Respect = Love

Respect… I feel it’s one of those words that people tend to throw around, without really knowing what it means. I suppose everyone knows what it means as a word, but do they know what ‘respect’ feels like. How does it feel to have the respect of someone else, and equally important — maybe even more important than receiving — how does it feel to show someone else respect?

To me respect feels like love, and just like love comes in many forms, so does respect. Just search ‘respect’ online and see all the different quotes and sayings you can find about it.

I speak to everyone the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.

I have been reading this quote over and over, and my memories keep being drawn back to the time I was in the army, where ranks are a thing, and where sergeants are frequently seen as those who talk to their subordinates in a less than respectful way, all in the name of ‘the hierarchy’. Where I absolutely loved my time in the military, and where I had enough subordinates, I always treated everyone with respect. At the same time I expected those in higher ranks to treat me with the same respect I treated them. And no, I didn’t treat them with respect because they had higher ranks than I did, and the power to punish me if I was out of line, but I did so because I saw them as people, not as ranks.

When I hear one person treat another with disrespect, I cringe and feel vicarious shame. I have a colleague who is like that, always talking down on people, and sometimes I take over the conversation to defuse a potentially explosive situation. She has been told many times to treat people with more respect, and then she does for a couple of weeks, before slipping back into old habits. Believe me, I am not a saint, and I am sure sometimes I come across as cranky, but even then I will not be downright disrespectful to people.

Treat people the way you want to be treated. Talk to people the way you want to be talked to. Respect is earned, not given.

This is something my mom has reminded us so many times throughout our lives, and I think it ties in with what I said above. I love people, and I always see the good in everyone, until proven otherwise. Sadly, it has happened too many times that I was hurt because of that, and it will probably happen many times more in my life. It’s part of my nature to see the good in people, and, even after someone has shown me that they are not good for me, I still treat them with respect, because of the quote above: always treat people the way you want to be treated.

Respect people’s feelings. Even if it doesn’t mean anything to you, it could mean everything to them.

So much this. It’s just another way of expressing the same sentiments as the previous quote, but so much this. To me this speaks of love. Treating someone with respect, showing them respect, no matter who they are, is a way to spread love and positivity into the world. There are so many negative things going on around us (and I am not only talking about the situation with COVID-19), and then to treat someone with respect, to respect their feelings, to be kind and loving only because we are all human beings, goes such a very long way.

One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.

Yes, to listen, to really, really, really listen to what someone else has to say, is a high form of respect. Sometimes people say ‘I hear you’, and then as the conversation goes on, you realize that they don’t, that they only hear themselves, that they are not actually listening, but ‘forcing’ their opinions and beliefs on you, and interpreting your words wrongly, because they are not really listening. Once more, I am not perfect in this, as sometimes I battle so much to get my own point across, that I totally forget to actually listen what is said to me. When I realize this, I go back and apologize, and make a real effort to listen what the other has to say.

Respect yourself and others will respect you.

I’m sure many of us have heard this so many times, sometimes as it is above, and other times the word ‘respect’ is replaced with ‘love’. See, I said in the beginning already that to me respect is love and love is respect. If you have no self respect, how can you expect others to respect you? If you have no self love, how can you expect others to love you? Those seems like such logical questions, but believe me, I know how easy it is to bring yourself down; how easy it is to not love or respect yourself. I have done it so many times in my life.

Still, as I get older, I get to know myself better, and I know I am a loving person, kind, respectful, and I know I will not knowingly be disrespectful to anyone. However, I do allow others to be disrespectful and unkind towards me, and isn’t it a way of disrespecting myself if I don’t challenge them on their unkindness? I think this is a place where I have to grow some more, to come to a point where I do challenge the disrespect of others, not only towards me, but also towards others. I tend to keep quiet, because I don’t want to come across as disrespectful… see what I did there?

Yes, it’s a catch-22 situations indeed, and something to ponder…

© Rebel’s Notes

9 thoughts on “Respect = Love

  1. I think it shows the strength of a person, if they can be respectful towards everyone and do not make a difference in their behaviour, no matter who they talk to. Disrespectful behaviour based on hierarchies is terrible and I often get angry when I see those in higher positions become very mighty and feel they can look down on others. I am not sure I agree with your last point fully, because I think everyone can be loved and respected, and should be loved and respected, no matter what they think of themselves. Although self-love and self-respect are beautiful concepts, for a lot of people they are hard to practice.

    1. I see your point indeed, Devie, about self-respect and self-love. I have gone through times in my life where it indeed was very hard to practice, and I understand how hard it can be. I am not perfect at all on the front of self-respect and self-love, especially when I go through times where I am less accepting of myself. Maybe I should have made that clearer in my post xox

  2. Thank you for sharing with Tell Me About. There are so many excellent points here.

    I completely understand what you mean about people getting away with being disrespectful because to answer back would feel disrespectful in return. It’s comes back to “if you haven’t got anything nice to say don’t say anything” sometimes doesn’t it.

    I don’t think there is an easy answer either ?

    Stay safe and well Marie,

    Sweetgirl x

  3. Great way of setting out this post Marie – with the quotes and your feelings – I too think listening is so important, and a mark of respect
    May xx

  4. I’ve never thought of respect in terms of love. That is definitely an interesting way to approach it. I find I’m very neutral toward people, with no real opinion. I have very little trust for others so I am respectful in that I’ll treat them as they deserve because they are people who are owed a certain amount of care. My neutrality moves one way or the other depending on what happens, but I’ll still grant them the care they deserve as people I just may not go out of my way to spend time with them. Love is an intense emotion I think so maybe I don’t extend that or feel that easily from others.

    1. I should have made it clearer that I am talking about different kinds of love, sort of on a spectrum from feeling affection to feeling intense love. But then again, even if I feel nothing for someone, I will still treat them with respect.

  5. This is interesting and I am thinking about your final point. I also hold respect highly and have a strong reaction when I, or someone else is disrespected. It can make me feel powerless to act I think which is why those who are not respectful tend to get away with as much as they do. Food for thought ?

    1. That’s the right way to say it: direct disrespect makes me feel powerless and renders me speechless…

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