I can’t think of anyone that doesn’t want to be treated well.   Of course, I don’t know all the billions of people in the world so I’m not the best judge of all the possibilities in the world, but in general, the people I interact with nationally and internationally all express a desire to be treated with respect, with dignity, and at a minimum not to be deterred from going about their daily activities by any form of manipulation physical/emotional/spiritual/mental.  Unfortunately there’s a great disparity between what we want and what we accept in our lives on any given day.

There have been people in my life who really inspire me in this respect.  When people came into their life or began acting towards them in a way that wasn’t respectful, they questioned, they set boundaries in short order, and if that didn’t resolve the problem they acted to remove the person from their lives or minimize their interactions with them.  They didn’t bewail fate that people (bosses, friends, coworkers, associates) didn’t treat them the way they desired to be treated or argue about whether or not they deserved to be treated that way.  They were clear eyed, fair, clearly communicated their boundaries around the matter, some points of which were negotiable, most weren’t, and then acted as necessary around the matter.  They are all good people, generous and honest, and good friends to have.  Which really highlights when other people including myself aren’t doing the same.

I have clients that are afraid to set boundaries for themselves because it will upset and possibly drive off the people in their lives.  The people who aren’t treating them well.  The people taking up space in their lives which could be open to new people who would treat them well. I point out to them that this is like going into the refrigerator, seeing that all the food is expired and rotting, that there’s even a smell going on, but refusing to clean it out because there might not be any new food to put in.  Of course there is.  There’s plenty of food around unless you’re living in a region which is suffering famine or war or sanctions, in which case you have more important things to worry about.  Clean out the fridge.  Get rid of what is no longer good for you.  Make space for what is.  And then keep your fridge loaded with good food and keep removing what expires or goes bad.

It’s a cycle, it happens.  It’s how we deal with it that determines the quality of our lives.