Respect is an important topic in today’s world.

Some people live by the credo that respect must be earned, not given, while others believe everyone deserves respect. What’s your belief?

Respect is an important part of any healthy relationship, and taking the time to inspect your views on this important topic is a worthwhile investment of your time and energy.

Finding out what respect means to you, personally, can help you reach a deeper level of self-knowledge and enhance your relationships. Examining your beliefs can help you understand why you find it easy to give unconditional respect to a professional athlete, for example, but find yourself frequently disrespecting your significant other. What’s blocking you from extending respect to those you love?

Find out the top seven things that get in the way of respect in today’s article.

Every time Lloyd walks past her desk in his smart business suit, Kelly thinks to herself Prima donna CEO. She ignores him, doesn’t even acknowledge his presence.

Gerald looks with derision at a videotape of his wife’s recent theatrical performance. Ridiculous to be doing this at her age, he thinks.

Kelly leaves the house when her husband’s friends are over. They’re all such oafs, she thinks.

The common ground in these examples? A lack of respect.

Respect isn’t getting much respect these days.

While we seek respect within our families, our social circles, our work environments, we can sure “dis” with the best of them! Disrespectful comments and attitudes toward politicians, bosses, spouses, grocery store clerks—you name it!—abound in our culture today.

Yet, respect for and from others—and ourselves—is essential to our ability to interact with people in healthy and productive ways. Truly satisfying relationships require that we acknowledge, accept and value ourselves and others, respecting who we are as women, men and as individuals.

Without respect, we lapse into power struggles within relationships. We lose morale, productivity and the ability to positively influence people in the workplace. We contribute to conflict in the world.

What’s Getting in the Way of Respect?

So why do we so often find ourselves being disrespectful? Here are a few things that tend to get in the way:
  • We think that to show respect means that we agree with a person or that we must cater to that person’s whims.

    Not so. To respect means to acknowledge, accept and value, not necessarily to agree with or to indulge.

  • We make assumptions and rush to judgment.

    What if, for example, someone witnessed you driving aggressively and concluded you were a “jerk.” You may have been trying to get an injured child to the hospital, but to the other person, you will remain a jerk.

  • We fear people with different thoughts, convictions and approaches.

    For some reason, we feel threatened by the differences. Why can’t we just enjoy the differences in each other? How boring would the world be if we were all the same?

  • We generalize.

    When we see “all men” or “all women” or all people from one ethnic group as the same, we forget that each person is unique.

  • We insist that our way is THE RIGHT way, not just one way.

    This type of arrogance actually diminishes and narrows our life.

  • We harden our hearts, stifling compassion and empathy.

    It’s not that we need to disregard bad behaviour or that we have to like every person and every action. But we show our respect—and our strength—by attempting to understand.

  • We get too busy.

    Try investing time: listen to others, recognize their contributions, and speak constructively in ways that support and strengthen the people you love and work with. The return on the investment could be phenomenal!

Respecting ourselves and others can enrich our lives like nothing else. When respect leads, curiosity follows and our world opens up. When self-respect points the way, we take care of ourselves better—physically and emotionally. We feel better about ourselves, we respect others, and we can receive the gift of respect others offer to us.

Are You Ready to respect yourself more? Wondering where to start?

Do you feel like your issues with communication, trauma, anxiety, stress, or relationships are holding you back? Are you a business owner and want to make sure your business is successful, and your teams are healthy? Booking a consultation can help! Why should you work with Nadine?

  • There’s no need to try to fit a specific therapeutic tool when you work with Nadine – your session is designed to fit you, not the other way around
  • Gain incredible insights into yourself, others, and how your processing styles affect your personality, relationships, and communication using The PEP Personality Process
  • Receive help resolving the ROOT causes of issues (not just the symptoms) so you can go forward with a better quality of life
  • Get help developing trainings, workshops, and programs that get to the heart of issues with Nadine’s practical, direct approach

Nadine Hanchar helps individuals and businesses build better relationships, discover new choices, new perspectives, and create success. Nadine is a counsellor, consultant, speaker, and trainer with over 35 years’ experience helping others professionally. She is a bestselling author and specializes in working with trauma, abuse, relationship issues, and communication. Learn more at and connect with Nadine on FacebookLinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

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