Navigating through relationships where you maintain and give respect can be murky waters for many. From the day you looked at yourself and realized that you had value, intelligence and self-awareness, you became very aware of what it means to be respected and how you feel when you are disrespected. Life was never the same again. Singly speaking, this became one of the main barometer in which you gauged if in fact, you are being treated correctly. For me, this is absolutely where I live. I will not tolerate disrespect. I try to be as conscious as possible that I am not perpetrating disrespect on anyone. So, rather than continuing to battle the world to make sure I am respected, I started looking closer at what exactly does respect mean to me and what respect really is. For some this word becomes a broad description for any hurt feelings one may feel. I decided I would examine my thoughts closer and hence be really clear on what I believe, so I can be more authentic in my life’s journey.
The first thing I was very clear about, is that actions and not words is what shows respect. Telling me you respect me means nothing if your actions are doing the opposite. So, here in lies the deceit. This is what I am calling it, because at the end of the day, these actions done individually and by themselves, I have determined are not necessarily disrespect but just actions. However if they happen all together, yes I do believe disrespect is more than likely what is happening.
We all like to be heard. This is essential to communication, and one of the necessary ingredients in showing respect. As I discussed in my post entry Hmm, what did you say? If you are hearing what someone says to you it stand to reason you are listening. Listening will make you more than likely to give your attention, which will lead to your feedback, this is not only polite but it is one of the main ingredients in a respectful relationship. Plus when you listen you grow interested and when you are interested you look forward to more conversation and you too will want to share information. You are now further developing a respectful relationship with this person because you are listening, communicating and engaging. Since we have come this far, we have to keep going. Now that we are engaging more, we are sure to find out more things about each other. Once we find out these things, if there are elements in there that we are not comfortable with, can we learn to be sensitive to each other about them, and not attack each other? Will we accept them and not seek to change them? Denying them their right to be who they are is not supporting a respectful relationship. As a matter of fact, this one act singly by it self is disrespectful.
I highly believe that mutually respectful relationships must have all these elements I previously mentioned. Anytime we lack these aspects in our communication, I believe we are bordering on disrespect. However when we give all these aspects to our communication with others, we are now showing them what great value they are to us and in turn it makes them feel loved and empowered. So the circle is complete and a respectful relationship is now born.