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Five Reasons to Stand Ground Against Disrespect

Updated on January 19, 2018
MsDora profile image

MsDora, former teacher and Certified Christian Counselor shares tips for smooth relationships with friends and encounters with strangers.

The two main points of the American Stand Your Ground law are applicable to the invasion of disrespect in a personal space:

(a) Self-defense in the face of a perceived threat;
(b) No obligation to retreat.

So imagine disrespect intruding on an individual through the words or action of another—manager, minor or mate. Self-defense equals zero tolerance for the disrespect, so that there is no chance for it to hurt the individual. No retreat requires that respect be firmly established, causing disrespect to vacate the space.

She Stands Her Ground

Photo by Lions.  Thanks to Sherbaz Khan.
Photo by Lions. Thanks to Sherbaz Khan. | Source

Self-defense equals zero tolerance for the disrespect . . .

No retreat requires that respect be firmly established.

Standing your ground is a precautionary measure to ensure that the offender does not violate another person’s right to be respected and get away with it.

There are good reasons for an individual to stand ground against this enemy which undermines morale, sabotages progress and ruin relationships. Here are five reasons which enable self-worth and self-growth in the one who stands, and may also have a positive influence on the offender.

(1) To Showcase the Respect Everyone Deserves

The individual who stands ground against disrespect is showcasing his respectability. He is setting the standard for interactions with the offender and with everyone else, especially if he makes it clear that he offers the same kind of civility that he is asking. People learn by observing each other, and when one person insists that he and everyone in his space be treated humanely, the attitude spreads.

Children, youth and morally-challenged adults are at a disadvantage when their disrespect is ignored. Teaching them the theory in a classroom lesson or church sermon is good; but it is even better to deal with their offenses as they happen, and advise them what the appropriate action should be. They get the opportunity to apply what they learn when someone points out what they are doing wrong and suggest how they can improve.

Besides, when people care enough to tell offenders that they are expected to be respectful, the offenders may respond by accepting the challenge.

(2) To Seize a Teaching/Learning Moment

Painting by António José Patrício
Painting by António José Patrício | Source

Individuals who have been taught respect may assume that everyone else has been taught the same principles. They may make statements to an offender like, “You’re old enough to know better,” or “Didn’t your parents teach you anything?” Some extra communication time may reveal that people have been taught differently according to culture, religion and possibly other factors. Some teaching and learning may be necessary to get everyone on the same page.

For example, Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. self-styled empowering entrepreneur, cites problems with employees from the Y Generation (born mid 1970s to mid 1990s). He describes them as “very independent and not afraid to challenge the status-quo” and “wanting a relationship with their boss like the ones they have with their parents.” Hansen says that these Generation Y employees think that they are the ones being disrespected.

It is obvious then, that standing your ground against disrespect may necessitate learning about the people who commit the offenses, and teaching the kind of respect which is expected in a particular space. Respect includes compliance with expectations, and it helps to understand the people who are asked to comply.

(3) To Make the Offender Accountable

No one can truly demand respect from another, but exposure to the teaching and the practice makes an individual accountable for the personal choice to be or not be respectful. Standing your ground integrates the processes of teaching, practicing and making someone accountable.

The offender may reflect on the importance of respect in his or her life:

"How does it make me feel when I am respectful versus how I feel when I am rude?”

“How does it make me feel when someone respects me versus how I feel when someone insults me?”

“Do I like how people respond to me when I respect them versus how they respond to me when I treat them with disregard?"

All these questions can be answered by reflecting on an incident in which some stood their ground in an interaction with the person doing the self-evaluation.

Some people have difficulty learning without personal involvement. They can learn from an actual experience of someone standing ground against his or her disrespect. In future, the reason for disrespect may be forgetting, but it can never be the excuse of not knowing.

Response to Disrespect

How do you respond to disrespect in your space?

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(4) To Sow a Seed with Unlimited Potential

The nationally-renown public speaker was scheduled to make a presentation at a convention in a city distant from where he lived. Traffic congestion delayed him, and he drove into the parking lot minutes before he was to appear on stage. He asked his wife to find her way to the auditorium while he pulled his props from the car trunk and get help to carry them backstage.

When all was set, he looked into the auditorium just to make that his wife was settled. There she was on the back row. He beckoned the young adult usher and whispered to him, “The pregnant woman in the back row is my wife; do you mind seating her near the front?”

The usher was not sure why, but two things about the speaker’s request impacted him all the way into his adult life.

(a) The fact that speaker did not express anger at him for seating his wife at the back;

(b) Standing his ground for the respect his wife deserved.

The usher admired the demeanor of the speaker and considered it worthy to be imitated. He also mirrored the speaker's respect for his wife in his own marriage. There are several real life stories about respect reproduction in the lives of individuals.

