It’s taken me a while to learn that we teach people how to treat us. If someone is being hurtful purposely or unintentionally (i.e. “I didn’t mean to”), it’s my job to kindly address their behavior and how it’s affecting our relationship connection. My responses were to isolate or withdraw myself. Even worse, I’d internalize the problem and think it was somehow my fault. It was too much of an emotional cost not to be truthful about my emotions. My previous actions would also perpetuate the other person’s ill-behavior, which was damaging the relationship-connection. Once I began to value the relationship (and myself), it was easier to share how I really felt.
The Boundaries folks do a good job of explaining this pattern in the article below: