You can’t ‘nice’ someone into being ‘nice’ to you.
You can’t ‘nice’ someone into being ‘nice’ to you. I’ve tried, have you?
It might seem like if you are repeatedly loving and empathetic towards this other being who is repeatedly irritable, angry, and critical of you, that they will suddenly stop and think “wow how kind and loving is this person, I’m going to give them the same empathy and care back”. I tried this for many years, does not work. Note I’m speaking about a habitual pattern. Often labeled abuse or co-dependence. Hard to see this, when you’re in it.
WE TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO TREAT US EVERY DAY IN EVERY INTERACTION
We’ve gotta do HONESTY as well as empathy. That means you need to know and value your OWN feelings and needs. Have that difficult conversation and say what you want, be heard. For example: “Raising your voice, telling me I’m being ridiculous because you don’t agree with me, doesn’t work for me. Disagree by all means, let’s talk about that. But I don’t want you to label and put me down. Can we agree you won’t do that?” It’s through these conversations that you actually have intimacy and connection. It’s vulnerable right?
You might ultimately let them know that if they continue to do this you’ll remove yourself, and go home. Or you’ll ask them to get help with how they’re feeling so they can talk about it with you in a new way.
Just because you can see the other is stressed and you have empathy for them, doesn’t mean that you accept them behaving in ways which don’t meet your need for respect and love. It’s not healthy for you, them or your relationship.
So yes, be empathetic definitely AND also be honest. Without valuing YOUR needs too and bringing these forward through your HONESTY you’ve no LIMITS. You won’t feel safe. You also make yourself invisible. The other can’t actually perceive you as a Self. As a person who also needs care, respect, kindness, support … all the things you think you are giving them.
You matter my friend. You must matter to YOU. Your self-worth, confidence, health, everything will rise if you value yourself equally.
You’re SO lovable and worthy of real intimacy and respect. You can do this.
Contact me if you have questions …
My private online self paced course will help you with the above >> Connection Essentials