You teach people how to treat you....

A friend shared with me that she keeps having a situation where a coworker, who is not her boss or even in her field of work, who keeps disrespecting her and telling her how to do her job while on the job to the point where it has been affecting her performance and her comfort level. I asked her if she's ever addressed this issue personally with the perpetrator and she said no.

I myself have had similar situations various times my career and unfortunately the abuses, taunts and general disrespectful behavior only stops when you stand up to yourself through some sort of firm verbal communication. There are 2 kinds of people in this world, the ones who see nice as nice and the one who see nice as weakness. Unfortunately for me, I can't tell the difference between these 2 types until I step into some sort of social land mine. yet, even then I have found it hard to absorb that I am being treated with disrespect until later. Once I have removed myself from the conflict and only then does it hit me...."this feels wrong". By then, the confrontation has come and gone and had not been addressed.

At a previous job, a coworker was very upset at me over a situation and had set up a meeting with me and the principal, the minute we sat at the meeting she began yelling loudly at me, and that's when I respectfully excused myself. Immediately, she calmed down and agreed to calm down. Only in setting limits within yourself and then following them through on the spot do we start to reclaim our space and maintaining our respect for ourselves. I have set up general rules which often help me deal with unexpected disrespectful situations better...I am not good at coming up with smart verbal responses when I am surprised with negative conduct, so this short list helps me teach people how to treat me on the spot.

Miriam's pocket rules on
Teaching people how to treat you-on the spot.

1. If yelled at, you do not need to remain in that space at all.....say, "I want to talk, but only when I'm not being yelled at." DO NOT ENGAGE a crazy yelling being....It's a sort of a personal non-violent protest. You engage it and you only become part of the violence and to a casual observer, you are both crazy.

2. Express your shock. For some odd reason I always try to act like I am not bothered by someone's rudeness. Why I do this, I have no idea, but I am trying to change it. I am trying hard at expressing my dismay right on the spot, "Are you trying to be rude or just don't know any better?"

3. If in doubt whether a way you are treated is disrespectful or not, here is a rule of thumb. It's disrespectful if you know you can't say the same things back to that person.

4. If someone is disrespectful to you, address it immediately in a firm, professional, calm manner......most importantly, address it....or it WILL happen again and again. Bullying did not stop at childhood. I have seen many-a-bullies in my adult life.

5. You NEVER have to stay in a space where you feel uncomfortable. Luckily, we are in the USA and it's a free country. Walk out if you get the "oh-ooh feeling"....

6. This should be a given, but NO ONE is allowed to touch you without your consent. A good worker is not synonymous with being a doormat.

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