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Not only do you teach people how to treat you, you can teach theme how to speak to you, too.

One of the best lessons I could have ever learned from the women in my family is how to be a lady. That included having a respectful discourse with just about everyone.

At the end of our phone conversations, my grandmother often signed off with “You be sweet now.” She had to be one of the nicest women to ever exist, but everyone knew she did not play. The thing is grandma never had to get loud to let others that she would tolerate no disrespect.

It was no different with my mother. While she is a bit more sassy, I have a hard time recalling when she’s ever been nasty to get her point across.

Watching these women taught me a few things about teaching people how to speak to you.

1. Be Kind And Respectful

The golden rule applies here: treat others how you want to be treated. If you can speak to people with kindness and respect, your interactions are more likely to be pleasant. It’s very rare that anyone gets to be top dog in a conversation, and fighting for that spot will only ensure that you do not get heard.

2. Be Firm

Even among those you love, it might not be hard to think of the last time someone said something slick to you. Instead of immediately setting it off, this might be the best time to reclaim your chill. Once you do that, let them know (in a calm manner) that what they said and how they said it are not cool with you. At this point, you can choose to disengage from the conversation or…

3. Set Your Expectations

Don’t be afraid to set boundaries on what is and is not an acceptable manner to speak with you. This can be something as simple as stating that you will not continue to converse until the other person gets their tone under control. It could also be more blunt like telling someone to check their tone when talking to you. However you choose to do it, be sure that you are clear on what won’t fly with you.

4. Know When To Take Yourself Seriously

There’s nothing wrong with joking around, but you can’t kiki about everything. If you’re always making cracks, it might be hard for people to know when you are being serious. There are occasions when you need to set a straight face while addressing an issue. Adjusting your demeanor is a key element of non-verbal communication that often guides how you speak.


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Watch Your Tone: 4 Tips On Teaching People How To Talk To You  was originally published on