People Always Remember the Way You Treat Them
By Bernadette A. Moyer
I’ve heard it said, “People may not remember your name but they will always remember how you treated them and how you made them feel.” I believe this statement to be true.
When we are treated well by other people whether it is our family, our friends or our work associates and others, we remember that and feel good about ourselves and about being around those people. The opposite is true as well; when we treat others poorly we will be remembered for that too.
The golden rule states; “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Matthew 7:12) Simply put, treat others as you would have them treat you, it seems so simple and yet many people treat others badly and wonder why they are not wanted or included in their life.
Our son called us one night when someone from his past just showed up at his job and wanted to see him and talk to him. He warned me about this person years ago and I didn’t want to believe him. I thought better of her. According to him, she tormented him for years, spread rumors about him and never lifted him up. Then months later again he called to tell me she was stalking him again. He finally went to security and they told him her actions were “on the job harassment” and “stalking” they advised him to take legal action.
When he tried to get away from her she berated him with comments like, “is that how a 20 year old acts and look at your little mall job” and inferred that he was a loser and her path was better. Her behaviors were exactly how he remembered her, tearing him down and bragging about her own accomplishments. Stepping on him to try and lift her up. He says, “She made me feel bad the entire time that I knew her.”
You can tell so much about a person by how they handle a break up. A friend has recently broken off her engagement and now the other party is acting out in all kinds of destructive ways. Some of it is pointed at my friend and meant to make her feel bad.
A few years ago I had another friend of almost three decades encourage our teen daughter to lie to me, and to be “mysterious” this former friend wouldn’t like it if I did the same thing to her. It’s astonishing how people treat others in a way that they themselves would never want to be treated. How they can’t see themselves. Then too what they do and say to justify their own poor behaviors, rather than own what they did.
You can lift people up or you can tear them down but when you choose to tear them down you can’t be surprised when they want nothing to do with you. We are supposed to love and/or to learn from every single relationship that we have with other people. The Buddhist belief is “every single person in our life is either a lover or a teacher.”
There was a time when I worked with a teenage girl who was dating and sexually active at just 15, I couldn’t believe what I witnessed, at least three times that I knew of she had a boyfriend that she was intimately involved with and simultaneously sleeping with his best friend behind his back. This same teenager showed outrage when she was betrayed? Now a fully matured adult, she has continued this same behavior.
Sometimes it is not until it is our own experience that we see what someone else may have witnessed all along. I have learned it is best to wait until people have their own experience rather than to try and warn them about what I experienced.
As mothers, we know not to drink, do drugs or smoke during pregnancy, and we can’t be surprised when women do this and have babies born with disabilities. Simply put, why would any mother treat a baby in utero in such an unloving and uncaring way? Would they want the same things done to them?
There is always a loving way and a responsible way to respond in life and when in doubt a simple question of, “how would I want to be treated?” should help with the right answer.
When we lie and cheat and deceive people we know that these are actions we wouldn’t want done to us. It is easy to forgive someone when they are sorry and when these ill behaviors do not continue. However when we treat people poorly when we do things to them that we would never want done to ourselves, and we continue with these poor behaviors, we can’t act like we are surprised when they want nothing to do with us.
The golden rule is always applicable and one that I do my best to live by, treat others the way that you would want to be treated. It’s actually pretty simple and tried and true, and when we do this people will want us in their life. People always remember how you made them feel. Make them feel good and you will be most welcome.
Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer