I was driving home from the mall. I had picked up my Nespresso refill cartridges. Those machines are the ones you can make espressos or fancy coffees at home. Super fun. Kinda cool. Makes me feel a little pampered.

I had to lug the used cartridges into the store so they could recycle them. Yeah me.

It was that time in the afternoon when I knew I probably shouldn’t drink any more coffee if I wanted a great nights sleep, but I was also looking forward to the buzz. And, hey it’s always fun trying out a new coffee.

Brian, the tasting expert loved sharing his knowledge of cereal notes, gave me a geography lesson on coffee-growing countries and the shared the benefits of open wooden crates.

Yes, I can tell the difference between the coffees.

One either tastes good or it doesn’t.

I’m easy like that.

Sample coffee buzz going, heavy bag in hand carrying the new coffee at Brian’s suggestion, I get in my Tahoe and start driving to my next stop. Target. Oh, Target, haven’t seen you in a while. Missed you.

My phone rings, and there on my screen is the handsome face of my spouse.

I didn’t want to answer. I didn’t want to be disturbed.

I was in my zoned-out-listening-to-podcasts-with-my-earbuds-on-shopping mode enjoying my afternoon espresso buzz.

But…he’s my hubby and River, our 12-year-old daughter had just gotten home, maybe, just maybe it was important.

After he asked me his question I reminded myself.

You teach people how to treat you.

You teach people how to treat you. Click To Tweet

“Do you use hot or cold water to boil water?” he asked.

“What?” I responded.

He repeated his question and I gave him my answer. Before I hung up I couldn’t help commenting, “are you really calling me to ask me how to boil water?”

Now, this could be a great thing, right? Having your spouse rely on you. Having your spouse want your opinion.

Before you start with the questions about how a 50-year-old man can’t boil water without his wife, let me share, in our home I cook and he cleans up the mess.

I hate cleaning up the kitchen.

He doesn’t cook. (now our12-year-old could have told him how to boil water for pasta because she knows how to cook, but she was busy with homework)

When we teach people how to treat us we have to be prepared for their behavior, their comments, and their expectations.

And our own.

We need to be reminded about the difference between.

Dependence vs. interdependence.

Dependence vs. interdependence.Click To Tweet

Where in your life do you recognize the difference with your relationships?

Where in your life do you feel dependent?

How does feeling dependent support or take away from reaching your big goals, doing those big things that life is calling you to do?

When we are dependent on someone else, often we lose our power. We give it away. We somehow forget how capable we are. We worry about their feelings. And co-dependence takes it even a step further.

If we aren’t careful, giving our power away to someone else sets us up for them abusing that power.

So what is interdependence?

This is simply when two people rely on each other equally. I cook, he cleans.

Look at all of the relationships in your life and ask yourself if you are giving away your power or are you in a cooperative relationship?

Yes, this goes for all relationships. Work, friends, family, love relationships.

Need a clue to figure out what type of relationship it is?

How do you feel or what does your gut say when you are interacting with the person? Are you compromising your values and your powers to your deficit? Or are you compromising and feeling fine with it?

Is there reciprocity in the relationship? You know, give and take.

What about with family? Are you really telling them what you think? Are you saying no to that every Sunday night dinner you hate?

How can you change this if you need to?

Begin realizing when you feel triggered to put up with something you don’t want. Speak up. Share your feelings. Negotiate. Stand your ground. You have the power to change this relationship. Yes, you are either in it or not. 

You get to decide. You get to take 100% responsibility for teaching people how to treat you. Owning that knowledge is power.

Make sure to celebrate your great relationships as well. Celebrate when you have stood your ground or spoken up or realized you really like how you have taught people to treat you.

You have the power to change. You have the power to have what you want. You have the power to enjoy #theregretprooflife.



p.s. And hey, if he calls you so he can start dinner even if he can’t boil water so you can have fun being “zoned-out-listening-to-podcasts-with-my-earbuds-on-shopping mode” and then cleans up the kitchen well, go with it!

Interdependence is a beautiful thing.

What are some signs of a relationship with good reciprocity?