‘Treat others, as you would want them to treat you!’ How many times do we hear this being said? We say it to our children and hope that they will remember it for the rest of their lives. We all know that to earn respect, we must first give respect and, of course, give it to ourselves as well, for if you don’t respect yourself, then no-one else will respect you.
Respect is one of the foundation stones of a healthy relationship but sadly it is very often not recognised as being essential.
Some of my readers may well remember that I regularly write about how to motivate and increase performance without money. There are many ways that we can do this and ‘giving respect’ is just one of those ways that costs nothing but can be worth much. According to the words of the old Beatles song ‘Money can’t buy you love’ but one might wonder if it can buy you respect. If we had sufficient money, would people automatically respect you? Would it buy influence?
I was interested to read of four studies undertaken by the University of California, Berkeley in a paper published in the Psychological Science journal which showed that the admiration and respect of our peers has a greater bearing on our overall happiness in life than our bank balance or the status of being rich. These studies showed that there was clear evidence that sociometric status was linked to wellbeing whereas socioeconomic status was not. So if we can help someone feel valued and worthwhile and treat them with respect, then why don’t we? We all know the good feeling that we experience when we feel respected, ourselves. The chances are that we feel better inside, we have more energy, we have more to give and ultimately, we will be more resilient to manage the everyday challenges that life throws at us every day.
And yet, I go into companies on a regular basis and see managers and colleagues talking in a way that is not conducive to getting the most out of their teams. It’s possible that they missed out of that particular communications lesson when they were a child. Or maybe they weren’t treated with respect and later on in adult life; it became a habit not to give respect to others.
Carole Spiers is Author of a new book Show Stress Who’s Boss! She is a relationship counsellor and coach based in Stanmore. www.stressandanxietycounselling.co.uk
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