The relationship you have with yourself determines the kind of relationship you can have with other people. How you treat yourself sets up a template for how other people should treat you. It shows other people what kind of behaviors are acceptable to you.
You think about that concept for a moment and you say, “I don’t think so!”
Well, tell me then, how does everyone in the world, including strangers, learn how to treat you? Are there instructions stamped on your forehead?
Do you have a friend who—the phone rings and it’s this person. She is traveling in your area and she is going to drop by for s surprise impromptu visit. She will be there in 10 minutes.
And for this person you look, and you look aghast at the messiness in your house. You scurry about picking up everything and hiding it in closets. You pull out the vacuum and hurry–hoping you can run your vacuum over the carpets before you hear that doorbell ring.
And you have a different friend in your life who calls and says, “Hey, I ‘m riding through. I’m coming by. I haven’t seen you in a long time, I will be there in 10 minutes.” And you mosey into the kitchen and you put up a pot of water to make tea. You look to see if maybe you have some bread so you can make toast or something.
You don’t worry about the fact that your house is note exactly in order. And it may not be the cleanest house but you know your friend is not going to get sick coming in.
What is the difference between those two friends?
How come one causes you to feel your house has to be immaculate and in order while the other one—your house is fine just the way it is. And kicking back with a cup of tea is what you know you are going to do.
That is exactly what you do to the people in your world. In every aspect of your world you teach people what is an allowable behavior for them to demonstrate toward you.
So if you are thinking about somebody who treats you really crummy, listen to these words from Eleanor Roosevelt. She said, “You can’t keep a good man down without his permission.” Okay. What is she saying?
If somebody puts you down in some way, not treating you the way you think you think you should be treated—it’s because you’ve given him or her permission in the past to treat you that way.
What the heck am I talking about? Giving them permission to mistreat you? You went up to them and said, “Hey. You’re allowed to treat me crummy.
Now you know that is not what I am talking about. You see, if people ignore you or take advantage of you or walk all over you like a doormat—that is one I hear a lot—you may just want to stop and notice what kind of behaviors you are doing—or maybe what kind of behaviors you fail to do that cause them to act that way toward you.
You see, if you allow others to treat you in ways that displease or anger you, know you don’t just do that with people who are popping into your mind right now. You act that way in your life, across your life, with everyone who enters your world.
Now you may not wear a sign on your forehead that says, “Hey, come mistreat me!” No. You do something worse—you wear it on your heart—which means it shows up in your demeanor, in your posture, on your face and probably in your health—whether or not you are aware of health issues.