Sometimes people treat us unfairly, and it is really painful. This post is about four things I do when that happens.
When People Treat Us Unfairly
When people treat us unfairly, we often feel like they are treating us as less than human or as a less important than other people. This kind of treatment can cause us to doubt our worth and value as a person.
We cannot control people’s behavior when they treat us unfairly. However, we can learn how to respond to unfair treatment in a way that extends compassion to our self. We can also learn to strengthen our heart against the pain this kind of treatment can bring.
Here are four things you can do when people treat you unfairly:
First, recognize that you are only required to do your best.
People often have unrealistic expectations for us. When we fail to live up to these expectations, they subject us to anger, shaming, and manipulation.
We do not need to meet every or even any expectations that people have for us. Our purpose in life is not to be what other people think we should be. It is to be our self in the most loving way possible.
We do this when we try to be our best self and treat our self and one another with dignity.
Be Your Best Self with Dignity
Acting like our best self with dignity means that we do our best while allowing ourselves to be human. Doing our best means that we look at a situation, and we try to figure out what a good and moral response to that situation is. Then we act in that good and moral way as best as we know how to.
We do not require perfection of ourselves or others. And we forgive ourselves and others for normal, human mistakes that we all make.
The next time you feel like someone is treating you unfairly because they have unrealistic expectations for you, here is something you can say to yourself:
My job is not to meet other people’s expectations, and other people’s job is not to meet my expectations. Our job is to be our best self with dignity.
Second, recognize that you always deserve to be treated with basic respect and dignity, and it is okay for you to stick up for yourself.
Every human being is valuable as an end in themselves. And every human being has the ability to make wise, moral, and compassionate choices. We also have the ability to develop goals, dreams, and plans for making the world a better place.
This ability is present in the Wise Self that everyone possesses. (You can read more about the Wise Self here.)
Everyone has the ability to develop this self and to be responsible and independent in a moral way. This is our calling as human beings.
Treat Others with Dignity
We treat people with dignity and respect when we encourage and support them in their moral projects. And we do so when we treat them with kindness and compassion.
In addition, we honor people when we recognize that they have a right to live their own life and make their own decisions. People must be able to make mistakes and try to carry out their life purpose as best as they know how to do so.
When People Treat Us Unfairly
People treat us unfairly when they treat us as though our purpose is merely to carry out their goals and plans. We always have a right to stand up to this behavior. We may do this by walking away from the person or by saying, “You may not treat me that way” and then pointing out the bad behavior.
The next time someone ignores your responsibility to direct your own life and tries to manipulate you or push their agenda on you, here is something you can say to yourself:
Everyone deserves to be treated with basic respect and dignity. I will treat people with respect and dignity, and I have the right to stand up to people who treat me badly by telling them to stop or by walking away.
Third, realize that you have the right to stop giving real estate in your life to people who mistreat it.
We all have life real estate. Our life real estate is our time and our emotional investment. We do not have to continue to give our life real estate to people who mistreat it.
If people treat us unfairly, we may try to help them see how they are treating us. However, sometimes even when we explain this to people, they continue to misuse the real estate we have given them because of their own poor life values or mistaken thinking.
No one automatically deserves real estate in your life.
In fact, the real estate of your life is precious because it directly affects how you develop and grow as a person. If someone is mistreating the real estate you have given them, it is time give that real estate to someone else who will treat it well.
Here is something you can say to yourself the next time you feel like someone is mistreating the real estate you have given them:
I only give the real estate of my life to people who treat it well and help me grow as a person. I also treat well the real estate that other people give me. If people mistreat the real estate I give them, I will give it to someone else.
Fourth, realize that while there are some people who will treat you unfairly, there are all sorts of people ready to treat you with kindness, compassion, and respect.
One of the painful parts of life is that there are people whom we love and care about who, for one reason or another, treat us unfairly. Often, we spend a lot of time and energy trying to get them to treat us well.
Although it is painful when people you care about treat you this way, there are all sorts of people in the world who want to treat you with kindness, compassion, and respect.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to minimize time around people who treat you unfairly and to seek out the kind of people who will treat you with kindness, compassion, and respect. These are the relationships that are going to help you flourish.
Find People Who Help You Flourish
The best way to find people like this is first to treat yourself with kindness, compassion, and respect. You can do this by following steps one through three above. When you treat yourself in this manner, you are going to build up a positive emotional storehouse that will naturally start overflowing into the world.
This is overflow is like a light that good people can see, and you will find each other.
Mindsets like kindness, compassion, and respect are joining mindsets. People with these mindsets love to join with like-minded people because kindness, compassion, and love are social mindsets that are practiced with and towards other people.
So if you begin developing these mindsets, you will soon find yourself surrounded with people who have these mindsets and who treat you lovingly.
That is a great place to be in.
The next time you feel like people are treating you unfairly, here is something you can say to yourself:
I treat myself with kindness, compassion, and love, and this draws more loving people into my life on a daily basis.
Friend, I am really sorry if people have been treating you unfairly. No one ever deserves to be treated that way. You can’t control how people treat you, but you can control how you respond and the time and space in life you give such people. You deserve love, and love is looking for you.
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