Whether you realise it or not, each day you set the standard for how other people treat you!
You may not be consciously aware of this, most of us aren’t, but nevertheless, the standards you have established serve as guidelines for how you are treated in life. To most of us this may come as quite a surprise, but whether or not you’ve intentionally defined standards for what is (or is not) acceptable in your life, you nevertheless have them. Furthermore they are communicated to the world around you on a regular basis.
It is human nature to focus on the poor behaviour of other people for our problems, so the point needs to be made that teaching people how to treat you, begins with you, not them.
It is important to remember the way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. For example; if you are always putting the interests and well-being of others first it might make you feel significant and wanted, however it teaches the people around you that your needs aren’t as important as theirs.
If you want to generate change that is meaningful and sustainable, you need to first recognise how your own behaviour contributes to the way others treat you. You can’t teach people how to treat you if you haven’t taken the time to clarify your standards for your life. You are responsible for communicating your standards clearly and respectfully, however you are not accountable for how others receive or interpret it, nor for how they feel as a result.
Create a plan of action for what will happen when your boundaries are crossed. Gently let people know when you feel your boundaries are not being respected. Most people will mean no harm, and may simply be used to behaving in a certain way and are unaware of the impact their actions are having on you and other people around them.
There are going to be people who test your efforts and a few who will outright ignore your requests. Before assuming the other person is disrespecting your boundary, step back and be really honest with yourself about how you communicated your standard in the first place. Were you clear, or was your message left vague in the hope they would just somehow get it so you could avoid the discomfort of being up front?
The important thing is not to let it continue because they will see it as a sign you don’t take your own boundary seriously. This is where you need to have clearly defined consequences and be prepared to follow through.
Taking responsibility for defining the life you want to live and teaching others what is acceptable behaviour toward you is the ultimate exercise being treated the way you want to be treated. It’s about living your life with full intention; making smart choices and exercising your personal power and authority to achieve greater freedom, happiness, and long-term life happiness.
In the beginning, it’s going to be tempting to revert to old behaviours, however keep reminding yourself that there’s a big difference between being accommodating and not respecting who you are.