It’s very easy to look at yourself and think you’ve said or done something that warrants other people’s negative behaviour towards you. Surely there’s got to be a reason why they’re treating you badly? Being treated in a negative manner can be highly confusing, questions start to arise such as why are they doing that to me? Why would they say that? Why me? What did I do to deserve this? What did I say to them that they made that remark at me? Confusion can lead to you trying in many ways to overanalyse a situation to make sense of it. When you apply logic to illogical situations the only logical conclusion, you’ll reach is that somehow, it’s your fault.
If you’ve already looked at your own behaviour and you can’t identify anything that could be the cause, work through the following:
- Make a note of their behaviour, the context surrounding their behaviour and the impact it has on you. Look over the behaviours and understand whether this behaviour is something everyone does or whether it’s specifically related to that person.
- Could there be a reason for their behaviour e.g., they’ve had a bad day and this behaviour is rare, therefore it’s something that maybe they weren’t aware they’re doing and therefore doesn’t have ill intent. Understanding this can help you to deflect their behaviours because it’s something small and unintentional.
- Is their behaviour more regular and consistent, if so, then maybe there’s something that needs to be addressed here, with that person? If you’ve tried this and their behaviours still haven’t changed; understanding you can’t change someone else however you can control yourself in situations and maybe work on why you’re tolerating their behaviours.
- Look at how they treat other people, are they treating other people the same way? If they are, it’s part of who they are as a person. If it’s only towards you, it could be personal from their side (doesn’t mean you’ve done/said anything).
- If you’ve tried to make sense of the situation and their behaviour and it still doesn’t make sense, maybe it’s something personal to them that’s driving their behaviours and has nothing to do with you. A way of understanding this is to look at people as having triggers, some people aren’t aware of the impact of their own histories on them, they become reactive, impulsive, shut down mentally and you can’t reason with them with they’ve been triggered. What the person is reacting to is memories or flashback feelings inside of them rather than what’s happening in the moment i.e., the situation with you. This isn’t personal against you; they’re reacting to something within themselves.
Here are a few things you could try to resolve this:
- Speak to the person and have your list of their behaviours which have affected you
- Set healthy boundaries and let that person know what these boundaries are so they’re aware of what you’re ok with and what’s not ok
- Ask yourself why you’re tolerating their behaviours, what is driving to you stay in that relationship, understanding your own feelings and work on these if they’re unhealthy
- Occasionally you may find that you feel hurt and rejected by other’s behaviours even though you’re aware that what they’ve said/done isn’t that big of a deal. You may find that you have an unrealistic expectation of fairness and how people should and should not behave. Understanding your own thinking can help you to address any illogical thought patterns that you have. Your thoughts are extremely powerful and can invoke feelings in your body.
It’s them not you.
If someone consistently treats you badly, it’s a reflection of who they are as a person e.g., if a stranger was to come up to you and kicked you out of the blue, you will automatically blame that person, question why they’ve kicked you, maybe even feel angry at their behaviours and wouldn’t tolerate being mistreated in this way, you wouldn’t automatically blame yourself for a stranger kicking you. If someone verbally does the same as the above, the same logic applies, it’s them not you.