Respectful reflections and little white lies
Respect is one of those concepts where you often only realise someone is not being disrespectful when they make it very obvious, but it’s a lot harder to notice when people are showing you respect apart from some obvious gestures like opening a door for example. More often than not respect is a silent transfer.
Equally I think most of us have a different definition of what constitutes respect. A few days ago I had an interesting debate with a client about respect and how for some people it comes with standards they have for others, but then when they apply it for themselves it does a 360 value drop. For example the staff member liked a friendly good morning as they walked in from the receptionist, but when she was asked to man reception during a break she was probably one of the least friendly you could meet. It is amazing how quickly standards can be turned on their head.
Recently I had a friend complaining about how another friend had taken liberties by showing up unannounced then using the hosts place as their home, but then when the complainer visits others they did exactly the same thing. I found it funny to observe without comment and wondered, whether what we want the most from others we consistently do wrong ourselves?
Think about it, when you become annoyed about someone is it because they show you a part of you that you don’t like or is it a part of you that you have standards around or is it something completely different again.One of my personal bug bears is integrity and telling the truth, I absolutely hate it when people lie to me either with intent or to cover up a little indiscretion. I actually have walked away from friendships for this reason and I most of the time pull people up on their mistake when they do it. What fascinates me though is that some people go in the defensive, whilst they know very well that they were the wrong party.
Isn’t it funny that in our society, the following perception seems to rule namely that it better to lie than forgive someone for the truth?
Personally I work the opposite, I would rather forgive than tolerate lies, most of my friends know that and I struggle to respect people that offend this on a regular basis whether they are personal friends or clients.
I actually think I only ever fired client for telling me lies consistently on their performance, their promises of action and then the truth being a stark complete opposite. As a person I have often been accused of being too honest and sharing too much, at the same time in most cases it is also what I get paid for by clients.
Looking at the whole lies scenario from my earlier question of whether this is a part of you that you don’t like or you have standards around. I honestly have a sick feeling in my stomach if I have to use a lie and I am also chronically bad at it, my face usually tells the true story if my mouth hasn’t already done the same, but I sure have standards around it. Maybe that is exactly the root cause of having standards around the whole area of indiscretion, that I just don’t master it and I am not good at it, so I just created a whole range of standards around it. My other explanation is around values and integrity is high on mine, hence I would rather be blunt and honest as opposed to be kind and lying. I can’t say for sure why or when it started but I really find it offensive when people lie.
If I listen to politicians and their carry on about the banking system, it absolutely galls me, the same with the bankers behind the scam. So it’s not even a case of a personal connection it goes further than that and that is where the respect factor comes back in I have very little respect for those that consistently lie for whatever reason, whether it is politics, career, business, little indiscretion or anything.
I ask you to wonder what your respect factors are and then to put it through the same test, is it because you dislike that side of yourself so much or you just can’t do it or is it because you have standards around it? Then examine whether you can trace the root of the standards.
The other question is what are you tolerating when it comes to being respectful? Most of us want to be respected for who we are, yet at the same time we have people question parts of us consistently and we let them. I have been guilty of it in more than one personal relationship, friendship and even in a work setting, at some point I have always reached a line that either ends the respect factor or the friendship or even the working agreement. Over time my tolerance levels have come down, also for myself when I catch myself doing things that I don’t like others doing to me. Once I am aware of it I do my best to change the behaviour around and come back to a clean slate with it, even if that at times means eating humble pie.
When you work in the field of self-development, everything is up for questioning most of the time and I tend to listen until I have a clear answer for myself and will then share the same. What I see with clients is that immediately defensive mechanisms kick in to play and it becomes a justification process. The question I then have is who are you justifying this to?
I guess this turned out to be a rather reflective blog and I hope it does make you think and question what you do in the area of respect. I dare you to ask yourself the questions is respect about the things you dislike about yourself, the things you don’t master or something you have standards around which are value based? Then the second question I would urge you to ask on a regular basis, what are you tolerating from others but even more importantly from yourself?
Enjoy the respectful reflections…