We teach people to treat us by what we put up with.

Yes, we do.

I wish we didn’t have to teach people how to treat us either but we do.

I know, I know, I wish everyone knew how to behave but unfortunately they don’t…

So, that leaves us with two choices:

1) Let them walk all over us, feel bad and then hurt ourselves by drinking, drugging, people-pleasing or other self-destructive behaviours that hurt us and not them? It’s a bit like swallowing a pill and expecting the other person to die, isn’t it?

Do they die? No. Does it hurt you? Yes.

2) OR we can teach people what we will and will not put up with and retain our self-worth…

Now, I know it can be hard to find your voice and that the first few times you stand up for yourself will be scary (inside your own head)…

But like any skill you learn, you’ll get better with practice…

It’s only hard the first couple of times and soon there will be no stopping you. I promise.

So, if someone wants to yell or try to emotionally manipulate you into doing what they want you to do, for example?

You simply call the behaviour for what it is.

“If you have to raise your voice, you’ll need to find someone else’s hand to talk too.”

If you turn your back to anyone yelling at you; it soon teaches them that’s not acceptable behaviour. It also works on children; who will go absolutely nuts at first but if you are consistent, will eventually stop yelling at you because they get no reaction.


“I suggest you try your emotional manipulation on someone it might work on. I don’t want you wasting your time on me.”

You can follow this up with “If there’s something you’d like to talk to me about like a grown up, I’m all ears. Otherwise, if you keep playing games,I’m likely to zone out.’”

Standing up for yourself may well result in you learning to be happy alone. Fortunately, this will teach you the skills to ensure you don’t waste time with people not worthy of you.

If you set a boundary with someone and they leave that’s actually good because the boundary worked! You’ve taught someone how to treat you by what you were not willing to put up with. The point of boundaries isn’t to “fix” relationships. It’s to protect your mental and emotional health from crap relationships so that you don’t get into them in the first place.

So, let’s do a quick relationship inventory:

What relationships in your life are draining you rather than invigorating you? Write it down.

Think about the reason those relationships are draining you. How much of it is because you feel that you are giving up too much and/or they are taking too much? Write down specifically how they are draining you.

What can you do to stand up for yourself because you, my dear reader, are definitely worth the encouragement you’d give to everyone else, so take a little time to consider  what you are going to say and do next time they try one on? Again, write it down.

Now, practice your response in front of the mirror, go on!

If you practice, it will make it much easier the first time you do it. Now, be prepared for some backlash as you go about teaching people how to treat you that are used to getting away with it.

And how’s this for a revolutionary thought; it doesn’t matter if people like you, all that matters is that they respect you and the boundaries you’ve set for yourself.

This is YOUR life. It’s no-one else’s.

As always, I’d love to hear how you got on!