Was that disrespectful?

Okay Sugas, because calling someone disrespectful sounds better than a whiny baby who can’t admit they simply got their feelings hurt. There is a big difference between disrespect and disagreeing.

Lets start with the obvious: (according to Webster) A) Re·spect  noun \ri-ˈspekt\: a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, etc.

B) a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way

Right there, something to be admired as good valuable or important, so is it disrespect if I don’t like something? Different people agree and disagree with different points of views, because you may have learned or think different does not mean you’re disrespecting anyone. One must first made a decision about a person or subject and determine rather or not its something you place value in.

The real issue: people don’t like to be proven wrong, challenged or something they really care about being a topic of discussion, something that can be put down- their weakness, which is nothing more than opinions made from facts.

Being respectful is treated as synonymous with being nice, disrespectful as with sinning. Who decided to put so much pressure on being nice. The “yes” men/women are not respected, the person who says “thank you” may not be given you respect- just courtesy.

You can not demand respect- its something that is given based on a decision someone makes according the their lives and how they want to live it, many people say everyone deserves respect. Well, to deserve something is in line with entitlement,(having a right to)  special privileges, you’re rights are clearly outlined and protected by law- you’re feelings are not.

Is it possible to accidentally disrespect someone? From experience I will say yes, because I’ve done it. I may not know something or simply not agree with it, doesn’t mean any comment or action was intentionally disrespectful.  Now the thing about respect & disrespect is how the receiver interprets it. All determinations of respect/disrespect is based on the opinion of the person on the receiving it.  If an opinion is disrespectful to you, its because you allowed it to be. Stop thinking you’re entitled to have someone always agree with you, or be exempt from any challenge.

What do you think? Is it disrespectful to disagree?

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2 Comments

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  1. I think the fundamental mistake is to assume that if respect isn’t shown, then there is disrespect. We can’t take the dictionary definition of “respect” and argue that there is “disrespect” if that definition isn’t met because, as you’ve established, that simply isn’t true. If that definition isn’t met then the only thing it shows is that there isn’t “respect”. It’s entirely possible to show neither respect or disrespect. Respect is the positive, disrespect is the negative, but showing neither is neutral. If “respect” is “admiring” then disrespect can’t simply be “not admiring”. Because you don’t necessarily disrespect everyone that you don’t “admire” – it’s not an “all or nothing” thing.

    It’s certainly not disrespectful to disagree with someone. I think people who think that it is have probably been raised to “be quiet” and not voice their opinions. Disagreeing with their parents would have been seen as disrespect when in reality… it’s not. We should be encouraging our children to have their own opinions, whether we agree with them or not. We should be teaching them that their opinions are valid regardless of whether other people agree because they are entitled to their own opinion. By dismissing our children’s opinions we are teaching them that disagreeing with someone is somehow disrespectful and also that you should display hostility towards people who hold a different opinion to yours… which leads to a lot of the major problems we have in the world at the moment. What if we instead taught them that you can disagree with someone and still respect them?

    I don’t think that it’s possible to be accidentally disrespectful though. I think that being disrespectful is a conscious decision to say or do something insulting. If you didn’t intend for it to be insulting then I don’t really think it can be disrespectful. Someone might perceive it in that way because they can’t be sure of the other person’s intent… but that doesn’t make it so. For that reason I actually think that whether something is “respectful” or “disrespectful” is established by the giver, not the receiver – because the receiver can’t possibly know what the intent is. Their assumption of the giver’s intentions are what causes them to perceive “disrespect” and is ultimately what causes them to be upset and take offence.

    • Peter,

      I think you may be my new favorite person! “I think the fundamental mistake is to assume that if respect isn’t shown, then there is disrespect.” LOVE IT! I like the way you bring up accidently being disrespected, I hadn’t thought of it that way, its all in the way its taken, not necessarily how it was intended to come out. I would love to teach people it’s okay to disagree and still have respect, I do not understand why this is so hard to accept. I disagree with my boss, parents, friends sometimes, but I still respect them and their opinion.

      Peter, I hope you stick around for more topics I REALLY enjoyed reading your thoughts.

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