Does respect need to be earned?

@pilbara (1436)
Australia
June 25, 2007 8:05pm CST
This is something I have been curious about for a while. There will be several different viewpoints, but I believe that it doesn't for the following reasons. I believe there are several aspects of respect, which can subsequently be lost, but we should start out from a point of respect. For example we should be polite to others. If I approach someone in this manner then they are less likely to have a problem with me than if I approach them in a rude or derogatory manner. The second is associated with position. If people have achieved a certain position then they should be respected for that. For example my boss may not be a very nice person but if I am asked to do something then I do it as efficiently as I can and I am always polite and pleasant to him.
3 people like this
16 responses
• United States
26 Jun 07
I don't believe that respect must be granted on the basis of one's position. Position doesn't mean automatically that this person is respectful. Everyone must work hard in order to win respect and sometimes even though that is the case, you can feel disrespected. Will we be able any time to impose justice ? I am not so sure of ... In our world there is no more wrong or right, there are interests and if an interest is involved, you are the king. Once, you are no more of any interest, then you are no more considered. These are my feelings, Best regards Esther P.S. I do like your position because you respect unconditionaly. This proves how much respectable you are. l
2 people like this
@pilbara (1436)
• Australia
26 Jun 07
Thank you for your reply. I understand where you are coming from, what I was saying with the example I gave earlier was that the person concerned had worked hard to get where they were and they were good at what they did, it was just the way they interacted with others that let them down.
@ParaTed2k (22588)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
26 Jun 07
If you have to earn someone's respect, they never respected you in the first place.
2 people like this
@pilbara (1436)
• Australia
26 Jun 07
Thank you for that comment. That is exactly what I believe, and if I said that someone has "no respect" for me it would mean that someone failed to extend the minimum consideration that should be extended to anyone.
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8985)
• Canada
26 Jun 07
Yes, Well said! I agree with you, but take Respect a bit further. I have respect for All of God's creations. I'm a farmer and I have several Old Growth Pine trees growing on my farm. These trees are awesome. Huge living things!Its like being in Church when you are in the Presence of these Living Creations. I've raised Cattle and Horses, many different animals, and I've felt Respect for them All. People forget that We are All One! One with God!
@Rtlsnk316 (1197)
• Mexico
26 Jun 07
Hi there, I believe if you are somebody that respects everything and everybody, it's a gift that should not be lost unless you want to, but not because someone makes you by being disrespectful to you. Doesn't matter how people can be rude, mean at you, it's just a test of will "should I fall as low as that person and behave in that same way and forget what I believe in?" It's up to everyone of us.
@pilbara (1436)
• Australia
26 Jun 07
Thank you. What you have said is well said and taken as well. I live in the city now but grew up on a farm and we planted lots of trees after we bought it (the previous answers didn't like trees). At the moment I have 3 pets - 2 cats and a dog all from the lost dogs home. People had previously abused them but they now have a good home with us.
• United States
26 Jun 07
i belive that everyone deserve respect until they do something that shows disrespect then i belive thats when there respect is lost.
1 person likes this
@pilbara (1436)
• Australia
26 Jun 07
Thank you for your reply. yes that is what I mean.
@misheleen73 (6037)
• United States
26 Jun 07
I actually hate it when I hear respect must be earned. NO, respect is given. I respect you as long as you respect me. I will not mistreat someone until they earn my respect. That is ridiculous. Everyone is entitled to be treated with respect, otherwise we would have a very nasty society. The rich would say that the poor do not deserve their respect as they have not earned it. The people in general will not respect the law as they will say that they have not earned their respect. And so on. I think common courtesy and decency dictate that we treat every person, place and thing with the respect they/it deserves.
1 person likes this
@pilbara (1436)
• Australia
26 Jun 07
Thank you for your comment. That's exactly the way I feel, people say respect must be earned in order to justify acting in a disrespectful way. An example of this is that I see a lot of this with our substitute teachers, the students tend to act far worse for them than for their ordinary teacher and I would say they act without respect. How is a casual teacher like this supposed to gain respect in a single class, when the students often have already planned to misbehave before they even set foot in the room? Another example is the person who had a problem with something they buy and the first thing they do when they go back to the store is to yell at the customer service person. This also shows a lack of respect.
@coolcat123 (4391)
• India
26 Jun 07
Earning respect is very similar to earn money,earning money makes you rich while earning respect makes you a real gentleman. To be polite let people feel that are are also respected by you and so he should respect you either but getting respect for your position is different. your higher position forces people of lower rank to respect you even if they dont want to....so thats not true respect.
