Respect isn’t a basic need in the Maslow hierarchy of needs, but I think it should be. It’s easy for us to show respect to figures of authority or those more senior to us, but respect is something that should be accorded to everyone. The question is, what is respect?
- Respect is being fully present when someone has a conversation with you
Have you ever found someone flicking through social media on their phone while speaking to you? This is really rude, because first the message is that having a conversation with a person isn’t very entertaining, and social media is more important. I myself have been guilty of this, and I have stopped since then. Also, you get so much more meaning and nuance out of a conversation when you really focus on it!
- Respect is speaking to someone nicely, even if you disagree.
Just because you don’t see eye to eye doesn’t mean you need to yell at a person. You also don’t need to fall into a defense mechanism of being patronizing and making the other person feel stupid. If this is the only way one can make a point, then one should reconsider his or her values, because the point is not won through logic and intelligence, but solely through emotion.
- Respect is being punctual
This is why I love Japan. The Japanese are always extremely punctual, because they believe in the notion of respecting time. When you’re 20 minutes late to something, you’re showing someone disrespect because you don’t care that you have made that person wait while you took your own sweet time. Of course, there are always emergencies but if you are constantly being late, it shows you do not respect another person. For instance, if you had an interview at your dream company, you wouldn’t dream of showing up late.
- Respect is being honest
Some people do speak nicely to you, and then say a completely different thing behind your back. It’s not just about honesty, but it’s also about respect. If you respect someone enough, you would have the courtesy and respect to speak your mind, and not backstab or be a hypocrite.
- Respect is being fair
Often times, we lose our temper at people and consider them ‘stupid’ when things don’t go our way, or things that are very obvious to us don’t seem obvious to them. Before getting into a big tizzy, think about whether how you feel is fair or not. Do they have all the information you have on hand? Did they know a particular point was a certain pain point for you? A lot of times, people are not out to get you or irritate you. It’s just a matter of an information asymmetry or different motivations.
The above were my thoughts on respect. What are yours? Share with us in the comments section or on our Facebook page. We’d like the world to be a lot more respectful, because we believe then it would be a much better and more tolerant place to live in!