How to Get Respect
How does one go about getting respect? I was taught, as a child, that... in order to get respect, you have to, first, give respect. I've had people ask me, though, how does a child learn to respect someone? Of course, it's by seeing someone (usually, the parents) be respectful... to them and to others. So... it's kind of like "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"
If you think about it, a child is not automatically born with an innate sense of respect (for their parents, the doctor who delivered them and their world). It sounds kind of silly, if you think about it that way. Obviously, they have to learn respect from someone else, model that behavior and grow to feel like it's the right thing to do.
I remember, as a teenager, saying to my mother, "Well, if YOU don't respect ME, then why should I respect YOU?" I came from a home where my parents laid out the rules, and when they weren't followed, well... that was it. You just KNEW how to behave! I see many, other people who were raised that way, and I almost think we were done a disservice. I mean... if we were just supposed to KNOW (intuitively, I suppose?!) to respect others, then where were we supposed to learn to do that from? Needless to say, there was many-an-experience being learned in the "real world..." some good, but most not so good.
Now that I'm older, and am a mother, myself, I see exactly where teenagers are coming from. Sure... they're moody, grouchy and oftentimes disrespectful, but... who is actually teaching our children HOW to act? Hopefully, it's the parents, and hopefully they're doing a good job teaching their child and modeling those behaviors for them. I know, many parents who are NOT doing their children any favors in this area... which, is sad. These children grown up not knowing who they are, where they fit in and how to properly, and positively, socialize with society.
One day, my son and I were fussing about something and he said the exact, same thing to me. He wanted to know why I always tell him he's not respecting me and why I expect him to respect me when he feels like I don't respect him. In the heat of the moment, I didn't see it, but... once everything calmed down and I was able to think about it, he definitely gave me something to think about. I do NOT want to be the parent who is always "in control," and that's it. I know how awful that feels. Rather... I strive to be the mother and role model that, at the end of the day, my son knows is "in charge;" however, is not going to just rub it in his face... "just because." What's the point in that?
What about when it comes to complete strangers, though? How do you feel? Do you find it annoying to go to the store and be in such a happy mood, just to have it all spoiled by the check out girl whose in the worst possible mood? What about when you're standing in line for a movie ticket and someone just butts right in... in front of you? Do you say anything, and if so... how?
I have to say... I'm the type that's had so much confrontation in her life, that I'd rather not even bother. I know, this is not always the best way to handle these things/people, though. If it's something very important to me, or an issue that affects mine/my family's lives... then, I say something. Other than that, I use the "I don't even see you" tactic... hiding away in my own, little space in time. Now, if someone initiates a confrontation... then, I will get upset. There would've been a time, not so long ago, that I would've completely lost it, if something like that happened. Things have changed, though. I have changed.
When all else fails, I pray. Seriously! When you are doing your best, being as caring and as respectful as you can, and the other person just refuses to see/hear your point of view... that's the time to pray. Unfortunately, not much else is going to work, unless that person CHOOSES to open their hearts and minds.
A couple of things I always try to keep in mind, are:
1.) Don't always rush to judge/take offense for the way someone ELSE is behaving (no matter what they say/do to you). You never know where that person's been, what that person's been through and where that person's going. Make sure, their last impression of you is a good one.
2.) Always speak with kindness and respect. Believe it or not, it IS possible to behave/speak to others in a way that shows respect. Again... no matter how they're behaving/speaking, you always have control over what you do/say. No one can "make" you do anything you don't want!
3.) If all else fails, I try and consider how Jesus would behave in a certain situation. If you know enough about the bible, Jesus and God... you will know, we were not meant to act in such negative/disrespectful ways.
Other than that, the rest is really up to you... how you want, and choose, to behave. What kind of person do you want to be? What do you want people to say about you, after you're gone? How do YOU want to see you? That's very important. Once you've answered those questions, you'll have the answers to so much more.
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