Have you ever noticed that people tend to act and respond by how you treat them? If you treat someone rudely, they will most likely be rude back. If you label a person a bad person, you will tend to look for the bad in them. And when you do this, sometimes the person will act in accordance with how you treat them.
How we treat others and what we expect of them can really impact how they act and respond. When you expect the worse in others, they tend to meet those expectations. When you think in a more positive manner, they tend to act in a more positive manner.
That One Friend
Try to remember back to your high school days. We all had that one friend who was always getting in trouble. When you would call them on it, can you remember what they would say? They would always say, “I’ll get blamed for it anyway.” In other words, whether they did something or not, they felt like they would get the blame, so they might as well do what they most likely be accused of. It makes you wonder what came first…the bad behavior, or simply living up to expectations???
A Better Way
In the book, 52 Small Changes For The Mind, author Brett Blumenthal provided some alternative ways to look at people and what to expect from them. He said we should always try to see the best in people. In order to do this, we have to have an open mind and an open heart. We need to search for the good in others and focus on their strengths, abilities, and positive traits. Be encouraging of others and be forgiving of their mistakes. They are only human after all.
We should also avoid generalizations as they can be extremely inaccurate and hurtful. We have all seen someone do something that seems inexcusable, but we must challenge ourselves to understand or imagine why what they did was somewhat logical. No one is perfect all the time, so be realistic and understand that NO ONE is perfect. Show them compassion and love. Convey respect and trust by looking them in the eyes. Help lift them up, not put them down.
People tend to live up to our expectations of them, so be sure to ALWAYS look for the best in others. Sure, people will make mistakes, and sometimes what they say or do may seem inexcusable, but try to have compassion and an open heart. Try to understand why they said or did what they did rather than being critical of them and labeling them a certain way. Our kids are really vulnerable to this. If they do something wrong and we label them a certain way, they may start to live up to that label, so be careful.
Look for the good in others and understand that not only do people tend to act towards our expectations, but we also tend to see what we expect. Try to expect good from others and you will see it. I will leave you with this quote…
“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being.” —Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe