• janellegsheen

Being Respectful

The different types of respect have previously been covered, and it is important to realise acting respectfully has it’s foundation in the first form of Respect. That is the basic ‘right to be treated well’. Because 'Everyone Matters'. We all matter, we all deserve to be treated with Respect.

Respect is different to being polite, courteous, or civil. These behaviors are about following culturally appropriate rules of interaction. These rules are designed to guide Respectful interactions within a specific culture. They provide a level of expectation of appropriate interaction. While Respect relates to the mindset that recognises 'Everyone Matters'. Not all culturally accepted interaction standards recognise 'Everyone Matters'.

Being Respectful

Foundational Respect acknowledges every individual is autonomous, has the right to have: their own needs and preferences meet; to make their own choices and; be accepted for who they are. This requires a mindset of ‘equality and inclusion’. This mindset embraces individual differences as valuable and part of reality.

As a consequence when living from this mindset and practicing Respect ‘as a right’ it is essential that we pay attention and listen deeply so that we may understand the unique individual in the specific and unique situation being discussed. While equality means this occurs in a mutually reciprocal and flowing conversation.

Being Respectful requires attention: being present; deep listen; enquiry with curiosity; which allows the gathering of relevant information for the unique situation and individuals, so that one can respond to each individual in a caring manner to enable the achievement of the desired needs and goal.

Being Respectful aims to achieve what you want, what they want, and what is required. Alternatively acknowledgement of a mismatch and looking for alternatives in order to achieve what you want, they want and what is required.

Building on Being Respectful

We can build on this foundational Respect by attending to the two other forms of Respect. Respect of admiration and Respect that is allocated.

Practicing Respect of admiration tends to be automatic. When we admire something or someone we look up to them and feel pleasure associated with the admired quality. This maybe admiration of character, achievement, skills, or values.


Building on Respectful in this manner is achieved by acknowledging the admiration in a manner that is appreciated by the admired. Nature appreciates us caring for it. Pick up your rubbish, and take it to a bin. While appropriate means of demonstrating appreciation for individuals tends to vary. Add likes to your hero’s Facebook Page, but don’t harass or stark them. Let your friends and loved one know you care, value, appreciate and admire them.

The third form of Respect is associated to the power related to positional roles and responsibilities, resources, or policies and procedures.

In these situations one defers to the position or framework more responsible, honoured or higher up in an organisation. This can be seen as Respect for a system.

However it is also important, when doing this respectfully, to remain respectful of ones own values, needs, commitments and preferences. This form of respect does not require you to let go of respect for yourself. However it carries the responsibility to match your values and needs with the system, the organisation, and individual associated to the role and resource. That is select and work within the systems you operate in, as much as possible.

You may not be able to choose which country you live in, BUT you can choose which subculture you spend your time in. Respect the laws of the country your live in, and refine your practices by selecting a best match subculture. Similarly you did not choose your family BUT you can choose your friends. You can choose the organisations you spend your time in. Pick ones that match your values and needs the best you can.


For example, consider finding a medical practitioner who aligns with your health philosophy and with whom you trust. In addition I highly recommend finding a means of earning an income where you feel respected and appreciated.


It is hard to respect someone in a role when they are not truly fulfilling the role and its responsibilities, even if it is just related to your values. At the same time you can still be respectful to them as someone who matters as a person. Just because they are not a match for you, does not mean they do not deserve this basic Respect.

Remember acting on these forms of Respect are on top of the foundational Respect of ‘paying attention and responding in a nourishing and empowering manner.’

In Summary

Being Respectful means you:

  1. Pay attention

  2. Explore differences and intentions

  3. Care and empower for achievement

  4. Acknowledge and appreciate and

  5. Work within systems and roles.

Because 'Everyone Matters'.

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