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October 6, 2014

Respect Yourself

5799017035_8f19a618cf_o“You can waste years, trying to get someone to give respect to you, as though it were a sort of promotion or raise in pay. If only you do enough, if only you are good enough. No. You have to just…take it. Give it to yourself, I suppose. Say, I’m sorry you feel like that and walk away.” (Lois McMaster Bujold)

You can’t control whether or not your kids, your spouse, your parents, your boss, or anyone else shows you respect. What you can control is whether or not you show it to them and whether or not you act in a respectable manner — even when they don’t. As with most things, this has nothing to do with them and everything to do with you. Be the grown up in every situation, and then be confident enough to allow their attempts at disrespect to bounce off of you like the tiny arrows of the Lilliputians in Gulliver’s Travels. Their barbs cannot hurt you without your permission.

Rather than “huffing and puffing” or “pouting and shouting” when they act disrespectfully, smile to yourself and remember that you don’t need their affirmation to know that you’re a strong person. Set simple and clear consequences and follow through without taking it all personally. You’ll show them what real respect looks like, and you just might earn some along the way.

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