As I am celebrating International Women's Day, I am reminded that one of my responsibilities as a woman, mother, role model, and human is to teach others how to treat me. After completing any relationship, romantically, professionally, or socially, I take an inventory of what I have learned about the other person and myself. In doing this, I am graciously reflecting on how I treat myself and what the other person may have learned from observing my relationship with me. I wonder; did I meet the standards I set for myself, did I follow through with my word, did I set the tone for equity in respect, was I trustworthy, were my expectations of the other person realistic, and was I forgiving? If the answer to any of these is" No," I have to take accountability for not teaching the right way to treat me. If a person is not aware of my wishes and why, who am I to fault them for it?
The phase, Ain't Nobody 'Bout To Treat Me Like The Red Thang Around Bologna, is something I came across three years ago, and it has stuck with me. I use it as a reminder to require high-quality connections with the people in my life. The casting of bologna is discarded after it serves its purpose. It's not consumable nor can be upcycled. To me, it represents superficiality because there is nothing to it besides the surface. It has no depth. Who would want anyone to treat them like temporary packaging? I definitely don't! When I notice that I am not being treated with the absolutes I desire in a relationship, I know that it time to have a clean and clear conversation to define my non-negotiables. I know I'm a work in progress. Every day I dedicate time to becoming BRITTANY BEA! Most people I have met are works in progress too. Knowing this, it is essential for me to give second chances. I can accept that I may have experienced a person during a challenging moment that influenced her or his behavior towards me and possibly themselves. Patience is also essential. I always have to be mindful of the learning process of others. Everyone does not know how to be free in intimacy, friendship, or even association.
The most important lesson of teaching people how to treat me teaches them how to love me. I love LOVE! Love makes me happy. Full transparency, I love knowing that my love is wanted and needed! I find peace in being loved, loving others, falling in love, sharing love, and creating love. Yet, sometimes I encounter people who don't know how to be loved and fear love. They don't recognize healthy love, and they don't show unconditional love. Sadly, I have even met some who try to control love too. Love is fluent. It will always be a struggle trying to crystalize something ALIVE. One thing I have noticed about people like this is their deep-rooted insecurities about love. They associate it with something that can hurt them. They never fully heal because they keep a tally of all of love's wrongs and are trying to protect themselves from love. I have accepted that I can not teach a person with this fixed mindset how to treat me, like me, love me, or anything else about me. I am ok with that! This is why: I know that there are people who I have taught and can teach!
We all have moments when we truly realized someone's learning curve. It's ok to care about that person, but don't keep trying to do the right things with the wrong people. Remember to adjust accordingly and focus on those interested in learning and applying the curriculum of who you are, and eventually, you will have graduates of your class!
How are you teaching people how to treat you?
What will you forgive?
When do you accept it is time to stop attempting to teach?
Do you openly communicate your non-negotiables or have unspoken expectations?
How long do you think it takes to learn you?
Email your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can discuss your take on this privately, during my next Bea Live, or on Clubhouse!