Showing Respect

Reviewed May 20, 2016

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Summary

Respect:

  • About regard for others—a deliberate choice to consider others’ well-being
  • Acknowledges that individuals who offend you might have reasons worthy of your compassion

Do you offer respect to others only when they’ve earned it? Perhaps you’re thinking, “Why should I respect my boss when he doesn’t respect me?” or “I’ll respect my children when they start behaving themselves.”

Since your outlook might perpetuate the problem and make you feel miserable, learning to respect others will benefit you and those around you. Put the following suggestions into practice and you may find that respecting others, even when it’s tough, is worth the effort.

Defining respect

It helps to consider what respect is. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines respect as “showing consideration, esteem, or regard for another person, with no mention of condition or merit.” This regard allows another person to differ from you in personality, behavior, opinion, background, culture, maturity, etc. Respect even acknowledges that those who offend you might have reasons worthy of your compassion for why they act rudely.

A basic need

If you find it hard to excuse others for their behavior, bear in mind that, somewhere along the way, they could have had problems or trauma that left them needy.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow, author of Motivation and Personality, theorizes a hierarchy of needs that all humans progress through as they develop. Maslow includes the need for respect from self and others as a basic need for psychological well-being. Unfortunately, anyone who didn’t have primary needs met in childhood—such as physical comfort, security, love, and affection—can be thwarted in his development and struggle to mature to the level of respecting himself or others.

Role models

You likely had your first lessons on respect as a child—at home, school, worship community, etc. In New Manners for New Times, author Letitia Baldridge asserts that children learn from their parents’ behavior. She adds, “If parents do something a child feels is basically wrong, or if they accept behavior on the child’s part that is basically wrong, wrong soon turns to right.”

If your parents modeled respect toward others, you probably do not struggle with this issue. But if they were highly conditional in their regard for others or stingy with respect, you could be just like them.

What if you are the one who either had unmet needs or poor role models? It’s not too late to work on a new attitude and approach toward others.

Practicing respect

Respect is all about regard for others and your environment. The hardest first step in learning respect is to take your focus off of yourself. You also might practice the following:

  • Commit to the golden rule—treat others as you desire to be treated.
  • Show respect for nature and your surroundings.
  • Say “please” and “thank you” whenever you can.
  • Remind yourself that the other person is worthy of your kindness because he is a person.
  • Use calm voice tones.
  • Smile at others—it can help lift their bad moods.
  • Celebrate differences between you and others—don’t expect uniformity.
  • Throw out thoughts that judge, size up, or criticize others.
  • Tell yourself that you can’t read minds and you don’t know what issues others might have.
  • Become more aware of people around you and how you can help them.
  • Let someone else be first, right, in the spotlight, etc.
  • Be the first to say “I’m sorry.”
  • Stop demanding respect from others as much and start to lavish others with it.

Challenging cases

Practicing respect is fairly easy when you deal mostly with sweet, courteous people. But what if there is a person in your life who seems to thrive on making you miserable? Try these ideas:

  • Keep perspective. In the heat of the moment, ask yourself, “Ten years from now, how important will this offense be to me?”
  • Try a new outlook—start to see that person as a challenge to strengthen your skills of respect and forgiveness.
  • Learn to become meek. Meekness is not weakness. Meekness is restrained power—having the ability to lash out and hurt another but choosing instead to be kind and gracious.

Letting go of bitterness is better for your health and your happiness. There’s also hope that the more you model courtesy to this irksome person, the more she might begin to imitate you! 

If your efforts to respect others fail and you find it hard to make friends or get along with people, seek the help of a counselor, clergyman, or mental health professional. You might want to call the toll-free number on this site for help, or to locate a mental health therapist.

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: New Manners for New Times by Letitia Baldridge. Simon and Schuster, 2003; Motivation and Personality by Abraham Maslow. Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers, 1976; Formal Ethics by Harry Gensler. Routledge, 1996.

Summary

Respect:

  • About regard for others—a deliberate choice to consider others’ well-being
  • Acknowledges that individuals who offend you might have reasons worthy of your compassion

Do you offer respect to others only when they’ve earned it? Perhaps you’re thinking, “Why should I respect my boss when he doesn’t respect me?” or “I’ll respect my children when they start behaving themselves.”

Since your outlook might perpetuate the problem and make you feel miserable, learning to respect others will benefit you and those around you. Put the following suggestions into practice and you may find that respecting others, even when it’s tough, is worth the effort.

Defining respect

It helps to consider what respect is. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines respect as “showing consideration, esteem, or regard for another person, with no mention of condition or merit.” This regard allows another person to differ from you in personality, behavior, opinion, background, culture, maturity, etc. Respect even acknowledges that those who offend you might have reasons worthy of your compassion for why they act rudely.

A basic need

If you find it hard to excuse others for their behavior, bear in mind that, somewhere along the way, they could have had problems or trauma that left them needy.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow, author of Motivation and Personality, theorizes a hierarchy of needs that all humans progress through as they develop. Maslow includes the need for respect from self and others as a basic need for psychological well-being. Unfortunately, anyone who didn’t have primary needs met in childhood—such as physical comfort, security, love, and affection—can be thwarted in his development and struggle to mature to the level of respecting himself or others.

Role models

You likely had your first lessons on respect as a child—at home, school, worship community, etc. In New Manners for New Times, author Letitia Baldridge asserts that children learn from their parents’ behavior. She adds, “If parents do something a child feels is basically wrong, or if they accept behavior on the child’s part that is basically wrong, wrong soon turns to right.”

If your parents modeled respect toward others, you probably do not struggle with this issue. But if they were highly conditional in their regard for others or stingy with respect, you could be just like them.

What if you are the one who either had unmet needs or poor role models? It’s not too late to work on a new attitude and approach toward others.

