Man and woman drinking tea at table in cafe, smilingBy Jennifer Primeaux

Respect, by definition, is when we have admiration for someone or something that results from their abilities, qualities or achievements. People will have various definitions of respect, and how they define it may help us understand what respect means for them.

In regards to relationships, the best way to gain respect is to give respect. When people feel valued and loved, they are more able to return these feelings, which can build a mutual respect within the relationship. If one does not give respect, they cannot expect to be given respect and will likely be met with resistance.

When explaining respect, I give an anecdote about dirty socks. If I leave dirty socks on the floor, it doesn’t really bother me, but I know it really irritates my partner. Then, we fight over it. Most people would think that this fight is over the fact that there are dirty socks, but the underlying problem is the feeling of disrespect.

Another important aspect of respect is self-respect. One of my favorite memes right now reads, “Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.” This means putting your needs above others, and learning to say no when others want you to say yes. And being unapologetically YOU! You are the one that has to live your life and others are given the same opportunity with theirs. Allowing someone else to run your life is not a positive way to respect yourself. Keep in mind, when you start implementing your self-respect boundaries, you will likely be met with resistance. But go on, flex your self-respect muscle, because the more you use it, the easier it will be to continue.

What is your definition of respect?

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