Ep. 8 Teach people how to treat you more lovingly!

Tamra MerciecaPodcast, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

Relationships can be tricky at times, especially when the other person isn’t treating us the way we wish to be treated. When they act and behave in ways that make us feel ‘less than’ or undervalued, this feels just plain awful. But what if you could teach people how to treat you?

In today’s episode on I Love Me The Podcast, we explore this very idea, so you can ensure that there is mutual respect in your relationships.


Something I often hear people say:

I often hear people say:

‘People don’t treat me the way I want to be treated.’

They don’t respect my boundaries, they talk down to me, they criticise and even bully me…

While none of this feels good at the time, it’s important to understand, that there is a reason for how they’re treating you..

And the reason has everything to do with YOU!

And how you treat yourself.

Yes, the people in question have learnt how to treat you, based on how you treat yourself.

Remember, last week’s episode, where I talked about our partner – and anyone in life really – being our mirror refection…

Showing us the parts of ourself that need healing…

If you haven’t listened to that episode ‘Use your relationships to grow your self-love’, I highly recommend it, as it’s been such a powerful way for me to learn from my relationships and bring those relationships back into harmony…

So… if someone, your partner, a family member, a work colleague, your child… is not treating you as you’d ideally like, then it’s because at some level, you’re not treating yourself the way you want them to treat you, or on the rare occasion, you’re not treating someone else in the most loving way…

Now you might say: But I do care for myself and I do have positive self-talk, and I do treat others nicely…

Then I may ask: But then what do you do, when someone speaks to you in an inappropriate way?

Do you accept it?

Do you let it happen, and let it be?

Which essentially says to the person involved, ‘I’m available to be treated in this poor manner’.

OR do you politely, but firmly say: How you just spoke to me is inappropriate, and I’d like to be treated with more respect please?

Now you might say: But it was my boss, I’ll lose my job if I talk back to them…

Let me share a personal experience…

I was in my early 20s, I’d just moved to a new job in Melbourne with SBS Radio, as a journalist and newsreader…

The job was going really well.

And then the big boss from Sydney calls me and flat out goes off at me for a story that wasn’t written correctly…

Now, I was a bit stunned by the experience, and didn’t know what to say in the moment.

Especially given the fact I had nothing to do with the story in question – it had been another journalist’s error.

So after the call ended, I sat at my desk for a moment, and reflected.

This had been my pattern.

I’d been bullied at home.

I’d been bullied at school.

I’d been bullied in a couple of my previous jobs.

And I decided in that moment:

Bullying stops here.

I will NOT be treated in this way any more.

So, just a couple of months into this new job – I’m still on my probation – and I call the big boss back.

I’m a little worried – maybe actually a LOT worried – that I could lose my job, but I know how important it is to speak up.

So…. I firmly explain that it wasn’t my story – in fact, I had nothing to do with that story at all – and that I’d like an apology for how he spoke to me.

I could tell he was a little taken aback by me being so upfront, but he accepted his error and apologised.

Now… what followed, was that my big boss treated me really well from that point on.

He gave me all the best shifts – even though, as I found out later, he tended to give men the better shifts.

Not only was I being treated like an equal, if anything I was given the special treatment.

By standing up to him, I’d earned his respect.

And I’d recognised that I was worthy of respect.

But this wouldn’t have happened, if I didn’t stand up for myself, and teach him how I wished to be treated.

I needed to show him the behaviour I was available for.

On a side-note, this seemingly bold move, ended any future bullying.

Because I’d decided that I was no longer available for that pattern of behaviour.

I was only available to be treated with respect.

And in making this decision, the limiting beliefs that had been at play, creating this pattern where I was mistreated by people, those old beliefs fell away.

Now let’s be honest… standing up for yourself, requesting the behaviour you wish to receive, it can be confronting.

Scary, even.

Especially, if it’s a person who you really don’t want to lose; like your partner or your boss!

You see, the more attached you are to having a certain person in your life – the more you feel you need that person –  the more you’ll allow them to treat you in a poor way.

Because hey, you don’t want to risk them walking out on you, or sacking you, right?

