One of the most frequent challenges in which people ask me for advice has to do with them wanting to know why people treat them the way they do. Usually they are referring to some form of negative interaction, or people not doing what they say they are going to do.

My usual response is simple and to the point: “We teach people how to treat us.” 

This is not true in every situation, but it certainly applies to most.

If we don’t want someone to treat us in a certain way, then we have to take responsibility to ensure they understand that their behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We also have to be aware of how we treat them. Perhaps they are just mimicking our behavior.

Doing nothing is oftentimes seen as a signal that it is okay. So if you don’t like the way someone treats you or talks to you, or doesn’t do what they say they will; you need to speak up and let them know how you feel. You must let them know that it will not be tolerated in the future.

I also suggest that we take a close look at how we talk to ourselves and to others. Sometimes we are unaware of the signals we are sending out to others… and ourselves.

Here is a brief story I heard a long time ago about this subject:

A son and his father were walking in the mountains.Suddenly, his son falls, hurts himself and screams, “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”

To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain,“AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”

Curious, he yells, “Who are you?”

He receives the answer, “Who are you?”

Angered at the response, he screams, “Coward!”

He receives the answer: “Coward!”

He looks to his father and asks, “What’s going on?”The father smiles and says, “My son, pay attention.”And then he yells to the mountain, “I admire you!”

The voice answers, “I admire you!”

The man yells out, “You are a champion!”

The voice answers, “You are a champion!”

The boy is surprised, but does not understand.Then the father explains, “People call this Echo, but really this is Life.It gives you back everything you say or do.” 

Our life is simply a reflection of our actions.
If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart.

If you want more competence in your team, improve your competence.

This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life. Life will give you back everything you have given to it.

Your life is not a coincidence, it is a reflection of you!

Remember… Every day is a gift, and the quality of your life is your gift to yourself.


  • Barry Gottlieb

    Author - Speaker - Success Mentor - Trusted Advisor

    Barry is sought after by organizations of all sizes to assist them in the following areas: *Leadership - *Strategy - *Execution - *Company Culture - *Time Management - *Emotional Intelligence. As the Founder and President of Coaching the Winner's Edge, Barry has built a successful practice offering counsel and guidance to both private individuals and corporations. In addition, Barry is a successful author and speaker. His books are: "TGIT-Thank God It’s Today". - "Every Day Is A Gift". - "Brilliant on the Basics...a Playbook for Business Leaders". Barry started out his career as an educator... First a school teacher and  Principal; and then as an instructor at Santa Fe Community College, and the University of Florida. During his time at the university, Barry experienced a life altering challenge. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was given just 3 to 6 months to live. His story of recovery and the paradigm shift that it created in his life was the inspiration for his first book, "TGIT - Thank God It’s Today". Shortly thereafter, Barry decided to make a career and life style change and left teaching to enter the world of business. This he says, “Is where my real education began.” He and his partners built a very successful $75 million international company from the ground up, that they later sold for $55M. Barry shares the the wisdom and insights of building a very successful company... and culture, in his latest book: "Brilliant On the Basics... A Playbook for Business Leaders". Barry's Mission: To inspire and empower others to reach their full potential.