Wednesday, January 17, 2007
How you treat other people speaks volumes. I watched my kids interact today and I realize that many people never out grow being childish. My five-year-old daughter spent an hour complaining about everything her older sister was doing. The older kid was not doing anything wrong, but the younger one just wanted attention. While not the best of behavior traits, she is only five.
But then it hit me....WAMMO....people who are thirty-five, forty-five, (and older) act the exact same way.
People seem to think that other humans are put here on this planet to please them. They regulate their moods based on the actions of others. When their friends, co-workers, significant others, siblings, etc... do not cater to their every whim, they behave like little children.
According to author John Maxwell there are only three ways to treat other people:
Treat them worse than they treat you.
Treat them the same as they treat you.
Treat them better than they treat you.
He says your best choice is to always treat people better than they treat you, and he calls this "The High Road". He is right. You get to choose how behave toward the people you encounter. By making it a habit of always treating people a little better than they treat you, you will not always improve your relationships (some folks are jerks, others keep score of everything), but you will have the peace of mind that you never are the root of the problem.
Plus, think about a life where everyone you knew wanted to treat you better than you treated them. AND you also lived by this philosophy....the world would be a GREAT place!!! You would always be trying to "one-up" each other with nice and cool stuff. WOW.
I have a friend who had not always looked out for my best interests. It was clear that he kept score of every interaction with all of those around him. He was cautious of making sure that he was never overly giving, as he had a fear of someone trying to take advantage of him if he was "too nice". I just ignored his ways and continued to try to go out of my way to help him out. I realized his insecurities. Some might have thought he was taking advantage of me with the way he treated me at times. However, over time he changed and is now one of the most helpful and true friends in my network. I am not sure what caused the shift in his personality, but I am glad that I always treated him so well, as he has since proven to be of assistance to me many times.
Look around at the people with whom you regularly interact. Examine how you treat each other. You cannot change them, but you can change yourself. Treat them better from this point forward, and you will find more happiness and peace in your world.
Have A Great Day.