So it just doesn’t seem to be working. . .
Aretha Franklin hit the nail on the head when she belted out this signature hit.
He this! She that! Yaddayaddayadda!
It’s all about respect. Are you giving your partner the respect that you’d like to get back? No? Well, don’t give up. Things can get better.
So here’s how it works. There’s three kinds of respect.
1. ‘Given’ respect
Given respect is the basic respect you should readily give to all humans, whether you know them or not. An example of this is nodding your head to a stranger you meet on the street. You are simply acknowledging their presence, and showing that you recognize them as another human being—who has the right to take up space on this planet and breathe the same air that you breathe.
2. ‘Earned’ respect
Earned respect is a respect that is based on knowledge. After you get to know something about someone, you automatically choose to accord them respect them—or not, based on their behavior. It takes a great deal of maturity to learn to separate the ‘action’ from the ‘person.’ It is a great goal and it works very well—when we can pull it off. When someone cuts you down out of the blue, if you can use good self-talk to say, “Hey, he doesn’t usually act like this; maybe he’s having a bad day,” and shrug it off, then give yourself a little pat on the back for learning a strategy used frequently by mature people who rate themselves as ‘happy.’
3. ‘Forced’ respect
Oh oh! I’m busted! There is no such as thing as ‘forced’ respect, because that comes only from a ‘power over’ position of control and intimidation. During my time working in prisons, I recall situations where one inmate would stand over another, look down, confront him, and say, “To you, that’s MR. Jones!”
If you wanna be happy, use the first 2 types of respect, and deep-six the 3rd type of ‘respect.’ It won’t take you any which way but down!