Experiencing Respect – what is it?

“R . . . E . . .S. . . P. .  . E . . . C. . . T. . ”  I can hear that famous tune of the song by Aretha Franklin in my head.  What does the word mean and how do we know if we are experiencing respect?  It’s used a lot in this world, especially to young people.  I’m starting to feel that it is sometimes taken for granted.  I want to think about it a little in this blog.

Definition, Explanation and Examples

A dictionary definition gives, “deferential esteem felt or shown towards person or quality,” for example, ‘I have the greatest respect for him/her’,  ‘has won the respect from all‘.  So it’s a feeling and not just an idea.  Moreover, it’s a positive feeling.  Google says it’s “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements”.

Vocabulary.com says “respect is a way of treating or thinking about something or someone.  People respect others who are impressive for any reason, such as being in authority – like a teacher or cop – or being older – like a grandparent”  You show respect by being polite and kind.” https://www.vocabulary.com>respect

Examples of showing respect might be by being quiet in a cathedral or by staying off someone’s garden or by truly listening to someone when they speak. https://www.yourdictionary.com>respect

How do We Learn Respect?

If you’re like me, I was brought up to have an awareness of my attitudes and behaviour towards others.  When I went to school these messages were reinforced.  I learned cultural and social messages which helped me fit in to society and get along with others.  Usually we adopt the philosophy of life of our main caregivers.  Sometimes we rebel against some messages and develop our own ways of getting along.

Respect in the Process of Counselling

When we come to counselling, we should expect to feel respected by our therapist.  Therefore not put down.  We hope to be understood. Hopefully, well understood.  It’s the best feeling to be deeply understood.  That’s when we know the therapist feels a sense of what we’re feeling too.

Therapists are working with their own internal unobservable processes.  An essential quality in a therapist is usually that they are aware of how they feel in the presence of the other.

Among the elements central to a good working relationship in counselling is the creation of an emotional bond between the therapist and client.  Personal qualities such as genuineness, or presence are vital for good therapy.  A facilitative therapeutic relationship is one that can sufficiently provide enough acceptance, empathy, and authenticity.  All of these qualities are necessary for a client to feel emotionally safe enough to trust the therapist to tell their story.  These qualities are a sign that respect is present and the relationship is sound.

More Examples of Respect in Everyday Life

Other examples of practising respect can be:  practising tolerance, being considerate of the feelings of others, not threatening, hitting or hurting anyone, or dealing peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements.

One way to earn respect is to give it.  If you listen actively, you show interest and might ask questions about their opinion.  Giving respect may involve anticipating the needs of others and making their lives easier when possible. https://www.avoca-counselling.co.uk/authentic-living-mindful-listening/

Respect in Relationships

Experiencing respect is the cornerstone of a relationship.  It means you see your partner as a whole person, for the good and the bad. Because you know your partner has different experiences and opinions than you and you can handle that you will welcome those differences.  Sometimes couples come to therapy to work on their understanding and communication. Relationship counselling – Couples

Clients may sometimes want to talk through their way of responding to people or how others are responding to them.  For a personal review on concerns around respect go to Contact