Warning: Incoming….Real Talk. It is so easy to fall into the trap of getting mad with others when they treat us badly. And if we’re not careful we will become consumed and obsessed with trying to “make” them change. When the truth of the matter is it’s all misplaced blame. Why? Because we teach people how we want to be treated.
As Marshall Sylver said in his book “Train or be trained – we either train others how to treat us or be trained to behave in way that’s acceptable to them.” If we’re being treated in a way that is undesirable and we continue to allow it then the onus of the responsibility is on us.
The question isn’t why do they keep doing what they are doing. The real question is why do we keep allowing them to do what they’re doing. It’s really interesting the dialogues we have in our heads about people when they’re treating us in a way that is not cool. Especially when it comes to romantic relationships….we will label them a d*ck, b*tch, selfish, @sshole, selfish, crazy, abusers, emotionally unavailable etc…and sometimes we will go the extreme and become instantaneous psychologists and label them bipolar, narcissistic, or sociopaths.
I’ve fallen into this trap and have watch men and women alike fall into it too. But at the end of the day it’s not the other person’s fault as to how we allowed them to treat us. The more we play the blame game and wasting energy trying to jump thru hoops like a circus poodle, the more time is lost to make the changes necessary so that we aren’t treated this way.
I believe our romantic relationships are mirrors and they reflect back to us whether or not we truly understand power power (knowing who we are and our worth). I know this is a touchy subject. But let’s get real about this topic…if we have healthy self-image and self-worth, we would not allow people to treat us badly on an ongoing basis and allow it. No way would we. So let us stop lying to ourselves and roll up our sleeves and get to work and either build or repair our self-image and self-worth.
This was a hard pill for me to swallow after allowing someone to treat me very badly for not one, not two, not three but five years. I had stooped to a new low and allowed this individual to treat me in a way that I normally wouldn’t have accepted under no circumstances. And that’s not to say that my other relationships were stellar because they weren’t. But this situation was an all time low for me.
Anyway moving on….the bottom line is it served as a wake up call to me. The underlying reason I tolerated such ridiculous behavior from men in relationships and so-called friends is because my self-image was compromised and I mistakenly underestimated my worth as a result.
It’s been a loooooong journey in healing, reflection, and truly getting to know myself but I’m well on my way. I believe when we allow other people to treat us badly on an ongoing basis we somehow have subconsciously decided to based our worth on how they see us. In other words we start to internalize their ill treatment and begin to believe if we can somehow transform ourselves, be better, get better, improve, change this or change that that somehow they will see us differently, treat us better, and we will feel better.
It’s a tragic cycle of thinking to get trapped in because at the end of the nine times out of ten that other person has an unhealthy self-image and self-worth as well. As a psychologist once told me…”healthy people don’t play with sick people”. When he said that it reminded me of what my grandfather used to tell me all the time “water seeks its own level.”
People can’t see us better than they see themselves. If they see themselves as less than, how can they see you any differently? If they don’t treat themselves well, how can they treat you well? If they don’t know how to be a friend to themselves, how can they be a friend to you?
So instead of getting mad because they treat you bad, get glad and thank them for being a teaching partner and then get to work and figure out what needs to be done to repair/build your self image so that it is a healthy one. Like attracts like.
We must pay attention to ourselves and ask ourselves the hard question to break the cycle of allowing others to treat us in a less than desirable way and take back our personal power.