You Teach People How to Treat You

Today’s post is by guest blogger Christine Kane — as usual, she will make you think.

Teach People How to Treat You
by Christine Kane

There I was in Web Guy’s office.

He was overwhelmed and angry. He complained that clients were calling on weekends and late at night. No one was honoring his schedule.

I told him what I learned many years ago from one of my coaches. It’s a fundamental truth that has served me (and my clients) immensely. It is this:

You teach people how to treat you.

His eyes lit up. He couldn’t believe it was that simple. And the more we talked, the more excited he got. (I refrained from calling him Grasshopper.)

So, what does it mean?

It means that it’s up to you to allow or not allow certain treatment. It also means that you have to get clear about how you want to be treated. It means that you have to take responsibility for writing your own Owner’s Manual, and hold yourself accountable for living by it.

In other words? Stop blaming other people for not knowing your rules! (Especially if you never enforce them yourself!)

Here are five steps for teaching people how to treat you.

1 – Start by Knowing What You Want (and What You Don’t Want).

Pick an area of your life where you want to be treated differently. Describe how you’d like to be treated. Or, write about what you don’t want.

You’ll probably have some obvious beginning points. For instance, if you’re tired of people wasting your time with latest office drama, you might decide, “I don’t allow people to gossip in my presence.”

Simple? Yes. But it’s amazing how many of us allow these kinds of interactions without ever making necessary changes.

2 – Learn from your Current Situation.

Ask yourself how you’ve allowed certain behaviors from others.

Choose one situation where you feel mistreated. Ask yourself how you allowed this to happen. You’ll be amazed to see that often you choose to ignore your own needs or desires.

This process can show you where you get triggered. For instance, you might be tempted to say, “Well, I don’t have a choice! He makes me feel guilty if I don’t do it his way!”

Bingo! There’s your trigger. Guilt!

Acknowledge that you allowed the situation so that you could avoid feeling guilty. Then, recognize that guilt is a trigger that will tempt you to ignore your own Owner’s Manual. This is a valuable awareness.

3 – Honor It and Practice It.

Think process. Not event.

It’s not a one-time thing. When you’ve taught people how to treat you one way, it can take some time to change that pattern.

One reason people struggle with this is that they wait until they’re triggered before they attempt to set boundaries. Try not to communicate when you’re in a highly charged emotional state. At that point, you’re not teaching people how to treat you. You’re probably blaming them and making yourself the victim.

Instead, wait until you get calm, then start with Step #2. Take the necessary course of action to right the situation.

4 – Teach YOU How to Treat You When That’s the Only Choice.

Not everyone is going to honor your requests or your clarity. Sometimes it’ll have to be YOU who treats you well.

You must include yourself in your equation. If you’ve told your clients that you don’t take business calls on weekends, then don’t make business calls on weekends.

5 – Learn from People who are Clear and Successful.

I’ll be the first to admit it. This article won’t be popular among your co-workers and friends. That’s because we’re taught to “be nice” more than we are taught to “be big.”

So, you must find people who can model this behavior for you, who encourage you to succeed, and who offer a different perspective on happiness than just “be nice.” I always surround myself with people who hold me accountable to my intentions and goals. They don’t let me make excuses or blame people. This is imperative. (I write these articles because I know the temptations, trust me! 🙂 )

Christine Kane is the Mentor to Women Who are Changing the World. She helps women uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly LiveCreative eZine goes out to over 12,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at

1 Comment

  1. Christine Kane on May 27, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Thanks for posting this, Deb! Glad that you thought it’d be good for your readers!