Q uestion: You write in one of your
articles that “we teach people how
they treat us”. I somehow get what
it means but do not know how it
relates to my love life. I’ve been in
several relationships but all ended because I felt that I was doing all the work in the relationship with not much input from the men. What hurt me most is that the same men treated other women they were involved with the way I wanted them
to treat me only that they didn’t treat me the way they treated them. It’s not like I ask for much. I’ve always taken care of myself and don’t understand how I’m teaching men to treat me the way they have treat me. When I read where you say “we teach people how they treat us”, I wonder how
that could be in my situation since I made it
clear to the men that I wanted them to treat
me as special. Can you please explain more what “we teach people how they treat us” means?
Yangki’s Answer: First of all, you sound like a special woman to me — and should be treated as special.
It is however, true that “we teach
people how they treat us”. How
you do the teaching can
sometimes be subconscious but
often it is something that is
learned behaviour. From what I
read in your question, because
you’ve always taken care of
yourself with not much help from
others, you consciously or
subconsciously do not expect
anything from anyone. You’ve
learned that no one is going to be
there for you, except you.
When you get into a relationship,
you don’t expect the other person
to give you what you want and
right from the start of the
relationship (and without being
consciously aware of it) make it
clear (in words or actions) that
you (and only you) can and will
take care of you because you
don’t expect to be taken care of
at least not to your satisfaction.
For example, may be you don’t
share how you feel and keep
everything toyourself, or only
share what you think
the men want to hear. Or may
be you don’t ask for help and if
you do, you follow it with “It’s no
big deal. I can do it myself” etc.
I’m not saying this is what you do,
but this is an example of how “we
teach people how they treat us”.
So even if deep down inside what
you really want is for someone to
be there for you — to put you
first, to worry about you, and
make you feel special etc.
subconsciously what your energy
(and words and actions) is saying
is “I don’t expect you to be there
for me and take care of me.
But don’t worry, I can take care
of myself.” The irony is that this
“subconscious energy” often
attracts people who will not be
there for you and won’t take care
of you. And even when you do
attract someone who has the
potential, you don’t know how
to allow them to be there for you
and/or take care of you.
You don’t trust that they will or
can (at least not to your
satisfaction). So you do it all by
yourself even when that’s not
what you’d have preferred.
Some people can go living the
frustration of feeling like
“nobody cares about me” all
their lives. They go from
relationship to relationship
dissatisfied. Others turn their
frustration to trying to “force”
it out of their partners—nagging,
demanding, complaining, playing
mind games etc. but it never
ultimately brings the satisfaction
of knowing that someone wants
to be there,take care of us and
make us feel special.
It’s only when we let go some of
our beliefs, expectations and
habits that are not serving
us that something begins to
shift— an often to our pleasant
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