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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Why respect is crucial to the success of a relationship

Every aspect of a relationship is affected in some part by both trust and respect. This holds true for all the relationships we participate in; intimate, family, neighbors, business associates, and so on.
It is how we personally define and understand the meaning of respect that helps us to be more successful in relationships. Respect is connected to everything in life from the way we feel about ourselves to the way we treat others.

~ Have self-respect. Often the way we feel about ourselves is a key hindrance in building respectful relationships with others. If you don't respect yourself, chances are you are teaching others to disrespect you as well.
~ Knowing your boundaries. You need to develop a clear outline of what is okay, and what is not okay to you when it comes to how you are treated by other people. You need to make self-respecting choices and communicate these values to others. In turn, you need to value the boundaries of those around you. In other words, you don't need to agree with someone else's opinion, but you do need to listen and appreciate their right to that opinion.
~ Listen to your gut feelings. Basically, all people have the same need to be heard and to be valued. Listen closely and observe the way you speak to others, paying attention to your facial features, tone of voice, etc. It is easy to unintentionally hurt those closest to us in the guise of anger or frustration. Complacency also often leads us to disregard or devalue both ourselves and those around us. Remember, respect is a two way street.
~ Be a better friend, lover, employee, etc. Participating in respectful relationships makes you stronger. Learning how to communicate and interact with respect will invite that same behavior back at you. When you disrespect someone you not only hurt the person, but you also hurt your credibility and break the chain of trust. Even an apology afterwards may not be enough to erase the damage done.
We have all read it, heard it, and experienced it - 'Treat others how you want others to treat you.' These nine simple little words speak volumes if only you are receptive enough to hear them and pass them on.
Oftentimes we blame situations or circumstances like stress, a harried lifestyle, an unreasonable boss, etc., to avoid acknowledging our own wrong doings or inappropriate behaviors. Standing up for our core beliefs and our boundaries should not involve either passive or aggressive behavior.
We have a right to be treated with dignity and respect. We have a duty to treat others with dignity and respect.