Friday, December 3, 2010


Today I was thinking about giving and earning respect. I have recently become friends with a few people who have really made me reflect on what kind of person I am. These people have made me feel like I am a good person, and that they respect me for who I am, the way I am. Do I treat people this way or have I become complacent about how I treat other people? Have I become careless about the attention I give my family and friends? Have I forgotten how to listen when someone is speaking to me? Am I a taker or a giver? I want to be a giver. I want people I come in contact with to feel like I respect them. I want to care about how a person feels and what they are experiencing. I feel like I have lost my way a little. I feel like my possible addiction to instant social interaction (facebook and texting), has effected my human interaction skills.

I went looking for some guidelines to help me answer these questions, and find some ways to modify my behavior so I can get into good habits again. I am a fan of Matt Townsend; he is a relationship counselor. I like his point of view. These are his 5 rules of respect. I have added some of my own thoughts about the rules.

1. Keep private things private. (Keep secrets in the proper places. Respect things that are private to your spouse. Keep your confidences- have the discipline to keep it to yourself.)
2. Honor the people who aren't present. (Talk to people with respect when you are with them, and not with them.)
3. It's more about your delivery than your intent or content.
4. Wow people with words of respect. (Such as, May I, pardon me, please, thank you, forgive me, excuse me, sorry, etc).
5. Pay attention while others speak. (If an important political person was talking to you, it would be easy to sit and listen and tune out the rest of the world. If your toddler is talking to you, it isn't as easy, but so important to show the child that you respect them, and what they care about. Check your text message when the person has finished speaking and your conversation is over).

These rules seem so obvious to me, but I have strayed from some of them. On my way back to keeping these rules, I will remember how good I feel when I am around my new friends, and strive treat others in a respectful and kind way.