I’ve heard it before, but I was reminded today that we teach people how to treat us. When someone wrongs us and we elect not to let him/her know that they’ve overstepped a boundary—in essence that’s on us. At that moment, we have all of a sudden given that person permission, a license if you will, to overstep that boundary and countless others in the future if they choose to do so. It’s up to US to speak up. It’s up to US to set the standards for ourselves. It’s up to US to set our personal rules, and then it’s also up to us to hold ourselves accountable to said rules.
Think about this: infants know no different, and instinctively they set their standards and enforce them over and over. When the infant is hungry, she cries. When the infant wants to be cradled, he lets you know. Infants and toddlers are the masters of their universes and they do a fantastic job of describing their needs and subsequently getting them met. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, with maturity, also came the notion that the needs, wants, and feelings of another might be more important than our own. So we adopted the narrative that “as opposed to ruffling someone’s feathers, I’ll just deal with it.” If that’s the course of action you’re taking, you have no right to complain about the other person’s actions or behavior. In that situation get real with yourself by understanding that you are willingly allowing another person to cross a boundary. Don’t miss an opportunity to love yourself. You are your own best advocate. Show up to your own party, and make use of every chance you get to teach others how to treat you; because guess what—you’re worth it.