Aretha Franklin cried out for it, just a little bit: respect. However, Aretha isn't the only one who needs it. We all need and crave respect, either it be from our peers, our family, our friends, or our love interests. Respect makes us feel appreciated, loved, and valued. Respect is tricky though. We want it, but sometimes we don't ask for it or give it in the appropriate ways. And when we don't do it appropriately, miscommunication can arise, relationships can be compromised, and discontentment can be had by all involved.
What are some ways to give/ ask for respect?
1. Using the right words and tone. Our tongue can be our worst enemy, it's been said that words can cut deeper than knives so it's important to watch what you say and how you say it. Before you speak, figure out what you are exactly asking for. Next analyze how you will ask or talk to the other person; will your words sound like you are being critical, insensitive, or inconsiderate? Make sure you are clear with your wants and wishes all the while being aware of the other person's perception. Have you ever heard, "it's not WHAT you're saying, it's HOW you're saying it." I often find that I will be using the right words, but I'll have a sarcastic or demeaning tone. That's when I have to step back and ask myself what tone would be appropriate in conveying my message.
2. Affirm him/her. It is important to acknowledge how the other person contributes to the relationship. If you only acknowledge the wrongs of the other person, you can seem as critical and unappreciative. Affirm the qualities that he or she contributes and how much you appreciate those. Even though you might be frustrated and upset, affirming will help loosen the defenses of the other person and causes willingness to talk and listen.
3. Compromising isn't bad. You're not entirely putting up the white flag and surrendering, you're just willing to give a little to receive a little. Working together rather than against each other will move the relationship forward instead of being stagnate or moving backward. Just make sure you don't compromise the really important stuff. Your willingness to compromise shows your willingness to respect; that your needs don't need to have priority over the relationships successes.
4. Say you're sorry. Might sound obvious but a lot of relationships break apart due to some unwillingness from one person to say sorry. You'll be surprised; apologizing will go a long way.
5. Admit when you're wrong. It shows an incredible amount of strength in your personal character if you admit to your wrongs. Everybody makes mistakes, and admitting to your mistakes will strengthen your relationship as well.
6. If you want respect, you gotta show respect. It would be ridiculous to ask or demand something from someone in a relationship if you yourself can't give it. To be respected you must show respect to those around you. Demanding respect when you don't give it can make you seem domineering, insensitive, and a jerk. Gotta give it to get it.
Respect is very difficult and is said to be defined by the person receiving it. Hopefully using these tips will help strengthen your relationship with whomever. If you have any questions are comments, feel free to contact us.
- your friends here at rIQ
Written by: Shaina Kohli, rIQ Intern 2012-2013, Pepperdine University class of 2013