How Are You Teaching People to Treat You? 5 Steps to Help You Get It Right

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Jun 19, 2013 | Updated Aug 19, 2013

Sophia A. Nelson Award Winning Journalist & Author. Corporate/Personal Development Trainer, Cultural & Political Columnist for The Daily Beast/Women In The World, CNN, TheRoot & USATODAY

We've all heard the famous Maya Angelou quote, "Believe people the first time that they show you who they are." It is probably one of the most profound pieces of wisdom ever to be uttered by a human being on how we should pay attention to what people tell us about themselves without uttering a single word.

But what about what "we" are showing people about ourselves?

What is your energy telling people about you?

What is your attitude saying about you and how you view life?

What is your self-care or lack thereof telling people about how you treat yourself and from that how they should treat you?

The Law of Attraction (which is a body of work made famous by author Rhonda Byrne through her international best-seller The Secret ) is the name given to the belief that "like attracts like" and that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, one can bring about positive or negative results. It also applies to the "who" we have around us. If you have a lot of negative, unhealthy, broken people around you, it's time for you to look at you. As hard as that pill can be to swallow, we do ourselves a great disservice when we refuse to examine what we are doing to "attract" these kinds of people into our most sacred spaces.

I have really been wrestling with this subject and the above questions over the past few weeks and months. I have had to take a step back and ask myself some hard questions about how I am teaching people in my family, my business dealings, my friendships, and even in my romantic relationship to treat and value me. These are the questions we never want to ask, because we fear the answer may require us to change our habits or step out of our comfort zones, but in reality if we can focus on SELF and what we are doing, we will always find the answers and the healing that we seek to what ails us relationally.

Let me say this. If you find yourself unhappy with how you are being treated, if you feel you are always being taken for granted, used, misused, or even abused by some of the people in your life, it's time for you to do a self-check. I did one, and I discovered that I have amazingly positive, wonderful, loving, supportive good people in my life. They have been with me for years, decades, some all of my life. They are 100 percent in my corner. They challenge me, chasten me, correct me, adore me, build me, give to me, and they are loyal to me as I am them. Our relationships thrive and soar because we are the same. Do not miss this. We are alike. So we don't fuss, fight, or have drama because we operate by a similar code of integrity, temperament, and relationship.

I found that lately I have been having some major friction, unhealthy alliances and not so good partings particularly with other women who (a.) I did not know very well, but tried to work, support and collaborate with far too quickly (b.) are overly aggressive, kinda mean girls, (even abrasive with glee) alpha chicks (c.) do not share my value system, my faith system, my CODE of conduct system. This is so important for all of us to grasp. Like truly does attract like. Opposites repel one another. "Likes," as my Nana used to say, "last." I realized that I value myself, I honor myself, I am strong, successful, kind, good, loving and caring because that is who I have in my inner circle, that is who I have attracted into my life. Look at your row -- it will tell you all you need to know.

Here are five things that I suggest you do in order to attract the kind of positive people, places, and things you want in your life that will absolutely minimize "drama" in your life.

1. You teach people how to treat you with how

you treat you. Period. If you don't have healthy boundaries, if you don't rest, if you don't take care of yourself, people pick-up on this and they will take advantage of you. You have to let people know that you honor yourself and that if they come in your space causing lots of rancor or seek to drain you, you will "cut" them off quickly.

2. Understand your life CODE. What matters to you? Loyalty, integrity, reciprocity. Whatever it is find it in other people. Attract like-minded people who share your code. If you fool around with people who do not value what you value, I promise you your life will be hell trying to work with, befriend or love them.

3. How do you resolve conflict. This is critical -- you must surround yourself with people again who have a similar code. I like to TALK things out. I think it is essential to talk before you walk. No matter how uncomfortable, or challenging, at some point mature adults have to talk about their differences and seek to resolve them peaceably in ways that make us better, wiser people. I detest (and I mean detest) people who do wrong things and cannot own their mistakes, apologize and grow up. I do not suffer people lightly who cause drama, then exit out, leaving others to clean up their mess or to have other left holding the emotional baggage of the wounds they have caused. Find out how people resolve conflicts before you get attached to them or in business dealings with them.

4.Surround yourself with people who speak your "love language". This is huge. I have members of my family and some friends who just do not get me. period. I am a gift giver, card writing, letter writing, expressive person. And I will give the gift of my time, network, and access pretty freely. I likewise, value those things being poured back into me. I don't do well in love, or friendship with people who are not similarly expressive with their feelings or love. I need to hear it, see it, feel it. The relationships I have that thrive make me feel secure, valued and they speak my language. It is reflex for my inner circle to support me, and love me because again, they are like me.

5. How important is your faith in how you treat others. Another huge thing that I value is my faith. I am a devout Christian. Do I have some issues? You bet I do. I can be short-tempered. I can have a potty mouth that I am working on, but beyond that I am pretty easy going, very kindhearted, I give to a fault, and it is my love of God that drives the woman I try to be every day. I live transparently and authentically. My faith is my life CODE. It matters how we treat people, and how we allow them to treat us. If you are a Christian, if your faith and its core commandments are how you run your life, you need to be with people of a like mind and character. I value honesty and integrity. If someone lies to me or deceives me that is a deal-breaker. That is character. That is not who I am.

In the final analysis, we teach people what we will tolerate from them. I have been putting up with a whole lot of mess lately because I have been trying to befriend, hang with, do business with people who do not share my life CODE, my ethics, my heart, or speak my love language. The issue is me, not them. When I was able to get honest with myself about this, I began to heal from some of the horrible bruises and black eyes I have endured over the past 15 months or so. Get quiet with yourself and ask yourself how are you teaching people to treat you. Trust me, you are the common denominator when anything negative seems to become a pattern in your life. Check you first and all the answers you seek on how to change it for the better, are right there inside of you.

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