Stop Being Treated like Garbage

By K. Stone

December 18, 2007   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Do you have someone in your life who is not treating you right? Maybe it’s your boss, your spouse, your children, or a friend. Want to know why? Here’s the hard truth: you have taught that person how to treat you by what you have tolerated thus far in your relationship. That might sting a little at first, but it’s undeniable. The good news is that this means the power to change it lies squarely with you.

Here’s the rub. You must be willing to take actions that may seem drastic or uncomfortable to you. It might even mean saying goodbye to certain relationships, but if you aren’t being treated with respect and dignity, is that really a relationship you want to hold onto anyway?

So here’s what to do:

  • Let people know when their treatment of you is unacceptable. Remain calm and in control of your emotions when delivering the message. If you need to, take a moment to cool down first before delivering your message.

“Please don’t yell at me or call me names anymore. I will not tolerate that treatment any longer.”


  • Advise the person how you prefer to be treated. Be firm, confident, specific, and reasonable. Example: “If you have a gripe with me, I would prefer that you discuss it with me in a normal tone of voice and without using personal attacks.”



  • State the consequences if unacceptable treatment continues. It is very important that you choose your consequences carefully. It needs to be something that will give you true leverage, that will not punish you, and that you will be willing to follow through on.


“The next time you yell at me I’m going to leave the conversation until you can speak to me in a normal tone.”
“The next time you personally attack me, I will stop helping you with your project.”
“The next time you throw something when mad, I will leave this relationship.”


  • Treat yourself well. You set the tone everyday by all the verbal and non-verbal messages you put out into the world. So be sure to send the right message to those around you by taking care of yourself and your appearance. Walk tall. Smile. Be confident in your dealings with people.


Confident doesn’t mean cocky. It means self-assured. Don’t be apologetic in your speech unless you have something to apologize for. Treat others well. Don’t put yourself down either verbally or in your own mind. Remember people will only treat you as well as you treat yourself.

Please share your tips and stories about how to ensure that others treat you with respect. We’re interested to hear what you have to say! Click on comments to voice your opinion!

Written for Dumb Little Man by K. Stone, author of Life Learning Today, a blog about daily life improvements. Popular articles are 7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Financial Life and Should You Start Your Own Work at Home Business?

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