So what's the deal with respect?

Think - 10 Oct 2015

Certainly respect feels great, when you get it that is - the acknowledgment your work was brilliant…  

We’ve all had moments like these, and they feel great. But there are times too when we confuse the idea of respect with our wants. It’s true. These two thoughts are very different in nature. But we swap them around willy nilly, as we want and see fit.

Our wants can blindly fixate our thoughts, where our desires confusingly start to crave feelings of respect.

It’s in these situations where the word respect is quick to roll off our tongues. 

Perhaps it's the moment we’re found out and our boss tells us off. Or perhaps when a close friend / partner acts in a way that differers from our own approach - we feel like we’re owed respect, that we’re not being respected appropriately.

Adding to our confused rationalisation of respect, if found we can also start to wrongly label the fundamental meaning. We can feel that it is important we receive a degree of public acknowledgement for our skills. Our self actualising brain craves the feeling we've done well, that our work is on track and our apparent hard work is worthy of others’ respect, and in many cases, admiration.

Respect, however, doesn’t manifest in these circumstances. Like your mother probably told you as a child, respect is the act of giving and empowering others to do better work than they believed possible. It’s a constant gift, one we’re all capable of giving.

You will get your dose of respect in return, but first you have to give a whole lot more. Earning respect almost certainly means giving first - creating something meaningful, or collaborating effectively with someone. Doing so builds a platform of trust, where respect is ultimately layered up on top. It’s by no means an immediate return equation. But the gift will return the more you contribute. Enjoy.