in the manner we wish others to use toward us) and extraordinarily challenging (it’s important not to fall into trap of using our love language on someone else).
When done well, however, modeling is nothing short of miraculous.
It displays to others precisely how they can show us we are valued.
Using these 3 tactics not only positively impacts current relationships it changes how we interact with the world around us.
When the three are integrated into our daily lives we begin to carry ourselves differently.
Our every action conveys precisely how we expect to be treated.
And it works.