Monday, February 12, 2018

Here's 7 Ways You Can Show More Respect At Home



I've got a huge thing with disrespect.

I've made my peace with the personal and professional situations that have made this such a bugaboo for me.  But I must confess that it grinds my gears when I see another soul treated unkindly.  In the workplace, in the political realm, in the church, the schoolyard, wherever.

And how sad that families who claim to love each other deeply can be so incredibly disrespectful of each other in their own homes ... sometimes blatantly, often more subtly, passive aggressively.

I'm in no way giving myself a pass on this one.

For while we might be delightful and sweet as pie to those we rub shoulders outside our four walls, it's just too easy to take out our weariness, discouragements, disappointments, and frustrations on those we love most.  Instead of choosing to speak what's true with love and respect, we're prone to be impatient.  Maybe a bit snarky and snide.  Rude.  Critical.  And sometimes just plain unkind.

This is hardly a compelling invitation to deeper relationship.





'Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered' 
{1 Corinthians 13:4 - 5}.

We all need a safe place to fall, a secure arena where we're fully accepted and appreciated for who we truly are.  In a world gone mad with disrespect, our dwellings should be havens of kindness where all who call those four walls 'home' ... spouses, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, friends ... find themselves loved, cherished, heard, safe.

And respected. 




So what might this look like?
{I am using the word *him* to avoid the awkward *him/her/they*}

1.  You are fully present.
When you discern that he'd really like to connect, you step away from your screens or your endless to-do list.  You build trust by being still as he speaks, looking straight at him, gently tracking and listening closely not only to his words but the underlying cry of his heart.

2.  You do not butt in.
You refuse to throw your two cents in every time he takes a breath, instead giving him the quiet gift of listening well, giving him full permission to be a verbal processor as he sorts through what's on his heaping plate.

3.  You are non-judgmental.
You are grace-filled and don't minimize or brush off his concerns.  You don't morph into judge and jury at the first opportunity.

4.  You don't lecture.
You don't preach, lob Scripture at him, or toss pat answers his way.  You discern when to offer words of encouragement or direction, and ask permission before going there.

5.  You don't use humor as a weapon.
You don't put him down ... to his face or behind his back.  You refuse to make jokes at his expense or use his idiosyncrasies and frailties as conversation starters with others.

6.  You refrain from sharing details of personal stories with others unless you've been given permission.
This would include the world of social media, prayer requests at Bible Study, and random conversations with friends. 

7.  You set the tone for kindness and respect by quickly owning your slip-ups, asking for forgiveness, and making amends.


What would you add to this list?


P.S. #1  
I'm not talking about domestic abuse in this post.  If you're not sure what domestic abuse is, click here to go to The National Domestic Abuse Hotline.  Their number is 1.800.799.7233.

P.S. #2
Visit Leslie Vernick's exceptional website for wise 'relationship truth unfiltered.'  She also has a site dedicated to pastors, church leaders, and counselors right here.  Her books The Emotionally Destructive Relationship and The Emotionally Destructive Marriage are must-haves on the bookshelves of every people helper.

*



*
visiting


adapted

50 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you wrote this, Linda. What once were common manners aren't as common these days. I'm talking about the times I slip too. Wise words reminding me to be attentive to my own manners.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. As believers, we're not untainted by the coarsening of our culture, are we, Debby.

      This is a challenge common to most every household I know of as far back as I can remember.

      For sure.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. I heartily agree.

      This passive aggressive attempt at humor is quite common in Christian circles. We might not swear up a storm, but our tongues can cut lethally nonetheless and leave our victim feeling 'less than.'

      Absolutely.

      Delete
  3. Great list, Linda. I hope this is taken to heart, and shared.

    I guess one thing I'd add from my perspective is that as my strength wanes, I try to bolster my pride by doing too much, and that's disrespectful to Barbara as it adds at the very least an extra burden of worry. Hope that makes sense? A bit tired as I write this.

    https://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2018/02/your-dying-spouse-443-barbara-on.html

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That's an interesting take, Andrew. I guess we don't know how we're going to live life out until we get right into the circumstances we find ourselves in.

      Fascinating observation, man. Wise and kind of vulnerable, too! In all the best ways.

      Best to you, Barbara, and the barkers ...

      Delete
  4. Excellent advice! Not always easy to do, though. It's sad that the place we should show the most respect, in our homes, is where it's easiest to slip up. But that's also the place where love and grace and forgiveness and restoration should be the most paramount as well.

    I'll never forget when it dawned on me one day that the instructions in Ephesians 5 and 6 about the home are preceded by the verses about being filled with the Holy Spirit. We think we need Him for the "big" things, ministry things, outreaches, etc., but we need Him every bit as much (if not more!) for those little everyday interactions.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Barbara, you're so spot on. Without the Holy Spirit, we'll continue to try to love through our earthly efforts ... and they never last the long haul ... and often have some kind of hidden agenda attached.

