Monday, November 4, 2013

Teaching People How to Treat You

So my goal tonight is to write a blog in about 20 minutes. We’ll see how this goes…

In a few recent conversations I have found myself reminding others (and sometimes myself) that “you teach people how to treat you.” You teach and curb behavior through punishments and rewards. If you allow a behavior to continue without telling someone it’s undesired, then you are in a sense rewarding, or encouraging said behavior. However, the moment you indicate to someone, “Uh, uh, not cool,” you are telling to them that that behavior won’t be tolerated. We tell children “don’t do that” or “good job” all the time; but, it seems that in our adult lives the concept of “teaching” someone the ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ of interacting with us is slightly beyond our grasp.

The teaching is usually best done in the beginning of a relationship – though, I am a believer that you are allowed to change your mind about what is and/or is not acceptable, and therefore you may have to re-teach people from time to time. Establish your boundaries early, in an assertive way. Make sure people understand if you’re the type that likes to joke around, or if you’re more serious. What are your pet peeves? Will someone being routinely late drive you mad? Have you told them this?

I think…no, I know that too often I have not wanted to ruffle feathers and have allowed undesirable behaviors and attitudes towards me continue. After weeks or months of this ‘annoying’ behavior, I have no one to blame but myself for my thinned patience and constant annoyance.

I’m in a period of my life where, to quote Sweet Brown, I truly feel that “ain’t nobody got time for that.” The foolishness, the gossip, the backstabbing, laziness, being uncommunicative, being shady, down-right rude, sneaky, or manipulative just isn’t going to fly with me. Some people may tolerate it in their lives, they may teach others through their silence or through their own deceitful behavior, that it’s okay to act up; I, however, will surely be teaching others differently.

Men know before or upon meeting me that I require a certain level of respect. It’s in the way I carry myself, the way I interact with my male friends, and even in the way I flirt. My co-workers have learned that though I may be quite, I will not be taken advantage of, I know my stuff, and I don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. My female friends – though few they may be – know that I will always tell it like it is and will speak what’s on my mind with no apology or disrespect intended.

Decide who you are, what you want to be, what attributes you want people to see and respect most about you – and then make sure it happens. If they can’t respect you for that…then they can keep it moving.