Have you ever heard the phrase "you teach people how to treat you?" It's a common idea that many people believe to be true. The theory is that if you allow people to treat you poorly, they will continue to do so because you have taught them that it's okay.
But here's the thing: this idea is a trap. It can keep you stuck in toxic relationships for far too long, and it can cause you to take responsibility for other people's behavior.
The truth is that you cannot teach people how to treat you. You can set boundaries and communicate your needs, but ultimately, it's up to the other person to decide how they will treat you.
I fell into this trap myself. I had toxic siblings who treated me poorly, and I believed that if I could just teach them how to treat me with respect, everything would be okay. But the more I tried to teach them, the worse things got.
I realized that I was taking responsibility for their behavior. I was blaming myself for not being able to teach them how to be kind and respectful. But the truth is that it wasn't my responsibility to teach them. They were adults, and they were responsible for their own behavior.
When I finally let go of the idea that I could teach them how to treat me, things started to shift. I set boundaries and communicated my needs, but I didn't try to teach them anything. I simply observed how they treated me and decided whether or not I wanted to continue the relationship.
This is the key: observe how people treat you and allow that to teach you whether or not they are healthy and can stay in your life. If someone consistently treats you poorly, it's time to reevaluate the relationship.
Setting boundaries is important, but it's not the same as teaching people how to behave. Your boundaries are for you, and they let others know what you will and will not tolerate. But you cannot control how others will behave, and you cannot force them to treat you with respect.
The trap of teaching people how to treat you can also lead to a never-ending cycle of trying to teach someone a different way to behave. You may think that if you just find the right words or the right approach, the other person will finally understand and change their behavior. But in reality, this rarely works.
People change when they are ready to change. It's not up to you to force them to change, and it's not your responsibility to teach them how to behave. The only thing you can control is how you respond to their behavior.
If you find yourself in a toxic relationship, it's important to remember that you cannot teach the other person how to treat you. You can set boundaries and communicate your needs, but ultimately, it's up to the other person to decide how they will behave.
The trap of teaching people how to treat you is a common one, but it's important to recognize it and avoid it. Instead, focus on observing how people treat you and making decisions based on that. It's not your responsibility to teach anyone how to behave, but it is your responsibility to take care of yourself and make decisions that are in your best interest.
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