So You Want Respect: How to get respect in your relationship


You don’t have to go very for to hear someone giving his or her opinion on respect. Some will say that respect is something that is earned; that so-and-so has not earned our respect so we will happily keep it to ourselves.  “No respect for you”- soup Nazi style.


We hear people say they demand another’s respect. I often wonder how this works exactly. Is it that they force the other’s respect through threats, muscle or might. Does this demand of respect add up to something like “Respect me or I’ll tell on you” or “Respect me or you’ll be sorry”?


Indeed the demand of respect doesn’t sound that respectful when it is couched in such terms.


I, for one, think respect is very important to our lives. But I don’t think respect is something that should be earned or demanded.


That doesn’t mean we need to put up with unconscious behavior.  There are times it is best to move away from destructive behavior, but we can still do it in a matter that respects the other individual.


What does it mean to respect?     How to get respect in your relationship

 For those of you reading this who know me you already know how I feel about religion.  I welcome religion, all religion for that matter, but do not prescribe to one specific one myself. If anything I love the philosophy behind religions.


I have heard it said that religion and psychology, in their finest condition, meet.  I believe there may be some truth to this.  I say all this as a preface to what I am about to say about respect.


When we look at the word respect and break it down it means re-“again”, and spect-“look” put it together and we have “to look again”.


This is where some people say big whoop- I know this from grade school. It’s also where some people say “Right! And if they want me to look again (or respect them) they had sure better earn it”.


This is where I have a slightly different view on respect. When we look again we are looking to see something we have missed before with our superficial glance.

When we look again we are looking through the surface level.

Some might say we are looking to see the divine in that individual. Some might say you are looking again to see that person in a different light. Other may say our second look is done to see that person’s side of the story- to see them as innocent.


The view I like is that respect means we look again to see the divine in another.  Some religions teach that when we begin to recognize the Divine in another we begin to see it in ourselves. This is one of the reasons I like this explanation of respect so much.


When we begin to look for the innocence in another we begin to see it in ourselves.  When we learn to treat others with genuine loving kindness we begin to offer ourselves that same.


When we begin to understand that respecting others is actually for our own benefit we are more open to the experience.


This is way we are better off not living from the viewpoint that respect must be earned. When we live like this we end up selling ourselves short.



So know I know why it helps be to respect others- what can I do to start getting other’s respect?


Whatever you feel that your relationship is lacking, start giving it.


If you don’t feel like you are getting enough respect- start giving respect.


If you don’t feel like people are listening to your ideas- start listening to their ideas.


If you feel like people judge you too harshly, begin to look at how you are judging others.


Think about the times when you have been disrespectful to another person. (And if you are saying right now that you have never been disrespectful to another than I am going to call B***S*** on you. 😉 But denial is a tool we use until we don’t need it anymore so that is still ok.)


Think about that time when you have been disrespectful to another, maybe because you felt they deserved it, or may be just because you were having a bad day.


Are you there thinking about it?…Good.


What happened when you were disrespectful to them? Did they react in a way that caused the situation to get worse fast? Did communication stop? Did they walk away?


There may be a chance that that person was disrespectful right back and it may not have been to your face. Perhaps they were very respectful.

Consider that other person was not respectful, what would have happened if they responded with respect. Would you be more or less likely to show them respect? Typically people would answer they are more likely to show another respect when they think they are getting it.


So this is how you begin to get more respect in your relationships- start giving it.


Whatever you feel like you are lacking begin giving it- BUT YOU HAVE TO GIVE IT FREELY.   Stop keeping tabs on how much you are giving to others.


Do you like it when people give you something just because they want something in return? I know I don’t but I know that sometimes I can get caught in this trap of giving to get something.


If you are giving to get something- take note but don’t punish yourself. Sometimes it helps to remember you are a Divine being and a Divine being doesn’t deserve judgment.


If your not comfortable with the word Divine that’s all right find another word that you are comfortable with.




I would like to your thoughts


Should respect be earned or given unconditionally?


What is some advice involving respect that you have found helpful?


Should we strive to see the Divine (or good) in everyone?


Are there those you feel do not deserve respect?