Wonita Christine says: The opposite of respect is not disrespect. External factors such as religion, culture and sexual preference impacts a persons decision-making process. You may not respect a person’s life decisions but you can still remain polite, cordial and maintain a decent relationship. On the other hand disrespect is a form of violation and can affect your mental and physical state tremendously. Below I’ve managed to write down 5 ways to gain back your control. Don’t let them disrespect you
Step 1| Write your feelings down
When we don’t know how to handle disrespect and lack self-respect it’s easy for us to forgive the perpetrator and hope that they never do it again. Although a majority of the time it does happen again. Our main focus should be our own emotions. Write down how you feel/felt in that moment.
Example: Tuesday 23rd May| Disrespect: Living with best friend, her dog pissed on the floor, the house smells of weed & dog, I told her I had guests coming over in the evening, She didnt clean up and ate my food |Feelings:
Sometimes we are unable to process how we really feel because our feelings towards situations change. We try to move on and call it a day without acknowledging how much pain we endured. Writing down your feelings benefits you in many different ways.
- Writing can be very therapeutic to some.
- Your clarifying whats in your mind and heart
- Clearer thinking
- You have evidence to show people if needed especially in a professional environment.
- When you eventually confront the perpetrator you will need this to refer back to.
- Secure in your thoughts with no distraction of manipulators.
Step 2 Be consistent in your thoughts
There maybe aspects in people’s life that you don’t respect but that doesn’t give you the right to be disrespectful. It is crucial to be consistent in your thoughts, because a majority of the time the perpetrators are on a power trip and are waiting for you to slip up. They need a reason to dignify what they are doing. Don’t underestimate them they will make up lies, use humour to cover it up, they may even get people to join in (bullying).
(Note: In addition if you’re not consistent in your thoughts the perpetrator maybe getting mixed signals and can be oblivious to how they have disrespected you.)
“I’m a woman with a sense of humor, im courageous and don’t conform to society norms. You have disrespected me by humiliating me in the work office just to boost your ego, you are disrespectful and I will not tolerate normal chit chat from you untill you publicly apologise”
Step 3| Set boundaries
Setting boundaries is all about taking care of your precious heart. When being disrespected by family members, close friends and partners it can be soul crushing. Constant disrespect from family, close friends or partners are most likely to happen because they think you’re always going to be there. Setting boundaries are easy but unless you’ve been raised by a military family. Sticking to boundaries is very hard. As you grow and love yourself more you will not tolerate as much. Boundaries need to be specific and clearly communicated!
Below are a few examples of setting boundaries
BoundaryI do not tolerate violence in a relationship. If you physically lash out on me. It means you need help and im not going mentally corrupt myself trying to balance my own issues and yours.”
Disrespect: Lashes out and starts kicking you and punching you
Consequence: You will learn to value my body and the fact that you harmed it means you don’t value it as much as I do. You’re sleeping at your mums house for the week and your going to get help to control your issues or this relationship is over.
Boundary: Dear Bestie, I will baby sit on Thursday and Friday evening. Please do not put pressure on me to baby sit on any other week days as im really busy. xox
Disrespect: Best friend makes her feel guilty by expressing that she has no one to take care of her kids. Results in putting pressure on her to baby sit on Mondays.
Consequence: I’m not going to baby sit anymore because your making me feel very uncomfortable and you don’t respect me. I wont be baby sitting until further notice.
Setting boundaries is crucial and you will be surprised by the amount of people who will automatically accept your boundaries and not challenge you. The consequence is those who decided to challenge you by disrespecting you.
Step 4| Confrontation
Disrespectful behaviour comes in many forms. If you are being bullied, a target of racism or a victim of sexual harassment then its pivotal that you report it to the police or call a help a line for professional advice.
The scariest moment you’ve been waiting for: The confrontation! Most people are scared of confrontation but I think its healthy to have a conversation for the purpose of resolving an issue. We should be open to confrontation because sometimes those who have a different belief system or different culture may not realise that they’re being disrespectful and by notifying them, they are now aware and things are resolved.
Confronting people who are disrespectful on purpose can be challenging because they are on a power trip and to them you are weak.
Heres some tips to help.
- Be Confident
- Don’t lose control of your feelings remember that’s why we wrote them down
- Remain calm
- Dont raise your voice
What to say ??
- Set a time/date. Tell that its important conversation don’t tell them what it is about.
- Meet in person or call on the phone. Don’t send text messages because it can be confusing to detect a persons tone of voice.
- Discuss your boundaries to that particular incident.
- Tell them how that they disrespected you (Being consistent in your thoughts)
- Tell them how that made you feel. Refer back to your notes you’ve written down.
- Never make threats only promises!
Remember your aim is not to get an apology from them, So don’t get caught up trying to persuade them to be sorry. That’s completely up to them. You dont need approval from them to confirm your feelings. Your aim is to let them understand that you have self-respect and will not be tolerating anymore disrespect.
Once you’ve stated your case and heard a positive response be thankful and then leave the conversation. Don’t start going back to happy in front of them straight away otherwise it will not impact them as much.
Sometimes confrontation doesn’t go as planned and if the perpetrator starts raising their voice or is extremely defensive and aggressive in tone. The best thing to do is leave the situation immediately. Once you’ve done this you need to reflect on how important this person is in your life and give them space. Sometimes silence is the best killer!
Step 5 |Respect yourself
The four steps above are ways to gain back your control in a situation where you are feeling disrespected. There are different forms and level to disrespect. Gaining your control back should be gratifying to you and ultimately is making you become a better, stronger person. Actively gaining control in a situation is you on the path to gaining complete self respect. We are not perfect and some of us may not be able to follow all 5 steps but as long as you are trying one then that’s important.