I once had a friend who had a saying "I act the way you taught me to act." I never really stopped to think about that statement until today, when my doula said, "You teach people how to treat you."
This got me thinking. If we act the way others have taught us to act, then we're not much more than trained monkeys. But even with a habit that's been deeply engrained, we do have the power to stop and say, "No, I choose to NOT do that this time." It may be hard. It may feel impossible. But WE choose what we do.
And in my experience, people don't tend to respect my boundaries unless I'm willing to state them. And I can't state them unless I have figured out what they are.
Some people really do seem to treat me the way I treat me. For the last couple of holidays, I received several fitness related gifts. The first one was a set of measuring cups/spoons. You never saw someone so happy with measuring spoons! LOL
Next was a fitbit. My last one had grown feet and disappeared. I lamented the loss of it so long, that instead of doing smaller gifts for my birthday, mom got me a fitbit instead. I was thrilled! My aunt got me a running hoodie. Also thrilled.
THis was because I showed them that I was actually starting to care about what I ate, about how I looked, and how i felt.
The last time mom was over, we had sloppy joes for lunch. I finished my sandwich and was still quite hungry. I had tracked for the day already, and I had plenty of room. So I made another. Normally this is cause for a HUGE fuss from my mother. She asked, "Are you having ANOTHER one?" to which I calmly replied, "Yes." She dropped it, which is a huge deal considering that was normally cause for a 20 minute bitch-fest about how I eat too much.
In some cases, I think we react how others have taught us, but that doesn't mean we have to continue to react the same way. We can act any way we like.
How do you want to act?