Whilst keeping in touch with family and friends via social media on an overseas trip recently, I spotted a reoccurring picture with a quote throughout my Facebook news feed, it reads:
“You can’t change how people treat you or what they say about you. All you can do is change how you react to it”
And while the ‘likes’ were adding up, I thought about how frequently people tolerate being treating poorly by those they care about without speaking up.
Let’s focus on the first line in that statement only. Surely the way somebody treats you is something you can influence or at least have a say in? In fact, I would argue to a point that a person will only treat you in a way that you allow or deem appropriate – and it’s that opinion which I want to emphasise with you.
Has there ever been a time where you have allowed yourself to be:
Spoken to in a derogatory way?
Embarrassed or humiliated by colleagues/family/friends because you were too scared to speak up?
Done something that went against your wishes to keep the peace?
Made to feel guilty due to being spoken to in a passive aggressive tone?
Chances are that you replied with yes for one (if not all) of the above scenarios. This might be due to a number of reasons, all of which are completely personal/confidential to you, however it should always be your priority to be treated in a respectful and honest way.
How can you change how people treat you?
Value yourself – This is about making sure people are treating you and speaking to you with a level of respect at all times, address yourself internally on how you want to be spoken to and treated in ALL situations in life and ensure that you stick to your guns. Remember, you deserve respect and to be treated with it.
Speak up – When your boss/friends/family members are not treating you how you wish, let them know. You don’t need to be rude or nasty in how you do this and it may be understandably uncomfortable/confronting for you to do so, however if someone isn’t aware of what they are doing and you’re keeping quiet about it, you may be contributing to the problem. Simply say ‘When you speak to me/treat me like that it makes me upset/annoyed/embarrassed/frustrated/feel belittled/feel inferior/feel bad etc’…. and end the sentence with ‘I would appreciate it if you didn’t do that anymore/stopped doing it”
Don’t allow people to walk all over you but also remember that you don’t get to walk over anyone either. Respect is a two way street and as my sister always said to me during my teenage years:
“Treat people how you want to be treated yourself”