Are you generally held in high regard by the people around you?
Or conversely, do you sometimes or often find that you are disregarded, taken for granted, or dismissed by others? This could include by your children, other family members, your manager, friends or even a romantic partner?
If you find yourself in the latter category more often than you’d like, then you may need to look close to home. The good news is that this behaviour can be shifted – for good, as it relates mainly to one simple item!:
We teach others how we expect to be treated!
At first glance, when someone is not respected by another person, our first thoughts go out to the one who is not being respected or worse being not valued, underappreciated, mistreated, or even bullied. At second glance, we look to the person who is doing the devaluing and become frustrated, and in some cases enraged. What is missed in this entire scenario is what is really going on beneath the surface: If you are familiar with and believe in the law of attraction then the question at hand and what actually needs to be explored is the possibility that the one not being appreciated may be projecting some kind of vibe that is attracting this response.
As a life coach, one of my favourite examples of this was when I conducted a family coaching session with a parent, son, and daughter. The parent was experiencing major difficulties with her son who was disrespectful towards her and the house.
When I sat down with this family, I explained one of my key requirements: Participants must be truthful and honest – I do not permit lying or dishonesty. As long as each participant abides by that he/she can stay in the session. On the other hand, if he/she chooses to lie or be dishonest, then that person is required to leave.
It should be noted, that one of the great aspects of that particular coaching experience was that the son wanted to be a part of the experience and respected me nearly instantly because I treated him as an adult and an equal.
Within the first 90 minutes, however, the son was dishonest. I therefore immediately stopped the session and told him he had to leave. You can only imagine the mother’s shock when I essentially ‘ejected’ her son, the person who she felt was the main cause of her family’s challenges, and with whom she was wanting me to work. Once he left, we resumed our coaching session with just the three of us.
From our session she was able to eventually understand that the attitude and disrespect she was attracting from her son was actually all about her. You see, the son did not respect the mother because she never held him accountable. As such he took advantage of her good will, naiveté, and lack of follow through in holding him accountable for his actions. She did not respect her role as mom, caregiver, etc., therefore he did not respect her in those areas either.
To this day, years later, he still asks about me and sends his best regards to me. Why? Because he respected me and still does. Why? Because I followed through. Was it easy? No! What is necessary? Absolutely.
The lesson this family learned was that we train others how we expect to be treated and we do so in two ways:
1. How You Treat and Conduct Yourself.
Do you highly respect yourself? Do you recognize the value you bring to work, to your family, your romance, your friendships, and your community? If so, it is likely others recognized this too.
It would be fascinating to drop off the Queen of England in a room of strangers to see how they respond to her. I imagine that, very quickly, many or all of them would admire and respect her, and get along smashingly with her. This is because the Queen conducts herself in a respectful and polite, positive, and proper manner. Further, Queen Elizabeth has been practicing recognizing her value from birth!
- Are you highly critical of yourself? And do you find that those around you are critical of you as well?
- Do you sometimes beat yourself up? And do you feel like you’re always being picked on by those around you?
- How do you take care of your body? Do you often eat fast food or other processed meals, or do you eat healthily?
- How are you treated and regarded by the majority of people around you?
The way we treat ourselves, the choices we make about relationships, sustenance – even about the way we present ourselves via clothing, our surroundings, and our thoughts – exemplify how we wish to be treated.
Once you’re treating yourself honestly, respectably, and with integrity, you will likely attract others who do the same. However, there is an essential second component here.
The next step is in ensuring that you hold others accountable to how they treat you. In other words, how you allow others to treat you is another way in which you train people to treat you as you would like to be treated.
2. How You Allow Others to Treat You.
If you’ve recently undergone a change and, for example, did not respect yourself before, but do now, and you still have the same people in your life from before the change, then some of those people are likely still treating you as they did before.
This is not easy for most, as most people don’t like change; they prefer the comfort of the known, the norm, the status quo. Yet if you are seeking a change, you will have to hold others accountable to how they treat you! **(Remember you must practice the first element -#1 FIRST!)
To enact a positive change in how people treat you, you have two choices:
- Reinforce what you now are looking for. That is, explain to them what is acceptable and permitted behaviour and what is not.
- Let go of those individuals from your life.
Letting people go from your life, especially those who used to be important to you, is often not easy. If any of these individuals are family, this can be even more difficult. However, if you are to gain the respect, love, and support you deserve and that is your birthright, it must be done.
**Suggestion: Give these individuals the benefit of the doubt, and some space and time to adapt to the ‘new you’! If they do in time, great! You can be confident that these individuals are likely life-long.
If they don’t adapt, no problem! Simply do not initiate with them anymore and do not keep the energy going between the two of you. For example, do not accept their invitations or respond to their occasional texts, etc. Again, this is only in the case where they persist in trying to connect with the old you and simply do not get it.
To summarize, we teach others how we wish to be treated in two ways:
By the way we treat ourselves and by how we allow others to treat us
The best thing you can do is treat yourself with the highest possible level of respect, compassion and care, and hold others accountable for doing the same.