I know we have all heard it and learned it when we were younger, The Golden Rule: treat others as we wish to be treated. I love this rule. I believe in this rule. I try* (do I make mistakes, yes) to live my life by this rule. My concern is, is that not many others are. Okay, so I would like to give credit to my 3 readers, you are probably following this rule because I probably am close friends with you or related to you. And in that case, I know all my friends and probably most of my family follow this rule. It is a bit swayed since I chose my friends and I hit the lottery on the family. However, I digress.
I am baffled to see that so many people do not follow this rule and treat others with disrespect, attitude, or unkindness. It is appalling to me to see people who are so selfish they just don't care about others or how they feel. Usually these are the people who seem to be the first to cry and complain when they feel they are being disrespected or treated unfairly. If you are not happy with how others are treating you, or find that there is a common "theme" with the way others interact and or communicate with you (that you do not like) it may be time to turn the mirror around and check ourselves. Our intentions may never be to be rude or come across in a way that may put others on the defense, however, the way we are communicating may be coming off differently than we had hoped or intended. I work with many teenagers who feel that they are so often mistreated and others are always fighting them. Usually it is easy for us to see a pattern and realize that it is directly related to how they themselves are communicating and treating others. They are not following the Golden Rule. Though this is a good example and yes, this is a population that has issues (which I work with), but I see it out in our society as well.
How can we have gotten to a point where we forget the Golden Rule and do not treat others with the respect we should. The term "you gotta give respect to get it" has somehow been skewed so others think of it in a selfish way and don't start with their part. They have to be respectful first. I believe that the way you treat others is a direct reflection of the way you will be treated. If you are getting good feedback from others, have positive relationships, then you are probably doing it right. But again, I stress that if you are having issues frequently with others, check yourself and see if you making a small adjustment to the way you are communicating can completely change the relationship. Its very difficult to accept that we may be making mistakes or have faults, it is a very humbling thing to admit there are certain areas we need to work on. But it is worth it to have satisfying relationships with others. This goes with not just communicating but with anything in life. Your intentions may never be bad, but if others are taking it differently than you wanted or had hoped, you have a responsibility to fix the problem and make the change so that it doesn't happen again. At least that is if you care about others and their feelings.
Again, it all goes back to one simple rule "treat others as you want to be treated". It starts with you. Not them.