      To ask another for forgiveness requires a vulnerability that some people are unable to muster up. It doesn't feel safe for them. It was never modeled for them. Etc.

      Yet, again, the Spirit not only convicts us, but empowers us to do the right thing, to ask for the needed forgiveness, to offer amends.

      And wow, the room begins to clear as the accumulated debris starts to lift ...

      Delete
  5. Good list. I would add two things. If appropriate, a physical touch - without words. Let's the person know you are there.

    Also, don't try to "dig deeper." Accept what he is saying without trying to read into it for a meaning that might not be there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love that gentle touching piece. We are a wordy people and sometimes we just need to zip it.

      And your advice about not trying to psychoanalyze every single interaction is one I need to take to heart. For even if I don't say a word, my mind is clicking away.

      What a mess we are.

      Delete
    2. Great additions, Marilyn! A loving touch will humanize the situation, especially if we're feeling a bit grumpy about what is being shared! Digging deeper is definitely one I need to work on. As someone who always wants to "understand" I often just need to take Linda's advice and "zip it!"

      Delete
    3. And sometimes we really do hate clamming up, don't we!

      ;-}

      Delete
  6. Ugh. We like to think that WE always show respect to people. Until we read your list... then we see ourselves in many of those things. Thanks for encouraging us to be kinder than we think we are. Appreciate you, Linda!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I agree with your Ugh, Lisa.

      It's far easier to look at everyone else's disrespectful ways than to stare right into the mirror.

      Sigh. Without Christ, we are sunk.

      Delete
  7. A great post.. my parents were always very firm about respect but it's disappointing to see less and less people being respectful these days. I try to follow my parents example and instill respect into my boys.. But it's easier said then done.

    http://www.henatayeb.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hena, you're right, easier said than done!

      But it sounds like you're not only teaching, you're modeling for your boys what this kind of healthy lifestyle looks like.

      And that's usually the best way, isn't it ...

      Delete
  8. What marvelous tips you've shared here, Linda, and just in time for Valentine's Day. I do think listening well is the ultimate gift we can give to someone we love (and even someone we don't). I've tried over the years to be a much more thoughtful and patient listener, and I can tell you first hand how greatly it pays off!
    And respect? All the time!
    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yeah, I forgot to say 'Happy Valentine's Day' to everyone! You've said it for me, Martha. Thanks!

      I absolutely agree about listening well. It's interesting that while that's what I do professionally, I have to work much harder at doing it personally with my own family. I'm too busy throwing my 2 cents in, offering unasked for advice.

      How do they stand it?!

      ;-{

      Delete
  9. The very first one which came to my mind Linda was No sarcasm but someone beat me to it.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yep.

      If we took a vote for the most obnoxious communication, I bet it would win hands down, Bill.

      ;-}

      Delete
  10. A safe place where you are fully accepted just as you are is a dwelling I long for all. It really is a place where we can thrive as God wants us to thrive. My prayer is that even if the circumstances are not one of safety, that one can feel God's safety within so one's heart stays free of the chains from bitterness or the freezing from deep hurts, both that can lead to disrespect toward others and self. Wonderful post Linda

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Lynn, that is a beautiful prayer. Truth is that only God can break through and breathe new breath into many of our families who are so broken and wounded by past behaviors and unhealthy legacies.

      May He have mercy on the brokenhearted and set the captive free.

      Delete
  11. Wonderful post and things we all need to be reminded of.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I was raised in a home where respect was rarely shown, and this is something I actively work on in my own home.. thanks for these awesome and sound reminders. <3 - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You're breaking the chains, Gingi! One day at a time! Your one line says so much about who you are. I'm so proud of you and so grateful that you've given us a peek into your world.

      Bless you, girl ..

      Delete
  13. Linda,
    These are all great rules to live by and be reminded of from time to time (like every day). When I hear people telling stories about their spouse either behind their back or right in front of them, I think that is the ultimate act of disrespect. I always wonder how their spouse feels about that story being shared or when they are being mocked by the one who is supposed to love and support them. I know how much I desire to be respected and as they say....do unto others.... Great stuff!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, yes, Bev. I've heard those same kind of conversations {sometimes in the guise of prayer requests} and I recoil ... just wondering how I'd feel if I knew my spouse or child was speaking about me in that way.

      I've been astonished at the kind of info shared in Bible Studies and small groups along the way. What are we thinking?

      Delete
  14. I needed this list today, Linda. I think I do OK with the last three most of the time; it's the first four items where I need the most work. I'm going to print this out and put it somewhere it can serve as a regular reminder. Thank you for sharing your gentle wisdom, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. These certainly require focused choices, don't they, Lois. But I've found over time that God can help me change how I relate.

