Do you know that we train people how to treat us by the way we treat ourselves?
- If you are a caretaker — a people-pleaser, giving yourself up, and complying with what your partner wants — the message you are giving your partner is that what you want and need isn’t important. Every time you ignore your own feelings and needs, you are training your partner to ignore your feelings and needs.
- If you have sex when you don’t want to, you are training your partner that it’s okay to use you.
- If you get angry at your partner rather than staying open to learning and understanding, you are training your partner to withhold information from you or even to lie to you to avoid your anger.
- If you sit and listen to your partner complain and dump on you, you are training your partner that it’s okay to keep complaining and dumping on you.
- If you are needy, abandoning yourself, and making your partner responsible for your sense of self, you are training your partner to resist and ignore you.
- If you let yourself go, physically, you are training your partner to disrespect your body.
On the other hand:
- If you treat yourself with love, compassionately attending to your feelings and needs, and deeply valuing yourself, you are training your partner to care about your feelings and needs and to value who you are.
- If you speak up, telling your truth without blame or judgment, you are training your partner to respect you.
- If you stay open to learning and understanding, even in challenging situations, you are training your partner to speak their truth to you.
- If you take loving care of your body, you are training your partner to respect your body.
- If you say “yes” when you mean “yes” and “no” when you mean “no”, you are training your partner to honor your choices and your boundaries
How to get what you need in a relationship isn’t about trying to control your partner. In fact, anything you do to try to control your partner is an abandonment of yourself, and will likely be reflected back to you in being rejected by your partner.
We all have ‘mirror neurons’ in our brain, so how we treat ourselves is often reflected back to us by how others treat us.
It’s about loving yourself.
Getting what you want and need from your partner starts with giving yourself what you want and need. It starts with learning to love yourself. It’s about learning to define your own worth so that you are not dependent on your partner to feel worthy.
It’s about learning to stay connected with your feelings so that you can take responsibility for them, rather than making your partner responsible and then feeling like a victim when he or she is rejecting of you. It’s about learning to connect with your source of love — your higher power — so that you have love to share with your partner rather than trying to get love.
So the key to getting what you want and need from your partner is to learn how to love yourself and fill yourself with love so that you have love to share.
As long as your intent is to get love rather than share love, you are training your partner to reject you the way you are rejecting and abandoning yourself.
The more you learn to love and deeply value yourself, the more you will feel loved and deeply valued by your partner. The secret to getting what you want and need from your relationship is to treat yourself the way you want to be treated!
Originally published on YourTango by Margaret Paul.
Photo by Justin Follis on Unsplash