In Deborah Norville’s book The Power of Respect: Benefit from the Most Forgotten Element of Success, she mentions multiple benefits. In the home it produces stronger marriages, healthier family dynamics and more polite children. In the workplace it results in lower employee turnover and less lawsuits.

Sadly, there are individuals who, for various reasons including mental disorders, major in disrespect. Standing your ground against disrespect is the right response in order to preserve respect in the foundation of the home and the fabric of society. It begins with nurturing self-respect, the source of strength for standing your ground.

© 2015 Dora Weithers


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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Besarien, I love your commentary on Rosa Parks. We're on the same page. Thank you.

    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 2 years ago

      Basic human respect is something my parents taught me. You don't have to earn that. Everyone already deserves it. The ultimate example for me growing up was Rosa Parks. She had quiet dignity. She was always a lady. She stood up even when she was sitting down.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Lady E, you're right about the woman. Thank you for your kind comment.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 2 years ago from London, UK

      Very inspiring and educative. I really like that story in Number 4. She was a humble woman too. She could have gone all "Diva" if she wanted to. :-)

      Beautiful Hub. Thanks

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Deb, thanks for your affirmation. I think that if we give respect the attention it deserves, our relationships would be happier.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, StrictlyDating. I shall keep striving to deserve your comment.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This is definitely a valuable piece that should be read by all, teens, adults, employers, family members. It applies to one and all from the ground up.

    • stricktlydating profile image

      StricktlyDating 2 years ago from Australia

      Great advice, as always!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Patricia, I always appreciate your comment --and the angels. Best to you also.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      So well said, Ms. Dora. And even little ones need to learn have it taught to them.

      I had to teach my daughter when she was kindergarten age to stand her ground. She did and she was left alone by would be bullies.

      Thanks for taking the time to showcase this important topic.

      Angels are headed your way, Ms. Dora ps

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      PeachPurple, thanks for your affirmation. Yes, women have that prerogative; we should use it.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Great article showing that women should stand up for their own rights

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Sujaya. I appreciate your visit.

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 2 years ago

      very well analysed Do

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Marlene, you for sharing. You explain it so well.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from USA

      I wish I understood this concept in my early years of life. I discovered such concept, in my late adult years, by simply becoming tired of being overrun by people. I discovered that the more I stood my ground against rudeness and disrespect, the better I was treated. You are certainly right when you say that we teach people how to treat us.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Travel Man, working with young people, you have your hands full with regards to opportunities to teach respect. Hope you develop an effective way to deal with the offenders. Thanks for sharing.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Bill. Yes, disrespect is everywhere, even here; and I hope that respect among hubbers would improve.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bodylevive, so glad you enjoyed the article. Thank you for commenting.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 2 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      This is very timely, Ms. Dora. I encountered a very hurting word that's full of disrespect. In my new job as secretary, I often encounter disrespect among the young offenders. I always remind them to take heed the counsel or advise of their parents in order to prevent or never commit violations in our place.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I think this was a good hub for HP readers tot read, MsDora. I understand where you're coming form, but I've also noticed at times there can be a lot of disrespect even among the HP community. I'm not stating that critically, just factually. Thanks for another well done, unique hub - the kind I've come to expect from you.

    • bodylevive profile image

      BODYLEVIVE 2 years ago from Alabama, USA

      Respect is due to every one and it makes me sick to hear some one disrespecting another, especially children to parents and the elderly. But God....has a special place for all who are deserving. Great post, enjoyed it.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks Nell. I wish more people were upset and chose to do something about it. I appreciate you.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Great hub MsDora, yes we were taught respect from a very early age, and when I see disrespect coming from others it annoys and upsets me, everyone should read this, nell

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Ann, I appreciate your kindness and respect, which is mutual between us. Thank you.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      You make the distinctions and deliver the message well. Everyone deserves respect but it's harder to ask for it, or to show that we expect it. Using words and actions carefully goes a long way to obtaining respect, or earning it as Bill says.

      Great message here, Dora. You always deliver your hubs with a grace that shines through your words. I'm sure you're respected by all who know you (including those who know you through HB, as I do).


    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Jackie, what a kind thing to say! Such beautiful comments come from someone who is practicing the respect she learned. I appreciate you!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I think respect is just a basic tradition where I come from and we are all taught it somehow from birth. In fact the whole south is known and loved for it and I hope I never live to see it change.

      You are so full of good things and command all of our respect! ^+

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Alicia, glad that you consider this topic important. I appreciate your kind comment.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a useful article about an important topic. Thank you for sharing the great reminder about the value of respect, MsDora.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Muhmmad, thanks for your kind comment and your valuable contribution to the topic. I appreciate you.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Certainly, M I Morgan. We have to stand ground against disrespect for ourselves and for everyone else, young and old. Glad you found some useful points and thanks for your comment.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Frank, I feel like you just applauded my work. Thanks so much for your encouragement.

