You Teach Others How To Treat You

It was a rude introduction to college life. Band camp at a major university. We were away at some state park. Assigned to cabins. The drum major was in this cabin. Upper class. Arrogant. Assertive.

He was a quiet trumpeter. Freshman. The drum major instantly, probably instinctively, started picking on him. I’ll never figure out what it was that attracted the wrath of the leader. But life was miserable for that guy.

I was a quiet kid, too. Just glad that they ignored me.

Some people just seem to attract that sort of behavior toward them. It’s like they are born with a “kick me” sign on their back. Other people can walk into a room and instantly attract positive responses.

Browsing through my reading lists the other day, I ran across this phrase, “You teach others how to treat you.”

Maybe that drum major was just a bully. Preying on weaker people. But often we invite the treatment we get. Someone says something and we don’t stand up for ourselves. Or we overreact. Or we come across as aggressive and invite aggressive responses.

It is said that you can’t love others if you don’t love yourself. How you think of yourself influences how others treat you. Holding strong core beliefs and ethics is a start. Thinking of others continues the process. A smile and firm greeting works wonders.

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