In high school, I had a manager at work who was rude, deceitful, and generally unpleasant toward me and other team members. It was frustrating and counterproductive.
In hindsight, I’m forced to face a startling truth… it was my fault.
While I did not force his hand, his continued behavior was a result of my compliance. Every inappropriate comment, snide remark, or crude gesture that I tolerated, I inadvertently communicated to him that it was acceptable.
We teach others how to treat us.
The same principle holds true throughout life. Regardless of the words that come from your mouth, the behaviors you allow from others set the tone.
Your boss sends you 11pm email when you’re with family. If you respond, you reinforce that behavior.
A coworker shows up 15 minutes late to a meeting. If you’re still in the room when they arrive, a precedent has been set.
A customer demands a a discount. If you comply, expect more of the same.
In the end, repeat abuses are not their fault, they’re ours.
We teach others how to treat us… teach them well.