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      Excellent description made this topic even more important. You have touched our hearts with a pragmatic narration of respect and disrespect. The two contrast attitudes reflect an image within. The attitude that reflects "Respect" is because of a heart filled with high amount of reverence, whereas the ignorant side gets reflected through disrespect kind of attitude. You have made valid points here MsDora for dealing with the moral values. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.

    • profile image

      M l morgan 2 years ago

      This is a great article, with some very interesting information. I think that on this day and age, respect for youngsters and young adults is often forgotten, even though they deserve as much respect as a man or woman of 70/80 years old.

      There are some great points here. Thank you for sharing.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Msdora, reasons to stand your ground is poignant, this hub's radiance shines through because of the person writing it.. voted useful and concise.. a great triumph over the frustrations of disrespect

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Word. Your kind comment is encouraging.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks Jo. I appreciate you for taking the time to read and to give feedback. Best to you!

    • word55 profile image

      Word 2 years ago from Chicago

      Hi Dee, giving and receiving respect is atop the attributes for people to display to each other at all times. If a person is disrespected then that person allowed the disrespect to happen. This was a very good article. It deserves the utmost respect. God bless you!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      MsDora, this is an excellent article that needs to be widely read. Some people demands respect but won't respect others, they see politeness as a sign of weakness, therefore undeserving of respect. Nice work as always. Up and sharing.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Whonu, you are very kind. I appreciate your encouragement.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Blond Logic, there is some difference in the way the younger and older generations think of respect; but both groups have individuals who need to improve. I agree that each person evaluating him or herself is a good start. Thanks for your contribution to the topic.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 2 years ago from United States

      MsDora you are a gifted writer and have my respect always. Thank you for sharing part of yourself and being such an inspiration to others.whonu

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 2 years ago from Brazil

      This is something which I have been wondering about lately. I didn't know if the problem was 'the younger generation' or the fact I am getting old and cranky.

      I think I need to look at changing myself first.

      Thanks for the reminder. Respect needs to start at home.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Faith, thanks for your affirmation. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      True, Denise. We cannot talk about it enough, and we have to always be aware of how our respectability or lack of it affects others. Thanks for underscoring that.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Flourish, I agree with you 100%. We have to be what we want our children to imitate. Thanks for your comment.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Dear MsDora,

      What a timely message here for me to read this day is disheartening when others feel they can walk all over another just because, so it is, as you state, so important for us to stand up and be respected no matter what.

      Thank you for another useful article.

      God bless you.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Edward, thanks for your kind sentiment. It is true that attitudes now are far different than what we expect them to be; some of the younger people are also disappointed in the way we interact with them. We may not be able to change them, but we can stand our ground concerning the respect we deserve. I appreciate your point of view.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Respect is something that just doesn't happen. We have to talk about it and practice it in order to get it, whether at home or in the workplace. I have learned this from sad experience!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      This is such an important topic, especially with youth. We have to model the good behavior we want to see and expect great things from one another.

    • Edward J. Palumbo profile image

      Ed Palumbo 2 years ago from Tualatin, OR

      Ms. Dora, I have come to look forward to your thoughts and your writing. I have reached a point in life when I consistently address others with human respect but tolerate rudeness poorly. A smile or exercise of good will is a matter of civility, yet seems often perceived as obsequious. An attitude of humility seems often mistaken for submissiveness. Our society seems to be changing faster than I choose to adapt to it.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, thanks for sharing that notion. That shows the power of respect. It is worth knowing and remembering.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Devika, thanks for reading and voting. Yea, the learning moment is a great advantage.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Shauna, your attitude is commendable. Standing up is the right thing to do. Thanks for your feedback.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Right on Sister! Amen. I am having an interesting time looking at my role in others disrespecting me. It is starting to feel like they can just sense when I disrespect myself and they pile on.

      My young son is in a Christian based Karate Dojo. Someone figured out that more time spent on Determination, Charity and Respect is just as important as practicing the physical motions. Respect is the foundation for self defense, not physical prowess. Great article that I will share.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great write here! I voted C and such a learning moment.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      This is a wonderful article, Dora. Respect is something that was ingrained in me at a young age. I don't understand how or why so many people have lost this basic attribute. Respect should be automatic. I have no qualms in standing up for myself when I'm shown disrespect. I refuse to be a door mat. And those who are constantly ugly towards others are the ones I refuse to allow in my space.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, I like the way you learned it--the basic and the earned. Sure, you live it and you respectability is is admirable. Thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      One of the earliest lessons my father taught me is that we all deserve basic respect, and we should demand it be given to us. Then there is the second level of respect, the type we earn through our actions. I understood this article very well. I've lived it for decades. :) Thank you Dora!


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