We teach others how to treat us by the way we treat ourselves. Talk is cheap! Showing is more powerful than telling.
The old adage “do as I say, not as I do” is absurd. You might as well say “I’m a hypocrite.” Our choices (demonstrated through our actions) reveal our true desires and beliefs.
When people are mistreating me, it’s worthwhile to take a break from blaming them and really examine how I’ve been acting. I may want people to treat me more respectfully, but am I too self-effacing or deprecating? I may want you to take me more seriously, but have I been acting out inappropriately?
As a therapist, what I say goes hand-in-hand with what I’m modeling… or it doesn’t. Self-care, healthy boundaries and being authentic are solid recommendations for clients. But do I model them as well? Clients can see and feel if I am.
What I tell clients is one thing, but how I act is the non-verbal communication which demonstrates my genuine priorities and convictions. This is the more powerful lesson that those around me will take to heart.
In the room, just as in life, my actions speak louder than my words. That’s why it’s so important for me to do as I recommend!