There’s a lot to be said for equality in a relationship. And compromise. And discussion. And understanding. But all of these are grounded in mutual respect, and that element must come first. Mutual respect in relationships means having conversations about plans – not making them on the fly without consultation when they involve the other person.
Little warning signs like this are often the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come. Small acts of disrespect usually lead to bigger ones, and often they’re a sign of something deeper like avoidance. It’s sometimes easier to just be disrespectful than to actually deal with a problem you’re not sure how to handle. It’s also an easy distraction to detract from a problem altogether.
Ultimately you can’t fix someone else’s behavior, just your own. Start with your boundaries. Where are you letting your boundaries be too flexible? Are you letting this person walk on you in some way? Where are you not a priority to yourself? Where are you letting them get away with little things that cross your boundaries? Where are you trying to make them respect you, thereby giving away your power? If you have to demand respect, you’ve already lost.
Here’s where being in integrity with yourself comes into play. Being completely honest with yourself about where your boundaries are and where they’re being crossed allows you to approach the situation from a place of self-respect. Continuing to allow someone to explain away their actions and keep pushing that boundary is not respectful of yourself, and should be out of your integrity.
When we’re not a priority to ourselves – when we don’t respect ourselves and our boundaries – we open ourselves up to being a option, rather than a priority to someone else. If someone isn’t treating you like a priority in their lives and decision-making, turn it around and ask yourself, “Where am I not a priority in my life?”. Find those places and work on making yourself a priority. Work on finding out what your boundaries are and keep them in place by staying aware of them and when they’re being crossed. Use your self-respect to keep them firmly or walk away if they keep being trounced on. This keeps your side of the street clean so you can clearly see where someone is disrespecting you and sweep them on out of your life if they continue to push your boundaries.