RELATIONSHIPS: Things I Learnt The HARD Way : People Treat You As You Demand


Hey Lovelies,

As some of you may know from previous posts, I’ve been going through a little bit of a self-discovery journey especially of late.  Being able to share that journey with all of you, and learn from you as I go, has been extremely enriching thus far and I’m so incredibly grateful for that.  In that spirit, I am starting a 5 part series centered on the 5 biggest lessons I have learnt through good-old experience.  Most of them are things I’d being told about before, but sometimes you just need life to thump something int

o your head before it truly registers.  Hope this is in some way educational or inspiring to some of you out there.  As always, I’d love to hear your stories and reactions in the comment section below.


A lack of boundaries invites a lack of respect

This is a lesson that for whatever reason, I have learnt and forgotten too many times.  I’m a self-proclaimed people pleaser.  I love being on people’s good side and doing small favors to brighten their day.  And on the surface that seems like an admirable quality.  And on it’s own it IS one of my most cherished qualities.  But when you couple people pleasing with a great aversion to confrontation, a problem arises: at least it did in my case.  I would find myself in so many situations where I noticed people taking advantage of me, and was flabbergasted that they could be so brazen in what I saw as a clear lack of respect.  And this didn’t just happen with my friends and colleagues; this happened in my romantic relationships as well.  I found my significant other talking to me disrespectfully, or not making any time for me, or completely disregarding my feelings.  And for years, I blamed it on them.  It was THEIR bad behavior. I mean what kind of person treats someone that way, right? 

Well, the kind of person who is ALLOWED to treat someone that way.  It is FINALLY dawning on me (for real this time) that it is MY job to establish boundaries with people, not theirs.  Yes, people come into any interaction with their OWN established expectations of how someone SHOULD be treated, but when they cross the line and aren’t reprimanded, they assume that that line isn’t a line for YOU.  And so they may, and probably will, continue crossing their lines until they find YOUR line.  And at that point, if you are anything like me and hate confrontation, they may have already crossed DOZENS of your lines while you suffered and seethed in silence. 
And the thing is, letting your boundaries be known is not only extremely empowering, but it is also extremely kindhearted.  Because the truth is that most people really DO want to treat you well; they just need guidance on how to do that.  Instead of leaving them constantly questioning what is and is not appropriate to you: and thereby greatly increasing the chances that they WILL cross your boundaries, no matter how hard they try not to, do them the favor of making your boundaries clearly known.  I have found that most people are quite happy to get in line.  And for those who aren’t, well, they really are just disrespectful and don’t deserve your time and effort. 
Now, is stating your boundaries super easy?  For some, yes (lucky bastards), for me, DEFINITELY NOT!  Standing up to people has, and continues to be, one of my greatest challenges.  I think a big part of my fear of confrontation comes from the fear of abandonment.  If you tell people they have to treat you better, they might decide you’re not worth it and leave.  I guess I’m continually learning that as painful as that may be, if they aren’t willing to change for you, you should WANT them to leave.  And the reward that courage, is that you are left with a lot more free energy and time to put into a more positive and uplifting relationship.

So next time someone expects you to pick up their tab, or calls you an expletive you hate, or backs out of yet another planned meeting, let them know, in the most respectful but straightforward way, that they have two options; SHAPE UP or SHIP OUT.  Because they truth of the matter, is that there will always be at least ten other way-more-positive-and-supportive people willing to take their spot in your life.  Because in all honesty, you really are that COOL!  Believe that! 

Sometimes you have to forget how you feel and remember what you deserve.
Until Next Time,
Your Self-Loving Blogger

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  1. I'm a people pleaser too, and tend to let things slide rather than deal with confrontation. I love the quote at the end "forget how you feel and remember what you deserve".

  2. Thanks Melissa for this eyeopening post, yes some people take you for granted.stand up and move ahead.

  3. Me to a T..........I always think of others and forget me; that's how I get taken advantage of! Good post for me to read!

  4. THE MOST AWESOME ARTICLE on self awareness! Totally loved your views. Shared it and gonna print it for my personal diary, as am the same :)

  5. This is a great post - some really great ideas. I'm a people pleaser so it's easy for me to get caught in this. Boundaries are definitely important, as I'm learning :)

  6. Some great ideas here on how to live a life for you and you only. It is hard not to want to say yes to everyone but it can be draining. Great advice to live by!

  7. This resonates deeply with me today! Thank you for writing these words. What we allow will continue, it's so important to make sure we demand what we deserve!