It’s a well known phrase, “We teach others how to treat us.” So very true. If you allow others to treat you like you don’t matter, then of course they wll. We have to try to make sure we convey to people that we are worthy of respect. That we are valuable people. The very first time someone, whether a boyfriend, friend, girlfriend or family member treats you like you are “less than”, and you let it slide…well then it becomes easier and easier for them to do it and not feel bad about it.
I think sometimes we get “used” to being treated like we are not important. Maybe it starts with something as simple as not being thanked for something you did for someone, you let it go, and then the next time you do something nice for that person, they don’t feel a need to thank you…maybe they begin to expect it. Or maybe its allowing someone to call you stupid or dumb or ugly…even in jest, well it again becomes easier for them to do it in the future.
This is especially prevalent with young women. They tend to have self esteem issues sometimes, even when raised to try to prevent that, as women I think it is just a part of growing up in todays society. We start dating and are so happy to have a boyfriend, who at first treats us like we are the only girl on the planet…then slowly they begin to let little things slide…they don’t compliment us as often, they don’t take us out as often or buy us little things anymore. Date night becomes laying around the house in sweats watching tv. Sometimes it is even worse, we allow them to literally become verbally or even physically abusive.
This doesn’t happen to “uneducated” women. It can happen to very intelligent women. It happened to me. I have been in a very abusive relationship IN THE PAST, where he started out like Prince Charming and ended up like a very frightening monster. The evil look would appear in his eyes and I would literally be afraid for my life. But then he would apologize and act “nice” for awhile…then it would happen again and again and again.
Why would I allow someone to treat me that way? Why would I put up with it? I wasn’t ugly or stupid or needy…but I let it happen. Now I would never allow it. I’m stronger and have learned how to NOT be treated like some shabby old shoe. We become used to what we are used to.
I hope and pray that I have taught my kids and others how to expect to be treated well by others and to treat others well. I look around and see the way humans sometime treat other humans, and it really astonishes me. Don’t we all have feelings? Don’t we feel others pain? Or even just treating someone like they don’t exist..would we like that?
When we love people, we treat them like they are loved. No one is perfect and we all have bad days where we are bitchy or snarky…but when it becomes the norm to treat someone badly, then there is a problem, and one would hope the person being treated badly would note it and do something about it…but sometimes its such a slow process we don’t even realize it’s happening.
I just hope that everyone, young women, men, old women and men…make sure we do not allow others to treat us like we either don’t matter to them or that its okay to hurt us, in any way.
Let’s all just treat each other with some respect…what a concept.