Healthy relationships are made of so many parts. We have talked about trust and communication, but we have to talk about respect, something that this country seems to be lacking. When I was growing up, we never called an adult by their first name. We only addressed them as mister or misses and their last name. I think that provided my generation with a different kind of respect and understanding of authority.
When it comes to relationships, having a respect for others is one of the keys to having friendships, romantic relationships and work relationships that last and benefit all involved. Having respect for the opinions of others, their thoughts and beliefs, and their feelings makes us successful. So often recently, we forget to listen to others and respect the lives and loves of those around us.
Whether you are working on friendships, marriage, or any other relationships, starting with respect is a first step. As I work with others, talking with them about how they learned to respect others can offer a view of how they manage relationships. If you think about how you learned to treat others, how did your parents treat others? How did your family members treat others? Did they create conflict, or could they compromise? All these pieces are important as you think about your ability to respect others.
How do you treat others? Can you listen to others? Can you respect their opinions, even if they don’t agree with you? Being able to agree to disagree is important in communication, but it’s also important to respect the opinion of others. Trying to bully others or make them feel bad because of their beliefs to make yourself feel better is not respect, it’s hurtful. We are not meant to all feel the same way about things. If that was the case, we would all be able to live in harmony, and the world would be a very different place, and we wouldn’t have to think about how to respect each other. Having different opinions and ideas made humans successful. We were able to work together, but at times it put us in conflict with each other. History is full of conflicts, but most ended with compromise, or surrender, but all included change.
Respect is defined in many ways but it can be defined as an admiration for a person or group due to their position of authority, a common belief, or a deeper understanding of something bigger than yourself. We should respect those in authority because generally they are trying to improve our lives. We should respect others beliefs, even if we don’t agree or understand, because that is part of being human. Our differences brought us wonderful things, but they also brought humanity pain and suffering. The more we learn to respect each other, the better our relationships can become, and the more peaceful our world can be.
Whether you are working on a friendship, or working on a romantic relationship, respecting each other is key to a healthy relationship. You don’t have to have the same beliefs, or the same ideas, to make a relationship work, but you do have to respect your differences. Your differences can add to your relationship and make it better. Resect each other, and be happy for life.