Respect is one of the most gracious gifts we can offer to ourselves and others. It develops character and fosters integrity. With it we can move mountains, without it trust is impossible.

Researchers Hal Holloman and Peggy Yates did a study on respect that was published in the Journal of Positive Behavior and as one would expect, they concluded that when you give respect you get respect in return. Respect is one of those things that we often take for granted because it seems like an old school mob mantra or its something we simply overlook. Our relationship with elders, politicians, religious figures and even teachers has changed. People we once offered utmost respect are some of the most critically judged. We’ve become wary and skeptical of other peoples intentions, especially authority figures, but it’s not even something we freely give to friends or family anymore. In turn it’s not something that is given to us or something we give to ourselves. This lack of respect in every sense of the word has an affect on our confidence and sense of self, not to mention our ability to support other people and receive support in return.

Taking the time to identify a few qualities that you really respect in friends, family members and coworkers can help you support people with those qualities and in kind nurture them within yourself. When you act from a place of self-respect and commend others who move through life with respectfully, you raise the bar and bring out the best in everyone. Including yourself.



Image source: Gilbert Stuart