Teach others how to treat you
I met a father recently who was fed up with how his family were relating to each other. He wanted more kindness and connection and less anger. He had had enough. At the time he came to see me his state of frustration was bubbling over in anger too and he knew giving back what he didn’t want to receive was not the way out of the woods. ‘How do I stop this behaviour” he asked.
I love it when people have had enough of anything – because even though I know that this is a hard place to reach and be in – I also know that the person in front of me is poised, ready for something new.
They’ve taken the first step – realising what they DON’T want.
The second step is to know exactly what you DO want. In his case connection, peace and compassion.
Step three is to take responsibility. Today I want to really highlight to you this message that “we teach people how to treat us”.
Is there is someone in your life whose behaviour you are not enjoying i.e. their actions are not supportive of your wellbeing? A person you wish would contribute in a different way to the quality of your life?
I recommend the first place to look is always at oneself, and I believe this is the most empowered position. Then to honestly answer – what am I currently doing that says this is ok with me? What is it that you are doing that could be interpreted by them as saying – “ok, ‘bring it on’, I support this, I want this in my life”. This father knew him getting angry and lashing out was sending the message that it was ok with him that anger be expressed in this way.
The father concerned decided that he stood for peace and connection.
He spoke to his family and let them know what he stood for. He decided to learn to express and use his anger constructively AND he re-directed some of his time (away from work and TV), into connecting with his family – eg. sharing in their interests. He made a new decision about what he would do when those around him were verbally or physically abusive and communicated this.
In so doing, he took a compassionate, loving stand for himself, his wellbeing, his needs. By the way -that’s usually good for whomever we are in relationship with, too!