You’ve probably heard the statement, “respect is earned”. Well, it was a statement I agreed with and attempted to live by for a very long time, many people swear by that statement too. But what does it really mean? Simply, if you respect me, I will respect you, if you disrespect me, I will disrespect you. At least that’s how people I have discussed it with interpret it. But then I met William Ury, not in person, but through his books.
William introduced me to a new perspective of the whole respect thing, which is, you give respect because you are a respectable person and not necessarily because the other person respects you. I first read about it in Williams book titled, The Power of a Positive NO. You can read my review of the book here. But in another of his book’s titled, Getting To Yes With Yourself, (you can also read a review of that book here) he expands on the concept. In fact he denotes a whole chapter to it. I like how he titled the chapter, Respect Them Even If.
While I can’t go into them in detail, here are bullet points of the ideas we can use to ” respect them even if”.
- Put yourself in their shoes
- Expand your circle of respect
- Respect them even if they reject you
- From exclusion to inclusion
Respecting people who disrespect you is hard and seems almost impossible at times, but William shows us through his ideas that it is possible. It will take us changing the way we think and a lot of practice and learning.
I definitely want to learn this way of thinking about respect and live it too. What about you?