Do you allow others to mistreat you? To say hurtful or even abusive things to you? A good friend of mine always has said that she learned from her mother to treat herself well and expect that from others, too. Yes! It's called self-love. And it's true that the way we see ourselves, the way we love ourselves and the way we treat ourselves teaches others how to see and treat us.
In a book from which I gather inspiration, The Woman's Book of Confidence: Meditations for Strength and Inspiration by Sue Patton Thoele, I read the other day: "It is impossible to ask 'them' to treat us in ways we do not yet treat ourselves. ... We are the authors of our lives, and we can write new, healthy scripts that cast us as lovable and deserving women. As a result, we're more likely to be appreciated by those around us and our relationships consequently will be enhanced."
Perhaps you grew up judging yourself. Or even hating yourself. Calling yourself names or giving yourself spiteful messages (such as "You stupid thing, why did you do that?"). The wonderful thing is: We can choose at any age or stage to let go of those old tapes and messages—and to learn new behaviors, such as self-love, self-care and self-compassion. We can learn to love ourselves, to give ourselves kind and caring messages, to give our Inner Critic a vacation or teach her some new habits. It's never too late. As Thoele says, "We are the authors of our lives...."