Self-Respect: Prerequisite for Respecting Others
The teen slams the door as he walks away.
The employer insults the employee.
The pedestrian curses at the slow driver.
Individuals who engage in these disrespectful behaviors may not consider that their lack of self-control portrays them negatively; that their disrespect is likely to boomerang.
When it comes to respect, a person must own it for himself, in order to share it with others.
This article promotes self-respect as a prerequisite for respecting others in general, with a specific look at:
(2) Other Seniors
Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.
— Laurence Sterne (novelist and clergyman)
Respect for Self
Respect for self includes, but is not limited to the following:
- (1) Know and believe in who you are.
- (2) Let your conversation and deportment correspond with your mental image of who you are.
- (3) Stand up for your convictions; don't be influenced by other people's opinions.
- (4) Keep company with people who support the principles you live by.
- (5) Practice zero tolerance for any kind of abuse: verbal, emotional, physical including sexual.
- (6) Evaluate your worth, and don't offer discounts on your value.
(1) Respect for Parents
"It is most important that a child respect his parents . . . because the child's relationship with his parents provides the basis for his attitude toward all other people” (Our Civilisation).
Parents influence respect in the child by the following methods:
- (1) Model respect in your relationship with your child. For example, don't scold in company
- (2) Teach it intentionally with regard to good manners: "Please," Thank you," "May I?" etc.
- (3) Demand respect and take the time to make sure the child follows through.
- (4) Praise respect when the child demonstrates it.
Children are obligated to respect the parent as the authority figure in the home. That includes communication concerning their whereabouts. Children are expected to be respectful in the home until or unless:
- The children choose to trade their parent’s authority for total independence, including their own residence
- The parents’ laws become harmful to them.
(2) Respect for Other Seniors
In some cultures, it is permissible for a child to address an adult without using a title. Still, there are many people who believe that there is a correlation between respect and the way children address older people.
Children who are respectful like to please. If they are told that the adults prefer to called by a title, they will comply. It is mostly the adults who are responsible for dismissing this gesture of respect when:
- An adult introduces himself to a child by his first name.
- An adult says to a child, “Please drop the title; just call me by my first name.” (Per Etiquette Daily, tell the child that this is a preference, not the general rule).
- A parent hears a child call an adult by the first name, and says nothing about it.
- An adult refuses the title in an effort to seem friendly; even though respect does not hinder friendship.
The reason some give for wanting to be called by their first names, is that the title makes them feel old. In cultures where the form of address shows respect, it is more meaningful to feel respected than to feel a certain age.
(3) Respect for Friends
When a young man talks with a young woman several times without staring at her bosom; when they go for a walk and he does not try to kiss her; when he insists on talking with her parents before he invites her to his house; he is being respectful. It has to do with his sense of self-respect as well as what he thinks about her.
- (1) He values his mind as well as his body; he respects her mind as much as he admires her body.
- (2) He cares whether the attraction is mutual; he respects her opinion.
- (3) He cares about her reputation as well as his.
- (4) He wants a good woman; he wants her to have a good man.
It also has to do with the woman's self-respect:
- (1) She has to be the type of woman who attracts the type of man she wants.
- (2) She must know beforehand how she wants to be treated.
Appropriate Titles of Respect
- How to Address Church Officials, Bishops, Priests
The proper ecclesiastical forms of address for both writing and speaking.
- How to address a Pastor
Honor and Respect: Names, Titles, and Forms of Address for pastors with and without doctorates.
- How to Address US Federal, State, and Municipal Officials
Honor and Respect: Names, Titles, and Forms of Address
- Titles - synonyms or related words for Titles - Macmillan Dictionary and Thesaurus
Comprehensive list of Titles and when to use them: for example, "The Honorable," "Your Ladyship," "Madame," "Sir."
(4) Respect for God
First, a believer values himself as a creature and responds to the Creator with respect. He respects God's name, house of worship and those who minister of His behalf. He also respects his own body, and keeps it fit for God to dwell in.
He does not participate in the irreverent use of God's name. He does not laugh when comedians make Him the object of their laughter or He is blasphemed in sitcoms. He does not check on his communication device during prayer, nor interrupt the worship service to answer trivial phone calls.
Respect for God inspires reverence for Him and respect for all His creatures. It convinces the believer live by the principles He teaches, for his own good:
- Show great respect for your mother and father (Leviticus 19: 3).
- Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged (Leviticus 19:32).
- Give respect and honor to those who are in authority (Romans 13: 7).
- Respect everyone (1 Peter 2: 17).
Scripture quotations are from the New Living Translation.
© 2013 Dora Isaac Weithers