How we respond to others and how others respond to us can appear to be random and without reason at times. And at others times, it can be patently obvious as to why we have behaved as we have towards another or why they behaved as they have towards us.
But whether one is aware of their behaviour or not, one is still playing a large part in how others are treating them. The same is true of another person and in how one treats them.
Even though one has a certain amount control and influence over how others treat them, it doesn’t mean that this control and influence is always utilised. In some cases, one may be completely unaware of this and come to conclude that they are just observing what is taking place. One could then end up feeling like a victim of circumstance.
Now, some areas of one’s life will be more important than others when it comes to how they teach others to treat them. Ones partner or lover, colleagues, family and friends are all going to be vital areas here.
If one has a lot of interactions in these relationships where they are not being treated in a way that honours who they are, then how they have behaved in the past and continue to behave is likely to be a key factor.
What can make it difficult to notice that one is having an effect on how others treat them is if this behaviour feels normal. And this could be due to them having put up with this kind of behaviour since the very beginning of their life.
So one may not think about the role they are playing in all of this as there experience of others has always been the same. It could then be seen as how life is and as a reflection of who one is.
If one is treated by others in a way that is empowering or respectful, it won’t be a problem. But if one is treated by others in a way that is disrespectful and disempowering then problems will arise.
Perhaps one is has become accustomed to: being taken advantage of, controlled, compromised, abused, humiliated and continually let down by others for instance.
While one may believe that this is out of their control, if they look close enough they will see that there are patterns to how people treat them. With there being nothing random or unexpected about how others treat them. One may expect to be treated in these ways.
As one looks back on how each interaction started and the ones that followed, there will be certain clues. And these could subtle or they could be painfully obvious. And how one responded to how the other person behaved during these interactions will often define how they will behave in future interactions.
This could relate to one tolerating certain behaviours that didn’t feel right and even though this was the case, they didn’t speak up or let the other person know.
And when one doesn’t inform the other person that how they are behaving in not acceptable, either verbally or nonverbally, then the other person is going to assume that is it acceptable. They don’t even have to be someone who is malicious; all they are doing is responding to the signals that are being given.
This is not to say that everything another person does is pure in intention, as some people do try to take advantage of others. And this is when one needs to respond in the right way; so that another person comes to realise that their behaviour is not acceptable.
At a deeper level, the reason one puts up with certain behaviour that doesn’t honour who they are is because it will feel comfortable. And so it is often more about ones inner resistance to standing up for themselves than it is about what the other person is or is not doing.
The ego mind creates associations of familiarity around things that one has experienced a lot. And these become what are classed as safe. So going against what feels comfortable can feel like death to the mind.
What one feels comfortable with and what they don’t will have to be questioned. As it won’t be healthy to feel comfortable putting up with behaviour that is disrespectful and invalidates who one is.
Here, it might be beneficial to take a closer look at the relationships in one’s life that are dysfunctional and to what the defining moments were. Or the small things that were allowed to accumulate and get out of hand.
The perception one has of themselves will often define what they will and won’t put up with. And so as ones idea of themselves changes, the type of behaviour they will or won’t put up with will change
This may involve letting go of certain things that no longer reflect who one is. As this happens, one will be less likely to be attracted to or attract people who are disrespectful into their life. And this can be done through the assistance of a therapist, healer or some kind of coach. Or some kind of self inquiry can assist one in this process.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.