The Harmful Effects of Disrespect

Reflection by Mary E. Latela, February 4, 2017

Based on statement from @jhalifax: (Roshi Joan Halifax) “I am concerned about what disrespect is doing to the fabric of our society; incivility is normalized & is eroding moral sensibilities.”

I decided to reflect on and write about disrespect from the perspective of what parents teach their kids, or Nanas teach their angelic grandchildren. I don’t encourage use of the Wiki from my adult students, but in this case the plain English is quite effective.

How to Be Respectful: Three Methods: Showing Basic Respect, Communicating Respectfully. Going Deeper, Community Q&A

When you want to be respectful, try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and behave in a way that shows you care. At its heart, being respectful means showing that you value other people’s perspectives, time and space.

Whether in the family or classroom setting or in the great halls of international forums, respect starts with showing kindness and courtesy. (Image, holding the door open for another person). Persons who are elderly are often disregarded, I supposed because they cannot work so many hours as they used to. (Image, grandma sitting with me on the back stairs where she taught me how to crochet.)

Treat others as you would want to be treated. Name-calling has saturated the media, TV, talk shows. In the tradition in which I was raised, the reminder is “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.”

2  Be polite. The concept of etiquette and good manners seems pointless when you’re a kid, but when you grow up you realize that these customs function as a way to keep society running smoothly. Small? but important points (image) don’t talk on your cell phone … everywhere, don’t cut in line, don’t cut people off in traffic, say please and thank you!”..

Throw away or recycle your trash instead of leaving it for someone else to clean up.

3 Don’t discriminate. Be respectful to everyone – not just people you know or those you perceive as having a higher status than you. Many people save their respect for people upon whom they want to make a good impression, and they’re rude to everyone else. But there is truth in the saying, “You can judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them.”[1]

This means you should be as kind to those who aren’t as “cool” as you as you are to the most popular people you know.

4 Respect differences. 5 Respect spaces. 6  Respect the earth and all who live here. Do your part to avoid polluting the environment. … 8 Respect personal space.

Method 2

Communicating Respectfully

1 Listen when someone is talking. When you’re having a conversation, being a good listener is a basic sign of respect. If you look bored or interrupt the person, you’re showing that you don’t really care what he or she has to say. Practice listening more intently and waiting until the person is finished talking before you respond.Process what the person is saying instead of just absently nodding your head.

2 Think before you speak. When it’s your turn to talk, try to formulate a respectful response. Take into account what the person was saying and voice your opinion without undermining theirs. Avoid insulting the other person by saying something rude or callous.

Try not to be condescending. Don’t be patronizing.

3 Be clear when you want something. People are often happy to help you, but they can’t help you if they aren’t sure what you need. Talk about your needs (physical or emotional) so that people aren’t left wondering what is going on with you.

4 Respectfully disagree. You can respect someone’s view even if you wholeheartedly disagree. The key is to disagree with what the person is saying without undermining the actual person’s worthiness. For example, you might strongly disagree with someone’s political beliefs, but you can still value the person as a human being, and that should come through in the way you argue.

Never resort to insulting someone during an argument. Don’t let “I don’t agree with your view on that” escalate to “You’re an idiot.”

If necessary, halt the conversation before things get too out of control and you say something you’ll regret. You’re not going to get anywhere by disrespecting the other person; you’ll just make a new enemy.

5 Practice patience and assume good faith. Communication can be difficult sometimes, and people may misspeak or struggle to find words that fit. Give them time, and when you aren’t quite sure what they mean, assume that they are doing their best to be kind and understanding.

6 Don’t stereotype other people. Don’t come to a conversation with assumptions about someone else’s opinions or background based on their race, gender, religion, nationality, or any other factor. Everyone is an individual with special life experiences and wisdom. Don’t make the disrespectful mistake of thinking you know someone before you’ve taken the time to learn about him or her as a unique person.

If you have nothing good to say, it’s better not to say it at all.

Politely object to continuing or starting such discussions, even if the person being gossiped about has done a bad deed towards you before. Remember, you reap what you sow, so do not indulge in bad habits for your own good and other people’s good. Keep in mind that the good or bad deeds you commit will affect you and others in the long run.

8 Apologize if you hurt someone. No matter how hard you may try, you’ll probably tread on someone’s toes at some time or another. Your hurtful mistake is less important than how you react to it. If you realize you did something unkind or upsetting, talk to the person about it to apologize.

Avoid saying “but” to justify your actions. If you wish to explain why you behaved the way you did, try “and” instead. For example, “I’m sorry I winced when you said you were autistic, and I was acting on a misconception of what autism is. I’m sorry I upset you, and I accept you for who you are.” This explains the action without excusing it.

9 Be respectful to others even if they’re not respectful to you. As difficult as it might be, try to show patience and humility. The other person may learn something from you. If the person is downright rude or mean, try to defend yourself without sinking to his or her level.

Method 3 Going Deeper

1 Show deference to those with rightful authority. Some people deserve extra signs of respect because of the position they hold. The school principal, the boss, the church leader, the mayor, the queen of England – these are people you have risen to leadership positions because they have exhibited qualities society deems worthy of respect. Show authority figures respect according to the proper custom, whether it means calling the principal “Sir” or bowing to the queen.

Elders are also deserving of extra respect. Respect your parents, grandparents, and other elders in the community for the valuable wisdom they have to share. “I praise you for  I am fearfully an wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

“In some cases … an authority figure is not deserving of extra respect and deference. If someone has broken your trust and you feel you can no longer respect them, that’s a personal choice you have the right to make… but don’t abuse your power. (wiki, what is respect).

Enough to think about for now.

The fabric of life is strong but fragile. And beside the forces of nature at work, we contend with human actions, thoughts, words, and feelings in keeping harmony, unless we have tossed that notion aside. I cannot control the actions of another person. I certainly can – slowly and up a steep hill, learn to be my better self.  And this starts with the every day plodding up and down through the paths of life …. BUT NOT ALONE. I have to help others. I owe my own passage to their help as well. Interdependence characterizes the healthier communities. I wish to keep working on my own communities – near and far, with love and courage. Come along, will you?





About @LatelaMary

Author of 14 self-help books, five still available: Prepare Him Room, Ten Steps to Peace, Healing the Abusive Family, Moments for Mothers. Breaking the Boxes: critique of institutions vs. individuals. Work-in-progress: Memoir (Sorting out Secrets)
This entry was posted in art, chronic pain, deceit, disaster, ethics, gift, hiding, human rights, interdependence, ourstory, vote. Bookmark the permalink.

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