Wednesday, January 21, 2009

86 - Talking about respect

Alright, bloggers. Think of somebody who you respect highly and by whom you are respected as well. Do you ever talk about the respect you have for one another?

In my experience, respect is a tricky thing to define, give and return, but generally, I believe the less you have to talk about respect with someone, the better. Respect, trust and liking is felt instinctively and cannot be induced by reasonable words alone. Together, they mix together to form a 'bond' known as 'friendship' and that bond can be strong or weak based on the level, and more importantly, the balance of those three aspects (and perhaps some more, please share if you can come up with another component of 'friendship'). My best friend and I mutually trust and respect each other. We don't need to talk about it. We're fine.

But recently, I have been given a lot of crap about me being disrespectful. Often when we say we're 'disrespected', it is because we have certain standards that we apply to others, and in most cases, ourselves, but others are not abiding by these standards. We expect others to meet those standards, to 'respect' your standards, because they should, because they're people that mean something to you, because they should care, but they don't listen, they don't care, and they disappoint you.

Here's where I start to get opinionated.

First, who are you to apply standards to me? What about my standards that you are not abiding by? Why should I respect you first? Why do I feel like you never respect me?

Gosh, talking about respect is a pain up my ass whenever I have to argue with someone about our 'balance' of respect and it just isn't necessary to discuss it if you really were friends that have respect for each other because you'd use your intuition to achieve that balance. You would just tell them out loud every once in a while that you have a lot of respect for him/her, or you would do something that shows you respect the way they handle things in life. And just on the top of my head, respect can come in the form of many things, symbolized by things like tolerance, acceptance, patience, advice, fun, joy, agreement, disagreement, admiration, trust, liking and love, and many others, of course. Instead of demanding for respect, learn to give some first, in the form of any of those aforesaid things is fine...

(This post is a rambling, but in the past month or so, after somebody surprised me by saying he was tired of my disrespectful behavior, I spent some time reflecting on my behavior and found that we were disrespecting each other. The difference is that I am willing to accept that and do something about it to change myself to make the relationship better. After about three weeks of me trying and failing again and again since the New Year, though, it's obvious that you need to have a mutual effort to change. Some people need to look in the mirror before they accuse others of being disrespectful...)


Anonymous said...

what did they claim you were being disrespectful about?

Douglas said...

Respect, like many words, has a number of reasons based on context. I was always taught you must earn respect. Yet, at the same time, I was taught to always respect others. These two lessons seem contradictory. Yet, I do it. I must earn respect but others have it unless they lose it through their actions.

Douglas said...

"number of reasons"????? I meant "number of definitions"... sorry about that.

Chris O said...

I try to treat everyone with respect. It's the golden rule theory - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

I said I "try" to respect everyone, but unfortunately I suffer from human failures like making snap judgments or carrying a lot of baggage around that clouds my thinking. And so I do lose respect for some and don't trust others without much basis other than gut feelings.

The person I respect and trust most is my husband. He is the most fair minded person and doesn't have an agenda. I trust him more than anyone else I have ever known. Sounds sappy, but I feel lucky to just know him.

J.J. in L.A. said...

>Some people need to look in the mirror before they accuse others of being disrespectful...)

Absolutely! My ex-b/f always said, "You're disrespecting me" whenever I did something he didn't like. This is the same guy who told me that I needed a psychiatrist because I didn't always agree with his opinions. So who was being disrespectful, hmm?

Marcy said...

I'm faced with this as I teach my children to respect each and me (and their daddy). I get mad at my daughter when I feel she's not respecting me and do tell her.

I have to say that it's both a tough thing teach and to earn. I must earn the respect of my children in the same way that they should respect me as their parent.

Madame DeFarge said...

I do talk about respecting my friends and some colleagues, but tend to demonstrate through actions, rather than saying it. I become annoyed when people decide that I am not worthy of being treated professionally at work, just because I may be junior to them or female. Neither of which I can particularly change.

But I know that my behaviour towards others can be similar, but usually only after the event. Age and experience don;t change that.

á said...

i wanted to write something for this (as i think about this whole respect thing all the time) but couldn't think of anything worthy.

and to be honest i couldn't last the whole post and mainly peeled my eye out for the word "respect"

but... but, i was reading quotes randomly out of a calender today at work and it read:

"respect is something you earn, you can't beg, borrow, or steal it. it's a process of right doings."

there you go. i have no idea, but hopefully that quote was good enough because i ripped the quote out of the calender just to rewrite it now. haha bad memory.

Michael said...

Vivienne: I was disrespectful. Let's just leave it at that. He was disrespectful to me, too, and we've sorted it out.

Douglas: It's difficult having to mind everybody's definitions.

Chris O: My best friend and I have a similar bond. I feel lucky to have someone that shares such respect, too.

J.J.: It sounds like a problem on the surface to me, although, the feeling of being disrespected must be cutting much deeper.

Marcy: Parental respect... Even that needs to earned.

Madame DeFarge: I like demonstrating it through actions, too. They feel more natural than speech, they demonstrate more, in terms of quantity and truth.

á: I like the quote. I used it when trying to sort out something between a friend and me.