I must admit my own judgment, or misjudgment has gotten me into trouble too many times.
I developed a false preconception due to bias, prejudice, and stereotyping. I hate it when I am wrong, especially about others.
A couple of weeks ago, my friend Kevin asked to hear more about respect.
I certainly appreciate these requests.
I find it easier to relate to these types of inquiries by explaining what it means to me, and for me, it is easier to identify what things are by first looking at what they are not.
For instance, disrespect to me, is showing insult, acting rudely, impolitely, or even being aggressive or offensive towards others.
On the other hand, respect to me, is accepting others for who they are, even when they’re different from me or they don’t agree with me.
I call respect—like trust—the glue that holds relationships together.
Sometimes in the beginning respect can come naturally and then sometimes due to obvious differences, it must be earned.
Respect is often lost when there are feelings of being judged, belittled, or teased.
If I don’t feel safe or trusted in the beginning, respect may be earned with the passage of time.
Trust and safety come with respect.
I like to think of respect as being able to have a healthy conversation even if we disagree, we can talk openly about who we are and what we stand for.
Respect is present in the absence of wanting to be in control and being contentious.
Respect is being able to admit mistakes and errors in judgment or actions and show humility.
Even though I may experience disrespect from others, this does not give me the right to reciprocate.
If I find myself not feeling respected by other people, including family or friends, I must have the courage to let them see the real me by emitting an experience, not by words, that demonstrates who I am.
In order to make any type of difference and gain respect, I must show up differently.
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees and if someone can't treat me with respect and I don't feel secure with them, I will politely end the relationship with them.
All of these are imperative pieces of the “respect puzzle” but a piece that can often be missing is having respect for myself.
Respect in any relationship must start with self-respect.
I cannot expect someone to treat me with respect if I do not feel good about myself and if I am not treating myself with respect, honor, and dignity.
When these principles come together, one clear picture emerges: respect is finding common ground and upholding both my values and others equally.
What I think and feel is just as important as what somebody else thinks and feels.
You can go beyond what is presented here by thinking creatively about how to be respectful in your own life.
I hope this helps address your request, Kevin.
Look for the blind spots!
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Blind Spots in Relationships
What I don't know I don't know about myself