Practicing respect

Respect is all about regard for others and your environment. The hardest first step in learning respect is to take your focus off of yourself. You also might practice the following:

  • Commit to the golden rule—treat others as you desire to be treated.
  • Show respect for nature and your surroundings.
  • Say “please” and “thank you” whenever you can.
  • Remind yourself that the other person is worthy of your kindness because he is a person.
  • Use calm voice tones.
  • Smile at others—it can help lift their bad moods.
  • Celebrate differences between you and others—don’t expect uniformity.
  • Throw out thoughts that judge, size up, or criticize others.
  • Tell yourself that you can’t read minds and you don’t know what issues others might have.
  • Become more aware of people around you and how you can help them.
  • Let someone else be first, right, in the spotlight, etc.
  • Be the first to say “I’m sorry.”
  • Stop demanding respect from others as much and start to lavish others with it.

Challenging cases

Practicing respect is fairly easy when you deal mostly with sweet, courteous people. But what if there is a person in your life who seems to thrive on making you miserable? Try these ideas:

  • Keep perspective. In the heat of the moment, ask yourself, “Ten years from now, how important will this offense be to me?”
  • Try a new outlook—start to see that person as a challenge to strengthen your skills of respect and forgiveness.
  • Learn to become meek. Meekness is not weakness. Meekness is restrained power—having the ability to lash out and hurt another but choosing instead to be kind and gracious.

Letting go of bitterness is better for your health and your happiness. There’s also hope that the more you model courtesy to this irksome person, the more she might begin to imitate you! 

If your efforts to respect others fail and you find it hard to make friends or get along with people, seek the help of a counselor, clergyman, or mental health professional. You might want to call the toll-free number on this site for help, or to locate a mental health therapist.

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: New Manners for New Times by Letitia Baldridge. Simon and Schuster, 2003; Motivation and Personality by Abraham Maslow. Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers, 1976; Formal Ethics by Harry Gensler. Routledge, 1996.

Summary

Respect:

  • About regard for others—a deliberate choice to consider others’ well-being
  • Acknowledges that individuals who offend you might have reasons worthy of your compassion

Do you offer respect to others only when they’ve earned it? Perhaps you’re thinking, “Why should I respect my boss when he doesn’t respect me?” or “I’ll respect my children when they start behaving themselves.”

Since your outlook might perpetuate the problem and make you feel miserable, learning to respect others will benefit you and those around you. Put the following suggestions into practice and you may find that respecting others, even when it’s tough, is worth the effort.

Defining respect

It helps to consider what respect is. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines respect as “showing consideration, esteem, or regard for another person, with no mention of condition or merit.” This regard allows another person to differ from you in personality, behavior, opinion, background, culture, maturity, etc. Respect even acknowledges that those who offend you might have reasons worthy of your compassion for why they act rudely.

A basic need

If you find it hard to excuse others for their behavior, bear in mind that, somewhere along the way, they could have had problems or trauma that left them needy.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow, author of Motivation and Personality, theorizes a hierarchy of needs that all humans progress through as they develop. Maslow includes the need for respect from self and others as a basic need for psychological well-being. Unfortunately, anyone who didn’t have primary needs met in childhood—such as physical comfort, security, love, and affection—can be thwarted in his development and struggle to mature to the level of respecting himself or others.

Role models

You likely had your first lessons on respect as a child—at home, school, worship community, etc. In New Manners for New Times, author Letitia Baldridge asserts that children learn from their parents’ behavior. She adds, “If parents do something a child feels is basically wrong, or if they accept behavior on the child’s part that is basically wrong, wrong soon turns to right.”

If your parents modeled respect toward others, you probably do not struggle with this issue. But if they were highly conditional in their regard for others or stingy with respect, you could be just like them.

What if you are the one who either had unmet needs or poor role models? It’s not too late to work on a new attitude and approach toward others.

Practicing respect

Respect is all about regard for others and your environment. The hardest first step in learning respect is to take your focus off of yourself. You also might practice the following:

  • Commit to the golden rule—treat others as you desire to be treated.
  • Show respect for nature and your surroundings.
  • Say “please” and “thank you” whenever you can.
  • Remind yourself that the other person is worthy of your kindness because he is a person.
  • Use calm voice tones.
  • Smile at others—it can help lift their bad moods.
  • Celebrate differences between you and others—don’t expect uniformity.
  • Throw out thoughts that judge, size up, or criticize others.
  • Tell yourself that you can’t read minds and you don’t know what issues others might have.
  • Become more aware of people around you and how you can help them.
  • Let someone else be first, right, in the spotlight, etc.
  • Be the first to say “I’m sorry.”
  • Stop demanding respect from others as much and start to lavish others with it.

Challenging cases

Practicing respect is fairly easy when you deal mostly with sweet, courteous people. But what if there is a person in your life who seems to thrive on making you miserable? Try these ideas:

  • Keep perspective. In the heat of the moment, ask yourself, “Ten years from now, how important will this offense be to me?”
  • Try a new outlook—start to see that person as a challenge to strengthen your skills of respect and forgiveness.
  • Learn to become meek. Meekness is not weakness. Meekness is restrained power—having the ability to lash out and hurt another but choosing instead to be kind and gracious.

Letting go of bitterness is better for your health and your happiness. There’s also hope that the more you model courtesy to this irksome person, the more she might begin to imitate you! 

If your efforts to respect others fail and you find it hard to make friends or get along with people, seek the help of a counselor, clergyman, or mental health professional. You might want to call the toll-free number on this site for help, or to locate a mental health therapist.

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: New Manners for New Times by Letitia Baldridge. Simon and Schuster, 2003; Motivation and Personality by Abraham Maslow. Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers, 1976; Formal Ethics by Harry Gensler. Routledge, 1996.

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