We do it all the time. We want others to treat us well, but we become partial, arrogant, and unsympathetic when it comes to treating others. Sadly, it’s a sign of narcissistic behavior. If you want others to treat you well, treat others how you want to be treated.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Should you always treat everyone the same? What if the circumstances are different? Keep reading to find answers to all these questions.
How to Treat Others How You Want to be Treated?
We’ll come to conditional behaviors and exceptions in the next section. For now, let’s discuss some steps you can take to treat others how you want to be treated.
Let’s delve in.
Do Things to Others that You Want them to Do to You
Let’s simplify this complex concept. Suppose you need a colleague’s help with a project at work. You ask them for help, and they rudely refused. You feel terrible about it. But then you remember that the same person asked you for help last week, and you also refused rudely.
Get the point? You’ll need to do good things for someone if you want someone to do good things to you. If you want someone to help you, you’ll need to help them. If you expect someone to cover for you at work, you’ll need to cover for them.
Speak to Others the Way You Want to be Spoken to
This one’s simple. You should talk to others in a way you want them to speak to you. Did a person greet you politely, but you responded with a crude remark? Then how can you expect to get a good response if you greet someone? Talk to people politely and positively if you expect them to do the same.
Feel About Others the Way You Want Them to Feel About You
This one is also self-explanatory. You should feel about someone the way you want them to think of you. Ask yourself this. How do you think about people around you? Do you have care and empathy for them? Or do you just want to care about yourself? If you’re the latter, you shouldn’t expect anyone else to care about you.
Respecting the Unrespectable: How and Why?
Here’s where things get a bit tricky. We established that you should treat others how you want to be treated. But what if someone doesn’t deserve good treatment?
It’s a difficult situation to be in, so let’s simplify things for you. You need to understand two concepts: Perspective and Layering of Behaviors.
What Is Perspective and How it Works?
Suppose there’s a person in your office that you aren’t very fond of. Maybe they don’t treat you well or have misspoken about you in the past. They may have said or done things to you that you disapprove of. Or maybe you just don’t like them for who they are. But realize that it’s your “opinion” for that person.
What if they’re not as bad as you think? You’ve developed a bad image of them in your mind based on a few poor experiences with them. What if it was a misunderstanding? What if they didn’t intend to do what they did? Did you try to make things right with them?
If you think you shouldn’t treat someone right, think of them from a neutral person’s perspective. Your thinking will most likely change.
Here’s the main takeaway from the concept of perspectives. You should make an effort to respect and treat people well even if you feel they’re not worth respecting.
Treat Others How You Want to be Treated: Layering of Behaviors
You can use the concept of “Layering of Behaviors” either with the concept of perspectives or as a standalone formula.
If you come across a person you don’t like, you can treat them well without actually feeling it. How we behave has three layers:
- How We Act: The outermost layer comprises our visible actions. It’s how you act in front of people: Do you frown and make angry faces if someone you don’t like comes in front of you? If you do that, you clearly show a person you don’t want to treat them well.
- What We Speak: The second layer is how we speak about others when they’re not around. You could do this when you’re around your friends or acquaintances.
- How We Think: The innermost layer is how you think about a person. No one else apart from you knows about this layer except for you.
If you don’t like someone, you don’t need to think positively about them. But can’t you act normal when they’re around? Pay close attention to the word “act.” You are pretending to be good with them. This way, you can treat them well and expect them to do the same.
Occasionally Breaking the Rules is Fine
You should follow the rules discussed above most of the time. But it’s fine to break those rules once in a while. For example, if someone is continuously mistreating you, it’s only fair to give them the taste of their own medicine.
Let’s say a colleague makes fun of you every time you come to the office. You ignored their behavior multiple times, hoping that they’d stop. But they continue their bad behavior with you. In such situations, you can teach them a lesson by replying to them. You can politely request them to stop. If they don’t, you can warn them in an aggressive tone.
If they still don’t stop, you can “treat them the way they treat you.” The rule applies to everyone, not just you.
To conclude, everyone deserves to receive good treatment. If you want people to treat you right, you should treat them right. You shouldn’t expect others to be nice to you if you misbehave with them. However, it’s okay to break the rules sometimes. If someone doesn’t treat you well despite multiple warnings, you can give them a taste of their medicine.