Thursday, March 1, 2012

We Teach Others How to Treat Us

Everyone who has ever spent an hour in therapy, read a self help book, or had the luxury of having a best friend who's a therapist has heard that line. 'We teach others how to treat us.' - but in practice what does it really mean?

Here's my Caution Curves Ahead perspective on what it means to be the driver in your own relationships, friendships, body and career. We can't control how people behave, but we are entirely in charge of teaching everyone what's acceptable to us - and like any lesson, if it's reiterated - it will eventually be learned.

Now this begins with how you treat yourself. When I started this whole grad school adventure, a mentor of mine noted that I was seeking 'legitimacy' as a media expert. What was it about that word? Why did I need to be legitimate to others? Was I legitimate to myself? The answer was "No". I didn't actually believe that I had the experience, know how, or savvy to do the job I wanted. Instead I'd spent years trying to convince myself that I could be good 'if'. Lord was I wrong! I actually do have everything I need. I've always had it. Wanna know a secret .... you probably have everything you need to achieve whatever you want as well.

Others will take you seriously, 
when you take yourself seriously.

Same goes for how we perceive our physical self. If you are sure that you are stuck not being healthy, always battling your weight, not an athlete - whatever - guess what!?!?! You will always battle your weight, not be an athlete, and health will elude you. You teach yourself how to treat yourself - and your body will react. With 6 marathon medals on my wall, 4 half marathons and about a thousand hiked miles logged, and the ability to walk a 12.5 mile - I'm an athlete - good enough for me. So what have you accomplished?

Look at those curves you have rounded and remember, 
you are what you think you are.

Lastly, let's get a bit into relationships. I was in the middle of a lot of not-so-awesome stuff with people I cared for and ultimately who cared for me. I kept making the same mistakes with friends, men, colleagues and even family. (Sorry Mom & Dad) These people were only treating me how I allowed them to treat me. Like a lot of us, I was allowing the mean, the bad, the drama, the mad to take hold. Turns out - if you set limits, create boundaries, and boot the people who don't respect em - you will be a whole lot better off. If someone treats you poorly or makes you feel crappy - tell em. They might change. Be specific. OR You might just not be a match for that person. That's cool tool 

If someone treats you poorly doesn't care 
and isn't willing to change Unfriend em!

A very dear friend of mine who has gone through a pretty harsh breakup these last few months asked me to swing by on Sunday after my morning hike before studying and Oscar watching. She sat me down and said,

"I need you to know that I have learned a lot from you about setting boundaries and taking care of yourself. Getting through these last few months would have been a lot harder if I didn't know what you've gone through."

A year ago, nobody would have said I was a role model for taking care of myself. Nobody would have said I knew how to set boundaries and create the types of relationships and opportunities I deserved. But after a year, a lot of hard work, and a lot of reflection - turns out I can. Wherever you are today, you can be somewhere else a year from now.

I'm pretty sure that whatever is challenging you, whatever the curvy road ahead is - you can create a pretty good map on how to get there.

We teach others how to treat us, 
and it starts with deciding how we treat ourselves. 

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

A Power Blonde Gets Camera Ready - 1 Min - 5 Minute Makeover Not much more too it than that! Here's how I go from just a wee bit mid workday drab, to super camera cute for appearances like the ones on Huff Post Live! It's a five minute job if you start with the right tools. I'm a Laura Mercier and Nars kinda girl!