Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

How To Be Treated The Way You Want

We often find ourselves in situations where we’re not getting what we want, like fun from a boring party, excitement from an uninterested date, or a shred of openness from our quiet partner. And that can be incredibly frustrating.

But only if you’ve taken responsibility for the situation first.

If you think back to a similar scenario as I described above, did you even try to be fun, excited, or open first?

Most of us complain about the status quo without even trying to shape it.

For example. We’ll go to the checkout at the supermarket and feel a little annoyed that the person behind the till greeted us with a grumpy face. 

What are we likely to do when we feel snubbed? We return the favour with an icy nod of our own. And if we really feel insulted, we internally label them a cranky and unkind person as we say goodbye through gritted teeth.

“You didn’t give me anything? Then I won’t give you anything, a-hole.”

Not only is that exceptionally hostile. It’s also incredibly phony. 

After all, we didn’t offer any kindness to the cashier either. And yet we see ourselves as the hero and them as the baddie.

To top it off, we have no clue how they would have acted if we had started with a smile.

Perhaps by going first, we would have made them feel safe enough to be friendly and generous with us.

I’d argue that’s how it usually goes in life: people react to how you make them feel. You reap what you sow and all that jazz.

This means that if you give what you want to receive, you stand a good chance of getting it.

Do you want to date someone who’s communicative, kind, and doesn’t play games? Text and call them regularly, express your desire to meet up, and share what you think of them.

Are they unwilling or unable to match your generosity?

Then stop leading and start following. 

Does that not lead to a worthwhile place? Then stop hoping that it will. Instead, look to build a relationship with someone who actually wants to invest in you and create something meaningful together.

Does paving the way in your relationships scare you?

Then you’re misunderstanding what taking the lead means. Yes, you’re putting yourself out there. But more importantly, you’re showing the other person how you want to be treated.

And if they can’t deliver, you change your mind about them and stop desiring to have them around.

In other words, going first is both an act of vulnerability and a gauge of compatibility.

It’s not just saying “I like you”, it’s also going, “But if you don’t like me back, it shows me that you’re not good for me and I need to keep you at a distance.”

Did you put your best self forward and get toyed with or rejected by someone?

Then that’s an incredibly rewarding result! Because why would you want to spend your life with people who don’t actually value you?

We often meet people with the expectation, “You have to make me like you before I let you in.” But it ought to be, “You’re welcome until you show me that I need to kick you out.”

The first approach belongs to the scared and frail. The second belongs to the generous and strong.

Who do you want to be?

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach