Recently, I met a young woman who works for one of the largest supermarkets in the US. She was unhappy with conditions at work. She felt her boss took her co-workers’ concerns more seriously than hers. Yet, the boss knew she was more competent and hardworking than the others.

After listening to her, I said, “Your boss treats you that way because he has studied you. He knows you’re more accommodating than the others, and he’s taking advantage of it. If you want to be treated differently, let him see your uncompromising side.”

In life, how people treat you is based on how you carry yourself and what you’re willing to tolerate. If you project weakness, they’ll take advantage of you. If you act like a clown, you’ll get a clown’s treatment. Therefore, it’s important to send the right signals about yourself. This is particularly relevant at the workplace and in personal relationships.

At the workplace, your employer won’t give you a raise out of the goodness of his heart. If you think you deserve a raise, you must speak for yourself. And make sure your performance is your strongest advocate. Also, your co-workers are your competitors. If you let them, they can step on you to further their careers. It’s important to project confidence. At the same time, do not let anyone take you for a fool. You deserve better.

In personal relationships, you deserve to be treated with respect. Make it clear that this is what you deserve, and you won’t settle for less. Similarly, in a marriage or romantic relationship, you deserve to be happy. Some people put their relationship first and their happiness second. That’s a mistake. You don’t have to suffer. You deserve better. If you must choose between being in a relationship and being happy, choosing the latter is a wiser course of action.

When dealing with people, sometimes, you need to force the issue. Don’t wait for others to treat you better. Make them know you deserve better. Take a bold step that reminds them you won’t settle for less happiness, less love, or less appreciation.

So long as people know they can treat you badly and get away with it, they’re in no hurry to treat you differently. Among the Ashantis, there’s a saying, “If people hurt you and you feel no pain, they won’t stop hurting you.”

If you want people to treat you better, you must send the right signals. When they mess with you the first time, make them regret it. The next time they’re tempted to step on you, they’ll think twice.

A final note:

Everything you expect from others, give it to yourself first. If you expect to be respected, let others see that you respect yourself. If you want others to love you, let them know you love yourself. If you want others to be kind to you, be kind to yourself. You get the point. Don’t expect from others what you’re unwilling to give to yourself.

You deserve better, so start by treating yourself better.

In love & light



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