Monday, June 1, 2009

You Decide How You Want to Be Treated

You've probably noticed how we tend to judge romantic relationships by the way we see how the couple treats each other. You've surely heard, or said, "She treats him like dirt," or "He treats her like a princess." And that's usually what we go on.

When I complained about the way I was being treated in a relationship, my friend replied, "But I thought you liked being bossed around." Ouch. That was when I always assumed it was the other person who was responsible for treating me the way I should be. That was kind of like waiting for the rescue mission.

What usually happens is that something, a request, for example, catches us off guard. And if we're innate people pleasers, not trained in the delicate art of saying "Why did you think I would want to do that, the answer is 'no' and don't ever think about asking me to do that ever again, buddy," we say "sure, no problem."

Lesson One: Always and without exception ask for time (at least 24 hours) to contemplate any request that does not sound totally awesome in that moment. It is indispensable to make this commitment now, not when your neighbor asks you to take care of her 8 cats while she spends the summer in Provence.

Lesson Two: Take a peep inside your brain and see if there is any possibility you want to feel guilty for not lending $500 to your colleague. You are not responsible for her inability to stick to a budget.

Are you afraid they'll call you "stingy," or "selfish," or "ego maniac"? It's easy to fear losing business, too. But that's not the problem. What other people think of you is never your problem.

Lesson Three: Getting treated like the awesome person that you are starts with the way you treat yourself and others.'s a process, not a technique. Some days you're floating on diva clouds, and sometimes you get suckered into something.

In working with my clients, it helps them to isolate and identify a single situation where they felt like they were getting the short end of the stick.

That one situation holds a plethora (bunches) of free lessons for you - why you said "yes" when you wanted to say "no," what triggered you, and what you thought people might think of you if you did say, "hell, no."

Don't wait until the next crisis erupts, remember that you treat yourself, and others, with utmost honor and respect.