      Posting reminders is a good idea. Maybe I should do one in each room?

      ;-}

      Delete
  15. Great post, Linda. I thought I knew what respectful was until I met my husband. He is the most kind and respectful person I have ever known. Your post reminds me of the well-known quote: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? The three guardians of the mouth. Perfect reminders for St Valentine's Day. I hope you and your hubby have a blessed day!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Oh how very blessed you are ... a true gift indeed. What more could we ask for than someone defined by kindness.

      Beautiful.

      Delete
  16. Dearest Linda, yes I'm sure we can all work on this...

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  17. Hi Linda,
    I can sure use these tips in the workplace :) especially now that I have an office-mate! It's often easier to not show the kindness deserved because of irritations or not wanting interruptions and it takes an effort beyond myself to do the right thing! But that's why I need God's strength and not my own --hard to do but true, isn't it? Hoping you are staying toasty warm this Valentine's Day, friend! xo

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Valerie, hi! For sure, I can see how most of these would work in the workplace environment, your home away from home. I'm imagining that adjusting to an office mate could be quite stressful ... a transition in and of itself.

      I have a feeling you're going to be teaching us some lessons in the days ahead. Can't wait.

      Happy Valentine's Day ... you're a real sweetheart!

      Delete
  18. I'm woefully behind on email, Linda, but I finally made it here. I'm glad I did. I long for everyone to have a safe place to fall and to be accepted just as they are. I find you offer that here, so I love coming here. I love all the tips you give. They're such great ones to practice. I love your comment to Lisa that "Without Christ, we're sunk." So true! Love and hugs to you!

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    1. You're not at all behind, you're right on time! You're always welcome to drop in ... there's never a rush or an expectation.

      Happy Valentine's Afternoon, Trudy!

      Delete
  19. What an incredible piece of writing Linda! I have seen it so many times that people have a face for the public, and a completely different face at home. It is sad indeed. Your writing highlights the need that we can be transparent and ourselves at home without losing sight of love and compassion for those whom we love most. It seems this world is all about giving the best to everyone else and throwing scraps on the floor to our children and husbands. What an upside down world it has become. I'm thankful for the voices, like yours, that are sharing the most important part of a home is that love, compassion and respect reign there first, and priorities are there first. After all, they are the ones we should give our best to. I like your words about truly listening, and not interjecting thoughts, but just listening. Sometimes, that is all that is needed, no advice, no judge or jury (great way to put it!) and just compassion. Enjoyed my visit with you today dear friend, have a Happy Valentine's Day :)

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    1. Hi Marilyn! Yes, listening is perhaps the best gift we can give ... to sit quietly with someone, to be fully engaged in where they're coming from is a rare thing to offer.

      What might our families look like if we were as taken with who each one of them are, rather than taken with what our social media was demanding from our time and energy.

      * sigh *

      I'm glad you've joined the discussion, friend ...

      Delete
  20. FABULOUS list, Linda. I must be honest - I slip up on a few of these from time to time. Butting in is a big one currently. (sigh) But the ones that are strengths definitely show themselves and cause gratefulness to stir. They really do make relationships better.

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    1. Butting in. Yeah, that's one of my favorite obnoxious habits. Just ask my husband ...

      Or maybe not.

      ;-}

      Delete
  21. Linda, such a good post. We women need to be reminded of these things. I learned early on that respect looks very different for my husband than for me. There were times, especially early on, when I was disrespectful to my husband. He wasn't shy about letting me know.

    I think me listening without interrupting is one of the biggest things he appreciates in our communication. I show him respect when I do this. I've learned to slow down my mouth/responses. I'm not perfect, but I'm getting better.

    The other thing I've learned is that, when I'm trying to explain something (whatever that may be) if I repeat myself? He interprets that as me "thinking he's too stupid to get it the first time so I feel the need to repeat it." So, I try to say something once, clearly. And let it go. So hard for this think-out-loud girl.

    All that to say, this was a great post, friend. :)

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    1. Your third paragraph rings so true, Jeanne. I forgot how I tend to do this, to repeat myself. What is this? To be sure we were heard? To think we're increasing the likelihood that they'll agree? Or maybe to get some kind of verbal assent that we were right all along?

      Oh, ouch ...

      I've been working on saying things once and then letting the chips fall where they may. Not always, but more often ...

      ;-}

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  22. Replies
    1. You're sweet. I'm glad you're here, too ...

      ;-}

      Delete
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    1. You know how you can get convicted when you're tapping away on a keyboard?

      I'm in.

      Delete
  24. Excellent advice, Linda! I'm pinning and sharing this one!

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    Replies
    1. I love that you're sharing the love.

      I'm appreciative, Anita ...

      Delete

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