One of the most important lessons we want our kids to know is that you teach people how to treat you. It sounds so simple, but it’s so true. The interactions we have during those first few dates is what sets the tone for what we will allow in our lives and what we have no interest in dealing with.
And when we aren’t treated well in life, we tend to point all our fingers at the person mistreating us. It’s a reasonable inclination. If someone talks down to you, disrespects you, cheats on you or simply fails to provide the love and support you deserve, then you will obviously think it’s that person’s entire fault.
But here is the harsh reality that most people don’t want to face. Often, it’s not entirely someone else’s fault. I believe that people only treat you the way you allow them to treat you. I know that’s a tough pill to swallow because it puts all the responsibility in your hands, but it’s the truth.
Now this isn’t about placing blame. This doesn’t mean that it must be your fault if it’s not theirs. Rather, this all means that you have far more power than you’ve allowed yourself to believe. It means that someone can stop mistreating you the moment you decide that you are done with being treated like that. Done.
And here is the beautiful part that many people fail to recognize. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. You don’t have to tell anyone why you are tired of being mistreated. You don’t have to explain why you believe you deserve better. You don’t need to provide a breakdown about what you plan to do next. You can choose to walk away, move on with your life and decide that you deserve much better. That’s it.
Of course, this isn’t easy. If it were, people would rarely stay in bad relationships. What makes it hard, though, isn’t just your inability to see your worth (because that’s a big part of it). What also makes it hard is the fact that the person mistreating you usually doesn’t mistreat you all the time. You have good times. You have moments when you feel loved or supported. You have moments when things seem like maybe they can last.
Yet, you know that a healthy, lasting relationship can’t be built on a few moments of goodness. You need more. You deserve more. We all have to realize that true happiness doesn’t come with settling. The more we settle, the further away we move from what we deserve in life.
Knowing your worth is one of the most important things anyone can do before entering a relationship. Once you are clear on that, you won’t let someone get away with treating you like crap. Knowing your worth gives you the courage to say no and walk away from treatment you don’t deserve.
So although the person you are dating may very well be a jerk, that isn’t the real reason he or she has been treating you poorly. It’s just one of the reasons. The biggest reason why that person continues to treat you badly is because you haven’t walked away.
But it’s never too late to say enough. It’s never too late to realize that you’ve been settling. It’s never too late to stop relinquishing your power. We all have the power to choose a partner that will treat us well. We all deserve that. No one deserves to be treated like crap. That’s not what love is about, and that is not what partnership is about.
Love is complicated at times, but being treated well should always be simple. Either someone treats you with the love and respect you deserve, or they don’t. And if they don’t, you walk away and move on because someone better is out there. I have no doubt about that.
BMWK family, what have you done when you weren’t treated well in a relationship?