How You Treat Yourself is How Others Will Treat You

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Remember when you were little and learned about the Golden Rule? Treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s simple enough, and many of us live our lives in this way.

But what we don’t always think about is how the Golden Rule applies to ourselves. We spend so much time focusing on relationships with our significant others, family, friends, and the world at large, that we often forget one of the most important relationships in our lives: the one we have with ourselves.

You have a relationship with yourself whether you realize it or not. The way you think and behave, the thoughts that run through your head, and the stories you tell yourself about who you are and how the world works are all pieces of this relationship. The way you engage in this relationship with the self and how you treat yourself is a strong indicator of how others will treat you, too.

Let me give you an example. I have a friend who consistently dates men that don’t meet her expectations. She starts the relationship full of hope and optimism, only to later realize that she feels unfulfilled and disappointed. The common thread between all of these relationships? HER - and the limiting beliefs/fears she carries around from her past.

She admits that every time a relationship fails, she uses it as evidence to support the belief that she’s incapable of being happy with someone else, that she’ll never find “the one,” and that there’s something wrong with her. She mentally beats herself up anytime anything goes wrong with someone else, even though there’s no way she could ever control the other person’s actions or behaviors. She uses this as outside proof to support the limiting belief that she needs to be in a relationship in order to feel worthy, and that she’s somehow “not good enough” to make it work with anyone else.

If she could focus on improving her relationship with herself instead of beating herself up anytime something went wrong, she would likely find an entirely new perspective when it comes to dating other people. She’d be able to shift from needy, desperate, and controlling beliefs and behaviors to more positive, empowering, and authentic displays of who she truly is and what she wants out of a relationship. She’d be operating from a place of confidence, self-trust, and self-assurance, which would help her attract more of the same into her life and her relationships. She would be rewriting her beliefs to support what she wants instead of tearing her down and keeping her stuck.

How do you want to be treated?

Take a moment to think about how you want to be treated in your relationships, whether it be with your significant other, your family, your coworkers or your friends. How do these people treat you now, and what do you want to see change in these behaviors?

Your beliefs and stories about yourself and the way you are actually attract these types of people into your life. Relationships are like mirrors - they give us an opportunity to see the deepest and purest parts of ourselves, both good and bad. The people who treat you the way you want to be treated are mirrors showing you how you treat yourself well. The ones who treat you poorly are mirrors showing you how you treat yourself poorly.

You can use these relationships as an opportunity to see how you aren’t treating yourself the way you deserve to be, and discover ways to give yourself what you’re craving, even without another person involved. For example, if you’re craving to feel more intimate with your significant other, that could be an invitation to create more intimacy with yourself first. If you’re looking for your friends to spend more quality time with you, maybe it’s an opportunity for you to carve out more quality time
with yourself.

The Universe will create external manifestations of your internal feelings. So if your internal feelings about yourself are negative and limiting, then you will continue to attract negative and limiting people, situations, and experiences into your life. But if you can start within and reframe your feelings about yourself to become more positive, compassionate, and loving, then guess what? The Universe will deliver more positive, compassionate, and loving people,
situations and experiences to you.

Journaling prompts to consider:

  • What do you see when you look in the mirror?
  • What thoughts do you have about yourself on a regular basis?
  • How do you treat yourself when something goes well?
  • How do you treat yourself when something goes wrong?
  • What do you allow yourself to do, say, have, and be?
  • How do you limit yourself?
  • How do you push yourself?
  • How do you stand up for yourself in times of chaos?
  • How do you get back up when life pushes you down?

When we have internal shifts, they show up rapidly in our external worlds. Become more conscious of how you are treating yourself & what you can do to shift the story to become more empowering, compassionate, and loving toward yourself, knowing that this will ultimately spread to how you relate with others, too. Like attracts like, after all, so start with loving yourself from the inside out and watch as the world responds in big ways.