I get that.

But in choosing to stay in a relationship or a job where you’re treated as ‘less than’ is not self-loving.

Be honest with yourself:

Do you really want to be in a relationship or job where you’re mistreated?
OR do you deserve better?

Think about that for a moment, do you deserve to be treated in a healthy, loving way?

In allowing ourself to stay in a situation where we don’t ask for better treatment, we’re essentially saying to ourself:

I’m not worthy or deserving of being treated well.

And that is NOT a self-loving mindset.

So in these situations you have a choice.

Speak up, or keep quiet.

Now it’s easy to let the fear of losing your relationship or job or connection to this person, make you choose the ‘keep quiet’ option.

But honestly, if you’re willing to speak up…

And like I said, do it in a firm, but loving and polite manner, then in most cases you’ll be listened to.

And you may need to do it a few times with the person in question, as they may have got into a habit of how to treat you, or treat people in general, but if you pick them up on it as it occurs, then you’re saying:

If you want me in your life or workplace, or wherever you want me, then you need to step up and treat me in a decent way.

And sometimes we all need this wake-up call, as we can all fall into patterns of treating people a certain way.

Even the most self-loving of us!

If, on the other hand, you speak up, and the person is NOT willing to take it on board, and treats you worse – it can happen…. this is good!

It lets you know that this person is not willing to change their behaviour, and in that case, you’re better off finding a new job, a new relationship or a new friendship… or limiting the time you spend with that family member.

In refusing to change how they treat you, this person has done you a favour by freeing you up to create space for something better.

And if it’s a job, and you need the money, I know that can be a hard situation to be in…

This happened to me when I was working at Triple M, before I left to work at SBS.

I was being really badly bullied by a work colleague.

And I did speak up about it, and it was turned back on me, as if I was the problem.

And so I just did my best to get by, all the while looking for a new job.

As it turned out, I was offered the job at SBS, which came with a $15,000 payrise.

And I really do believe, that if a situation isn’t working for you, there is always something better.

That has always been my experience.

We may not believe it at the time.

Or see how there can be a better option, but….

If we’re willing to open ourselves to the idea that yes, there actually could be something better out there for us, then it’ll come into our line of sight.

But we need to be willing to leave what we have – even if like me, working at Triple M was my dream job.

Something I’d aspired to, and finally achieved.

We need to be open to allowing in something that will serve us in a bigger way.

Maybe it’s an intimate relationship where you’re not being treated well, and you’re living together, and breaking up would mean you have no-where to live.

If you’re in this kind of situation, then open up the lines of communication…

Have some ongoing discussions with your partner to really establish if they’re willing to work on being a more decent person, and if they’re simply not willing, then you need to make a decision.

Stay and accept ill treatment, or leave and open the door to a better relationship.

I know when you’re living with someone, it can make things tricky…

And there was one relationship I stayed in way too long, because I was scared of having to move out and work things out on my own.

I get that.

But if you’re willing to end things, and take the first step you need to get yourself out of that situation, opportunities will arise.

The people around you will step up.

Maybe they’ll offer you a room, or a couch, or something else as you make this big transition.

That’s what I LOVE about these big decisions…

Once we make them, the world – and the people around us – they really do step up to support us in forging our new path forward.

But we need to be willing to take that first step – to make the bold decision.

Do I stay or do I go?

And that first step is by far the hardest.

But seriously, once we’ve made that initial decision, things can finally realign for us.

And this idea of teaching people how to treat us, extends to our children.

If your child isn’t treating you well, maybe even hitting you, you need to let them know it’s unacceptable behaviour from the first time they do it.

If you allow it to happen the first time, they will automatically think it’s ok.

Then you pull them up on it 5 times later, and they get confused:

Why was I allowed to do this before, but now mum says it’s not ok?

Be upfront, let them know why it’s not ok.

When I explain to my son why something isn’t ok, he’s far more willing to take it on board.

Then… you need to demonstrate this kind of self-respect in front of your child.

I had a situation with the library teacher at my son’s previous school – he was 5 years old.

