woman-dressed-upEveryone who has ever pursued a truly satisfying love relationship has taken a punch or two along the way. Rejection, one-way attraction, and bitter disappointments can make the road to a flourishing relationship a rocky one.

We all hate rejection—even the subtle forms of it that can crop up every day–a broken promise, punishing silence, a sarcastic remark, or a half-hearted peck on the cheek when you were dying for a passionate embrace. All these can feel like a slap in the face and a brutal assault on your self-esteem. And, of course, when that happens we vow to put our guard up next time. But sadly, since we don’t know when the next time might be, some of us keep our guard up all the time. Sad because, if you’re always expecting rotten treatment in relationships; you’re pretty likely to end up getting it!

Your expectations can have a powerful effect on the kind of treatment you get from others. The more positive (and realistic) your expectations of another person, the more likely they are to meet them. Conversely, the more negative your expectations, the more “prophetic” they’ll prove to be. Conducting yourself as if you sincerely expect high quality treatment from another person gives them a powerful incentive to deliver it.

Most people are pretty much like you, capable of treating others with well-mannered sensitivity and dignity they desire and deserve. You create a fertile climate for sensitive, respect-filled treatment when you go in expecting it. It’s best when you express appreciation for their exemplary behavior, (as if you just knew they had it in them all along) rather than surprise (as if you never expected them to be worth a dime in the first place).

When you act as if you expect respect you persuasively express confidence in their good intentions and your expectations becomes attractive invitation for them to demonstrate that they possess even more character and commitment than you imagined.

Never start out with the blind assumption that a potential mate cannot be trusted, then treating them as if it’s a fact. That’s finding them guilty until proven innocent. Unfair!
Instead, start out with a clean slate and give them every opportunity to earn your trust by demonstrating their trustworthiness through consistently honorable, respectful behavior toward you. That’s finding them innocent until proven guilty.

You’ll find you get the most respect from others in direct proportion to the amount of respect you have for yourself. Demonstrate that you have a lot of self-respect and potential mates are more likely to rise to the standard you’ve set. If you have only a little, they’ll easily discern that it only takes a little to satisfy you. Show no respect for yourself–or for others–and you can count on them to match you. Self-respect calls upon you to conduct yourself like you’re God’s treasure—and that others are as well. And, no less important, making it clear that you expect any potential mate can, should, and will do the same.


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  1. Maria Curtis February 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm · · Reply

    Dr. Ronn, Dr. Ronn!! How can I begin? I absolutely love your advice and have been following you since 2002. Spiritual & Practical- a combination that can only produce positively awesome results. I only have 1 question? When will we begin Your reality TV Show?! If this is in the near/distant future, please keep me posted.

    Keep Enhancing Us,

    Love & Relationship Fanatic

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