Everyday We Teach Others How to Treat Us

God's words can guide us towards happy and healthy relationships.

Each interaction we have with other people produces clear and predictable results.

If we treat someone badly, we teach them to think of us in a negative way.

However, if we treat them well, perhaps better than they were expecting, they are likely to feel grateful, or at least more tolerant of us than they otherwise would’ve been.

Therefore, it behooves us to think, speak, and act in a mature way while in the company of other people. And if we’re tired, upset about some unrelated matter or otherwise not at our best, it’s the smart person who calls ahead to politely reschedule a meeting — rather than arrive in a foul mood, which inevitably produces the negative results that are so detrimental to relationships with family, friends, and co-workers.

‘Exploding’ at your spouse or children — because of some unresolved issue at work, could cause lasting harm to the overall relationship, and it does nothing for you either.

At times like these it’s good to remember the golden rule, paraphrased from the book of Matthew 7:12 ‘Treat others how you would like to be treated.’

A poem written by Dorothy Law Nolte, “Children Learn What They Live” applies to every human being, regardless of age, but was written especially for young minds. Here it is, in it’s entirety:


Children Learn What They Live
by Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte


“Therefore, whatever you want men to do for you, do also for them, for this fulfills the Law and the Prophets.” — Matthew 7:12


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