Just because someone treats you badly doesn't mean you deserve it

There is one concept in life that, throughout my 27 years, I still cannot seem to grasp — that many people treat others badly who don't deserve it.

So, in my brain, whenever anyone treats me badly, talks down to me, makes fun of me, etc., my automatic reaction isn't what it should be. My reaction should be, "What the hell is wrong with them???!" Instead, my reaction is always, "What's wrong with me?" Instead of thinking, "Wow, I deserve better than this," I think, "Maybe if I act a certain way or maybe if I apologize, this person will stop."

But, in reality, by accepting bad treatment, I have encouraged these people to keep treating me badly. After all, if I react kindly to someone else's unkind words, why would they have any reason to stop?

So how can you stop being treated like a doormat?

The most important thing is to stop believing you deserve to be treated like this. When you lessen your own value, you let others devalue you as well. This is something I need to remind myself of everyday — I deserve to be treated with respect. But telling myself this and actually believing it is easier said than done.

Here's some tips on how to recognize your value and realize you deserve to be treated better:
  • Give yourself credit for your achievements.
  • Stop being such a people pleaser. Taking time to be generous with yourself is NOT selfish. 
  • Be confident in yourself and your own feelings. If you have a bad feeling about someone and think you aren't being treated like you should, trust that feeling. Your instincts are more reliable than you may think. 
  • Talk to others about what's going on. Sometimes when you're isolated with the person who is treating you badly, it's easy to believe everything he or she is saying because you have no outside opinion. Time and time again, my friends are the ones who have made me see the light when they've told me, "Seriously?! He/she did WHAT?! You don't deserve to be treated that way at all!" And chances are your friends will have a story about when they were treated less than they deserve. Because, yeah, it does happen to everyone. 
  • Lifehack.org gives this advice  "RAISE YOUR EXPECTATIONS!" After a certain number of times of being treated badly, you may start to expect people to treat you badly. Stop expecting it! According to the website, "If you’re going to have any expectations about how things should go, base them on what you’d love to see happen, not what you wish wasn’t happening." 
  • If you keep getting treated like a doormat, then you need to stop contact with this person. According to Lifehack.org, "Life is way too short to have your experience of it and your self-esteem damaged by someone else, and sometimes you need to make a brave choice. If you need to, be willing to remove yourself from the situation or relationship and start building the kind of life you’d love to live."

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