1 person likes this
@pilbara (1436)
• Australia
26 Jun 07
Thank you for your reponse. I understand what you mean by that but can give another example. At university we had a professor who was extremely well known in his field, he was widely considered to be an expert. To get that position it took him years of study at many different organisations. Lets say this professor also has a very caustic nature, I would still say that repect for him on a personal level may be low, but the respect given to him because of his position was very high.
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
26 Jun 07
depends what is meant by respect. If by respect it is meant only that one be treated with dignity - then no, I do not believe that it must be earned. I think we ought treat every person with a certain dignity. If by respect you mean, to hold in high esteem - or regards. Then yes, for this definition of respect I think it needs to be earned. and once lost it is a difficult thing to earn back.
1 person likes this
@pilbara (1436)
• Australia
26 Jun 07
Thanks for your reply. I was talking about the first part, that everyone should be treated with respect to start with. I agree that anything further than that does need to be earned, and can also be lost.
• United States
26 Jun 07
Not really, no. Everyone deserves a certain level of respect that doesn't need to be earned. But for example if someone constantly mistreats me very horribly, and that person later wants to reconcile, then they would have to earn my respect. I think everyone should start out with it, but should you lose it - only then it needs to be earned back.
1 person likes this
@pilbara (1436)
• Australia
26 Jun 07
Thanks for your response. That initial level of respect is what I am talking about and I agree that it can be decreased or lost altogether if someone acts badly.
• United States
26 Jun 07
I believe that if you want respect, you have to give it. In a way that means that you have to earn it. Respect isn't something that should be given lightly. That way when you respect people, it's a special honor.
1 person likes this
@pilbara (1436)
• Australia
26 Jun 07
thanks for your response. We will have to agree to disagree about this as I think that there should be a certain amount of respect that people should be given - respecting someone at that level should not be a special thing. However, I do take the point that during your interactions with someone the amount of respect you have for them can change for the better or for the worse.
1 person likes this
@liyan97 (2128)
• Northern Mariana Islands
4 Jul 07
Don’t get me wrong now! I am not talking about the respect we show for strangers, but the respect that we share within our families. I feel that respect should be earned, there have been many people in my lives who has disrespected my by touching my things, and when I get all bent out of shape about it, to the point where I start yelling, usually the first thing they say, is that I have no respect for them! Which is funny coming for someone who felt that it was okay for them to take something that didn’t belong to them….lol…I simply reply by saying if you want respect you have to earn it! I feel that in order for me to show respect for anyone they must show the same respect for me, in essence I feel that it has to be earned.
@Grandmaof2 (7603)
• Canada
27 Jun 07
In my opinion and in my words, " Yes Respect Needs To Be Earned." I know someone on a personal level who has children which are grown up and have children of their own and in each of their families there is absolutely no respect and I have to say it all started at home when the kids were all very small. The names those kids got called fromn the parents and the names the kids now call the parents I wouldn't type it even if I could, it's brutal. Like the old say goes, you reap what you sow. True it is.
@ryanphil01 (4185)
• Philippines
27 Jun 07
i live by the golden rule,'do unto others what you want others do to you.' in the same manner that respect should be expressed to anyone whoever they are so that same favor would be returned back to you. it's a matter of simple interaction, a reciprocal type of relationship, a give and take situation. if you have been rude to others or to your friends never be surprised anymore that you will be losing them somehow, someday.
@2wicelot (2946)
26 Jun 07
From my experience I noticed that respect actually needs to be earned. There are individual who would respect you for who you are but then there are some for whom you just have to prove yourself. This can be in a good way or a bad way depending on the situation. It could also be in a positive way or a negative way also depending on the situation.
@Stiletto (4584)
26 Jun 07
Well as far as someone in a position of authority goes I think there's a difference between commanding respect and demanding obedience. Your boss might be the vilest person in the world but you do what he/she tells you, not because you respect them but because you have to obey them if you want to keep your job. With regard to being polite to others that's just good manners. That's showing respect for a person's feelings/rights etc as opposed to respecting the person's character or behaviour etc. So although I think we all should expect others to treat us respectfully (and should behave the same way to them) actual "respect" is something that needs to be earned.
26 Jun 07
I feel pretty much the same as you, I think you should have respect eveyone from the first point you meet them. But also think added respect can be earned and respect can be lost all together
@fizzytom (754)
• Maribor, Slovenia
26 Jun 07
I agree - we should always start from the view that you give respect unconditionally until the pother person does something that means they no longer deserve it. To me the idea of "earning respect" means that I wouldn't show respect to someone else until they showed it to me - like that person has to prove themselves. No, I will always be respectful to someone until they prove thye are not worthy of it - and even then I will continue to be as polite to them as I can be even of they are rude to me. Rudeness and anger breeds only more anger - for example, the idea that you should not raise your voice to someone who is angry is a good example - doing this will only make them more annoyed and they will be increasingly hostile to you.