Showing respect to others is important, but it has to be earned rather than assumed. During my childhood I remember the saying: respect your elders. But what if those elders don’t conduct themselves in a way that is kind or respectful to you as a child or other adults. As a nurse, my early adult years was spent in another environment of respect your elders and also people considered to be betters. That’s where I decided that respect must be earned rather than freely given.
Kindness and consideration to others
Showing kindness and thoughtfulness towards others is key to being respectful in my book. If someone is aggressive for no reason then it is going to be more difficult to show them kindness in return. However almost 40 years of nursing and working in the public sector has trained me to be courteous and calm even when I am screaming inside. There are of course times I let rip, but they tend to be in a private place. My mum tends to wind me up and there are certainly times I’ve treated her back with the disrespect she has shown me. But I do try to refrain from that, it get’s you no where.
Email and online respect
Way before we engaged with each other on social media platforms the age of email emerged into our lives. It soon became apparent that some people were quite prepared to write things in an email that they would never say on the phone, let alone to someone’s face. I decided early on not to join in with this pursuit but instead to try to be calm and measured. I soon gained a reputation at work as someone to help people structure their emails without causing offence. I’ve tried to carry this into my blogging and social media existence. I’d rather walk away, or at least allow myself to calm down before saying things. I try also to see the best in people.
Trouble is, that doesn’t stop me being hurt. I always imagine any supposed slight is aimed at me. Yesterday I was unfollowed for disagreeing with someone on Twitter. I find this sad, but we’re living in stressful times. So, I just quietly unfollowed them.
Online chat rooms are another place where disrespect is rife. Particularly when it comes to bending the truth and telling outright lies. When I was using those places I somehow managed to navigate my way around those individuals and found myself a great man. But maybe I was lucky, who knows?
Respect within my relationship
No relationship can survive without mutual respect and that includes a power exchange dynamic. We each bring different things to our relationship which make up the key elements of what make it work. Communication is probably the key. We entered the relationship knowing what we expected from each other and over time this has broadened out. In the bedroom and playroom he is clearly the boss and I tend to follow instructions, though can be bratty. He chooses to listen or ignore and that is how it is. In our wider life I still look to him for advice and decisions. But we are more partners in decision making.
Loss of respect
My ex did things throughout our marriage that caused me to lose respect for him. He lied and was often un trustworthy. Boy, he even lied about where he was at the end when he didn’t need to.
But while I’d never trust him in terms of a relationship again. Some respect has been restored because of the way he has coped with the loss of his mum and brother. Followed immediately by his dad’s stroke. I also have great respect for his new partner. I can see that she is better placed to support him. But then they don’t have the baggage in their relationship that we had.
This is also true for Master and I. At 6 years our relationship is relatively new (well in terms of a 30 year marriage). Our past mistakes are, well in the past. We speak openly of those and are able to do our best not to allow them to happen to us. Which takes us back to communication, truthfulness and respect.