We Teach People How To Treat Us

Living Well, Partnering

We’re constantly training people in how to treat us. When we show them that a certain word or look from them will get a consistent reaction from us, we’re training them to use that word or look whenever they want that reaction. And when we’ve shown people where our buttons are, and how they’re activated, and what our auto-response will be, it’s not reasonable to blame them for pressing, “Push Here.”

What works better? Making ourselves unavailable to any treatment that we don’t want. And to do that, we only need to not provide the predictable response that keeps people treating us in a predictable manner.


We’re capable of creating positive change in our relationships at any time. But we can only do it through ourselves, not others. So if we want people to act differently toward us, we’ll need to begin by acting differently ourselves.

We’ll need to make a conscious decision to stop being triggered by what people say and do, which will deactivate our buttons and give us back our power.

We’ll also need to examine whether our beliefs are valid. That includes examining what we truly want and whether we’re getting it – and how we can achieve it without holding others responsible.

When we feel triggered, if we’ll alter our usual response, people will change their behavior. And when we no longer take what others say personally – or believe that we’re targets and that we’re capable of being offended – we’ll feel more secure in our relationships. And if we won’t settle for less than that, all our relationships will grow healthier. And those that can’t transform will go away, which can also be healthy.

What’s most important is that we support every positive action from the other person, because that’s how we coach people in a cooperative and constructive way to give us the treatment that we want.

We’re teaching people how to treat us all the time. The people in our lives who treat us badly are doing it because we’ve given them permission. And those who treat us well are doing it because we showed them how.

Come follow me on Instagram!

Pic by Mike Ricioppo

Posted by

Author, Blogger, Contributor to Thrive Global, The Good Men Project and HuffPost