‘Respect’ is what each one of us yearns for in our relationships. Whether its parent-child, husband-wife, employer-employee, friends, colleagues…
‘Respect’ is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship. But what exactly is ‘respect’ and how do we build that in our relationship?
Respect means that you recognize that the other person is unique and different. That person has different experiences, opinions and thoughts from you, and that’s ok.
It’s easy to say that you have respect for someone, but acting with respect can be a bit trickier. I want to talk about how? you not just ‘show’ but build respect in your relationship. How you can be ‘mindful’ in your communication?
Firstly it is important for us to understand our actions and reactions in a relationship is what go to show if ‘respect’ exists or not. Let’s take the example of the simple act of listening. You might have experienced at least once while you were listening to someone, midway through that conversation you possibly switched off or already concluded what the speaker is trying to convey. You were probably thinking up your response. This so robs your partner of his/her need to be understood by you. Your response would become much poorer because you never completely understood what the other person wanted to say.
Furthermore if such a conversation continues for a while and both parties react in similar fashion, they would surely end the conversation with little regard or respect for each other.
Similarly, would you have respect for a Doctor who starts writing his prescriptions even before listening to all your problems?
If you start to list all those relationships you carry where you respect the other, you will surely be ranking that person’s ability to listen at the top of the list of behaviors that you like about him/her for you to have respected them person in the first place.
While listening plays a major part in building mutual respect, there are other behaviors too which contribute to building a great relationship and it has to do a lot with acceptance;
- Accepting that people are different and unique
- Accepting that people do not necessarily see the world the way you see
- Accepting the fact that you cannot expect others to be the way you are
- Accepting the power and right of others to make their choices
- Accepting the right of others to disagree with you
As you can see, it takes small actions or behaviors to help build great respect in a relationship.
What else makes you like and respect others in a relationship? Why not add to the list using the comments?
Showing respect may sound complicated, but it’s really not.