Respect – to be threatened with extinction?

· What happened to respect as a virtue? ·

Respect - not a virtue anymore

Today, I have to rant about two things! First, did the word thank you disappear from people's vocabulary? Second, is it really ok to insult each other on social media? It really makes me wonder, if we've lost respect not just for each other but also for ourselves...

I work in the travel business and I love the interactions with my clients. I only respond to actual enquiries, so no cold calling. Today, I made a few calls where people just hung up on me mid-sentence while I still explained why I call. And then, I put a lot of effort into preparing tailor-made proposals for some other clients. They don’t even have the courtesy to respond to say thanks, but no thanks! Why? Everyone knows that people get several offers. There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s your right to get the best price and deal. But is it too much to show a little respect toward my service?

This brings me to the next topic. How about ethical interactions on social media? The tone some people take to leaves me shocked! Arsehole, idiot, retard are thrown around left, right and centre just because someone makes a comment they don’t like ore completely misinterpret. Am pretty sure these people don’t dare to speak to someone like this face to face? At least, I hope not.

It makes me wonder, if there’s a relation between mindfulness and respect?

Let’s have a look at mindfulness first. To me mindfulness means, that you are aware and present in the moment without judgement. Looking at social media comments, it’s actually refreshing to see a comment that is non-judgemental. It also means that you are mindful of the people around you. Which consequently means that you are aware of other people’s feelings and needs. And that you understand  how your behaviour might impact on them!

Lack of respect comes in many forms. Maybe you make a racists comment. Or you are very sarcastic. Or you simply are an ignorant prick who has no consideration for others. And if you are constantly a people-pleaser and ignore your own needs and put others first, you have no self-respect. So if you react with anger, could it mean that you are compensating? Maybe you are suppressing an old emotion and are simply not in tune with your feelings?

How to be more respectful?

So next time you want to hit that comment button or pick up the phone, remember the following:

  • Be polite. Listen to what the other person has to say and let them finish.
  • It doesn’t cost anything, but is so valuable: Give a thank you or please.
  • It’s ok to have an own opinion, but be considerate how you word it. Do your words hurt the other person? Is it necessary to make fun of someone else?  It’s not helping anyone if you are nitpicker!
  • Don’t be judgmental. You don’t know what the other person is going through at the moment.
  • If you feel anger boiling up inside you, pause. Why do you feel so angry? Is someone pushing your buttons? Breath deeply and postpone your answer. Look at it again next day, maybe you react differently after understanding why someone triggered you.

Simply put: Treat others, like you want to be treated!

Ohhh that blog post went down like a treat… Rant over! Now, I feel better.

What are your thoughts on the above? Do you think too that respect is threatened with extinction?

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