Respect, in a word of missunderstanding

I start with the word most of us experience from time to time, frustration. Frustration, as we realize that although having plenty of knowledge it does not automatically make things easier as we interact with our environment. Most social collisions we face derives from our way to manage communication. Communication is at a glance natural and simple, something most of us take for granted. However communicating by instinct or using common sense is seldom as efficient as we like to think, especially as we try to convey more intricate thoughts, feelings or experiences.  Our upbringing as part of a micro culture which consists of our family, relatives and close friends seldom provides us with enough experience to deal with the infinite amount of communication hazards we experience in our daily lives as grownups. Our common sense are developed based on our micro culture.

Let’s gain some altitude in our reasoning. Position our family micro culture  in a larger macro culture which in turn is our social group which we are identified by and ordered within the society and let us also mix it all up with a god portion of various ideologies.  Looking at this soup we will then easily see that the environment we on a daily basis navigate within generates unimaginable amount of misunderstandings based on the value we and our environment intermix on each spoken or written word, gesture, posture,  facial expression, intonation, situation and timing.

Luckily for our mental health and self esteem, we can interpret all these misunderstandings in our own way, equalizing the impact of our general surrounding to our own point of view and there by maintain balance. This however is much harder to do in a micro culture or in a relationship where self equalization of the surrounding according to our own benefit or judgement is not possible as our environment requires equalization based on situation. We need to equalize with our environment in order to reach balance in opinions.

What is social skills or social intelligence?

In many cultures, the word respect is translated to show elderly, rich or social successful people some extra attention and give social benefits. In a micro cultures of a family, respect is often translated to show attention to parents laws, ideologies and to trust in their better judgement as parents plan activities, manage emotions or transfer experience as how to manage the social interactions with entities outside of the familiy micro culture.

What is not so often identified but never the less is a major factor in daily situations (more so in micro cultures that in larger social interactions)  is that respect often translate into fear. Fear of consequences. Iif respect is not shown for the authorities and the social rules of the environment various kind of reprimands are in effect. These negative feed backs varies in strength and appearance, some less destructive than others. Please note I said “less destructive”, as respect in connection to reprimands is not a social skill, its a tool of dictatorship.

A common way in all cultures to relate to the word as we approach the meaning in a platonic way is that respect most often translate to understanding, showing concern and empathy. Which is not connected to fear at all, but rater to appreciation and recognition of one and another. It’s basically the love and recognition we are to share  for each others individuality and the presence we contribute with.

Respect is to acknowledge each others value and to recognize each others needs. The fundamental in communication is the equalization of  status and to confirm each others opinions which will serve as the base when we thrive to reach each others understanding.

Knowing ourselves, our intention and who we are along with the insight that we all do the best we can in all given moment helps us maintain respect which in all means is beneficial to us all.

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Published in: on April 13, 2009 at 1:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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