And we went in to choose his reader, because he has a very advanced reading ability, so his classroom teacher had said he could choose his own books.

My son went to the shelf, and picked three books from the dedicated area, but because they were all from the same series, the librarian said in a very stern voice to him:

‘I won’t let you borrow those three books, you can only have two, you have to choose the third one from a different book series, because you need variety.’

In all honesty, my son could have knocked off these three books in under an hour if he wanted to, and given his ferocious appetite for reading, he does read a wide variety of books.

So I was quite shocked, especially when my son then sweetly expressed he’d just like those three books please, and she started essentially laying into him.

This innocent little five-year-old being told by this grown woman that he HAD to have a different book, and she was speaking to him in a tone that suggested he was a bad boy for wanting to read three books from the one series.

I stood there not sure what to say, shocked she was speaking so inappropriately and in such a harsh tone, and trying to force my son into choosing another book.

Finally I found my tongue, and gently said to my son:

‘It’s ok sweetie, you don’t have to borrow a different book if you don’t want to.’

Well…. the librarian glared at me, and said:

‘Well, that wasn’t very helpful, was it?’

And so I explained firmly, that I wasn’t about to ruin my son’s love of reading by forcing him to read a book he didn’t want to read.

The conversation continued, but the point that I want to make here, is that in that moment, I showed – by example – I showed my son what was inappropriate behaviour, even from an adult.

And I stood up for him in that moment.

And that is such a gift to our children, because it helps them know that it’s ok to stand up for themselves if they feel they’re being mistreated.

Because let’s be honest, while we adults do try our best, we’re not perfect, and there will be people our kids come into contact with while we’re not around, and they need to have the courage and understanding to speak up, when needed.

And this is where I feel we really need to be more open to our children having a voice.

If my son cuts me off when I’m speaking, I firmly let him know.

And now if I accidentally cut him off when he’s speaking, he lets me know.

And I encourage that, because it helps keep me in check.

Because us adults call fall into unloving behaviours, and sometimes we need a gentle reminder – even from our kids – to pick up our game.

In this way our kids are such good reflectors of where we are out of integrity.

One of the key parts of cultivating self-love, is the willingness to have our own back.

To model how we wish to be treated by others, through setting clear, firm boundaries, and speaking up when it’s most needed.

Then knowing, that if our boundaries are NOT well received, this is simply a catalyst for change.

An opportunity to release old relationships that are not in our highest good, so we have space to welcome in healthier relationships.

Or maybe the person doesn’t take our words well at the time, but they ARE willing to work together on creating a healthier relationship.

We need to remember, that some people have never had someone stand up to them or call them out on how they behave.

And it may take them a while to fully reflect on the fact that actually, it could do them good to work on how they treat you, or people in general.

In this way, we actually do the other person a favour, by offering them an opportunity to be a better person.

To learn how to look at the places where they’re out of integrity.

Your job is to teach people how you wish to be treated.

Otherwise, they’ll never know.

Don’t assume that the other person can read your mind, or know what your specific boundaries are, or know when to give you a little space.

You need to let them know.

Tell them, lovingly, but firmly.

‘This is what I need.’

Otherwise everyone will treat you how they see fit, based on their own experience of life, and childhood conditioning around what it means to be in relationship with someone.

Know that in teaching people how you wish to be treated, some people won’t want to learn.

And that’s ok.

You don’t need to have these people in your life, if you so choose.

But know that, when delivered in a really loving, but firm way, MOST decent human beings will listen.

You simply need to learn new strategies for communicating your needs.

And if you’d like to learn more about how to offer feedback in a loving, healthy way, next week I’ll be sharing with you my number one tool for this.

So you can deliver feedback in a way that feels good for everyone.

What I will say is this

If you want others to treat you well, make sure you’re doing two things:

  1. Treat yourself well. That is essential! And..
  2. Treat others well. Treat them as you wish to be treated.
    Be the example, in how you treat yourself and how you treat others, because in order to create change we need to lead by example.

And when others ask you to treat them better, take some time to reflect on your own behaviours, knowing this is simply feedback, helping you to be the best person you can be.

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