Treat Others How You Want To Be Treated

Treat people the way you want to be treated. It’s the golden rule saying we’ve all heard growing up. If you’ve wondered who said it, the phrase is associated with the Bible verse, Matthew 7:12.

In Matthew 7:12, Jesus states in scripture, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The origin of the term golden rule apparently dates back to Anglican Theologians coining it in the 17th century. Other religions and philosophers have stated their own versions of the principle.

  •  “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself” – Bukhari 2:6 (Islam)
  •  “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD” – Leviticus 19:18 (Judaism)
  •  “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” Udanavarga 5:18 (Buddhism)
  • “One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one’s own self. This, in brief, is the rule of dharma. Other behavior is due to selfish desires.” Brihaspati, Mahabharata (Hinduism)
  • “Do not impose on others what you do not wish for yourself.” – Confucius

Perhaps everyone around the world has heard this philosophy in one way or another. But the meaning can be something interesting to ponder on.

Treat others how you want to be treated

What does it mean to treat people how you want to be treated?

Looking back at the verse in the Bible, the verses around that verse can give more understanding. Before verse 12, Jesus was discussing the principle of asking and receiving.

Then he asks the people around if any of them would give a stone rather than bread, if their son asked for bread. Or a snake rather than a fish, if he asked for a fish.

He expresses that if people, being evil, give good gifts to their children, that proves even more that God gives good gifts to those who ask.

So, it seems this idea of doing to others what we’d want them to do to us is tied with being giving to people, and also if you’re a believer, how giving God is to those who ask.

Perhaps the idea is not just about treating people the way we’d want, but giving good things to people, like we’d desire of others to do for us.

Maybe it’s also no accident that the familiar phrase we’ve heard uses the word “do”, as in performing an action.

How do I want to be treated by others?

You probably already have an idea of how you desire to be treated. You can start with thinking about what you find you appreciate from others. What do you like people giving to you?

But there are a lot of other qualities we expect and desire from most people. Perhaps one of the top qualities we desire from others is respect.

Respect is defined as having due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others. The Association for Psychological Science released a study that found people being respected by those around them was a key contributor to overall happiness.

Psychology Today also did some research that suggested giving respect to others increased the likelihood people would give respect to us in general.

Another way many of us desire to be treated is receiving kindness. Scientists have proven that kindness can make us feel good, so it’s really a win-win for everybody. There’d probably be less hurt in this world if more people were kind to one another.

There are a variety of other ways we desire to be positively treated. It might be a good exercise to sit down and write the kind of treatment you’d want from others. You can not only try holding others you allow in your life to that standard, but hold yourself to that standard as well.

Why people say “treat others the way they want to be treated”

In doing my research on this topic, I came across perspectives that argued we shouldn’t treat others the way we’d desire to be treated. That instead, we should treat people the way they’d desire to be treated.

One author argued that to treat people the way we’d want is to impose our own ideas on others. They concluded that would go against the golden rule.

But one could wonder, does anybody want others to impose their own ideas on them? Perhaps for most people, the answer would be no. At least in my life, I’ve never met a person that appreciated people imposing their own way of living on them.

So, the idea of treating people how we’d hope to be treated would mean we’d respect other people’s differences in the same way we’d want others to.

That means if another culture has different values and different understandings of what being respected and treated well means, our goal would be to accommodate that as best as we can.

Examples of how to treat people

If we were with someone and they accidentally spilled something on us, we’d try to be patient and forgiving of them. That’s what we would hope for from someone else if we made a mistake like that.

If you bought a box of pizza and a friend happened to come by, a kind thing would be to share a slice with them. I think most of us would appreciate someone offering to share food with us if they had more than enough to eat.

If our friend needed to borrow something that we weren’t using, we’d likely loan it to them. In the same respect, we’d hope others would be willing to loan something to us they weren’t using if we really needed it.

Why is it important?

The importance of providing the same treatment we’d want is that it allows everyone to be treated well. People who do bad things to people have often had bad things done to them. Through those bad things, they feel no desire to be good to anyone except themselves.

People can have a hard time being respectful when they aren’t respected. People can not care to be kind when they haven’t been given kindness.

There’s a psychological principle known as the law of reciprocity. It’s the idea that when we do nice things for people, they’re more likely to do nice things for us. In fact, some research has shown that reciprocity can influence people to do even kinder acts in return than the one initially given.

By keeping this idea of how we treat people in mind, a lot of good changes could potentially happen. But it all starts with us. Do your part to treat people well.

Even if you don’t get the same treatment, you can be a small part of influencing people to be better to others. As a result, we can all influence each other to be better, and hopefully make the world a better place.

Related articles to inspire you to treat people well

How To Be Sensitive To Other People’s Feelings

The Value of Selflessness | Meaning, Examples

37 Kindness Quotes That Will Inspire You To Be Kind

Sharing is Caring:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *