As I was washing up the breakfast dishes I overheard my two younger sons (my twins) talking about a classmate. I noticed that what they were saying about him wasn’t very nice so I interrupted them and asked why they were being so mean and what this boy had ever done to them to make them not like him. Simultaneously they both looked at me, almost laughing, and explained to me that this boy was a friend of theirs, they did like him, and that it was OK to talk about him that way because he talks about himself that way all the time. Needless to say, my boys and I had a long conversation about insecurities, desires to make friends and/or fit in, the difference between being laughed with and laughed at, etc… and then it was time to start our day.
Later that morning as I was driving, it dawned on me, we really do teach other how to treat us. Even as a young child, this 5th grade boy was teaching his classmates that making fun of his weight, clumsiness, etc.. was acceptable. So then what? If this boys “claim to fame” was these jokes, what incentive was there for him to improve in these areas? But that’s a whole separate post, for purposes of today, think about how you treat yourself. Be aware of how you are telling your friends, family, co-workers, etc that it is OK to treat you, how you expect to be treated. Don’t be surprised if, for example, your child doesn’t always show you the most respect or appreciation if s/he doesn’t see you showing it to yourself. Be kind to yourself, treat yourself the way you want others to treat you, because, chances are, they will. The best time to start a change is now 🙂