Respect is an inside job
Out of all the areas that we can grow in, relationships can be the most difficult and fulfilling areas of all. The truth is, you are the only person in any relationship that can grow. The actions of others are solely up to them. In no other area can focusing on yourself multiply your growth and improve the quality of your life, your relationships. A key foundational element of relationships is respect. Interestingly, it’s an inside job. Only you can give respect, and only you can set the boundaries that keep disrespectful people out. Respect is a reflection of character. Therefore, we should show it and expect it.
With this in mind, seven elements are important for us to show and also expect:
R – Requirement not special request
In healthy relationships, respect is a requirement, not a special request. As a reflection of our character, we extend respect to all people. It’s not a choice. We aren’t able to a pick and choose who is worthy of our respect. Every human deserves respect. Whether we extend, it is a reflection of our character, not theirs.
E – Equal effort
If you are married, you have likely heard the statement. Marriage isn’t 50/50 it’s 100/100, meaning both parties give equal effort. Likewise, this cliche applies to all relationships. Giving less than 100% to a relationship is to use and abuse the relationships. Receiving less than 100% from someone is far from a balanced and healthy relationship.
S – Supportive
To me having healthy relationships means being surrounded by supportive people. People I love and who love me. I can be vulnerable to share my hopes, dreams, and fears with them. I am accepted as I am but always encouraged to be all that I can be.
P – Partner not put-down
Ultimately every relationship has a purpose. Regardless of whether that relationship is at work, volunteering, in marriage or with family. When we recognize that purpose, then it’s more readily understandable that we will be more successful when we partner with others rather than put them down.
E – Expect honesty
Another key point is honesty. Often we think of honesty concerning building trust, which is true. In this regard, honesty does double duty. It not only builds trust but demonstrates respect.
C – Communication
As shown above, honesty is part of communication, but communication extends far beyond that. Communication includes being respectful in conflict, being direct and not withholding information, etc.
T – Treatment
As much as the list above is important, so is how we treat others. Are we kind, gracious, gentle, and patient? Each of these traits can be found in respect.
Grab your journal; it’s your turn to grow
Take a few moments and reflect on a relationship that you are feeling disrespected in:
- Are you extending the aspects of respect above that you wish to receive from this person? Where can you improve in the respect you show this person.
- If you feel you have no room for improvement, have you had a conversation to set a boundary for the respect you require of them? How can you prepared to have such a conversation? (Coach, mentor, Youtube, etc.)