definition: to look back on or refer back to > to be worth looking back at or returning to > to be worthy of special attention or deference > to be esteemed.
word origins: < Latin re- (back, again) + specere (to look).
word forms. Opposites: 'contempt' and 'disrespect' (and the verb forms 'diss' and 'dissing'). Colloquial: giving someone their 'propers' (their due, in the form of actions) or 'props' (acknowledgement in front of others, usually verbal).
As a noun, 'Respect' is the quality of being held to be of high value or worth, enough that it leads to acknowledgement by others. And, highly valuing the lasting elements of someone's good character or excellence in a task.
In some societies, notably Chinese and Japanese, a person's longevity is honored. In the English phrase "no respecter of persons", it means that no one person is treated as being more worthy than another, within a social system that puts relative values on people (because of gender, race, rank, or class).
If you want to be treated with respect, the simplest path forward is to respect others. It doesn't always work - humans being what we are - but that's not why you do it. You honor them because you know their worth, and know that their worth is a different but equal version of your worth.
Say words that build people up. Simple stuff like 'thank you', or 'well-done!'. And not saying words that cut them down, like gossip, intimidation, insults, and trolling.
Take actions. Start with simple acts, like bowing, smiling, shaking hands, or making eye contact. Go on to substantive actions like supporting them around others, helping them with a problem, or helping to develop a team attitude in church or work.
Stopping and opposing someone who consistently disrespects others. Everyone has their moments, but some folks diss another or others regularly, as a matter of character. Sometimes, you take them aside privately, sometimes take them to superiors. Sometimes it has to be done in the moment, in real time, in order to stop the spread of disrespect and put honor where it belongs. Especially so, if the disrespect is about what they are; for instance, acts of racism or sexism.
Pay attention to others. Go into their presence without judging them. Listen before you speak. Sometimes, you may find few words to say, so say just enough to let them know that you're listening. If the other person(s) has value to you, then you care what they feel, and want to know what they have to say. Give them the time and freedom to speak, and consider what they tell you. If, when you speak, you find yourself talking only about yourself, your feelings, your experiences, etc., catch yourself at it and turn the conversation back to the other person(s). When you do respond, choose words, tone of voice, and body motions which communicate respect, words which show you've been paying attention.
Know also when to break off conversation and stop listening - mostly when it becomes clear they're manipulating you. People manipulate in order to advance themselves or their purposes. Manipulators will eventually lead even the most careful of us into disrespecting others or even ourselves. No one honors a dupe.
Know why you do what you do. This breeds a consistency that people can rely on. There are good, real reasons behind your actions, and they're not taken just to further your own interests or stature. You can be confident in what you're doing. When others can rely on you, they don't have to go through any more ups and downs than they already have. That leads to accomplishment, and being valued. And you'll find that there's a firmer basis for self-respect, too.
learning, viewing, listening, reading, and the arts;
rest and recreation.
When Jesus said "love one another as I have loved you", and "love your neighbor as yourself", He was speaking about an approach to all of life, where all people and all of nature are treated according to the worth God holds them in. That means your worth, too. Since you're the one who deals with you the most, you're the one most responsible for respecting and loving yourself, and treating yourself right.
It's much easier to respect who you are when you're not pretending to be what you're not. Eventually, you'll come to hate the pretense, and that will bleed over into your view of the rest of you. You're repulsed by others who fake you out; when you're the fraud, you'll eventually find yourself even more repulsive. You dis-earn your own respect. One thing you definitely are not is that overall, you're not better than anyone else. Thus, arrogance damages true self-respect.
Self-Respect vs. Self-Esteem
The key difference between self-esteem and self-respect is that self-esteem is about estimating, evaluating, measuring, achieving, and comparing. Self-respect comes from learning and knowing who you are, loving and taking care of yourself. Self-esteem's not necessarily a bad thing; it has its (limited) place. But we learn to love ourselves by not comparing ourselves to others, and we learn to love others by not comparing them to others or to ourselves. We learn to love by treasuring the image of God in which each one of us was created. A person with self-respect can step forward boldly, knowing their true worth cannot be taken away from them no matter how the situation ends. Or, as Scripture says so often, "Fear not". Self-esteem can depend too much on what others think, or on whether you think you've achieved your goal; it can lead to judging yourself. Thus, self-respect is more important and more central than self-esteem.
Self-respect is the fruit of discipline: the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself. Abraham Joshua Heschel
Found in a bulletin:
The Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Please use the back door.