I have a friend about whom I care a great deal.
We share the same snickering sensibilities.
We have similar approaches to how we live our best lives.
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.
I’m fantastic at prioritizing me in a way people admire until the life-approach/boundary drawing impacts them.
The way we treat ourselves sets the standard for others.
People learn how to treat us based on how they see us treat and talk about ourselves.
Uncertain where to begin?
Challenge yourself to identify what you want and how you want to be treated.
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.
We walktalkmove in a more confident and brazen fashion.
Our every action conveys precisely how we expect to be treated.
And it works.
Bea saysApril 25, 2018 at 5:17 am
I really like this idea. I believe it’s true we teach people how to treat us, but I never knew where to start.
I am the one consistently taken for granite by friends and family everybody :/
Ellie saysApril 25, 2018 at 7:06 am
Somewhere I read one time we are supposed to say something along the lines of “I noticed when you…” to teach people how to treat us. I need to try that again.
Wendy saysApril 25, 2018 at 7:07 am
I agree with this for the most part, but some people are just jerks…. I work with a manager who is just so disrespectful with people. It’s really a tough situation.
Michelle @ Running with Attitude saysApril 25, 2018 at 7:17 am
This is a lesson I’m trying to teach my boys all the time – especially when it comes to their friends. And, I do agree with Wendy – there are just some people in the world that becuase of who they are you can never teach.
Margot Potter saysApril 25, 2018 at 7:29 am
So much yes!
jennydecki saysApril 25, 2018 at 9:01 am
Which one of those strategies did you implement in your situation with your friend and what happened next? Or did you do both the modeling behavior and the positive reinforcement? Is it too soon to know if it worked?
Donna saysApril 25, 2018 at 10:51 am
No matter how many times/how many different ways I hear this, it’s still relevant. And a good reminder that I’m always in charge.
Lisa Ricard Claro saysApril 25, 2018 at 11:33 am
Emily Gaffney saysApril 25, 2018 at 12:08 pm
I couldn’t agree more Carla- I always tell my kids… You get back what you put out!
Allie saysApril 25, 2018 at 1:25 pm
I needed this as I’m going through a really tough time with a family relationship. This is just what I needed to read. Thank you!
Amy saysApril 25, 2018 at 1:41 pm
I believe this to be true. The first time I heard anybody talk about it was Oprah when I was in college. I would come to the sorority house for lunch and watch Oprah or Days of Our Lives. I remember her saying you train people how it’s okay to treat you.
While true it’s also true that we cannot control others. All we can do is control how we react and what we allow. Sometimes that stinks. I have a friend who has become very passive aggressive and I hate that. The only thing that I can do is limit contact. I can’t stop them from being passive aggressive.
messymimi saysApril 25, 2018 at 5:31 pm
It works with clients, too. If i am clear and let them know i expect to be paid in a timely fashion, they start to comply.