Respect

I have had a lot of reasons to think about respect lately and how some people don’t understand the importance of treating people with respect.  There are two parts to this thought, the first being how you carry yourself and respond to people in general. The second has to do with being treated less respectfully simply because I am a woman.  I am well aware that respect cannot be demanded and must be earned, and I certainly don’t expect to be treated with more respect than anyone else simply because I am a woman.  But to think less of me simply because I am a woman and then treat me accordingly is going to cause some problems.

I consider myself a relatively intelligent person with a good sense of humor, a creative side, good communication skills, a good imagination, and more.  I am also a very giving person who is always willing to help other people and feel best when I know I am making a positive difference somehow or have done something from which many people will benefit.  But if you look at me and only see a collection of body parts to ogle or if you say something to me like, “Why would any guy want to be friends with you unless they are physically attracted to you?” then you don’t know me at all and you have a very narrow view of women.  When you can’t figure something out and then make the assumption that there’s no possible way that I could either, or you feel threatened by the fact that I might know more about something than you do or am better at something than you are, simply because I’m a woman, then you clearly don’t respect women.  When you constantly interrupt and talk over me and refuse to let me speak or turn your body away from me when I am talking to you so that I am talking to the back of your head, especially when I am trying to say something very important, then you clearly have some control issues.  Perhaps you don’t think women should be allowed to be in control or that we could possibly have any valid points that would be worth listening to.  And why is it that it might be so challenging for you to admit that I had a good idea?  Perhaps it is because I am a woman, and you have been raised to believe women are inferior?  Unfortunately, I have experienced all that I have described from my spouse, and that’s a problem.

If I don’t have as much respect for someone, it has nothing to do with their sex, race, sexual preference, socioeconomic status, or anything along those lines that are not things they can necessarily choose or control.  However, I might lose respect for someone because of things they CAN control, like the way they treat me or other people around me.  In my opinion, everyone should be treated with respect unless they have given you plenty of reasons not to, due to their behavior or attitude.

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2 thoughts on “Respect

  1. As a middle school teacher, this post hits home. I find it interesting that other teachers have issues with students that are great for me. It all boils down to respect. If you start off by showing respect, you are more likely to earn it yourself. I think all too often people don’t use empathy. Do adults forget what it was like to be in middle school? Can’t they see that kids today have 10 times the problems and concerns than we did at their age? Even behind the wheel when someone is driving erratically, do people ever think “wow, that person must be having an emergency right now”. Of course not. They think, “wow, what a jerk!”.

    When it comes to my marriage, respect is a common thread as well. I’ve lost respect for my husband because of his lack of follow through, broken promises, and refusal to think ahead. But at the core, he doesn’t respect himself so therefore he can’t respect anyone else. That can’t be fixed overnight. It was years of getting talked down to by his father that made him this way. My comments and frustrations won’t fix it. He needs real therapy.

    Whether or not someone respects others should be part of a “should I marry this person?” quiz. I don’t feel it can be taught.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that empathy plays an important role in treating others with respect. And growing up in an environment where respect is lacking (as you mentioned your husband did) is definitely a factor in why my husband behaves the way he does as well. While I agree that it is very difficult to teach an adult to be more respectful, I do believe it CAN be taught to children if that behavior is modeled for them. That becomes incredibly challenging when one or both parents didn’t learn that behavior, so it becomes a vicious cycle like so many other things. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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