December 13, 2015

Top Solutions for a Respectful Relationship

What is your top priority in any relationship? Acceptance? Appreciation? Mutual support? Love? In my humble opinion, the root of all of these attributes is what every individual really wants: respect. Think about it: if we don’t first respect a person, we aren’t going to appreciate them, accept them, and so forth.

Please note: I am not suggesting that we embrace certain attitudes we feel might be toxic. I am only talking about valuing worthwhile mindsets that differ from our own.

The other day, I blogged about how we often treat each other with disrespect when they slow us down. Please see that article here. Certain individuals aren’t always given what they want for a variety of reasons. That doesn’t mean they have a right to belittle others.

People use a number of justifications for disrespect. Here are three of the top ones that I’ve noticed:

Someone’s Agenda Gets Obstructed.

My son is in training to be an online tech-support representative for an internet provider.  One of his fellow trainees took a call from an angry customer who constantly yelled and cussed. Obviously, the man wasn’t getting his needs met, or he wouldn’t have called in the first place. Nobody likes to be slowed down by equipment failure. However, that wasn’t a good excuse to allow his feelings to spill over onto a person who was trying to help him—and hadn’t caused his problem in the first place.

Janice is a friend who had to argue with her bank manager about not charging to stop payment on two checks. She called within fifteen minutes of learning there wasn’t enough money to cover the funds. The angry bank official’s agenda was to follow his bank’s rules and keep from losing money. In the process, he almost lost a customer. Reason won out in the end. He cleared the checks.

There is no Meeting of Minds.

Loved ones should have empathy for everything we go through, right? They are likely to understand our every feeling and motivation.  Not really.  People close to us will want to understand us, and think they relate to us. But, that won’t always be possible.

There are some situations that must be experienced firsthand in order to be truly understood. The death of a child and chronic illness are two examples. Such circumstances are debilitating, and they limit our lifestyles. They may be too frightening and difficult for others to even try to understand; they can’t, or won’t, allow themselves to do so.

Someone Doesn’t Want to Admit They’re Wrong.

Who does, really? It requires a certain level of humility. It means admitting to the fact that there’s a flaw inside of us. Five of the hardest words in the English language are “I was wrong. I’m sorry.”

One colleague says that she has had to part ways many times with people who would rather lose her friendship, or her love, than admit they were wrong—or at least that her point of view was worth considering.

What is the Solution?

1. Accept the fact that some people simply cannot, or will not, understand our point of view:
They can’t get beyond their own feelings.
They can’t relate to the particular situation.
Their pride is getting in the way.

2. Respect differences in:
Life experience
Quotes on Accepting Differences

“Be kindly affectioned one to another; with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” Romans 12:10 (KJV)


“There is no respect for others without humility in oneself.”—Henri Frederic Amiel
“We don’t need to share the same opinions as others, but we need to be respectful.”—Taylor Swift

Please see more about respect in my book, Accept No Trash Talk: Overcoming the 

How do you show respect?

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